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Updated on December 26, 2011


Firstly, the very best of good wishes to all my readers for 2012. Sadly I feel we are all going to need all the luck we can get. My thoughts on this have been strengthened by a small book I received as a Christmas Gift and which so enthralled me I stayed up on Chistmas night till 2.30 am. to read it cover to cover..

Thus. I have learned that in 1939, as Britain faced War again, the Govermnent Office of Information produced 3 posters to reassure the population. One of these was, "KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON". The message was topped by the seal and crown of King George VI. 2.5 million copies were printed ahead of an anticipated German invasion. When that threat had evaporated, the order was sent out for them to be pulped. The order was carried out but, as ever, with these things, some survived. So it came to pass that one set came into the possession of one Stuart Manley, himself a bookseller.. He and his wife framed them and displayed them in their bookshop. As a result, enquiries began to come from customers keen to purchase said copies. Manley saw the commercial potential and had some printed himself. In the event tens of thousands of the posters, seventy plus years on, have now been sold and the messages were also transplanted onto mugs, T-shirts, tea towels etc. The economic crash of 2008 saw sales and the reputation of the messages boom and continue to this day.

My little book Christmas present was in effect ,the poster in book form, but eliciting the words of the worthy, or supposed worthy ,as they sought, and seek to this day, to inspire us in the face of adversity. Reading the whole book at one sitting brought home to me the frailty of those who, having aspired to leadership either find themselves inadequate and say things based more on hope than knowledge. Others more cyniically do not burden themselves with that and just spout out clear damned lies. "KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON" That would have been a great inspiration and solace to the British people had the German tanks thundered down the Mall and Oxford street, I am sure but in all walks of life, so called leaders call up banalities daily, as the following examples, based on days gone by but pretty close mirror images of today, clearly show.


In 2008, the collapse of LEHMAN BROS triggered off the Banking scandals that remain unsolved to this very day all over the world. The so called responsible Bankers were exposed as little more than Casino Gamblers, playing with other people"s money. In 2011, Governments in Greece, Ireland, Italy and elements throughout the Eurozone were likewise revealed as being at best inept, and at worst criminal in the extreme So can we trust what emanates from these self termed giants? In a duck"s eye we can. I call here on the evidence of words used at the time of the Great Crash of 1929. as evidenced in my Christmas read.

1. From the President of the New York Stock Exchange, E H H Simmons in January 1929." I cannot help but raise a dissenting voice to statements that we are living in a fool"s paradise, and that prosperity in this country must necessarily diminish and recede in the near future" Clearly Mr Simmons mistook what he saw as a light at the end of the tunnel for the express train hurtling towards him and the financial institutions of the time in the USA and elsewhere. Seems very familiar to me given current realities.

2. "Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau". The words of Economist, Irving Fsher also in 1929. He had obviously not heard of the South Sea Bubble, anymore than his successors recognised the Dot Com bubble at the start of the 21 st Century

3. "This crash is not going to have much effect on business". More great words of 1929 this time from Arthur Reynolds who was believe it or not, the Chairman of the Continental Illinois Bank of Chicargo at the time. Here in modern times in the UK we had another great visionary in Sir Fred Goodwin of RSBC. CERTAINLY IN HIS CASE WHILST HIS CUSTOMERS SUFFERED AND THE TAX PAYERS BAILED OUT HIS BANK, SIR FRED WALKED WAY WITH AN OBSCENE POT OF GOLD FOR HIS FAILURES.

It is a pity that the words of a man called Martin Forbes were not acted upon in his, and other cases. Mr Forbes wisely ,and to my view ,correctly observed thus,"It is a pity we cannot buy many business Executives for what they are worth and sell them for what they THINK they are worth" That is what is called hitting the nail squarely on the head..

Ats to investment in these straightened times, ignore the sales patter of the Banks and the cold callers offering stocks, shares, land, plantations etc and take the following advice from my Christmas Book.

1,From the great Mark Twain. "OCTOBER, this is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are JULY, JANUARY, SEPTEMBER, APRIL, NOVEMBER, MAY, MARCH, JUNE, DECEMBER, AUGUST, and FEBRUARY."

2."The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your wallet" Frank Hubbard was the man who offered that sound advice"


IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT THE ONLOOKER SEES MOST OF THE GAME WHILST THE PARTICIPANTS ARE TOO CONCERNED WITH THEIR OWN PERFORMNCE TO FORM AN APPROPRIATE OVERVIEW. The examples above seem to offer good proof of that to me, as those quoted whilst holding lofty positions managed to get things comprehensively wrong, whilst the observers got it spot on correct.

Maybe that is good advice for us all today. Heed not the jingoistic, optimistic rattle from Politicians, Bankers et al. and simply put the head down and sturdily confront the fiscal storms that surround us. We so now come full circle, for now it seems I avocate that we should all "KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON" that is of course correct, but then you do not need me or any Government Propogada to tell you that, Do you!


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