The Times’ business commentary piece argues the rally in the FTSE is based on a very brittle consensus of optimism. JP Morgan yesterday proclaimed there is barely an investor who thinks the market can fall by more than single digits, highlighting the strikingly bullish mood sweeping the City. But The Times warns against getting over-excited, reminding us that the rally has come from “a very low base”, and that it is only being driven by overconfidence in the market – a confidence which will eventually fizzle out. The piece argues underlying macro-economic forces aren’t yet strong enough to maintain the momentum built up in the markets.
The Aviva Real Retirement Report has created waves in the press today, revealing pensioners are pillaging their inheritances early in order to help their struggling families out before they die. More than a fifth of over 55s are dipping in to funds they planned to leave behind in order to help their families in financial hardship – hardship caused by the rising cost of living, weak wage growth, and meagre savings rates. The Telegraph runs with the story, as does the Guardian and various onlines.
The Telegraph business section’s lead opinion piece focuses on mortgage subsidies, and weighs up whether a high percentage of homeownership is, in fact, a good thing for society. The piece argues mortgage subsidies are a trap, and the government should instead be looking to increase supply in the private rental sector (a drum that David Brown of LSL Property Services has been bashing for some time). The author, Janet Daley, argues “being locked into property ownership before you have undertaken the responsibilities of adult life…is absurd.”
Recruitment and employment
Research by the Centre for Retail Studies forecasts 1 in 5 high street stores will be forced to close in the next 5 years, causing 316,000 job losses across the country, because bricks and mortar retailers are struggling to compete with their online counterparts. Jan Hills, of leadership consultancy Head Heart + Brain, warned yesterday on Sky News and ITV London that the failure of some retail leaders to adapt to change in the sector has been the driving factor behind some store closures.