Trouble brewing in Europe

Germany is the largest economy in Europe. Things are not going well there. It is less than four years ago that President Trump spoke at the UN and was openly laughed at by the German delegation. Trump’s laughable comments, as perceived by the Germans, were to warn of impending serious problems since Germany had deliberately wound back its power generation capacity in favour of long term access to Russian gas.

Now look what two stories appear on the same page of the FT:

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Investment in an inflationary environment

Investing in an inflationary environment is new to me in practical, but not theoretical, terms. It has been obvious for over a year now that this current inflation was emerging. But it hasn’t made the practical decisions of how to invest any easier. The last time the world’s major economies experienced significant inflation was at the end of the 1980s. I didn’t have any money to invest back then, so my understanding was theoretical, not practical. I read about it. Fast forward 30 years, I’m now living on the success or otherwise of my investment decisions in what is turning out to be an inflationary environment. At the beginning of 2021, I made my views clear in public professional circles that inflation was emerging as a looming threat. Many didn’t believe me. But we all have to deal with it now.

So, how to invest?

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Increase university places at no extra cost?

Did anyone see the report the other day that a study by the Centre for Independent Studies found that university places in Australia could be increased by 80,000 at no extra cost? What? How is that possible? It turns out that the cost savings could be made by removing doubling up in taxpayer supported placements. Double degrees etc. Now, ask yourself this: would removing doubling up in taxpayer support to create savings such that 80,000 extra students could enter university be a good thing?

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Budget ‘winners and losers’ according to the Australian Financial Review

It’s Budget night in Australia. The press used to report “beer up, cigs up” as excises were raised on those products. But the Financial Review was meant to be more adult, more thoughtful, more nuanced, more educated and less tabloid in its reporting. Until now.

The Government has announced a cut in the petrol excise duty. What has the Fin described this as? “Electric vehicle buyers are losers in tonight’s budget because they won’t benefit from the cut in the petrol excise. “

FFS, as they say in the classics.