Green Shoots Kick the New Year into Gear
2022 is off to a fast start - pubs, grubs, hugs and hope is back! Or, is it?
The green? shoots of 2022 are fast emerging. Pubs, grub, hugs and hope are back. Omicron is behaving like the newest cryptocurrency - soaring up as though Musk tweeted his approval, only to scream back down with the next indifferent tweet. Its not unlike the emotional life of a Chelsea football fan in the winter.
It seems that the latest variant delivers a surfer’s dream wave that lasts about two months, getting anyone that moves infected, but proving a punier punch than a New Year’s night out when it comes to severe illness. Apparently Omicron was created to spike up conspiracy theories and herd immunity while solving the supply chain problem by keeping us at home. And let’s face it, the over-worked truck drivers need a break.
But, effective vaccines, boosters and new Covid medicines should add up to this pandemic being put on the run by the end of the year. (When have we heard that one before?) Mind you, that will require us to shoot up the whole planet - with vaccines, not Virgin Galactic promo flights.
The re-emergence of restrictions and work at home orders have sent tech stocks back to where Bill Gates likes to be kept. And Apple is now worth more than $3 trillion proving, yet again they don’t do slow growth. The spectre of Steve Jobs still scares the living daylights out of anyone that works there. It’s a whole new approach to motivational management.
In the meantime, Daniel Craig’s last outing as James Bond is scaring the rest of us, because who on this planet could ever replace him. Hence Bond ultra-fan, Elon Musk, keeps banging on about finding/starting life on Mars. That, and the fact that Tesla has made him so rich that he’s run out of things to buy. A solar system next?
The UK has finally cottoned onto the tech stock thingy and is restructuring the London Stock Exchange to try to attract the little would-be darlings. Apparently Boris has bet his entire industrial policy on these Silicon Valley Energizer bunnies and missed the fact that London’s exchange hosts ten times fewer tech companies than pretty much anyone else. It seems the Brits prefer oil, banks and anything that will chuck a dividend their way.
China, on the other hand, digs property stocks - which right now means Evergrande alongside a host of other shady developers. Apparently not like the UK…
London’s new listing rules mean private firms will not need to sell as much stock to go public ergo pumped up valuations. They also allow dual-class share structures, popular with founders and control freaks, onto the FTSE 100 and the 250 index of smaller firms. Is Boris trying to tempt the return of Rupert Murdoch as tech visionary, social media savant - check Myspace and Theranos? Consistency Boris - rather than a shopping cart wildly bumping down the aisles.
The LSE better get a move on because local exchanges could be pushed further to the margins. 24 Exchange, a Bermuda-based crypto and foreign exchange trading platform, is planning to bring in around-the-clock stock trading, already possible with cryptocurrencies.
Following this, expect auto-bot traders which promise to behave better than twitter bots. But that might be preferable for the poor over-worked, over-payed traders having to do night shifts like, well, any normal person who actually does a night shift.
Joe Biden has started the new year by reminding us that he is really tough even though he would prefer not to trample on Putin… not just yet. Those boots are saved for Donald. So Russia might invade the Ukraine after all, mostly because they have a few nice football clubs for Abramovich to snap up. Vladimir needs to keep his buddies close and stop losing them to England, Israel or Portugal.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, is accumulating cronies, er friends, faster than NBC’s programmers, which means his ‘steal back better’ campaign might even work next time. He’s freaking out Canada and the EU to increasingly want to go it alone. The latter will be selling arms to themselves while France has the rotating presidency and Macron is still pissed about the US and the UK stealing his submarine deal with Australia.
Apparently Australia need the nuclear powered vessels to get people off the mainland faster than a COP26 slide deck when the climate thing flattens the already over-heated country. Mind you, they might still about face on climate - look at how their zero Covid thing went.
France’s election in May means they’ll keep bashing the UK because they don’t like the Brits buying all their holiday homes and Macron is scared senseless about the increasingly popular far right. Vive la Frexit!
To top this energetic start to 2022, Elizabeth Holmes and Ghislaine Maxwell have been convicted of screwing with rich folk and little girls. While Biden’s ‘build back better programme’ hasn’t got a cat’s chance in hell of passing through Congress unless he reverts to the proven method of screwing with normal people and not sticking it to the ultra rich. Goodbye child tax credit. Apparently the rest of us don’t add up quite as well.
It looks like we should all try to get into growth mode. It seems so un-2022 not to. And, if by a fate of high interest rates, flat demand, painful debts, crippled supply and soaring energy costs, your business implodes - don’t blame us. Do what everyone else is doing and blame Covid. It might be one of the last few times that you can.
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