Let me tell you a sad story about the divorce of two people who simply can’t make up their minds what they want but seem to agree on what they don’t want.
After 40 odd years of a rather loveless marriage one partner decides to leave the still warm nuptial bed and family table to find one’s luck in the big wide world, revisiting old flames from the past to rekindle romantic relationships promising future happiness. Alas, it isn’t as easy as one had hoped. That’s why it is a very sad story.
If you have just awakened from a long and deep coma, you’d be forgiven not knowing what I am talking about. It’s Brexit, of course.
Somehow a long and deep coma seems almost preferable to this never ending and rather irrational story. For starters, there is the amazing fact that Britain is facing very unpalatable options in her attempt to leave the European Union that makes it frankly impossible for her to leave, if you follow my drift. The question is: Where will the future border be between the United Kingdom and the European Union? Will it be between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland or in the Irish Sea separating Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom? Well, that would pep up the Marching Season of the Orange Order and put the DUP on a warpath, which would flush the Good Friday Agreement that guarantees peace in Ulster down the pan, an agreement that ironically has the United States as a co-signatory power. Or shall we place a hard border in the English Channel thus forcing the Republic of Ireland also to leave the European Union and effectively re-joining Great Britain? Somehow I don’t think so. Now, there is another annoying detail that has been ignored by the Brexiteers in this green and pleasant land. In the hallowed halls of power in Washington DC, Ireland is getting all the attention not the United Kingdom, which historically should not surprise the English but it still does. So, can you see the problem? Someone should have asked: “Why did you not tell us this before?”
Tom Elliott, Investment Strategist of the deVere Group, London Head Office, by invitation of our resourceful and energetic President Prof Dr Kurt Tiroch, certainly took us through the paces, a veritable tour de force. Unlike previous Brexit debates this lecture avoided largely political statements but concentrated entirely on the effect a Brexit would have on the Financial Markets, which is potentially, as far as the United Kingdom is concerned, huge and bad. Fascinating perhaps if not a bit disappointing is the realisation that Brexit is not seen as a global issue, dear to the heart as it may be to the United Kingdom and the European Union. China and the United States are much more important, according to Tom Elliott.
Financial Services are out of necessity in the prediction game, so Tom Elliott hazarded a guess: there is 25% probability that the United Kingdom will be leaving the European Union but a 35% probability that Article 50 will be revoked.
David Mihalic, deVere Country Manager, was the perfect and generous host at the new, spick and span Office in Vienna City’s Himmelpfortgasse. The excellent wines, my favourite, the fabulous Grüner Veltliner, were provided by Willi Opitz, star vintner from Illmitz. This event again was a rare treat for our members.