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Dean Whitbread 2013

Dean Whitbread 2020

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Written on January 9, 2010, and categorized as Living, Secret and Invisible, Society.
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Much as I love this country, the thought of being trapped in Blighty does not fill me with a shivering glee of happy anticipation.

I’m not a rich person. I have no pension. I have no children to care for me as reach my dotage. Therefore my mind is focused on two things – the quality of my life until I require mopping up and feeding, and not being caught in a financial black hole which keeps me in Britain until that time.

“Neil Woodford, head of investment at Invesco Perpetual said that there was a ‘high probability’ of Britain losing its AAA credit rating, something which has never happened since a rating was first put on UK debt more than three decades ago. The downgrade would be likely to send the pound plunging, and could send Britain towards a debt spiral, as the Treasury is forced to pay greater interest rates on its debt, which in turn pushes the deficit still higher.” – Telegraph

Even if this is Tory chum scaremongering in advance of the election to incline voters towards Cameron, it’s possible that the UK will indeed jolt and shudder its way down the global economic ladder sometime soon. After all, we’re a small country with an economy out of proportion to our size – this is going to happen sooner or later. I suspect sooner, i.e. 2010, or 2011 – not 2015, or 2020.

As the UK looks to become less like America and more like Iceland or Ireland, rather than remaining on this small, financially bust, fiscally isolated island, I am seriously considering relocation.

So, where to take my puny wealth?

Not wanting to see my hard-won funds cut in two (or worse) at a stroke, is there a safer haven? How about good old America, United States of?

Several pundits are predicting a massive US dollar collapse:

“The long-held assumption that US assets – particularly government bonds – are a safe haven will soon be overturned as investors lose their patience with the world’s biggest economy, according to Willem Buiter.

Professor Buiter, a former Monetary Policy Committee member who is now at the London School of Economics, said this increasing disenchantment would result in an exodus of foreign cash from the US.

‘The past eight years of imperial overstretch, hubris and domestic and international abuse of power on the part of the Bush administration has left the US materially weakened financially, economically, politically and morally,” he said. “Even the most hard-nosed, Guantanamo Bay-indifferent potential foreign investor in the US must recognise that its financial system has collapsed.’ ” – Telegraph

US leadership on this issue is not guaranteed. International relations can and do go pear-shaped. China is currently bankrolling the USA, and despite the relative intelligence of his leadership, Obama’s attack on the Chinese for their unaccountability was a major reason for the Copenhagen Climate talks ending in failure. Without China, America is down the pan.

Back to me, freezing my nads off in little old England. Shall I stay or shall I go now?

I can hear the beating heart of Europe. I speak French moderately well, and have a smattering of German. The Eurozone is a much better bet.

I begin with the assumption that all governments are bad, but some are at least effective. Look at how the EU is playing hardball with Greece. Cruelty in defense of stability. Spain will be next.

Did you know that, thanks to Iran, the Euro is a petro-currency? That stubborn French refusal to make Iran a pariah state doesn’t look so bad now.

To top it all, France and Switzerland now top the Quality of Life index. These are both countries I know and love.

As the cuts hurt, as national pride is seriously dented, and as a new government struggles to make sense of a radically changed social landscape, I wonder whether this kind of thinking will become widespread?

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