Magazine article The Spectator

Take Cover

Magazine article The Spectator

Take Cover

Article excerpt

Another soulless office in a bank: another ebullient robot in a dark suit in the chair opposite. This one wanted me to invest a small inheritance in one or both of two investment funds. With these in mind, he showed me a laminated diagram of an equilateral triangle illustrating the correlation between risk and financial gain. It was the kind of thing researchers show chimps to find out how bright they are.

The nearer the apex, the greater the profit, but also the greater the risk. It was a bit rich showing me this, I thought, when they should have been showing it to themselves for the past five years. I kept my thoughts to myself, however, and studied it gravely.

His opinion of the current state of the financial markets, which he gave me with the air of sharing a confidence, was that they aren t in nearly as bad shape as the media pundits are claiming. Yes, the stock markets have fallen, but to the levels of which past year? I hazarded a guess. Fifteen eightyeight? I said. Wrong, he said. It had fallen back to the level it was only a few years ago.

So what were my thoughts? he said. Did I have any thoughts so far about how I was going to invest my windfall?

I certainly did have some thoughts. I had already decided to withdraw the whole lot in £50 notes, seal it in a Tupperware box, and bury it in the back garden, under the laurel bush most likely. He could talk about stock markets and investment funds until he was blue in the face - my money was going in the ground.

Two main reasons for my new take on the hedge fund. The first was reading last month in Charles Moore s Spectator column that the City editor of the Guardian was stockpiling groceries against an impending financial meltdown. And the other was my Mum, who looks daily for the Second Coming of the Lord, showing me a copy of a prophecy which has been recently vouchsafed to the Revd David Wilkerson in the United States.

The prophecy appeared in his bowl of breakfast cereal, according to some reports.

As with most modern-day prophesies I ve heard, this one is US-centric and a bit vague, which also detracts from its credibility. One longs for a prophecy about seismic events about to unfold in, say, Portugal.

But here it is. …

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