GAFF 24 | Systemic Risk | Sleep Hygiene

There is nothing quite like a weekend of warm summer sunshine and fantastic sporting action to lift the nation's spirits.  Our special relationship with the US may be under strain after mischievous, but (as yet) unknown persons leaked confidential diplomatic memos; tensions with Iran may well be boiling up as a second British warship heads to the Gulf; and Boris Johnson, the odds-on favourite to be our next Prime Minister, has demonstrated he has limited (if any) grasp of the actual detail required to deliver Brexit by his 31 October deadline (for GATT 24 read GAFF no.24).  But today, none of those details seem important.  This afternoon, in a clash of sporting heavyweights, Roger Federer, the undisputed king of Wimbledon's hallowed Centre Court, will be battling out with world no.1 Novak Djokovic in a bid to win his 21st Grand Slam singles title.  Meanwhile, England's cricketers will be taking to the field against New Zealand at Lord's in the ICC World Cup final.  England have been here before - they were beaten finalists in 1979, 1987 and 1992 - but can Eoin Morgan's men finally get their hands on the trophy?  Cancel all Sunday plans, find a comfortable spot to watch the action, and get ready for a day of big hitting and some nerve-shredding entertainment.

Switching (for a moment) from the cauldron of anticipation at Lord's, to the more rarified surroundings of the Bank of England, the Bank and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have announced that they will be reviewing redemption terms offered by open-ended funds.  The review will be undertaken in the wake of the well-publicised problems faced by Neil Woodford's Equity Income Fund, which suspended trading last month after Kent County Council sought to withdraw its £263m investment.  In its July Financial Stability Report, the Bank of England said there was a threat of large scale redemptions from funds holding illiquid assets testing the market's ability to absorb sales, to the extent that these funds could present a 'systemic' risk to the wider economy.  Property funds know the risks all to well - we only have to look back at the multiple trading suspensions in the aftermath of the GFC - and, only on Thursday, Property Week reported that M&G had restricted withdrawals on their Property Fund, following redemption requests from long-standing investors.  Marrying up daily trading with bricks and mortar property clearly remains a challenge. 

If the leaked draft of a public health Green Paper is correct, the Government could be about to issue us with guidelines on "sleep hygiene".  The guidance is likely to state that getting less than seven hours' sleep a night could damage most people's health, with links to physical and mental health problems, including obesity, strokes, heart attacks, depression and anxiety.  All thoroughly....well...depressing.  The Government is rightly keen to raise awareness of the issue, but The Weekly is concerned that for the majority of us a lack of sleep isn't really an active choice.  In fact, for those of us who struggle to get enough sleep, the report is just an added thing to worry about.  How, for instance, do you explain to your three year old that his, or her need for a comfort break/chat at 4am is actually killing dad?  So, what's the solution?  Well for starters, you could spend an extra two hours in bed on Monday morning and explain to your boss (when challenged) that you were only "following Government guidelines".  And what better way to sleep off a hangover after celebrating England's historic World Cup victory?!