”Crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought.”
Rudi Dornbusch, Economist.
In his masterpiece The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money John Maynard Keynes referred to what he called the ‘euthanasia of the rentier’. Keynes argued that interest rates should be lowered to the point where it secures full employment (through an increase in investments). At the same time he recognised that such a policy would probably destroy the livelihoods of those who lived off their investment income, hence the expression. Published in 1936, little did he know that his book referred to the implications of a policy which, three quarters of a century later, would be on everybody’s lips. Welcome to QE.
Before I go any further, please allow me to inject a brief personal comment. This month’s Absolute Return Letter is the last before my partner, Nick Rees, departs for the Canary Islands for the final preparations before he sets off to row, unaided, from La Gomera on 2 December on his conquest of the Atlantic. I don’t think any of us can quite comprehend what a mammoth task it is to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic. Nick and his rowing partner Ed will be in the boat for 50-60 days before arriving in Antigua in late January, and they probably won’t speak to each other for 50-60 months thereafter! It is all done in support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, one of the leading cancer research charities globally, and you can read more about the project here. Many of you have already supported Nick, and for that he is eternally grateful but, if you have somehow missed it, it is not too late to make a contribution. So many people continue to be diagnosed with breast cancer every year, 1 in 8 women over the course of their lifetime. Nick’s wife, Ellen, was one of them. Please click here if you would like to support this great cause.
See full PDF here: The Absolute Return Letter