Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The best contrarian indicator of all: the Labour government

Source: Money Week

"This Labour government is fast becoming one of the greatest contrarian indicators in the history of markets.

After selling gold at the bottom of the market, they buy an insolvent mortgage lender – Northern Rock - at the top of the housing market. Are they really this incompetent? Or is it that the taxpayers’ interests are low on their list of priorities? Whichever it is – and I suspect it’s the latter - history will give them greater notoriety than the shoeshine boy who convinced Joe Kennedy to sell out of the stock market just ahead of the 1929 crash, when he started giving him stock tips.

They’re a bit like a really badly run hedge fund. The fees they charge are extortionate, the performance they deliver is woeful, and investors can’t get their money out.

“It was the right decision and the right time for the right reasons,” said Gordon Brown. Yeah, right...

The Government has managed to buy one of the housing market’s most aggressive lenders, just at a time when the housing market is running into serious trouble. Alistair Darling commented that “as and when market conditions improve, the value of Northern Rock will grow and therefore the taxpayer will gain." As and when market conditions improve! When’s that going to happen? 2012 at the earliest if Fred Harrison’s 18-year property cycle is anything to go by..."

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