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Economy is crying out for calm: The challenge with all bull markets is how to let the air out of the balloon slowly, says HAMISH MCRAE

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Phew! We have got through 2021, the year ending with a strange mixture of optimism and gloom.

World equity markets have soared, with US prices at all-time peaks and the Footsie having the biggest annual gain for five years.

Yet there will presumably be some new clampdown in the next few days, and please don’t book a skiing holiday in the Alps just yet. Asset boom: World equity markets have soared, with US prices at all-time peaks and the Footsie having the biggest annual gain for five years Leave aside whether government policies around the world are well-judged. The plain fact remains that the drag on economic activity from Omicron will continue to be felt through the next few months.

How can we get some perspective on all this? The key thing is to distinguish between economics and finance. I am not worried about the global economy this year. I am worried about financial markets.

As far as the economy is concerned, it will be a success story. That is partly because it is easy to have a great leap forward if you start from far enough back.

Even now, while the US is ahead of its past peak, the UK and the main […]

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