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Taking a break

by: Robin Johnson
  • 24/07/2012
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Taking a break
In financial services we are accustomed to using dramatic language to describe market events such as credit crunch, market crashes and more recently the euro crisis.

This use of language adds colour to description and helps prioritise them in the context of our day jobs. Furthermore it polarises and glavinizes opinion.

But as I write this, on holiday, I am minded how relative these terms are. My last minute decision to take a holiday this year has landed my family and I in the epicentre of a an earthquake of 5.8 magnitude in southeastern Turkey.

Mercifully there have been no deaths though the quake came within the week of another earthquake of 6.0 magnitude that shook a tourist resort in the southwest coast, causing panic and sending dozens to hospitals after many jumped from buildings in fear.

The 5.8-level quake was the largest of 40 small tremors detected off Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts in a 24-hour period.

Events like these offer perspective. Banking liquidity, sovereign debt, deficit reduction and growth cease to be front of mind issues when staying alive is the present and real objective.

Turkey is crossed by several fault lines and slight tremors are an everyday occurence. Small wonder the current concerns of western capitalism seem distant to most people in regions like these.

If nothing else it is a stark reminder that removing yourself from the daily grind is an essential part of getting through it.

Holidays offer time to reflect and this one is no exception. Despite the structural damage, I have avoided the temptation to get some private survey work commissioned. Holidays are after all holidays.

Robin Johnson is managing director of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward

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