Buttonwood: Into the unknown

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When the drugs don’t work

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Investors fear Brexit, but don’t think it’s likely

IN A month’s time, on June 23rd, Britain will vote on whether to leave the European Union. For many voters, polling day will be a blessed relief after a campaign that will have dominated the news for four months. Mind you, if they vote to leave, they will suffer many years of further debate about the exit negotiations.
Financial markets have been bemused observers of the campaign. Most investors, like most economists, think Britain would be worse off outside the EU. A recent survey of global fund managers by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA) found that Brexit was the biggest market risk, ahead of a Chinese devaluation; however, 71% of those managers thought it unlikely that Britons would vote to leave. Despite the closeness of most opinion polls, gambling markets have consistently favoured a Remain vote; the odds on Leave are down to 25%.

If Britain does vote to leave, the nature of the subsequent trade …

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