Our Canada contributor Martin Ferera wrote last night from Britain where he too is catching up with family:
“As most of your readership are probably eating latkes or turkey, economists/forecasters should probably be eating humble pie or at least nothing more than cold turkey. How many of them will in all honesty look back over the year 2016 and admit their errors?
“As Roger Bootle put it in the Telegraph today: 'In truth, at the end of this year, economics and economists have much to be embarrassed about. Coming so soon after the largely unforeseen financial crisis of 2007-9, 2016 should surely be remembered as the year when economic forecasting finally lost any claim to being regarded as a scientific pursuit.'”
Doom-laden economic prophecies about the result of Brexit and Trump's triumph have yet to come true or even close—although to be frank we are not yet home clear.
This year in Britain we are near to having 12 days of Christmas. Like many other countries, the UK is adding Monday as a holiday to make up for Christmas falling on Sunday, already a day off. The trouble is that Britain traditionally celebrate the day after Christmas as Boxing Day, another holiday when it is said apocryphally that the Christmas presents are put back into their boxes for the following year or for re-gifting. So Britain will also have a holiday today. Then, in preparation for the New Year holiday next Sunday, markets will only be open for a half day on Friday. That leaves a week of only 2 ½ days and a 4 day weekend followed by a 3-day one which will also be 4-days long in Scotland.
I have written about the amazing sight of swans on the Thames outside our windows, but haven't yet reached my target of 7 swans a'swimming. And worse yet, a report from Greece says that they found a swan infected with Bird Flu, so maybe I never will.
Next Monday, France will raise its financial transaction (or Tobin) tax to 3% from 2% before, which apparently can be done without any input from the National Assembly or Senate. The tax is a main reason why UK bankers needing to become accredited within the European Union after Britain leaves will not take the easy and pleasant option of moving across the Channel to Paris.
More for paid subscribers follows from the UK, Israel, Grecce, Egypt, Russia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Finland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Canada, Norway, Spain, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, India, Turkey, Japan, Argentina,The Bahamas, and the USA. And we have a new stock pick which you cannot buy until tomorrow as it is British!