Many of you may have noticed 3 years ago that the FT’s George Parker was always the first hack that PM Cameron or Chancellor Osborne would take question from, when the Coalition came to govern in 2010, as if to pander to the business community. You would have thought it might have been Tom Newton-Dunn or Kevin Maguire or Philip Webster or Robert Winnett or John Rentoul or Chris Chapman; but no! It was always George! George is a very sound political hack, but I always associate the FT with EU politics and its obsession with the UK continued membership.
I was amused to see a tweet from George Parker on Tuesday – presumably addressed to Dave – about making a decision on our ‘special’ relationship with the US or a pragmatic one with China. I think we need to clear up one thing. The relationship with the US is no longer special. I love the US! BUT we have been let down over so many issues in recent years from BP, to singling out our banks indiscriminately for restitution rather than throwing in some US culprits at the same time. There are also issues over extradition, where it is all one way traffic and now we have this State Department insistence that the Chilcot Report is held up as there are contents that the US does not want the world to know about! I would suggest that our relationship with the US is constructive and pragmatic. The US provides little evidence that it is the standard bearer for philanthropy. So it should be hardly surprising that PM Cameron should have a commercial and business assault on China. He would be foolish not to, in the wake an election in 17 months.
George Osborne will have enjoyed the Boom UK Construction index for last month which rallied from 59.4 to 62.6.
Despite this good news the FTSE 100 has run out of steam – down 48 at 6547. Mining stocks have been larruped. Some put this pull back to the threat of tapering. I am inclined to think that the market is quite fully valued and Thanksgiving sales were very disappointing at first glance!