Poor investment research

The run up to the referendum was characterised by some very sloppy investment research, often put out by large US corporations who wanted to side with Remain. Instead of wisely staying neutral and seeking to put out balanced well informed commentary some of them put out scare stories to buttress Project Fear. Few of them seemed to read the Consolidated Treaties, or bother to understand the intellectual and research underpinnings of the Leave campaign. Most of them put out forecasts that had plenty of bad cases for Leave but no good cases. Some of them have had to eat their forecasts already, as they anticipated a sharp fall in shares, output and much else immediately following a Leave vote.

Since the vote there have been huge short positions taken out against the pound sterling, as certain market participants have decided that looked like the easiest bet to place that would allow a negative view of the UK’s future. Whichever institutions have done it they remain short and are desperate to try and talk the pound down further. They soon gave up on shorting bonds, as bond prices shot up contrary to some of the original expectations. Nor could they long sustain their bear positions on UK equities. With the Bank of England they gave up on talking the FTSE100 down, but tried for a bit longer to resist the upwards momentum of the FTSE 250. Anyone who followed the investment views of Remain would have missed out on a sharp rally in UK asset prices since June 24th’s mark down. Now we hear from unnamed sources that the damage is delayed, that a “hard” Brexit would be bad news, that maybe some businesses will leave the UK. Doubtless some of these briefers were briefing something similar in the run up the Euro, when we were told London would lose out badly if we did not join.

One US bank after the vote put out a piece of badly researched commentary attacking what they said were my views. They clearly had not read much of what I have written and published on Brexit, and did not bother to ring me to check their allegations. They claimed I did not want the UK to send an Article 50 letter, failing to observe that I did and had published a draft letter to send! They also thought I would be happy to lose passport access to the single market, ignoring the extensive comments I have made on how and why I think we can keep the present passports or the equivalent.

I have written to them asking them to correct their material as I thought they would wish to observe professional standards and would wish to reflect properly the views of anyone they were commenting on. Their failure to do so so far leads me to write this piece. I think it is bizarre that a well resourced investment bank cannot be bothered to check the facts at best,but thinks its clients and the wider public need an incorrect appraisal of my views.

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91 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I think, if memory serves, that you were indeed dismissive of the sending an Article 50 letter. As I remember it, you felt that all we needed to do was repeal the ECA.

    As for the rest, I think you are indeed right to ask them to retract it.

    I have never cared much what Bankers, Economists and those so called, ‘Captains’ of Industry’ say, they have their own self interests and, I do not see it is their business on how I wish to be governed. And that what this is all been about, well for me at least.

    If our economy is sound, our markets free, fair and open. If investors know that they can invest, take reasonable risks and keep the most of the rewards from that risk, then all those aforementioned will come to the UK. Another aspect is regulation. Light touch regulation is OK, so long as everybody knows and understands what it all means and the risks.

    Leaving the EU, our true government, will not be easy. There is far too much in terms of administrative regulation to unravel. Our kind host, as I have often criticise him for, tends to focus on the economic, financial and trade aspects of the EU. All well and fine. But there are other areas, and these are the important ones, that he does rarely venture. And that is the myriad of rules, regulations, agreements, organisations, treaties and so on that the EU sits on for and on our behalf. We are not at the table when it comes to thing like the WTO, the EU is. Our foreign policy is and EU Competency (power) so our seat at the UN is usurped by them, as we are bound to take the ‘Common Position’ dictated by the EU. Our kind host does not talk so much on this. And it is this that must be tackled.

    Reply I said send a letter and published the draft letter!

  2. Richard1
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Will you name and shame the offending institution? It would be useful to know.

    • oldtimer
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Name the bank.

      • stred
        Posted September 28, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Sorry my paste did not go where the bar was put. – was a good tip… should be on the first sentence top. The forecast is in breaking news in today’s business Telegraph.

    • Posted September 27, 2016 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      I thought Jamie Dimon’s performance at the TV event organised and also attended by George Osborne was lack-lustre. E.g. he made some emotional appeals to the spirit of D-Day. Not sure what that had to do with it.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        I love it when Max Keiser has a go at ‘our Jamie’. It makes one appreciate where the banking system needs the most reform, and there was ‘our Gideon’ sucking up to him!

        Tad

    • Peter Davies
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Starts with Jp?

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Indeed there are a lot of sloppy group think and dodgy innumerate “experts” all over the place, especially in banking.

    Listening to the shadow chancellor yesterday I wonder if he really is daft enough to beleive that his absurd, magic money tree, central wage control economic policies would actually work or does he just thing they will just win votes. they will surely do neither. The public are not as daft as he thinks.

    But when are Theresa and Hammond actually going to get on with forging a sensible direction? At the very least cancel HS2, cut taxes and get on with some new runways. What are the waiting for? Why on earth did they go ahead with th absurd Hinkley project?

  4. Jerry
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Sorry John but you are on to a looser with this one (in my opinion), mountains out of mole hills as they say, but no doubt you will have many devoted fans telling you otherwise….

    “They also thought I would be happy to lose passport access to the single market”

    The fact that the only way the UK can be sure of keeping our passport access to the single market etc. is to retain the current conditions of issue -full or significant membership of the EU, the EFTA or EEA in other words, which you are opposed to as it means ceding control in significant areas (such as the freedom of movement of people, perhaps eventually currency and tax) to the EU over the wishes of the UK parliament, does surely mean you would be happy to lose our passport otherwise you would not have been campaigning of Brexit!

    The fact that you wish for something that is not in yours or the governments gift is irrelevant to the fact that you support Brexit with all the de facto doubt and problems it brings.

    “I have written to them asking them to correct their material as I thought they would wish to observe professional standards and would wish to reflect properly the views of anyone they were commenting on.

    Perhaps you consider also sending a similar letter to, amongst others, the official Leave Campaign, never mind the unofficial campaigns?…

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Jerry. There are 8300 passports in force for trading in the UK but only 5100 for UK organisations trading in the EU.
      Pretty much like other trade, they have more to lose than us.
      You can check the facts on Google.
      We are in a position of strength not some defeated rabble army.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 27, 2016 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        @Ian Wragg; “There are 8300 passports in force for trading in the UK but only 5100 for UK organisations trading in the EU. Pretty much like other trade, they have more to lose than us.”

        Meaningless twaddle unless you flesh it out with some real world value of such business done in the UK by those EU27 passports. The question is, like with other trade, do they need to do business with/in the UK, after all there must be 8300 passports in force for trading within the EU27 also.

        “We are in a position of strength not some defeated rabble army.”

        Perhaps not, just a self-defeated Empire instead, which some of its citizens do not seem to have noticed or do not wish to accept. When will some Brexiteers, especially those attracted to UKIP, just accept the fact that the EU, the Commonwealth nor the world, owe the UK a single penny or favour.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

          One of you more ridiculous responses Jerry
          Ian is right.
          Those passports are valuable and the European companies that have them will find them useful and valuable.
          On this topic you have been claiming only the UK need passports
          Ian shows with facts that this is not quite the case.
          Your determination to argue the opposite anything anyone say on here posts is a remarkable feature.

        • Ian Wragg
          Posted September 28, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink

          Sorry Jerry. We are the people who don’t need the comfort blanket of the EU.
          We remember life before the EU and as I have said before having spent 50 years living and working abroad I certainly don’t think the world owes us anything.
          I just happen to have confidence in our country despite the remoaners continual running us down.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 28, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

            Ian and Edward2; Those are your opinions, and you are of course entitled to them but unless you put some flesh on the bones of your arguments, some real world facts and figures, sorry but it is you who are are making ridiculous “Trust me I’m a Doctor” type assertions.

            Edward2; I have never suggested that only UK companies need this passport, quite the opposite in fact, as you would have known had you bothered to read more than first line of my comment! On the other hand you seem to be suggesting, quite bizarrely, that the UK is the only country in which any such EU27 based company can do business…

            Ian Wragg; I also have every confidence that the UK can make for a successful Brexit, even if it turns out to be a ‘hard Brexit’, but we will not succeed if we do not face up to the many ‘what if’ questions -sorry to say but there are some who post to this site who do not seem to even want to look such questions in the face.

            Also I’m not quite sure what remembering life before January 1st 1973 has got to do with anything, many who wanted to remain in the EU also remember life back then, thus people from both sides of the argument have got that particular medal -and wear it with pride, it’s nothing unique to Brexiteers. Also many have also ‘seen the world’, and not just the bars and clubs around naval bases either but boardrooms too.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 28, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

          Jerry

          Give it up. You are clueless when it comes to business.

          The City of London is one of the two major financial trading centres in the world. Everyone needs to do business here. Even Goldman Sachs for all their politicking about remaining. EU based financial service companies currently do 78 billion Euros of business per year via London. So should we wish to keep the passporting system at all it is really us who are in the stronger position. You are another one who falls for government/media/political guff about trade. Trade including financial services is done between buyers and sellers . If passporting was removed it wouldn’t make any difference what so ever to continued business. If the EU was so important how come all the major overseas banks ( more than 1,100 of them base their European operations in UK ? )

          Twaddle indeed Jerry.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 29, 2016 at 4:56 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; ‘Currently’ being the operative word though.

            There is no reason why “78 billion Euros of business per year” could not be done via Frankfurt, otherwise why are/where so many in the City of London, Whitehall and elsewhere so worried about a shift towards Frankfurt (or some other EUropean location) if such trading can’t possibly survive outside of London?

            It is you, Ian Wragg and Edward2 who are the clueless ones, talking twaddle -or rather just totally blind out of choice and talking the usual europhobic hyperbole.

            These days most companies and speculators do their business were it is convenient, that place might well currently be London, but after Brexit, who knows … if you know the future @libertarian, as I said to Edward2 when he was also crystal ball gazing last week, psst – what’s the Lotto numbers for a week on Friday?!

          • Jerry
            Posted September 29, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “If the EU was so important how come all the major overseas banks ( more than 1,100 of them base their European operations in UK ? ) “

            Because (currently) the UK is a member of the EU, with all but effectively boarder-less travel within the EU28 perhaps?!

      • Edward2
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:21 am | Permalink

        Strange how many nations trade successfully with Europe without agreeing to freedom of movement nor being in the single market and paying billions in membership fees annually.
        The EU cannot refuse the UK access.
        It is illegal.

        Did you know the nation which has enjoyed the biggest trade growth since the single market started is the USA?
        No trade deal
        No membership of the Single Market
        No agreement to freedom of movement
        Not paying billions in fees
        Odd that Jerry

        • Jerry
          Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:59 am | Permalink

          @Edwartd2; No one has suggested that the EU would “refuse” (put in place sanctions [1]) to trade with the UK post Brexit, just that WTO rules would apply until (if) the EU/EU agree alternate arrangements.

          [1] that is not the same as people simply choosing not to do trade, perhaps because such trade has become uneconomic

          • Edward2
            Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

            Quite right Jerry
            Trade will continue, nations with nations just as it does all over the world now.
            Individual consumers will find the products or services they want on the internet or elsewhere at a price that suits from anywhere in the world order it and have it delivered to their door in just a day or two.
            The concept of the single market is out of date.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Trade agreements are not out of date at all, unless you really are suggesting that tariffs, and protectionism, be the rule!

            You are so obsessed with finding fault with the EU single market you have tunnel vision, the WTO (rules) is in its self a worldwide single market agreement.

            Also Edward2, look more closely at the T&C’s of overseas (outside of the EU28) internet shopping, quite a few transactions are covered by clauses that state the buyer will be responsible for paying any local import customs duty etc. due.
            On the other hand anyone from any one of the EU28 can purchase from any other EU28 country without the risk of additional costs upon delivery -the price you see after the shipping costs have been added is the price your purchase has cost you.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

            Free trade is what is needed.
            No tariffs
            No protectionism
            Keep bureaucracy and politicians out of the way of trade.
            Customers and suppliers.

  5. sm
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    If and when you get a response from the US bank, I very much hope you will name and shame them here!

    • Bob
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      If you don’t get a timely response and retraction from the US bank, I very much hope you will name and shame them here!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      If it’s the one I have in mind, they’re not just wrong, they’re dangerous!

      Tad

  6. Excalibur
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Thoughtfully done again, JR, in a justified defence of your position. However, a certain naivity is apparent. Any idea, in the current political and economic climate of lies and counter lies, that anyone would wish to ‘observe professional standards’ and to reflect properly the views of someone they were commenting on is simply overtrustful. It’s a jungle out there, JR,,,.

    • Chris
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Ah, but the electorate needs to know who is doing what, and who continues to “misrepresent” data even after having been alerted to the facts so politely (and publicly) by a highly respected senior politician. Those organisations who display arrogance and contempt openly for due process will be noted, and the public can be very unforgiving.

      • anon
        Posted September 27, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        Maybe companies should have a legal duty imposed on them to be factually correct when they release reports overly aimed at influencing politics.

        Reports which are of major political significance, should be treated like politcal contributions (non deductable) and published and voted on by shareholders.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Professional standards -and the idea of honour,dictum meum pactum,etc -in the City began to disappear with “Big Bang”and the move from a partnership to corporate structure in line with American practice and the consequent sellout of virtually all the UK-owned firms of any significant size.

      Big Finance is now as one with Big Media and Big Government .So expect the same standards of behaviour.

    • Graham
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Yes they continued the trend of lies with malice a forethought- they’re an investment bank so will do anything for money.

  7. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Which bank was it ?

    Eventually something will happen to cause the pound to rise again as a “safe haven” currency compared with the Euro and others – speculative market attacks on Deutsche Bank (which the German government have foolishly invited by saying they will not intervene) could be the catalyst.

  8. Martyn G
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Talking of investment research, I see today that Fr. Merkel has allegedly refused to bail of Deutsche bank which could well bring it down. Some say that if it did crash the world would be facing another financial disaster and possibly bring down the Euro. That would surely cast financial forecasts and investment plans into chaos, would it not? I am beginning to think that burying a waterproof box full of cash in the back garden will be a safer investment, regardless of it devaluing a tad faster than leaving it in the bank where in the event of a banking crisis it might become inaccessible or taken from me. Unthinkable? Perhaps not when one remembers what happened to Greece and Cyprus peoples……

    Reply There is no evidence Deutsche asked for any financial help. it remains a bank regulated by the ECB who are clearly satisfied it is solvent.The ECB stand behinds it, with the German state needing to consider helpful action were the bank to get into serious trouble. Users of the bank make their own assessments of its financial health.

    • Martyn G
      Posted September 28, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Apologies, John. I didn’t mean to imply that the bank had asked for help and you are quite correct in pointing that out. But media reports of its current liabilities and market value, with its share prices still dropping, it does rather look as though the markets are worried about it. Germany is rich and could afford to bail it out but having stood fast against the ECB wish to bail out the Cyprus and Greek banks, is in a very difficult position regarding bailing out Deutsche bank.

  9. Antisthenes
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    With so much information that is easily available these days it is appalling that so many professional people and politicians are these days so cloaked in ignorance. To some degree it is understandable that the ordinary person in the street are just as bereft of knowledge as their work does not give them the time or the need. In fact they rely on what knowledge they need on matters political, economic and high commerce given from people who are paid to work in and to report on those sectors of society.

    They are being badly let down as fact and truth has become a rare commodity in danger of becoming extinct. The people are being fed information gained from lazy to nil research or doctored to promote causes, ideologies and to cover up misdeeds or is just conjured up out of the minds of irrational thinkers. Impartially collected and evidence based information which used to emanate from the likes of the BBC and scientists is no longer available as now they have just become another set of self interest groups that manipulate information for personal gain.

    Standards and values that promoted honesty, integrity and modest behaviour have been devalued a casualty of socialist progressive thinking. As has meritocracy, personal responsibility and self reliance. All in the name of social justice and equality. A laudable intent. Alas an intent that was conceived from ill understood and biased information that has resulted in a society that has no longer a strong guiding moral compass and has created a morass of unaffordable and unsustainable public enterprises, policies and practices.

    We have sunk so low that a major main stream UK political party Labour can elect leaders (with extreme views ed). It can only be because a large section of the population’s hearts and minds have been won over to embrace socialist progressive thinking. Having been duped by misinformation, falsified evidence, brainwashing by the progressives in the education system and false promises.

  10. Iban Korchoi
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Morning John,

    Another great post, I wonder if the new delayed brexit armageddon will appear alongside the millennium bug, in a double whammy “told you so” way, or just quietly be swept under the remains tatty rug.

    It’s disappointing that the reality of the referendum has not been viewed as a turning, the bitterness and petty behaviour from all corners is still running hard.

    • Robert Christopher
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Fortunately, much good work was done fixing Y2K problems before the deadline as many of the problems occurred in sewerage pump equipment!

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted September 28, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

        Well I worked in power stations in the Middle East and no precautions were taken and life went on as usual.

  11. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Banks! Corruption to meet their own ends and sod the people who support them with their money. It seems to me that there is so much in life we cannot trust now.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    It’s quite clear American Democrats want Britain to remain in the EU. We will be HC’s whipping boy if she wins the Presidency.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 28, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      In view of the state of European banks (including Germany’s) may we cease with this bunk that we have “…jumped into a life raft from a perfectly safe Ocean liner” ?

  13. Norman
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    @Excalbur.
    One cannot be an honourable gentleman, without treating even rogues as gentlemen. In the end, this is always the best policy – it does not imply naivity. Besides, the world is in great need of wise gentlemen nowadays!

    • Excalibur
      Posted September 28, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Read the post of Antisthenes above. He has summed up the issue brilliantly. That is how the world is. Our kind host makes the error of expecting others to adhere to his high standards. I cannot imagine JR, for example, replicating Gove’s stabbing of Boris, or fabricating the issues of Brexit in the manner of Mark Carney. He is, as you say. an honourable gentleman, and my comments are not meant as a personal criticism.

  14. alan jutson
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Lets just face facts, most of the finance industry and the city men all called it wrong because they only talked amongst themselves or with others who were also within the city bubble and its links.

    Nothing worse than trying to prove the use of wrong information, as an excuse as to why they called it wrong.

    Latest fear tactic seems to be, it will all fall down when we actually leave, although of course they did not say that at the time.

    By contrast I see that a German economic “expert” it has been reported, has now said he expects the UK to do much better than the EU in the long term, as we will be signing up with the rest of the World.

  15. zorro
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I wonder which banks they could be….? 😉 Surely the Greeks would recommend them…. Our US partners would not lie to us surely…..

    zorro

  16. Wingsovertheworld
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Dear JR – It’s interesting you make a comment on this precise matter today. I was browsing through a social network’s online comment section yesterday and read a rebuttal to the main post stating your name, your apparent views and why, in the poster’s opinion (although not stated as such), you were wrong. It had percentages and statistics and everything! I wondered if you were being targeted by the Remoaners as an arch-draughtsman for the Brexit dept. and wondered if there was a campaign to bring down your views. On reflection, I think this can only be positive news, as anyone who highlights your views will only serve to make them more widely known – and if they are heard enough, the wider media will no doubt ask you to explain, which only serves as a platform to present your logical and well-thought-out stance on Brexit all the better.

  17. Tad Davison
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I have an American friend who has in the past, written guest editorials for the FT. Before the referendum, he kept telling everybody that were the UK to leave the EU, it would be a disaster. He’s gone uncharacteristically quiet since June 23rd.

    Maybe people would be well advised to take everything written in the FT with a pinch of salt.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      A very large pinch of salt.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        LOL, you and I are going to have a pint together one of these days Denis!

        Tad

    • Jerry
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      @Tad Davison; But the UK has not left the EU yet, there has been no Brexit -just a load of huffing and puffing, there hasn’t even been any serious (official) negotiations yet. Not only do some Brexiteers want to put all the UK’s eggs in one basket, they want to count them before a single hen has laid one egg!

      • Tad Davison
        Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        You make a fair point Jerry, even if it is a fairly obvious one, but it is in nobody’s interest to turn a great opportunity into an unmitigated disaster just for the satisfaction of saying ‘I told you so’. Good and wise business people will seize the moment and make Brexit work. The unimaginative negative doom-merchants are yesterday’s men and will ultimately fall by the wayside in keeping with all the other dodos throughout history that could not adapt to change.

        I have another ‘friend’, a sitting Tory MP no less, who says he will give Brexit six months, after which, the UK will be begging to be let back in. And this from someone who did his best to convince everyone for the past thirty-odd years that he was a Eurosceptic.

        It seems there is a peculiar mind-set at play. The EU is going down the pan, it has let people down badly right across the continent, its leaders cannot even agree upon where it is now, let alone where it is going, and yet those who cannot envisage any other way, would still have us chained to it and continually pouring our tax-taper’s money down the drain.

        I think we made the right choice back in June, despite the massive campaign of orchestrated misinformation. I believe there is every reason to continue to feel upbeat and positive about this nation’s future outside the straightjacket of EU dominance, and these pages give voice and credible reason to that optimism.

        Tad

        • Jerry
          Posted September 28, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          Tad, I agree with almost all you say, and my problem with the Brexit campaign was always the scapegoating, not the facts -which always pointed to leaving. But do not assume that all the ‘doom laden’ comments on here or elsewhere are against Brexit, if some of the europhobic pro Brexit comments on this site were to end up being our official negotiating/exiting position the I to would give actual Brexit six months before many who voted out will be begging to get back in!

          Let me repeat what I’ve just said in reply to Ian Wragg; I also have every confidence that the UK can make for a successful Brexit, even if it turns out to be a ‘hard Brexit’, but we will not succeed if we do not face up to the many ‘what if’ questions -sorry to say but there are some who post to this site who do not seem to even want to look such questions in the face … and no Tad, I was not thinking of you when I wrote that, in case you were wondering.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Indeed Tad
      I have given up buying the FT since it went all political.

  18. Bert Young
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Wrongful statements present a dilemma . Do you simply ignore them and put the approach down to ignorance and lack of decorum – or , do you mount a challenge in the belief that they will come clean and admit defeat ? .

    Banks generally and US Banks in particular , decided to announce their position on Brexit believing it would influence the public and result in a ” Remain ” result . They were proved wrong in their assessment and now want to turn their focus elsewhere ; their attention is now turned towards individuals .

    Those of us with any international business nous are fully aware that all obstacles can be overcome by effective analysis and planning . It will never be plain sailing in any challenging enviroment ; it takes cool heads and determination to get on with it to win the day . Banks would be well advised to consider the implications of any statements and not rush to print the first things that jump into their heads .

  19. agricola
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    The perceived interest of the big bank of which you write must have been to remain in the EU. Just as with some journalists, BBC, some politicians, bankers and industrialists, they tell the story they wish to tell to suit their own ends. They do not let the facts get in the way of their chosen direction. It is the job of those with a preference for the truth to put egg on the faces of those above.

  20. ChrisS
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    They won’t bother to make a correction unless you publish the name of the institution here.

  21. ian
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    They the banks are not important, what is important is bringing money back on shore for investment.
    I think UK companies and peoples money offshore needs a good home, so my suggestion is that parliament make a offer to clean the money for them at rate of 3.75 percent and at same time bring down CGT and IHT to the same level so there is no need for the money to leave in the first place, a new tax system for employment taxes with a new pension system with new banks opened up with high street branches with the old bank manager making a come back.the old bank debt needs to be sorted out so companies and people confidence in the new banking system.
    I think it will bring in quite a few billions to the treasury with high turn over in investment.

  22. formula57
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    As one who once sat in sales pitch from a well resourced investment bank that proposed activity that it did not know was illegal, I am not especially surprised by what you report. As ever, it is the clients of same for whom one should feel sorry.

  23. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Tell me John is Carnage still in post.
    I read certain US bankers told Mrs May that they would decamp if we left the single market and stopped free movement. Not very bright the Yanks. The more they threaten the greater the urge to leave. Even the German media mogul says we will flourish out of the EU as it gets more introspective.
    Not going well for the Remainiacs.

    • backo
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      It would be amusing if these US banks spelt out the costs of moving their operations to Paris or Frankfurt. Re-siting in a second rate financial centre that doesn’t have American as its first language. To say nothing of continental bureaucracy. We could also ask the Japanese manufactures the same questions. How would a 35 hour working week play out for Nissan or Honda?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      There’s the coming and going of small numbers of highly paid and/or qualified bank staff, which few people will see as a problem and which the banks can be reassured will be allowed in any case after we have left the EU, but then distinct from that there’s the unlimited and uncontrolled mass immigration of all sorts through the EU’s principle of unfettered freedom of movement, which we would have to accept to remain in the EU’s Single Market as the banks would prefer and which is the real problem.

      The same with the universities, which seem to be led by people who are so thick that they can’t grasp that we don’t have to have completely open borders, as they insist we must have, just to allow small numbers of talented people to come here.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      On Carney it seems he explicitly stated he was taking the job for 5 years only but this seems to have been as accurate as his other forecasts as he is now letting it be known he is happy to stay for the more normal 8 years to “help” with Brexit. At least this indicates his contract may be for 5 years only so we may be able to get rid of him. It was speculated that his keenness to stay was related to a lack of opportunities in Canada to further his political ambitions.

  24. Prigger
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Disconcerting: the foreign money lenders.( 2 e.g.s left out ed) The EU is indicating that it will most likely not sign up to the next round of banking regulations. Why? Because it means its banks would have to meet an important stress test>>> They would have to have sufficient capital to ring fence their lending. But they do not. They do not have any real money to lend. The EU says investors would take their money out of European Union nation-states if they agree with the world for proper banking regulations. This would show the EU Financial Sector as a really bad bet.A remarkable confession.
    No mention of this by the Remainers and the media in general. I wonder how Labour’s Shadow Chancellor would explain his dream for “holding banks to account” when the EU would forbid such a move outright? If Mr Juncker hears what Mr McDonnell is saying he will be asked to go and see him in Brussels and get his catapult, marbles, and penknife confiscated and locked into Mr Juncker’s office desk drawer until 4 o’clock.

  25. Posted September 27, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Isn’t talking down the pound a specific strategy of the Bank Of England? I can only believe this as despite surprisingly good economic news Carney continues to suggest interest rates may well be cut again this year (a somewhat futile activity given the low level they are at). This downbeat view from a central banker combined with lashings of Quantitative Easing is guaranteed to weaken the pound. Given the mood music I would suspect that the forex mob are only too happy to push the pound lower as until we have published GDP figures for Q3 then other data can be interpreted in many ways.

    The “hard” Brexit fear (or getting on with it as I call it) can always be used as a prompt for further weakening until the real economy shows what it is capable of.

    Sadly I wouldn’t hold your breath whilst expecting the bank to offer a correction on your misreported views.

  26. forthurst
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    “I think it is bizarre that a well resourced investment bank cannot be bothered to check the facts at best”

    Yes, they can be quite sloppy; some, indeed, did not bother to check whether thieving was illegal before stealing billions from assorted borrowers and investors, unfortunately, only resulting in slaps on the wrist and massive fines rather than the enforced detention they so richly deserved.

    The banksters are caught between a rock and a hard place viz a viz access to the Single Market, because formally remaining within, guaranteeing them continuance of passporting, a nice to have but hardly essential requisit for trading within the EU, apart from the resulting very damaging influx of unwanted persons which they could not care two hoots about, they would also be at the mercy of any vindictive rules that the EU Commission decided to apply, quite apart from those which would be designed to assist Continental banks at their expense.

    In truth, when it’s so easy to make money from banksterism, the banksters do not need to apply quality at any level, and they don’t. They are simply trying to apply pressure on Mrs May to put their interests above all others, above those millions of patriotic English who voted to leave the increasingly dysfunctional EU and distance themselves from Continental politicians of whom for all appearances some appear to be barking mad in their contempt for their own people as against the millions of )people ed) which they have decided to (let join ed) them.

  27. Martin Conboy
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Anyone (person or institution) who took out a massive short position on Sterling immediately after the Brevity vote, – will have benefited massively from Mark Carney’s pre-emptive actions, lowering interest rates and restarting Q.E., which has driven down the £ significantly.
    Now, Carney didn’t need to do it, employment is at historic all time highs, (Did he want to help investment bankers? ed) to the tune of a few bn, at our expense?

    • anon
      Posted September 27, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Almost an echo of Brown’s bottom?
      When he sold a lot of UK gold for some good reason, no doubt.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 28, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know if it was ever verified but there was a widely circulating story that Brown sold the gold to help out one of the major investment banks that had got into existential trouble with a short position in gold.

  28. Richard Butler
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Few ‘experts’ recognise the UK has become a more attractive investment landscape relative to the lumbering, unresponsive, badly calibrated EU model. These experts making the dire predictions are not the street smart traders and deal makers that quietly go about their work, no, they are the lofty, herding economists and executives none of which have ever set up a business of their own.

    I wonder will this US Bank move significant function into the highly intrusive, high taxing, bonus regulating EU which potentially faces years of further referenda? I doubt it, a brass plate in Dublin will suffice.

  29. lojolondon
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    John, you are as ever, a model of restraint. I think you should ask a solicitor to send a letter, because. unfortunately some people cannot respond when asked nicely, they have to be threatened.

  30. Prigger
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    On Topic really:

    US Financial bodies warn: “A Trump victory will bring about a…stock market crash ”

    US/UK Symmetry seems to have a smell.

  31. Prigger
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Mr Osborne has just been interviewed in the USA by Bloomberg. He is looking well. He has much to say about Brexit: that Article 50 cannot really be triggered until after the result of the German Elections 2017 . That the Germans will not be able to negotiate until then. That it is “realpolitik” in his view. Also he favours “Soft Brexit” as opposed to “Hard Brexit which will retain the closest possible relationship of the UK with the EU.”
    Also he believes Mr Carney is the “Best banker in the world.” I dare say Mr Osborne after this last comment may very well have inadvertently triggered capital outflows from every central bank in the world and the buying of gold by every granny and her cat holding so much as two pence in a Post Office Savings Account.
    Mr Osborne is like one of those energy saving toilet-u-bend shaped light bulbs. Never quite gets as bright as one would wish.

  32. ale bro
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    It sounds to me as though the bank’s statements are libellous

  33. ian
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    John big bang 1986, by oct 1987 market 24% down in one day by sept 1989 recession till 1992 everything down, 2000 start of the next recession apart from housing ends 2002, 2008 the big crash everything down, incomes QE AND THE YEARLY DEBT GOING FROM 35 BILLION A YEAR TO 155 BILLION, 8 YEARS ON YEARLY DEBT STILL 77 BILLION PLUS BILLIONS IN CUTS, now all parties looking to borrow more to buy more growth and you will have the usual result of more money fining it way offshore rotting away and back to square one with no growth, the idea of borrowing money is to make sure it stay in the country because when it leak out you have to borrow more to replace it and you can not collect taxes on the money as it go round because it is not in the country and you can not invest the money in your country because it not in the country and it never coming back.

    The only money you see is overseas companies money to invest or take over companies in this country and then to take the profit out of the country with no tax to pay and individual bring their money to your country so they can hide it from their own country and pay no tax in this country or there home country.

  34. Chris
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Slightly O/T but related to bias/lack of balance, this excerpt from a D Mail article is interesting (about the BBC’s Tony Hall being unable apparently to name a single programme which promoted Brexit):

    “…Signs of Brexit panic at the BBC? The Corporation’s Director- General, Lord Hall, has agreed to review the Beeb’s complaints procedures after a cross-party group of parliamentarians challenged him to name a single programme which has been enthusiastic about Brexit since the EU referendum on June 23 — and Hall was unable to do so! The parliamentarians included Ukip peer Lord Pearson, Labour’s Kate Hoey and Tory Philip Hollobone. Pearson hails Hall’s decision as a significant blow against ‘those at the top of the BBC who wish to see the referendum result reversed’.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3808903/SEBASTIAN-SHAKESPEARE-Clare-Balding-s-dad-77-breaks-14-ribs-punctures-lung-riding-fall.html#ixzz4LTH8YoM0

  35. Margaret
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    U S bank V John Redwood .. sorry John their club is greater than your comments .These are people who you cannot reach. There again perhaps they can capitalise on your input. In or out it doesn’t matter as long as the funds and trillions are around,

  36. acorn
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    “Investment research” my arse! These casino banksters have no more idea of what’s happening than next door’s dog. JR, you are being criticised by snake oil salesmen; East end barrow boys, as we used to call them.

    Selling things you don’t own (put options) and insuring things you have no contractual financial obligation for (credit default swaps), should be band. Financial Derivatives have no socio-economic value whatsoever, they are purely casino gambling games. As the guys at Uni’ New South Wales have calculated, 97% of spiv city activity, yields no increase in UK household spending power, except for the 1% metropolitan elite.

    • Margaret
      Posted September 28, 2016 at 5:33 am | Permalink

      Dead right.!

  37. Iain Gill
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    When are we leaving the EU then? I’m getting bored with all the smoke and mirrors

    Just get on with it

    Deary me

  38. Old Buccaneer
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    The nickname for the FT in my circles is “The Brussels Bugle”; I hope it catches on. There *are* standards for “investment research” in the Financial Conduct Authority’s rule book. From our esteemed host’s remarks, it is questionable whether they have been met in this instance. ..

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 28, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      The Pink Pravda is an even better one!

  39. ian
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Corbyn loses control of the labour party, democracy in the labour to be cancelled and party membership to be left with nothing to vote for, they might stay with the party to see if they can turn it back round but if not they will not vote for labour at a GE and they will not vote for the con party because see that as voting for labour with labour now going to vote to stay in the EU, that leaves them two choices UKIP or free parliament for individual candidate, the reason they will not vote for the con party is because they are control by the same thing they hate in the labour party.
    Democracy had a short run for a few months while the referendum saw going on, i think i will just seat back and watch law and order breakdown and mind my own business.

  40. ian
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    John been battling away in his party for 26 years to bring change to it with limited success apart from the ref on the EU, it all way looks like you are getting some where and then it all disappears in a puff of smoke, the only thing he can do now is to vote against his own party if they do not listen as they seat on the fence as each threat come in from all quarters and talk of delays to coming out and then meeting about the latest threat and back to talk of out as soon as possible.

  41. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Mr Khan the London Mayor. ..what can one say?

    He wishes to attract foreigners to His patch, as it were, irrespective of prospective UK national post-Brexit immigration rules. He has allocated resources to study this plan and help bring it to fruition. Gandalf the Grey, when approached by the media, stroking his beard, sees “problems”.

    The Labour Party from top to bottom , from left to right, has lost it. They are in the realms, united or disunited, in a political position that is so laughable that it is beyond actual laughing. They are finished bar the clowns doing a bow to the crowd.

    The UK needs an effective Opposition. It needs and Opposition. Not a satirical daft TV show with the obligatory lousy pseudo-jazz grouping at the end showing we are all , despite our weird social opinions, delightfully middle-class and totally impervious to good music.

  42. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 28, 2016 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Don’t be shy, name the bank. Open Government and all that.

    Why don’t we name all Conservative Ministers and Members of Parliament, and all members of the great and the good, who have made comments implying rejection of the EU referendum result or have advocated joining the EEA?

    Pride of place goes to Amber Rudd and Mark Carney. Why are they still in office? Why hasn’t any Conservative Eurosceptic written to Mrs May demanding their removal.

    You’ve won a battle. You need to win the war. Keep the pressure up.

  43. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 28, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Brexit / EU: Watch this space:

    ‘Sarkozy vows to offer UK exit from Brexit if he wins French poll’ – FT http://on.ft.com/2d2zgw7

    This is exactly what the UK and the EU needs, a reformed EU, and I think Sarkozy has the brains, the ambition, and the energy to pull it off (let’s hope he gets elected as President).

    Reply As I assume we will notify and get Leave underway early in 2017 he will be too late.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 28, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      All the talk has been about ‘soft Brexit,’ ‘hard Brexit,’ ‘remain in the EU but get concessions from the EU.’ These are the easiest but not the best options for the UK.

      Mr Sarkozy, a right-winger, is setting out to do what Lord Powell suggested Lady Thatcher would have done, and that is REFORM the EU.
      To reform the EU is ambitious but I think politicians such as Sarkozy aren’t put off by such challenges (he has two things in spades: brains and energy). He’s not a Thatcher or a Churchill, but he’s far closer to Thatcher or Churchill than Cameron, May, Johnson, Fox, Davis, Merkel, Hollande, or any of the other leading politicians in the UK and the EU at the moment whether from the right or left.

      I think Mrs May will go with what most people in the UK want (which is above all, changes to immigration from the EU), and what is in the best interests of this country in the long-term, in terms of prosperity, peace, security and the overall strength of the union of this country.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 28, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Lastly, just want to say, i greatly respect most Brexiteers (above all for coming up with really strong arguments). However, i think they go to far in wanting to the leave the EU. Rather they should be talking about REFORMING the EU (this is not the same as getting concessions from the EU). And I think those Brexiteers (and Remainers) who start to think and talk more about REFORMING the EU (instead of leaving the EU or remaining in the EU with the status quo) will go down in history as having chosen the best course for this country to take.

      Mr Sarkozy is now offering the UK and the EU something fresh, radical and exciting and I think we should all get behind him as it really is in the best interests of the UK in the long-term, overall (and if I can remind people, Sarkozy is not a socialist but a pragmatic, right-wing realist).

      Reply Mr Cameron tried reform and got nowhere.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted September 28, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        ‘Mr Cameron tried reform and got nowhere’

        – He didn’t sir, he only tried to get concessions for the UK. Completely different to Mr Sarkozy who is actually trying to reform the whole EU (and that would appeal to us in the UK).
        It’s simply a category error to mix up concessions (for the UK) with reform (of the EU).
        Regards.

      • Chris
        Posted September 28, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        We are way past the reforming stage, EM. The vote was on staying in a “Cameron reformed” EU, or leaving, and we chose to leave.

        The lack of clear leadership from the top i.e. Theresa May, is permitting a dangerous vacuum to develop in which Remainers are having a field day, sowing dissent and disquiet, and taking steps to overturn the democratic will. It is an extremely serious situation, and those MPs and campaigners who fought so hard for Leave may well be sidelined.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 28, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

          There’s never been any clear overall unity amongst Brexiteers about what they want. With some opting for hard Brexit. Others for soft Brexit. And others for something inbetween. With some voting because of immigration. Others for the economy. And others for sovereignty of Parliament.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:28 am | Permalink

            They all voted Leave
            And they all wanted to leave the EU
            That is the only unity you require.
            Just like in general elections, people vote for different personal reasons.
            We end with a majority and a decision.

            As for type of Brexit it is clear if you listen to our PM that a compromise deal is not wantedetected.
            The EU have already said such a deal is not possible.
            I cannot understand why you are confused.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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