Monday, 10 June 2013

Socialist QE

Richard Evans of the Daily Telegraph reports that a highly regarded fund manager, Jason Pidcock, who runs the Newton Asian Income fund, said QE amounted to "a redistribution of wealth" and was
"a very unfair way of stealing money from savers and giving it to undeserving borrowers".
I wholeheartedly concur.

"It is very statist," he said, adding that printing money "diminishes trust in institutions" and "distorts economic incentives":
"A policy of deliberately debasing the currency is absolutely disgraceful. I agree with critics in America who have likened it to treason. It should be illegal," he added.
QE helps borrowers by eroding the real value of their debts through inflation, but Mr Pidcock said the alternative, a period of deflation as economies adjusted to the financial crisis, was preferable. "There have been plenty of periods in history when economic growth has coincided with deflation," he said.

In an outspoken address to journalists on Wednesday, he also attacked the EU, likening it to the former Soviet Union:
"The European Soviet Union is a disaster. Let's hope that within five years we will be out of it. EU laws are like an octopus – it wants to get involved in everything, as the Communists in Russia did."
He described the EU as "rotten to the core", adding:
"There are too many vested interests. It seems clear that Britain will leave. I don't think the Prime Minister's attempts to renegotiate will bring about enough changes."
Mr Pidcock said a British exit from the EU would be "very good" for the economy,
"Fears that jobs would be lost are a red herring. The World Trade Organisation's rules would ensure that we could keep trading with EU countries."
Being outside has done Switzerland no harm, he pointed out:
"The cost savings of leaving would be immense. The government budget would be reduced, duplication of regulation would be cut, there would be less red tape generally and trade relations with countries outside the EU would improve."
Mr Pidcock said he "welcomed the change in the political mood towards euroscepticism" but did not belong to any political party.

In recent weeks several well known City figures have come out in support of the UK Independence Party, including Andy Brough, a fund manager at Schroders.

Mr Pidcock's fund, the largest Asian income fund at about £4bn, has returned 50% since 2009, according to Morningstar, and outperformed its benchmark.

It is on the core buy list of Chelsea Financial Services, which organised the event at which Mr Pidcock was speaking, and is regularly tipped by fund experts.