The Public Voice

The wonderful thing about democracy is how politicians are just so much more intelligent than the mere people who elect them into power in the first place.

Yes, it is a common fact that democracy has to be seen to be, rather than actually be, democratic. The man with the vote matters very little, he is spun a ‘manifesto’ of ideas that he votes for, but he must then accept that these were simply nice to haves and not necessarily things that would ever occur. In fact he might even find his chosen politician, and or party, swimming in the opposite direction that he voted “for”, without any real explanation.

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Good Years Follow Fallow Years

A long standing definition of a bear market is when the market ignores all good news and reacts negatively to the smallest bad news. Conversely a bull market sees us all ignore any raft of bad news and yet set the market running on any small amount of good news.

So what do we call the current situation, one where the market drops 5% on bad days, based on a mere rumour, then claws its way back based on any semblance of good news? The answer; confused, fearful, uneducated, highly speculative, stupid or just recessionary?

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Warwick and Bowls announce record sponsorship deal

Bowls South Africa and Warwick Private Wealth today announced the signing of a major R12million, four-year sponsorship agreement for bowls.

In terms of the deal, the Private Banking Services company will generate over R3million a year for South Africa’s 40 000 bowlers at Club, District and National levels.

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Deceptively Clever

As gold hit new highs I was reminded of a lunch back in the mid 90’s, with a stock broker friend. How things have changed, we walked to the restaurant from the JSE, in central Johannesburg and it was a big day as from recollection gold had just gone through the $350 dollars an ounce mark, the sun shone and all seemed right with the world!

At $1900 an ounce gold still does not really thrill me, but then as a dull Lancastrian pommy I have never been part of the love affair that many South African’s share with that beautiful unique metal. At $2500 an ounce I do know a number of guys who will cash in their wedding rings and at $3000 an ounce carjacking in parts of Cape Town will change. Yes, the criminals will be carrying pliers not guns, there is at least an ounce in a gold front tooth!

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In order for evil to flourish, all that is required is for good men to do nothing

The benefit of writing a column is that you get the wonderful opportunity to put onto paper things that otherwise sit and fester in your mind without any means of escape, for weeks if not months.

I also write a private diary, which helps between my more formal writing attempts. To be honest I do not know what I would do without this ability to clear the clutter. It is a little like the light in your bedroom as a child, for an hour or so every night you could read and through books travel the world and every possible dimension. Then click, the light goes off and Mom or Dad confine you to your own thoughts and sleep.

This last month has been an unbelievable world in which to live, natural and human disasters around the globe have belittled any problems or issues I personally have. The loss of family, friends, home, liberty and or respect simply dwarfs my problems and as far as I know those of the people close to me.

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Life is never dull

We are not just living in interesting times we are actually part of a world that is changing by the day. This leads to that old proverb and problem that we often cannot see the wood for the trees.

In the financial markets the scale of the changes that have occurred over the last six months is truly daunting. The refinancing of the corporate world, that was all the rave over the last 24 months, leading to such old dependables as GM declaring bankruptcy, has switched to concerns about the viability of nations themselves.

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The world’s great fraud has been established

The world’s greatest fraud has been established! The top global bankers managed to crash the financial systems, causing damage that will take a decade to recover, yet the culprits remain and will always remain, free and unaccountable.

The wonderful movement of America’s top bankers from the private to the public sector and then back again, shows that the lunatics have really taken over the asylum.

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The Private Client Diaries

I am from a proud working class background emanating originally from the north of England, a place where the idea of accepting charity is rather a kin to accepting an insult graciously and just as likely to occur!

So at times I must admit that I find it difficult to watch those who not only accept hand outs, but actually expect them. Obviously there are people in all countries who are existing at a level where their basic needs are not met and their government, often rich with tax income, fails them. In their case it is not really charity it is basic subsistence living and no one with a decent heart can resent that.

Yet there is also a national psyche that exists amongst certain countries, where they have seemingly accepted their position as perennial basket cases, or as a poor relative, that requires their sibling nations to support them without question.

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Handymen – Get them while you can!

As we approach the end of the year, in any year, there does seem to be an odd quickening of everything around us.

Time seems to accelerate and a huge magnet, with a fat Father Christmas so on top of it, seems to drag us faster and faster towards that fateful day of turkey and crackers! From the first moment that a tin foil covered Santa chocolate appears in the shop we are doomed. The gun goes off and we hurtle head long towards that date, with our credit card maxed and our nerves a little jangled, actually jingle jangled.

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You need to be in it to win it

For many the end of 2010 and the birth of 2011 was a point of greater than normal celebration. The last year has been a troubled and often a confusing time, with some exceptional highs and lows, perhaps 2011 heralds a period of more stability and normality.

South Africa may have celebrated the FIFA circus, otherwise known as the World Cup, but thousands also lost their jobs and homes. The sickly veneer of soccer democracy, that is Sepp Platter’s road show, brought us some light relief and national pride, but like a brightly coloured foil wrapper on a rotten chocolate the show moved on and we were back dealing with the raw daily realities of life.

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