Britain probably not finished, says FT journalist

Jim Rogers, former business partner of George Soros, thinks Britain is doomed.

North Sea oil is drying up. The City is permanently crocked because the world’s money has shifted to Asia. And like as not, Britons will still be paying off the lunatic debts of the Baby Boomer generation in 2060.

As a result, the pound is behaving like the Tanzanian shilling (© Daily Mail). Or morphing into the Great British kroner (© FT Alphaville).

‘I would urge you to sell any sterling you might have,’Mr Rogers told his fans on Wednesday. ‘It’s finished. I hate to say it, but I would not put any money in the UK.”

Rogers added: ‘It’s simple. The UK has nothing to sell.’

With Soros, Jim Rogers was one-half of the partnership that ‘broke’the Bank of England in 1992, forcing sterling out of the ERM.

Even so, when I heard his words, I thought I’d wait for the tabloid backlash. Perhaps a front page splash with a turnip Photoshopped on top of Rogers’ head?

At the very least, I firmly expected Max Hastings to suggest that we should all recall Nelson’s instruction ‘England expects”.

I got off to a disappointing start at the Mirror. The paper that last year called an American hedge fund manager a ‘greedy pig‘on its front page seemed content merely to report Rogers’ words.

At the Mail, Dan Atkinson deviated from his customary scepticism about investment gurus. (‘There is a horrible chance he might be right.”) Atkinson’s colleague Sam Fleming was a bit more sanguine. But not much.

And at the Sun –- well, there was not a sausage.

No sign of anyone telling this Yank to hop off. No-one interested in suggesting that masters of the universe like Rogers created this mess in the first place.

Nope. Just this, accompanied by a colourful parable about crusties squatting in Park Lane. Which suggests that we really are heading back to the 1970s.

Is this what societal capitulation feels like?

Perhaps after so much fervent anticipation, acceptance that Britain really has been ‘wrecked‘(© Quentin Letts/Daily Mail) really does comes easily and quietly, like a thief in the night.

Still I’m glad to report that out there in the recesses of medialand, a few hold-outs remain – hacks who are willing to tie themselves to the mast.

One of them is Chris Giles, economics editor of the FT, who ran through a series of blood-curdling arguments about the British economy yesterday –- before turning round to suggest that ‘much of the doom-laden rhetoric bears little resemblance to the facts”.

The possibility of Britain going bust ‘remains reassuringly remote,’wrote Giles.

Brave. Very brave. Will someone buy that man a drink?

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