Just to finish the week on Scotland (aye, there’s more next week with the start of a mini series we’re calling #IndyRef’s Elephant Traps), with this from Chris Blackhurst in the London Evening Standard…
…the City has finally woken up to the Scottish referendum and the serious possibility of a Yes victory.
We know that if the Scots opt for independence there will be a rush by investors to exit companies with a heavy presence north of the border. Many large businesses up there, including two banking groups, are expected to relocate down here. Sterling will be set on a roller-coaster until the choice of Scottish currency is resolved.
Independence would boost Ukip and Nigel Farage, and weaken the authority of the Prime Minister. The Better Alone campaign of the Scots Nats is the same as the one Farage would run to leave the EU: a cocktail of we can prosper on our own, mixed with emotional flag waving.
The clamour from the Farage camp would be deafening so the prospect most firms dread, of the UK exiting the EU, (far worse than the Scots going it alone) would move closer.
Mario Draghi has acted to save the eurozone from stagnation, but we can’t tell if the European Central Bank president’s gambit is too little, too late.
Everywhere, there is uncertainty. Even the most consistent heaviest dividend payer in the FTSE 100 is a cause for doubt. The US court finding that BP acted negligently over the Deepwater Horizon disaster may see the oil giant fined $18 billion (£11 billion). That’s $18 billion that would have been paid in the divi.
Working backwards, I’d take that last one with a large dose of salt. £11 billion is the likely maximum possible, the hit to the divi could be a great deal less. And in the middle section he’s not wrong either about how competing nationalisms reinforce each others cultural arguments, even as they express utter disdain for one another
Perhaps there’s more than a little whiff of fear in the writer never mind the writing, suggesting that London has been looking the other way for longer than perhaps it should.
The gap, according to the polls, is still favouring (just) the No camp. Yes need to keep powering through. Expect just under two weeks of tumult as everything that’s not screwed to the floor gets thrown.