IN THESE days of 24/7 news channels, attention spans have become shorter. So I ask readers to cast their minds all the way back to ancient history—January and February this year in those innocent days when Britain had yet to vote to leave the EU and the Republicans had yet to settle on Donald Trump as their nominee.

Back then, the markets began the year in wobbly mood, worrying about the fall in the oil price (as indicating weakness in global demand) and a weaker renminbi, on the grounds that lower Chinese prices might send a deflationary shiver round the world. As the year has worn on, investors have recovered their nerve, with the S&P 500 managing repeated intra-day record highs in recent weeks. 

But as the...Continue reading