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Quarterly Newsletter - Winter 2013

If market indices are deemed to be reliable indicators, then 2013 was a very positive period with America’s S&P 500 Index breaching several all-time highs and finishing some 29% ahead for the year.  Even in the UK, where early in the year we were worrying about a “triple dip” recession, the FTSE-100 Index managed a gain of 14%.

The general tone on news flow through the year would hardly seem to support this rosy outcome – previous issues of the Newsletter have highlighted the ongoing problems within the EU, fears for a slowdown in China’s economic performance and the political stalemate in the US which culminated in a government shutdown in October.  In addition, there has been political sabre-rattling or, in some cases outright conflict whilst, on the business front, earnings have become increasingly soft.

So what could explain the near complacency evidenced by ...