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  • In a world where people find themselves without the ability to pay commitments as they arise, forced selling drives prices, says Ruffer LLP chairman Jonathan Ruffer.

  • Inflation oscillates: it’s an idea when it’s not about, and a defining feature when it is, says Ruffer LLP chairman Jonathan Ruffer.

  • Events in Ukraine are to be seen, first, through the lens of humanity. Through the lens of finance, Russia’s invasion is having the same effect as Covid-19: it is accelerating trends which are already in place. And those trends are inflationary says Ruffer LLP chairman Jonathan Ruffer.

  • When I was on honeymoon in Venice, I spotted a pair of Chinese dragons, one chewing a toenail and the other picking its nose. Smart shop, Grand Canal – my wife Jane and I set an upper limit on what we’d pay. We later walked out with the dragons having written a cheque for slightly over four times our upper limit.

  • In the 26 years that Ruffer LLP has been in existence, a clear pattern has emerged. When the market mood is either complacent or ebullient, equity indices tend to rise strongly, and we lag behind them. An ‘unexpected’ crisis then hits, and Ruffer quickly recovers lost ground.

  • We have been talking of inflation for well over a decade—which is not the same thing as calling its timing. An impasse was created by the failure of the economy to grow after the 2008 crisis—all the risks (as we patiently explained) were deflationary, and in vain did the central banks and governments try to force an inflationary impulse into a sluggish world. Their primary weapon? An invention, deployed on a grand scale—quantitative easing (QE to its friends).

  • In lockdown, I have been watching the blockbuster Deutschland 89. There’s a moment in the hours before the fall of the Berlin Wall when the top-dog commissar considers whether to shoot himself—but a little piece of hemp consoles him with the thought that times of change are times of opportunity, times that bring up new winners.

  • Somewhere in a cupboard, I have a set of eight contract notes dated 8 January 1975, when I invested—upwards of £100 per holding!—in a range of UK equities. Reader, I called the bottom of the market—a dangerous thing for a young man to do.

  • Whatever one’s outlook, there have been times in 2020 when the markets seemed to echo one’s innermost thoughts, and times when we shout out like Falstaff, that the whole world has gone mad. The bulls and the bears have had their time in the sun, and their time on the dark face of the moon—what follows is a digested diary of our journey through the year 2020 so far.

  • Ever since we started in 1994, we have written an investment review, garnished with a cartoon, and filleted by compliance for political incorrectness. In normal times, it appears shortly after the quarter end. Amid the fireworks of COVID-19, it is appearing now, in early June, rather than waiting for early July.

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