I’m fed up of hearing about COVID, so I thought I’d post a few observations about what’s going on internationally with the EU. Now we source a lot of our material needs from non-EU countries, including the UK. One of the things I’ve noticed is how much more expensive shipping and customs costs have been since December 31st. In essence they’ve rocketed. The US into the EU is a case in point. For example I bought a two year supply of one particular item from Illinois yesterday. The item itself is not cheap at forty plus quid (USS65) a litre, but with customs fees the cost essentially doubled. Normally shipping and customs is 50% on top of the purchase price.
It’s the same all over. Shipping costs into the EU from the USA and elsewhere have shot up like they’ve had a Saturn 5 up their arse. Into the UK, not so much, so we’ve cut back on ordering online for a few weeks while the EU, whose top down, one size fits all model of sorting out tariffs settles down. All the while the EU are trying to ‘punish’ the UK for having the temerity to leave their club for bureaucrats, taking all its money and fish with it. Yet in all the EU’s flailing around they’re not just shooting themselves in the foot, they’re doing through knee amputations, which makes them a market I shifted my investments out of some time ago.
Fortunately for us expats in the Emerald Isle, the Euro is depressed at the moment, which makes my life a lot more profitable. The exchange rate is good, so I’m taking advantage of it.
End result; I just made a ‘killing’ on one tranche of shares (On paper anyway), which should start a second bounce when things start opening up, hopefully in June 2021, when dear reader, there will be a great cashing in and loud rejoicing in the Sticker household. Even if the big market bounce doesn’t happen then, we’re still quids in. As an active investor, I watch the markets carefully and did a fair bit of share buying in March / April 2020 when shares bottomed out due to these pointless lockdowns. Mrs S got a bit shirty with me for the purchase, but since she’s come around to my way of thinking, even if she did scorch my ears at the time.
Now I follow this guy on YouTube. He talks a lot of sense, even if I’m not financially in that league. Well not yet anyway.
It’s easy to demand that ‘the rich’ pay for everything as Andrew rightly points out, but what happens when governments run out of ‘rich’ people? As they will. Very quickly in fact. Who do they come after? Well, people like small business owners, or at least the ones they haven’t already forced into bankruptcy. Plumbers, Electricians, Builders, farmers, Amazon traders, shop owners, tradespeople in general and all the self-employed. They’ll be the ones taking the big tax hit. The magic money trees paying all that lovely ‘furlough’ money will exhaust the nutrients in the financial markets, and without putting extra roots into ordinary people’s reserves, will die. Which is what will happen. More taxes on those who aren’t able to move their money fast enough.
Ironically all you lockdown cheerleaders are in for such a financial pounding. Not so ‘the rich’ who can threaten to cut off the politicians money supply and lobby for tax breaks. They won’t be hurt at all.
The politicians can pass what laws they like. The ‘smart money’, as I have often said before, will have already gone where it’s most welcome and treated best, leaving a fading Cheshire cat smile where it had once been. And it won’t be their fault that all is left behind but a wasteland. The blame should be laid quite firmly on the doorstep of spendthrift politicians who wasted the public taxpayer dollar in the first place. Wasted it on giving free stuff to people so that they would vote for the politicians in question. Wasted it on boondoggles instead of infrastructure.