David Blackburn

The need for speed

The need for speed
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The markets have spoken, and they’ve done so with menace.

The FTSE 100 closed down 138 points, which, though not a complete disaster, is far from encouraging. You might argue that the multinationals that comprise the FTSE 100 are more affected by the fortunes of international markets and commerce. Whilst that’s true it must be conceded that there is little comfort in the FTSE 250, a figure that provides a closer expression of domestic economic confidence, which closed down by 410 points. At the time of writing, Sterling, another bellweather indicator, is mired. The Pound is worth $1.47, and at one point it was at its lowest level against the dollar for more than a year. The Pound is also at a 6 month low against the imploding euro.

Credit rating agency Moodys are confident that a hung parliament will not affect the UK’s credit rating immediately. However, that does not mean that time is not on the leaders’ side – the markets have stammered and political talks can't be ponderous. Conservative and Lib Dem representatives meet face to face for the first time later this evening, with further meetings scheduled tomorrow. Of course, much depends on whether the Lib Dem executive allows Clegg to negotiate in earnest with either party, something we will learn tomorrow. Political bargains don’t bear rushing, but the markets would be calmed if a government, intent on restoring economic stability (a euphemism for a Tory ministry), was at least conceived by 8am Monday morning.