The imprudent world of Donald J Trump
One of the reasons I became an accountant is that I hate risk.
I literally can't understand why people gamble, since by definition the casinos and bookmakers we can the odds so that they will always be the winners.
Those of us that audit are actually required to take a prudent view of life or at least the accounts of our esteemed clients.
Events in 2016 will have been alarming to many with the natural caution that sometimes leads accountants to be vilified as boring.
Regardless of the political ins and outs of the two debates, victories for those that chose to leave Europe and make Donald Trump President of the United States of America will lead to less certainty than the duller alternatives.
In Britain already, we have had considerable political changes and are discovering that economic uncertainty will become the norm for the next few years. The pound has already plummeted, while the stock market has hit unprecedented heights.
We may or may not be able to make fantastic trade deals with Europe and the rest of the world. Even if we do, somewhat ironically, the likelihood is that the desire of those most in favour of stepping out of the European network will be foiled. As we have seen in India, the price of getting decent trade deals will be relatively free immigration regardless of colour, creed or wealth.
Those behind the leave campaign tended to be short on policies but Donald Trump makes them look like political seers.
As far as I can tell, rather than policies his campaign has been built entirely on offensive soundbites. Therefore all that we know about Donald Trump is that he is sexist, racist, doesn’t expect to pay taxes and has no previous experience of any political office.
That does not bode well for us prudent accountants who adore certainty.
I get that Donald Trump is a businessman and therefore, using a very tenuous link, is bound to boost the American and global economies. However, he and his businesses went bust several times before discovering the magic formula to get rich quick. Let's hope that he doesn't do the same to the US economy.
Ironically, given the outcome of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall, not to mention all of the single party states to the east of it, the countries that now have greatest political stability are likely to be Russia and China. Indeed, from an economic standpoint, China might well be about to thrive, quite considerably at the expense of the United States and Great Britain.
My initial reaction is that the world had gone mad but at least that kind of cautious negativity means that when the exit from Europe and advent of Donald Trump turn out to be fantastic for the economy, the people, jobs, the pound and accountants, I will be even happier than almost everybody who voted on the basis that this is the inevitable outcome.
Unless readers can offer me some kind of comfort about where the western world will be in five years’ time, I'm going to put on some headphones, listen to some gorgeous music and read escapist literature until after the British and American elections of 2020.
By that time we might (or quite conceivably might not) have some idea of where our businesses and private lives are headed.