Facts and beliefs in parallel worlds

Facts and beliefs in parallel worlds

by Pininvest Analysis

British Industry on US exchanges on pininvest.com

  • constituents
  • 40.7% 1y performance
  • 43.9% volatility
Check the investment theme exit_to_app

"Les faits ne pénètrent pas dans le monde où vivent nos croyances"   Marcel Proust

"Facts do not mesh in the realm of our beliefs" in our translation of this quote from 'Swann's Way'

“It is frankly an illusion to think that the day after Brexit there was going to be a very generous all-singing, all-dancing free trade agreement for the United Kingdom with the US because Donald Trump said: ‘I love Brexit, it’s marvellous.’”

This is how Sir Peter Westmacott - recently retired British ambassador to the United States - was addressing an audience of commercial lawyers at the city law firm HFW on Monday 5 March '18, as quoted in the Guardian


An esteemed career in public service seems to count for nothing

With still another distinguished civil servant poring cold water on the political hotheads who distill Brexit falsehoods day after day, we are bound to wonder how best to convey thoughtful, restrained and pragmatic words of commonsense

How to be heard above the din of half-truths, full-blown lies and wishful thinking?

In the prescient words of Sir Westmacott, everything of course is true when anticipating trade negotiation, as unbalanced as the UK-US discussions promise to unfold

  • Yes, the US will expect entry on the agriculture market and indeed the non-tariff protections will have to come down (for GM food, chlorine chicken and the like)
  • No, the US procurement market will stay as it is, closed at the level of the States, which is what matters
  • No, the Financial Services terms of trade will not change significantly as the failed TPIP has proven earlier
  • And on, and on…

As we observe from afar, the British political parties are utterly divided, which makes leadership an impossible – super-human – task

But we fully share the assertion that "the matter is of existential importance, for Britain"  and – more significantly yet – for the balance of democratic power in Europe as well

Britain’s departure from the European theater would leave an impossible void, an question mark hovering over Europe’s future, a void Lord Castlereagh did his best to fill in Vienna in his day

In his novel Du côté de chez Swann - Swann's Way, published in 1913, Proust goes on about ‘facts’ and ‘beliefs’

« ils n'ont pas fait naître celles-ci, ils ne les détruisent pas ; ils peuvent leur infliger les plus constants démentis sans les affaiblir…»

«[Facts] did not instigate [the beliefs], they do not destroy them; they may disclaim their assertions strenuously without weakening their thrust… » (in our translation)

In follow-up notes, we will attempt to stipple the dire political landscape – maybe some strong lines will emerge