Tim Price

Return-free risk

Voltaire said it best: ‘Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.’ Investors seeking certainty — safety, in other words — are in for a shock: there is no longer any such thing. How did we get into such a terrific mess? Rather than rehash the causes of the financial crisis and the

Investment special: The case for gold

Few assets are more misunderstood than gold. I might even refine that statement — if you’ll pardon the pun — and say that few assets are more misunderstood than money. Gold happens to be both. Technically, of course, we are constrained by government edict to use pounds sterling for the payment of our taxes and

Investment Special: On the defensive

These are dark days for investors. Interest rates squat at historic all-time lows in order that the Bank of England can continue to bail out our errant banks and government. Western economies toil under a monumental burden of public and private-sector debt, to which austerity is merely the latest desperate political response. Securities and currency

Investment special: The zero era

The Bank of England’s latest announcement of quantitative easing, widely referred to as QE2, prompts as many questions as it does answers — particularly for investors and pension-holders. Under a QE regime, money printed out of thin air is used to purchase government bonds from banks and other private sector investors. The theory then has

Investment Special: The doom boom

Not for nothing is economics known as the dismal science. Having failed to foresee the global bubbles in credit, banking and housing, mainstream economists have compounded the problem by advocating entirely the wrong solutions. Like generals fighting the last war, most economists (and leftists who think they understand economics) continue to bang the drum of

INVESTMENT SPECIAL: The trend is your friend

In the 1983 comedy Trading Places, two unscrupulous commodity brokers wagered that they could take a vagrant off the street and turn him into a successful trader. The film was a hit, symbolic of a more innocent age when interference in ordinary people’s livelihoods by gambling financiers was the exception rather than the rule. What


Forget Bernie Madoff. The biggest Ponzi scheme in history is unfolding before your very eyes. If you have money in the bank, you will be a victim. The rot set in on 15 August 1971. That was the date on which the Nixon administration, reeling from the costs of the Vietnam war, unilaterally took the

The end of the world is nigh

For a solvent mortgage lender to require emergency government support on a huge scale suggests that all is not well in our financial markets. This understatement matches the gorgeously hubristic claim from ‘Chuck’ Prince of Citigroup, America’s largest bank, in July, that ‘as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and