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Quarterly Newsletter - Autumn 2013

It is rare for our Newsletters to be written when the economic and political scenes do not offer compelling issues on which to hang the narrative.  The Eurozone crisis, the fortunes of the Chinese economy or the seemingly endless political turmoil in the Middle East have all provided material aplenty in recent issues.  On this occasion, the elephant in the room or, more correctly, the elephant and donkey, is the political situation in the United States where large swathes of the government machine have been shut down since the 1st of October by the ongoing wrangle concerning the budget and the level of government spending.

You may be forgiven for thinking that this had all been dealt with and resolved at the beginning of the year (see our Winter 2012/2013 Newsletter) but, to coin a hackneyed phrase, the ‘can’ had merely been ‘kicked down the road’ and the issue is likely to dominate proceedings for some time yet, particularly as all eyes are turned to the US to provide the spur for a resurgence in global economic growth. 

This is not the first time that a crisis of this type has arisen – it won’t be the last one, either!  – and the plight is not necessarily disastrous.  In fact, since 1976, we have seen no fewer than 18 such partial government shutdowns.  In November 1995 ...