Why the attack on Sterling is a public assassination not a secret conspiracy

Some of the lurid descriptions available on business sites and biznews television about Sterling at the moment are quite something – ‘unprecedented’, ‘catastrophic’, ‘unique’ and so forth.

But my main observation is that it’s unwarranted. Some circumstantial evidence first:

  1. Bloomberg, CNN, and Reuters yesterday didn’t feature Brexit at all. In the global context, Brexit is not that big a deal.
  2. There are 121 reasons why Brexit would be good for the UK economy, zero for staying in the EU on the same basis…on the contrary…
  3. The economic situation in the eurozone has declined further cf the UK, but the euro is strengthening against Sterling.
  4. Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs have variously forecast forecast 5-15%  falls in the Pound after a vote for Brexit. None of them suggested that this would happen beforehand based on the actions of one man.
  5. The overwhelming majority of US and major world bourse banking firms are opposed to Brexit, and this kind of geopolitical attack has become increasingly commonplace since Soros used it to short Sterling thirty years ago.
  6. Today, Mortgage approvals were up 33% compared to a year ago – a firm sign to buy not sell Sterling. It hasn’t rallied: the decline is now back on again.
  7. Significantly, all the eurozone stock market indices are are doing far worse than the FTSE is today – the CAC, Da and Eurostoxx declines are twice those of the City. Again, that is completely counterintuitive.
  8. This is one dirty trick that would impact on voter actions within the time-period of the referendum campaign: the BoE reserves available to mount a defence are so small now as to be a pee in the Pacific against a concerted attack.

It is this last circumstance that provides the foundation for a more serious allegation: that the actions involved suggest directed and planned propaganda with a clearly geopolitical rather than speculative profiteering/economic analysis motive.

Let’s take a closer look at how many of the ‘client notes’ and PR releases coming from the Forex space are valid, and how many propaganda. And what better place to start than with HSBC, whose dodgey relationship with David Cameron – alongside Cameron’s habit of parachuting HSBC big cheeses into the BBC and other institutions – continues to disturb genuine lovers of a level playing field. Today they piled on the agony with this client note:

‘If Brexit is the winner on June 23rd, it will be a momentous decision….A vote for Brexit would have potentially huge consequences for all asset classes…Uncertainty could grip the UK economy, triggering a potential slowdown in growth and a collapse in sterling… if voters opted to leave, the move could trigger a further 15 to 20 percent drop against the U.S. dollar…inflation could damage household budgets and shave 1.5% off the UK economy…’

CNBC described the note as ‘a doom-laden report’. More accurately, it is unsupported tosh masquerading as serious advice to investors.

Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG, is a prominent motormouth on the sterling decline: this is what he told the pro-EU Guardian two days ago:

“There is no doubt that the Brexit referendum is rapidly becoming one of the biggest risk events of 2016 for financial markets. Boris Johnson’s decision to bolster the ‘out’ campaign with his support not only serves to undermine the fruits of David Cameron’s labour in Brussels, but clearly damages UK economic confidence”.

I doubt if more than 10% of objective Brits see the PM’s Brussels humiliation as ‘fruits’ – with the possible exception of a lemon. But I could go on all night: Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and all the other pro-TTIP/EU/Bourse amalgamation nutters are at it. Not one of them has issued a pro-Brexit client note. Not one.

I posted yesterday as follows to the Leavers: ‘We would all to well to expect dirty tricks rather than be appalled by them’.

As I so frequently conclude, this is not a conspiracy: a conspiracy is by definition covert. This is a concerted, public defence being mounted by the 3% to ensure than nothing gets in the way of their competition-flattening steamroller. It is flagrant fear-mongering to scare those still unclear about the real danger here: marching happily into a corporacratic nightmare.

Earlier at The Slog: Murdoch’s rapprochement with Clinton explains his Brexit silence

and see also Why This is So Much More than Brexit