Au Revoir Le Pen?

“The final numbers were Macron with 23.75%, Le Pen with 21.53% and Fillon with 19.91%. What do the polls say about the next round’s outcome? The polls are showing Macron should get around 60% of the vote if the choice is just him or Le Pen, doesn’t even look close then. On the news the Euro strengthened nearly 2% against the Dollar. Macron, as one market commentator put it “is a pro-market centrist who melts the hearts of urban progressives”. Le Pen is anti-EU, anti “Wall Street economics”, pro working class, anti free trade and anti immigration.”


 

To market to market to buy a fat pig The polls got this one right, we have a Le Pen and Macron run off vote on Sunday the 7th May. The poll numbers we put up last week had Macron, Le Pen and Fillon getting, 23.5%, 22.5% and 19.5% of the vote respectively. The final numbers were Macron with 23.75%, Le Pen with 21.53% and Fillon with 19.91%. What do the polls say about the next round’s outcome? The polls are showing Macron should get around 60% of the vote if the choice is just him or Le Pen, doesn’t even look close then. On the news the Euro strengthened nearly 2% against the Dollar. Macron, as one market commentator put it “is a pro-market centrist who melts the hearts of urban progressives”. Le Pen is anti-EU, anti “Wall Street economics”, pro working class, anti free trade and anti immigration.

As the developed worlds middle class feels more and more left behind, you can understand why Le Pen’s support has grown. In the 2012 French election she received 17.9% of the vote, finishing third. Sitting in our cushy office in Sandton, anti-EU, anti free trade and anti-immigration seems like a terrible idea for the working class. Maybe over the short run, building an invisible wall around France will help the working class. However, all the way back in 1776 Adam Smith with his book The Wealth of Nations, clearly showed that isolating yourself from the rest of the world makes the nation poorer over the long run. It probably makes the rich richer too because they own the the means of production and with little international competition; well the poor suffer and the rich keep cashing dividend cheques. France and the UK currently have similar GDP per capita numbers, time will tell which route worked out better for their respective populations.

New York, New York It was a red day for US and local markets, S&P 500 down 0.15%, Dow down 0.3%, the Nasdaq down 0.11% and the All Share was down 0.58%. The big market moving news will be the long awaited tax revamp from the Trump administration, which is expected around the middle of this week (Trump says his ‘massive’ tax plan is coming next week). The first thing that the market will be looking at is if the tax cuts are as big as people were expecting. The next thing is if the market thinks Trump will be able to get the tax legislation through congress. Remember the revamp of Obamacare, that didn’t get very far? Hopefully the GOP is more united on lower taxes. At the turn of the last century, tax rates in the US were much lower, so was the role that governments played in peoples lives (The History Of Taxes In The U.S.). Most of the tax increases happened during the 2 world wars, to help fund the cost of buying tanks and airplanes, the jury is still out on what tax rates should be and how much of a role the government should play in the economy.


 

Linkfest, lap it up

Thanks to the internet people are visiting malls less and less. Who wants to fight for parking, then fight crowds and then queue to pay, not to mention the time it takes to get to and from a mall – Brick-and-Mortar Stores Are Shuttering at a Record Pace.

Here is a Ted Talk about a film maker walking through dead shopping malls – Inside America’s dead shopping malls.

If Elon Musk wasn’t busy enough with running SpaceX and Tesla he is adding another thing to the list of things he is spear heading to push the human race forward – Elon Musk Outlines His Mission to Link Human Brains With Computers in 4 Years.

Regulations getting in the way of doing business. This bar in India came up with a clever way of getting around a new law prohibiting bars from being too close to major roads – Why This Bar Built a Labyrinth Outside Its Front Door.

Augmented reality seems to be the next step for the tech industry. The results could be huge shifts in the way we consume information and entertainment in particular – Mark Zuckerberg Just Signed a Death Warrant for Smartphones


 

Home again, home again, jiggety-jog. Our market is in the green this morning but anything that has a hint of a shiny metal is down. The Gold mining index is down over 6% and Platinum miners are down around 2.5%. The good news this morning is on the Rand front, currently trading below $/R 13.00 level and in the mid 16s against the Pound.


Sent to you by Sasha, Michael and Byron on behalf of team Vestact.

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