The terminal boredom of waiting to hit rock bottom

Connoisseurs of these things will love the latest despatches from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, the Telegraph‘s doom-stricken international business editor.

17 June: Morgan Stanley warms of ‘catastrophic event’ as ECB fights Federal Reserve

19 June: RBS issues global stock and credit crash alert

Time to bury the family silver in the back garden, Mabel.

We’re particularly intrigued by the warning from Bob Janjuah, credit strategist at RBS, that “a very nasty period” is on the way for the stock markets.

He is predicting that the S&P Index will fall more than 300 points to 1050 by September. Lord only knows what he’s forecasting for London. Janjuah, who apparently correctly forecast the arrival of the credit crunch last year, had this to say in a note yesterday morning:

“I do not think I can be much blunter. . . This is about not losing your money, and not losing your job.”

Message received, Bob.

Actually, all of this makes perfect sense. Trinity Mirror’s share price might have hit an 18-year low of 156p this week, but the current bear market has yet to deliver a totemic one-day slide in share prices that the Evening Standard can describe Black Wednesday or Brown Monday.

In every downturn, this is necessary. We need to be able to look back at a specific point in time and say: “That was when it all went really pear-shaped.”

Perhaps once we’ve had our special day, we’ll then be able to get on with the restructuring of the regional newspaper industry.

A princeling of private equity told me recently that he and his competitors were simply waiting for share prices to hit rock bottom before stepping in.

Let’s get on with it, I say. The worst thing is all of this waiting around.

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