While Exploring England and Wales…

I am surprised at the extreme lack of internet access around London and then especially in Wales. Interestingly, and appropriately, pubs in England have internet access as our coffee shops do in Boston.

My hotel wanted to ream me for $15/hour for the internet which worked poorly (on the wireless side) so I gave up on that.

Now I am in Ireland in a great apartment style hotel with  42 inch flatscreen, full kitchen, dining area and free wireless. Now this is accomodating! Ireland’s growth in their tech business causes me not to be surprised by the amenities at this hotel – Ireland is quite cutting edge.

Anyhow, let’s get to some market commentary while I have internet access. The markets have been firming up, mainly because people are eager to find good news. Therefore, we have stronger stocks, dollar rising, and metals falling. Meanwhile, the underlying problems are being ignored.

Europe is having their own property meltdown (Britains bought vacation properties in Spain like Americans did in Florida in the recent past with cheap mortgages etc.) and now there are declining property values from England to Spain and, as you may not know, British banks are getting bailed out too. Apparently, highly paid bankers are just as poor at risk assessment in Britain as they are in the US – or, more sadly, just as assured that foolish regulators will bail them out with taxpayer dollars in Britain as the US.

I feel that government spending will continue through any downturn, which is why the China story of infrastructure growth will continue and so will all the industries that support that. Consumer trends look unfavorable and inflation looks out of control. Therefore, the long term thesis that I have hinted in this market will continue. But it doesn’t mean we can’t have snap back rallies from time to time…

Chris Grande


from Dublin