TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday, 21st December 2016
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Clement Clarke Moore – poet – 1779-1863
The massively pro-EU CBI Director General Carolyn Fairbairn has set down business’, industry’s and commerce’s stall in front of PM May, making it crystal clear what her membership requires. She tells us that her members insist on equal treatment in terms of negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU. All sectors – from Aviation, Chemicals, life sciences, agriculture and our massive service sector, particularly the City of London, which generates about £70 billion of revenue for the Treasury, must in no way be discriminated against. In so many words M/S Fairbairn tells us UK companies require “barrier-free” access to European Union markets after Brexit.
The CBI insists that there must be access to skilled labour. Any idea of capping immigration could result in sacrificing membership of the European Economic Area. Without mincing her words M/S Fairbairn is really asking the UK to rescind its decision to leave the EU. This is totally understandable. It is best start from impossible demands rather than capitulate at the first hurdle of difficulty. I get the impression that the minimum requirement is access to the single market. Certainly top EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, has made it clear the EU will be playing hard-ball and there are NO CONCESSIONS on the table nor will there be.
Clearly the CBI believes there are serious concerns in the business community about disruption if the day after the UK leaves the EU, its final ‘deal’ is not complete, with all trading and regulatory issues fully ironed out. The UK must not take its leave piece-meal. Tariffs must be negotiated at the minimal level. Much concern has been expressed over the financial sector and just to draw an analogy how it must be treated with equal importance as any other sector. This approach is possibly naïve with agriculture employing less than 500k people. Conversely financial services employs more than a million around the country. Farming adds £8.5bn to the value of the UK economy, financial services £120bn.
Farming’s Brexit concerns are very different. Agriculture is worried about potential average tariffs of 22.5% on meat imposed on non-EU countries and needs access to low-skilled labour to harvest and process food. The protection of the UK’s needs will be down to skilful negotiations. The rhetoric on both sides has become tense, acrid and counterproductive. The EUU has 500 million mouths to feed and trade on behalf of.
Much as M/S Fairbairn’s and the CBI’S ideals are very laudable I am less than convinced that they are pragmatic. Financial services could be our ace in the hole in terms of negotiation. Therefore to achieve a satisfactory result for the UK’S full requirements may mean financial services having to take ‘a seat in the front of the house’ figuratively speaking. The City of London had built up an infrastructure over 70 years. Though I am told Japanese, US and European banks are looking to bail out of London in their thousands, I think this might just be an exaggeration. Frankfurt is a town it would take a decade to build the required infrastructure and Paris 5 years. This is not arrogance on my part, this is fact. London is the centre of the time zone, English the international language of the world. People LOVE working here. They are settled and we are the BEST at financial services. Let’s talk and let all parties be sensible.
Economic data this week – Wednesday – US MBA Mortgage applications, US Existing Home Sales, Thursday – Gfk Consumer Confidence, US Initial Jobless Claims, Friday – US NEW Home Sales and Univ of Michigan Consumer Confidence.
Market Commentator – Panmure Gordon & co
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Panmure Gordon & Co
One New Change | London | EC4M 9AF | United Kingdom