Thursday, July 18, 2024

Enjoy a crumpet while waiting for Truss’ replacement

U.K. Prime Minister Lizz Truss resigned on Thursday, setting the record for shortest term for a British prime minister at just 44 days. 

Joe Biden, the alleged leader of the free world, barely took notice, saying he was “not concerned.” Of course he isn’t. At this point, the man can barely string together a complete sentence.

For those who invest, however, the news of Truss’ resignation is a very good sign, but with some apprehension in order as well. Britain’s stock index and government bond prices are already on their way up, as if investors could barely wait until Truss’ disastrous economic plan caused enough turmoil to the point where it came crashing down on top of her, leading to her inevitable exit. It didn’t take long.

But the underlying theme of the day for investors was … wait and see. The new prime minister is due to be in place in just one week, by Oct. 28. Until that person is named, most financial experts have indicated they are likely to just sit back and wait, while enjoying a crumpet, or three.

BBC News quoted Simon French, chief economist at British investment bank Panmure Gordon, as saying the market reaction had been “fairly muted,” with investors waiting for the details of what comes next. 

“Markets could rally more aggressively if a clear favorite emerged for PM,” French said. “The sooner you get there, the more likely the person who has won will have the support to do the difficult stuff.”

Truss’ resignation delighted the London tabloid Daily Star. The Star had set up a livestream to see which would last longer, Truss or a head of lettuce. “This lettuce outlasted Liz Truss!” their lead headline proclaimed on Thursday:

The embattled prime minister had just assured Parliament on Wednesday, “I am a fighter, not a quitter,” after she had been repeatedly told she was unfit for office by opposition lawmakers. 

Not a quitter. Got it.

Then on Thursday, she quit.