Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

A cynical thought?

We know that Business in general does not favour Scottish Independence.

We know that individuals in banks can manipulate exchange rates.

We know that other individuals can manipulate stock prices.

So is the recent drop in value of the Pound and of share prices for Scottish based companies – a reflection on:

Am I being over-cynical?

I am very dubious about the financial markets. We are told that analysts are incredibly skilful and insightful and that most expected news is “already factored into market prices” – which basically means that outside that charmed circle, you can’t beat the markets, you can only tag along and hope to get a cut of any gains or losses.

So what are we meant to make of sudden market movements? It has to be something that has not been factored in. So what changed last week-end? One poll, contradicted by others, showed a “majority” (of the decided) narrowly in favour of independence.

Surely that cannot be the reason.

And yet manipulating interest rates (like LIBOR) was and might still be widespread. If it is not your money that you are playing with, how much does it actually cost to cause an exchange rate to take a tumble?

I am in no doubt that Scottish independence will have a cost – there is always a cost of change and any ongoing costs are not fully quantified – but surely they have been taken into account?

So I am tempted to see mischief at work in market abrupt movements and fear this could play into the separatists’ hands and undermine the very real warnings being made by businesses about the potential consequences of separation.

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