“The Greek debt crisis is in year seven,” says Dimitra DeFotis in Barron’s. “It could turn out to be a lucky number.” The country has just agreed a further package of pension, tax and labour market reforms with its creditors, opening the way for discussions about debt relief – a crucial precondition for a sustainable economic recovery. The political backdrop has improved too; for the first time in ages “Greece has had some government stability”, says John Koudounis of Calamos Investments. Hence the nascent rally in Greek stocks may not, for once, be a false alarm.
“Without… the captive markets of empire, [the UK’s] trading performance has been nothing to get excited about… It is heavily dependent on a few key areas – armaments, aerospace, whisky, pharmaceuticals and North Sea oil. We have some world-class companies – but not enough of them… Management consultants McKinsey analysed British manufacturing… and found that only a small part was internationally competitive… if these world-class businesses doubled and redoubled their global penetration, their success would be dwarfed by the likely job losses in those areas of manufacturing vulnerable to cheap imports.”
Anthony Hilton, Evening Standard