Forty years old, Italian passport, a reputation as a well-known hardass on the financial street, Bruno Liviraghi is a Branch Manager at M*** L***, one of the major American hedge funds in London. While the UK referendum results are dragging the markets deep down in the red and spreading panic, Mr. Livraghi has accepted to answer a few questions on a day which is destined to become part of History.
What are your immediate impressions on the referendum results?
I need to start by saying that, in order to win the elections and seek for protection on the “right side”, Cameron has promoted the referendum and activated specific forces that went out of control, even if he had thought to be able to manage them. It perfectly reflects the current political situation: a total mess, a mix of tactic and strategy, the prevalence of short-term over long-term. An evident myopia and an obvious perspective error.
Why did Remain loose?
Due to its endorsement. The deadly kiss to Europe was given by its supporters. The City, its singers and celebrities have obtained the opposite result than expected. The general picture is a cross convergence between part of the Tories and part of the Labour Party.
Are you not overestimating the endorsements function?
Not at all. From a symbolic point of view they had a devastating impact. Nowadays discontinuity is always appreciated. And the UK is not an exception. Explain me why entire classes of the population that feel defrauded should have voted for continuity? What does Bob Geldof’s statement mean for these social groups? Absolutely nothing. Rather it may inspire opposite forces. That’s how it goes when you lose the ability of building consensus and exercising hegemony.
What did Remain supporters promise?
Continuity. Young people voted Remain, it is an incontrovertible data. And that’s a universalist vote. Young people were fearful of a closure towards their continental peers. The deepest part of the country, however, has unanimously voted to leave. Fear has strongly prevailed on everything else.
And who are the winners?
Quite a few people are celebrating in Berlin right now. The UE is now free to further speed up the integration process. Actually, the UK was a braking force. I’m afraid that the German leadership will be further empowered by this.
A disaster for Southern Europe?
We’ll see… Probably, there will be further fiscal concessions. But, if managed properly, this situation may represent a great opportunity. Of course, now it is too early to talk.
There are no losers then.
Car imports may keep decreasing and the City may need to re-position but this process has already started. Global capitalism will need to adapt to the present circumstances. And the central banks will be fighting with a knife between their teeth.
You look too calm.
Actually, centrifugal forces have started a while ago and the fibrillation of the European Union was already a fact. Brexit is not a big deal. In 12 months we will have a new President at the White House, a new tenant at the Élysée Palace and a new German government. Not to mention the Spanish Elections of next Sunday and the possible upcoming events after the autumn. We must play it by ear.
It is a historical junction from the political point of view and it proclaims the indisputable end of social democracy, in its original meaning. Something similar to the summer of 1914 and the beginning of the First World War. Socialism does not have any further reason to exist.
How are you moving on the markets today?
I am observing and looking for new opportunities to buy undervalued stocks. Volatility is a godsend for us.