22 May 2013

Here we go again? FTSE 100 hits high

Last night I found myself declaring that the London Stock Exchange had hit a height unseen since 1999. Last night I found myself declaring that this level was the fifth highest in history. Last night a pensioner tweeted that finally pension funds were going to find some market succour.


Not for the first time I find myself wishing that I had secured a higher economics A level result than an E (don’t knock it – it’s a pass – and followed a year of hard graft at Scarborough tech!). Indeed ever since the 2008 financial meltdown my day has started with a spirited perusal of the FT. Over time, my understanding of this strange non- manufacturing world has expanded.

When I began in journalism, my life was about east versus west, and left versus right. Now it seems to require an evaluation of right versus wrong.

This morning my FT tells me that the biggest name in worldwide banking – Jamie Dimon – has seen off a shareholder revolt and retained his position as chairman of JPMorgan. This is the bank that lost $6bn of its investors’ and savers’ money in London in a scandal identified as “the whale”.

More from Channel 4 News: Rising stock market still has ‘some way to run’

Let’s not go there right now, Jonah didn’t tell us much about whales, and I’m not sure we’d learn any more by investigating this one. It’s apparently dead, although its consequences live on.

Last week the US regulatory authorities stated that they were concerned about some “aspects of current lending”, which they described as “risky”.

Of late I have mentioned to several of my financial contacts that, even from my position of relative ignorance, I fear I am seeing a number of the same ingredients we saw in 2008 back in play. They have not disagreed. I’m just hoping that the zooming stock market is not one of them.

But then one thing that my economics A level lecturer, Mr Thomas (a part-time long distance truck driver to augment his income) did teach me, was that “hope” was not a good word when it came to the study of economics.

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