OK, I apologise for re-using the headline of Ian Drury and the Blockheads’ brilliant 1977 single, except, as the gimlet-eyed amongst will have realised his tune was called Reasons to be cheerful, part 3, writes David Little, a partner in our Corporate and Commercial Law team.
The reason I’m recycling the headline of the blog post I wrote here, earlier in the month, is just to crow a little. Davos finished last week and even though it pained media observes to admit it, talk of the forthcoming recession may be a self fulfilling prophesy unless they change their tune.
Not only is the IMF going to recast its forecasts for the UK economy, (and Europe’s which is now expected to grow 0.1% and miss recession altogether) but catastrophes like the tragedy in Ukraine, the recovery from the pandemic, and the cost of living crisis appear to have been factored in to the thinking of the 600 big business CEOs attending of the World Economic Forum. Far from 2023 being a year of recession it now looks, to them, more like a year of recovery. Currently the UK stock market is defying the gravitational pull of the media’s gloom and the FTSE 100 is heading to the 8,000 mark.
Who would have believed it?
Let me recommend a really good newsletter, written by a couple who’ve made a few million themselves, and whose opinion is worth a listen.
The Optimist is the Gates Foundation’s Newsletter with the latest stories, research, and news from across the Foundation. Read this month’s edition and subscribe to get weekly updates on the latest in global health, gender equality, education, and more.
Amidst the major headwinds of 2022 it was also a year according to Bill and Melinda Gates that saw critical global progress alongside new challenges. For the care off premature babies a low-tech intervention—skin-to-skin contact with the mother—is improving outcomes for premature and low-birth-weight newborns around the world, even during the pandemic.
They write about how a life-saving vaccine called PCV was rolled out to every child in India—in record time, at low cost, and during the pandemic—illustrating what’s possible in global health.
Possibly my favourite story from their latest newsletter relates to the 1,000-question form that stood between people and the security of receiving vital social security payments. The advocates in the story designed a better approach. I won’t spoil how it concluded.
Whilst the Gates Foundation clearly has some serious firepower with $460 million invested in economic mobility and opportunities in the United States alone, when they say Governments around the world need to invest in a more resilient food growing system to ensure a decent livelihood for smallholder farmers and prevent hunger in the face of crises of all kinds, we should all listen.
I’m encouraged that Tony Danker, the Director-General of the CBI has urged the government not to consider tax breaks as the main economic priority in the forthcoming Budget, but instead to focus on going for economic growth, or risk giving up the UK’s competitive edge in green energy and biotechnology to our international competitors.
There is good news, all around us. We just need to be receptive to it.
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David Little is a Partner at Bishop & Sewell in our expert Corporate & Commercial team. If you would like to contact him, please quote Ref CB377 on either 020 7631 4141 or email email@example.com.
The above is accurate as at 26 January 2023. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times. The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.