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Extracts from 'The journey of the “financial Magi”'

23 December 2016

Jonathan Marriott - Chief Investment Officer

Extracts from our 2016 Christmas article ‘The journey of the “financial Magi”’.

Christmas is a time of celebration, feasting and giving. It is also a time for reflection, when we look back on the year gone by and look forward to the New Year. We can celebrate the successes and try to forget the failures.

The New Year brings resolutions and new gym subscriptions that will be mostly forgotten by Easter. Christmas and New Year is time for optimism; reality can wait for the chill winds of February. For many of us, it is also a time for tradition and when biblical stories are embellished by retelling.

In T.S. Eliot’s version of the Christmas story, The Journey of the Magi, he puts into words the thoughts and feelings from one of the three Magi, the Wise Men, as they make the long and arduous journey to the birth of Christ. As the Magus looks back at the events surrounding the first Christmas, he ponders what has changed and if the birth of a new world was witnessed or rather the death of the old.

When the central bankers of today look back on 2016 after the financial crises of years past, they will wonder at what changed and reflect upon their actions.

If our financial Magi for 2016 are The Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, Chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen and President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, how would these three Magi describe their journey?; Are they witnessing a new world of finance and will they consider it all worthwhile?