Monday, 4 October 2010

Richard Buxton at Schroders says the FTSE will gain 20 per cent in 2011!

Not only will there not be a double dip recession, but the FTSE will gain 20 per cent in 2011! [Is there an echo in here?] That's Richard Buxton for you. Fund manager extraordinaire and all-round optimist. He manages the Schroder UK Alpha Plus fund, in case you don't know. Well, you know now, don't ya? I just told you.

You know what I like about Mr Buxton? He's a real person. He's not a puppet. Moreover, he's one of these real people who doesn't behave like a puppet. That's a rare thing. We should all be thankful.

Well, I have been speaking to the man. This is what he told me: 'Mikey, I'm glad you phoned me. I've got things to say. (Oh good. I suppose you want to talk about this amazing prediction of yours? 20 per cent!) No, Mikey, I want to talk about literature. You know I studied English Literature at Oxford, don't you? (No, Richie, I didn't know that.) Oh Mikey! You must know, surely? (It's news to me.) Well, I just want to reassure you that I'm not one of these awful puppets you find in the works of the great authors. (I know you're not.) You would never catch me coming out with a line like, "Oh what a rogue and peasant slave am I!" (Richie, mate, I'm sure you would never say anything like that.) "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." (Yeah, a nice bit of Fitzgerald, that. I know someone who has read all his books. With great lawyers he has discussed lepers and crooks. I'm sure you understand.) It's not a problem, Mike. I'm a very understanding person. (Do you read much French literature at all?) Afraid not. I don't read Fitzgerald, really. Just the English guys. I went to Oxford, you know. Studied them all there. Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley - (Yeah, they're a bunch of wankers, Rich.) I beg your pardon? (You want some Rimbaud, some Mallarme, some Celine, mate.) Oh, I don't think so. (I do.) "Do you feel the fierce paradise like stifled laughter that slips from the corner of your lips to the deep unanimous crease?" (Can't say I do. But lay some Celine on me, man!) "He rocks me on the bed next to the two pigs ... he lies on top of me too ... he's crushing me ... belching at me ... jabbering at me ... 'I love you! ... I love you!' ... he's fondling me ... 'Ferdinand my baby-face!' he calls me ..." (Great!) Oh, Mikey! I don't feel my normal self. (Oh dear. What's up, Rich?) It's as if you've taken control of me. (Perish the thought!) I feel like a puppet! (Richie, you're not a puppet! Get a grip!) I feel like a character in a work of fiction. (Oh, you're delusional!) Help me! I'm losing my mind!'

Dear reader(s), it can get very confusing. Some people think I'm a fictional character, a mere puppet. Then I turn up at their place of employment with a scalpel. I cut them. I make them bleed. They see the reality of my existence on their own bodies. Then I touch them with my soul. I pull them from their shells and take them on a wild trip. That's when they start to doubt their own existence(s). They know I'm real. I've proved it to them. The blood trickling down their arms and legs is proof enough. But they look at themselves, high above, the earth below, astral sky. They can't believe it's really happening. At that point, even the blood seems fake. I guide them back. Their colleagues are glad to see them again, relieved almost. I let them get on with making money. They have seen me in a new light. I want you to see me in a new light.