Category: Money & Finance

edition 29/08/17

Lost god son
A close friend made me godmother to her son when he was born 12 years ago.  I have taken
my responsibility very seriously and have made a point to be in his life.  Since then my friend
and her husband have split up, her husband moved to Australia and my god son went with
him.  I have lost touch with his mother.  I wrote to the boy’s father saying I still wanted to be
in my god son’s life, but he said he wants to cut all ties.  What can I do?
Sadly there is nothing you can do until the boy reaches 16, when you could try and get in
touch then via Facebook.  No doubt he will remember you, but four years for a youngster is
a long time.  I imagine this boy will have other things on his mind when you do get in touch,
so don’t expect for there to be any big reunion.  If the father is preventing all contact, I am
afraid you might have to let this go, and try to move on yourself.
I want to say sorry
I am ashamed to say that when I was at school I was unkind to a girl in my class.  I don’t
know why I did it, but it happened.  Now, years later I think about it and am very
remorseful.  The other day I saw this girl in a supermarket and felt I should have said
something, but I was too nervous and the moment passed.  Then I got an invitation to our
school reunion, so I am wondering if I should go and apologise.
If you definitely know this girl is going to the school reunion, then I would go and tell her
you are sorry.  If you are able to contact her beforehand I would do this, as she may not
want to go to the reunion because of her bullying experience.  Try and get in touch with the
organisers and see if you can get in contact with her via that route first.  We all do stupid
things when we are young, and then live to regret it.  You will be doing the right thing.

Euro – weekly update

EUR weekly update
Most of the economic data from Euroland either beat forecast, were an improvement on the previous month or both. Among the provisional purchasing managers’ index readings, which measure the vigour of the private sector, only French manufacturers reported any slowdown in growth. Germany’s economy expanded by 0.4% in the fourth quarter of last year, less than Britain’s upwardly-revised 0.7% but enough to make it the class leader for calendar 2016.
Investors struggled to find inspiration among the few US economic statistics. Provisional purchasing managers’ index readings came in below forecast and lower on the month. Existing home sales were reasonably strong but jobless claims increased by more than expected. It was left to the Federal Reserve to provide the guidance that was lacking elsewhere.
Whilst a handful of senior Fed people stoked the anticipation of three interest rate increases this year the minutes of the last policy meeting were characteristically non-committal about when the process might begin. It was not enough to bring in new dollar buyers: the Greenback lost a cent to the euro and half a cent to the pound.
Sterling had an eventful week, trailing the other major currencies on two days and leading them on three. The overall result was a weekly win for the pound, which added a net one and a half euro cents. The euro, meanwhile struggled at the back of the field accompanied by its boon companion, the Swiss franc. It lost one US cent despite all the positive ecostats, principally because of strong opinion poll showings by anti-euro candidates in Holland and France.

The Euro Update

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The initial effect of Donald Trump’s election to the White House seems to have run its course.  While investors still expect his policies for tax cuts and infrastructure spending to be positive for the dollar in the longer run they were not sufficiently enthusiastic to continue buying the dollar a month after the vote.  Despite the looming uncertainty of this weekend’s referendum in Italy and presidential vote in Austria they still preferred the euro to the dollar: it strengthened by one US cent on the week.
Sterling did better than either of them, strengthening by one and three quarter US cents and touching a four-week high.   Although the spectre of Brexit still stalks the pound investors are no longer so frightened of Britain falling off an economic cliff edge when the spilt finally happens.  The Bank of England governor and the minister of Brexit both floated ideas to avoid that risk.
On the whole it was a better-than-average week for the euro, which strengthened by a cent against the US dollar and added half a Swiss cent.  Economic data from Euroland were few and far between and those which did appear were unremarkable.  The EU’s confidence measures fell short of expectations but investors ignored them as usual.  Inflation was on target at a provisional 0.6% while unemployment ticked down to 9.8%.  Sterling had an eventful week, more than once lurching higher or lower for no apparent reason and eventually gaining a third of a euro cent.
The coming weekend brings a constitutional referendum in Italy and a presidential election in Austria.  Italians are expected to reject Prime Minister Renzi’s proposals for constitutional reform and Austria could quite well send the far-right Freedom Party candidate to the Hofburg Palace.  Should they occur, both of those results would be likely to undermine appetite for the euro.