FTSE rise ‘based on fraud’

The stock market rally is a “dash for trash” based on a “fraud” likely to harm investors’ wealth, according to one of Scotland’s leading investors.

Robin Angus, a director of the £200m Edinburgh-based Personal Assets Trust, said investors had been lulled into a false sense of security by £175 billion of “dishonest” money that has been pumped into the UK economy through the Bank of England’s quantitative easing programme.

Angus said: “Quantitative easing is a phrase which bears the same relationship to ‘printing money’ as ‘terminological inexactitude’ does to ‘lie’.

“It is a dishonest name for a dishonest activity. Some have even called it state-sponsored theft.

“It has temporarily made the financial markets drunk on hopes of an economic recovery, but I can’t see how such a recovery can possibly be anything other than faltering, fragile [and] fraudulent.

“Sometimes, [Ben] Bernanke, [Mervyn] King and their ilk seem like pushers of a miracle drug that can defer hangovers forever. The trouble is that we get hangovers for a good reason. If we didn’t get them, we might keep on drinking and drinking until we poisoned ourselves.”

Writing in the Personal Assets’ quarterly, Angus described the market rally, which has seen the FTSE 100 surge from a low point of 3,512 on March 3 to close at 5,082 on Friday, as “a dash for trash which is likely to go into sharp reverse at the first hint of bad news or expectations unfulfilled”.

Explaining the trust’s decision not to fully participate in the rally, Angus said: “To us, ‘danger’ means actually losing money, not failing to grab the last halfpenny in an overvalued equity market which might turn and tumble at any time.”
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article6850753.ece