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MoneyWeek Issue 959

There's a reason MoneyWeek is Britain's best-selling financial magazine. We exist to help you ground your portfolio so that it keeps your money safe during rough patches and growing in the good times. We don't just look at how to maximise your returns and limit your losses, we also like to look at how you can keep more of the money you've made. Week-in, week-out we'll guide you through the financial world as it changes, alerting you to all the opportunities to profit and dangers to avoid, as they appear. Income strategies, rising-star companies, the best funds and trusts, clever ways to preserve your wealth during market turmoil... you will get the best ideas from the sharpest financial minds and investing professionals in Britain.

País:
United Kingdom
Idioma:
English
Editor:
Dennis Publishing UK
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from the executive editor...

It’s been a hectic week for markets, driven by the fallout from the latest Federal Reserve decision and Donald Trump’s reaction to it (see page 4). At times like these it’s easy to look at “big picture” distortions caused by central banks, or at divisive policy issues such as Brexit (see page 8), and shrug our shoulders in despair. “The distortions in our tax system have been created by one thing: a lack of political spine” But rather than get distracted by negative bond yields or political mudslinging, it would be more productive to pay attention to addressing the many damaging distortions and bad incentives lurking within our tax system. These are well within the ability of politicians and technocrats to resolve – mainly because they created them in the first place. In…

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white elephant of the week

A new children’s hospital in Edinburgh, built by private consortium IHSL under the “non-profit distributing system” – the Scottish government’s version of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) – is still empty, despite the NHS taking possession in February. The new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People cost £150m to build, reports the BBC, but the full price over 25 years will be £432m, including maintenance and facilities management costs. NHS Lothian says it has been paying £1.4m a month to IHSL since taking over the building. The hospital was supposed to open in July, but it failed to do so due to safety concerns relating to its ventilation systems. NHS Lothian said it is not possible to estimate when it can be occupied. Good week for: Taxpayers will see a £1bn…

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trump’s tariffs put pressure on the fed

Donald Trump is “crazy like a fox”, says Niall Ferguson in The Sunday Times. The old American phrase well describes the president’s ingenious knack for getting what he wants. Last week his bullying campaign against Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell yielded the first interest-rate cut in a decade. Yet Trump wants more than the quarter-point reduction that Powell offered up. The solution? The president tweeted that he intends to impose fresh tariffs of 10% on $300bn of Chinese goods from the start of September. The resulting trade chaos only increases the pressure on the Fed for further easing to clear up the mess. The unexpected trade-war escalation roiled markets. Monday was the worst day of the year so far for US stocks, with the S&P 500 shedding 3%. That came on…

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the currency war gets serious

The “trade war has now become a currency war”, says The Wall Street Journal. That “raises the potential economic harm to another level”. This week, the yuan (or renminbi), China’s currency, weakened to the point where one US dollar could buy more than seven yuan. That’s the weakest level in a decade and a number that has been widely viewed as a “line in the sand” that the Chinese authorities would avoid breaching. The move drew a swift response from the US Treasury, which formally branded Beijing a “currency manipulator”. US officials fear that China is trying to lessen the impact of tariffs; a weaker currency makes Chinese exports cheaper overseas. US claims of currency manipulation come “absurdly late”, says John Authers on Bloomberg. Beijing “manipulated its currency lower for many years”,…

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silver is set to follow gold

With gold rallying 10% so far this year in dollar terms, some investors are starting to pay attention to “the yellow metal’s sidekick”, says Debbie Carlson for US News & World Report. Sometimes dubbed “poor man’s gold” – silver trades on about $16.50/oz, compared with $1,500/oz for gold – silver prices are up 4.5% so far this year. Demand from retail investors is a key catalyst for silver, adds Myra Saefong in Barron’s. The World Silver Survey shows that “global investment in silver bars and coins grew 20% last year”, yet supply is tight: 2018 also brought “a third consecutive annual decline in global production of the metal”. Yet unlike gold, which is used almost entirely as a store of wealth and in jewellery, the silver price is driven by both investment…

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viewpoint

“The Fed’s decision [to cut rates] was an error because lowering already negative real interest rates will further feed speculative and unproductive investments and exacerbate financial instability. While there are legitimate signs of an economic slowdown both domestically and abroad, lowering interest rates is the wrong cure. Growth is slowing partly because of trade tensions, but primarily because economic actors must devote increasing amounts of capital to servicing exploding debt burdens … US companies are more bloated with debt than before the Great Financial Crisis and they are increasingly forced to deal with their growing debt burdens. If business activity slips, they are in trouble … Many companies need to focus on keeping their lenders happy, which limits their ability to grow their businesses.”…

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