Happy New Year! So, the Year of the Monkey is upon us, though
it will no doubt be a few weeks before I remember not to write
Year of the Ram on my cheques. Those of you wondering what the
next 12 months will bring may be interested to learn something
of the Monkey's characteristics. Loveable rogue he may be, but
Monkey is also good at assessing risk. Over the coming year, he
will, apparently, "urge us to gamble, speculate and exploit
risky but ingenious options". Good news then for the
derivatives business, one assumes. The industries expected to
do well under this sign are property, mining, chemicals and
insurance (for the purposes of this exercise, a suitable loose
definition which I am taking to include derivatives.) The
industries not expected to fare so well include textiles,
fashion and publishing. (Oh dear. Best warn the bosses,
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