Last Monday we bought a house in Brighton. I wasn't sure it was going to happen. Genetically I'm predisposed to worry about stuff, and right until the last moment I was thinking of disaster possibilities. We were supposed to exchange contracts and settle at 2pm. We spoke to the vendors and they were saying that they couldn't possibly be out of the place before 2pm, so we decided to travel down by train and get there around 3pm. We got final confirmation from our solicitor that the settlement had happened at 3pm, while we were still on the train. We got to the house, and the vendors were still in the process of moving out. We grabbed some keys and went and grabbed something to eat. By the time we came back, the vendors had left and the place was ours!
It seems that US GDP always seems higher than European GDP. A fact that US pundits always seem to crow about. It seems that there may be a reason for this (other than the fact that the US is a dynamic environment to work in). As Philip Greenspun reports on his blog, if health and education are privatized (as they are in the US), then there are some additional monetary of this reflected in the GDP numbers that are excluded in countries with socialized health and education programmes. A conclusion that Philip attributes to Piketty.
Equity markets constantly surprise me. It’s looking increasingly likely that the Eurozone will disintegrate – leading to potential bank failures, stagnant economic growth and increased unemployment – and the equity markets here in Europe are pretty much shrugging it off today. The FTSE100 is up over half-a-percent at pixel time.