Hedge Clippings | Friday, 22 December 2022
For our final Hedge Clippings of the year, we thought we'd look back 12 months for some inspiration, namely from the last edition of 2021, when we noted that the "certainty of uncertainty persists, along with the realisation that COVID will be with us for some time."
One year on, and COVID's certainly still with us, although like many things, it seems we're learning to live with it. Elsewhere our prediction of more uncertainty proved 100% correct, with the war in Ukraine sparking inflation, and in turn unexpected rate rises, and thus the inevitable collapse of the era of easy money, and with it the tech boom. We haven't heard a report of Charlie Munger's response to the rout in Bitcoin and the crypto-sphere, but we're sure it would actually be predictable.
In hindsight (easy-peasy) Scomo's demise was obvious, although the Teals' success caught most (even themselves) by surprise. We're not sure if Albo's victory caught anyone by surprise, but his smooth transition and avoidance of political potholes was welcome. Maybe the uncertainties in that regard are waiting in next May's (real) budget.
Less predictable in 2022 was Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter (surely a thought bubble?) followed by his equally unpredictable self-firing, the seeming disintegration of the government in the UK, the boredom of Netflix's $100m Ginge and Whinge show, China's COVID lockdown, and the fact that the ASX was one of the better performing (albeit negative) global markets.
Looking forward to 2023: The R word is likely to dominate as recession either looms (or deepens depending on location) as inflation stays stronger for longer, and interest rates follow suit - even if the pace of rate rises eases, they're unlikely to start falling until 2024. Sadly there seems no quick end in sight to the war in Ukraine unless Russian mothers tire of seeing their sons return injured - or worse as the case may be.
Penny Wong has started the reconciliation process with China, and once a suitable period has passed to allow sufficient face-saving (or should that be a sufficient period to allow suitable face-saving?) we suspect normality will resume, whatever normality means. Lachlan Murdoch is intent on continuing to rescue the reputation of his, and we presume the Murdoch family's, name from the "serious harm" inflicted by Crikey, which of course leads us to the Trump saga. Will it ever end? No doubt the lawyers hope not.
More immediately, Hedge Clippings is looking forward to a short break and recharging the batteries before starting all over again next year. We'll be back in the latter half of January. Meanwhile, from all the team at FundMonitors.com we would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Christmas, and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
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