As Michael Caine famously said in the iconic movie The Italian Job, “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” Which seems to sum up 2020 well – it’s not what we wanted, not what we expected, and the ramifications keep rumbling on. Still, we are now into a new year, and surely 2021 cannot be as bad, unpredictable, or as turbulent as 2020. We have several vaccines approved that are starting to be rolled out, and central authorities are throwing sums of money around that belittle the policies instigated to address the Great Financial Crisis.

What else? Oh yes – after much tedious toing and froing we finally have a trade deal between Europe and the UK. What does it amount to? Well probably a small portion of what we had when we were a member of the EU! Still a deal is better than no deal, and the initial market reaction seems to have been taken well. However, the banking sector continues to be under pressure with persistent worries about the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the global economy, or it could be extrapolated that lack of agreement on financial service equivalence in the Brexit deal, is really what’s driving negative sentiment towards the sector. All will become clear in time.

But let us get back to the positives – we have the vaccine rollout, which is generally providing a fillip for markets, and President Trump has finally signed-off the fiscal package for pandemic relief in the US providing a further positive driver.

As regards to 2020 I think we should sign-off in the words of Bugs Bunny “That’s all folks!”

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