Born to be Wild…(with apologies to Steppenwolf)

This year, it will be 50 years since the Summer of ’68 (Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson…), when red bandanas were the height of street-fighting fashion, access to a ready supply of cobblestones essential, the cocktail du jour was a Molotov, MAD was not just a comic- and the Viet Cong’s Tet Offensive provided clear evidence that the Viet Nam War was not necessarily going America’s way.

Why should we mention this?

Because, while 1967 was the Summer of Love, soon thereafter, in 1968, the world appeared to be a more dangerous, restless and uncertain place; and yet, in spite of all the fears expressed then for the future, we are still here.

Of course, it had become rather difficult to find much sense of the positive in 2017, given all the governmental oppression being inflicted in too many parts of the world; and it is clear that the “mood” within many unfortunate polities remains dark and full of foreboding; whilst the series of fires, floods hurricanes and earthquakes in the second half of the year simply added to a feeling of malaise.

So, in the face of all this gloom, we thought we would point out a few items that may give one some hope for Humanity at the start of a new year, if only in the short (non-geological time) term. We hasten to add that the Awbury Team has not suddenly begun self-medicating with hallucinogenics. Rather, we always try to take a measured view of risks in terms of both their probability and severity, even if we cannot quite bring ourselves to subscribe to “world without end”.

– The US and the EU economies are growing robustly in real terms, with no immediate signs of a recession
– Real interest rates remain at close to historically low levels, yet in most major economies inflation remains relatively in check
– While still quite volatile, the price of crude oil has settled into a range that most producers and purchasers can tolerate
– At the same time, the shift towards less carbon intensive fuels gathers pace
– The (re)insurance markets have demonstrated their robustness in face of a significant deterioration in NatCAT loss experience
– The Brexit negotiations have not yet gone off the rails, and there are signs that some sort of rational negotiation will finally take place
– The majority of the planet has begun to take the threats posed by global-warming seriously
– Developments in analytics, machine learning and AI continue to generate potential new paradigms and opportunities
– The number of people globally moving out of abject poverty continues to rise
– Star Wars: the last Jedi shows that all is not lost…
– Winter may be coming (in the Northern Hemisphere), but it will end

And while at Awbury we are never complacent, we continue to have a robust pipeline of business across our franchises, which we aim to execute upon and continue to build with the support of all our valued clients and partners.

With best wishes to you, Dear Reader, for good fortune in 2018.

The Awbury Team

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