Meat bans and ‘no-Brexit’? A bank’s “scandalous” predictions for 2023
Meat bans, soaring gold prices and Britain’s ‘no-Brexit’ vote could be in the cards for 2023, according to Saxo’s Outrageous Predictions.
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Saxo Bank’s ‘scandalous predictions’ for 2023 include a meat ban, a sharp rise in gold prices and a UK vote for ‘no Brexit’.
The Danish bank’s annual report, published earlier this month, expects global economies to shift to a “war economy” regime, “where sovereign economic profits and self-reliance trump globalisation”.
The forecasts, while not representative of the bank’s official views, look at how policymakers’ decisions over the coming year could affect both the global economy and the political agenda.
Gold reaches $3,000
Among the bank’s “outrageous” calls for next year, Saxo head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen predicted that spot gold could top $3,000 an ounce in 2023 – about 67% higher than its current price of about $1,797 per ounce.
The report makes its point predicted jump to three factors: a “growing war economy mentality” that makes gold more attractive than foreign reserves, heavy investment in new national security priorities, and rising global liquidity as policymakers try to avoid debt defaults in their respective recessions.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see commodity-driven economies looking to move to gold for lack of better alternatives,” Steen Jacobsen, chief investment officer at Saxo, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Dec. 6 .
“I think gold is going to fly,” he added.
Although analysts expect an increase in the price of gold in 2023, a jump of this magnitude is unlikely, according to global commodities intelligence company CRU.
“Our price expectations are much more moderate,” Kirill Kirilenko, senior analyst at CRU, told CNBC.
“A less hawkish Fed is likely to lead to a weaker dollar, which in turn could give gold bulls more breathing room and energy to stage a rally next year, lifting prices closer to $1,900 an ounce” , he said.
However, Kirilenko emphasized that everything depends on the actions of the Federal Reserve. “Any hint of increased ‘hawkishness’ from the US central bank is likely to push gold prices lower,” he said.
Britain will vote to reject Brexit
The “outrageous prediction” most likely to happen next year, according to Saxo’s Jacobsen, is that there will be another Brexit referendum.
“I actually think that’s one of the things that will have a high probability,” he told CNBC.
Saxo market strategist Jessica Amir said British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his finance minister Jeremy Hunt could send the Conservative Party’s ratings to “unheard of lows” as their “brutal fiscal program plunges the UK into a crushing recession”.
This, the bank predicts, could prompt the English and Welsh public to rethink the Brexit vote, with younger voters leading the way, and force Sunak to call a general election.
Saxo predicts another Brexit referendum could be on the cards for Britain.
Saxo’s Amir said the opposition Labor Party could then win the election and promised a referendum to cancel Brexit on November 1, with the “re-join” vote winning.
“Business people are saying the only thing they’ve gained from Brexit is the UK-specific GDPR,” Saxo’s Jacobsen told CNBC. “The rest is just increased bureaucracy,” he said.
Anand Menon, director of the UK in a Changing Europe think tank, said that forecast “simply doesn’t add up”.
“I don’t think there will be another referendum and the idea of that [Labour leader Keir] Starmer would take the position to be for the birds,” he said.
Starmer told a business conference in September that his party would “make Brexit work”.
Public sentiment on Brexit has changed since the referendum, Menon said, after the vote resulted in a slim majority of 52% of voters opting to leave the EU in 2016.
“It’s absolutely true that public opinion seems to be turning,” he said.
Survey conducted by YouGov in November showed that 59% of the 6,174 people surveyed thought Brexit had gone “quite badly” or “very badly” since the end of 2020, while just 2% said it had gone “very well”.
To ban meat production
Meat is responsible for 57% of emissions from food production, according to research published by Natural foodand with countries around the world committed to net zero, Saxo says it’s possible for at least one country to stop meat production entirely.
A nation “looking to get ahead of others” on its climate credentials could decide to impose heavy taxes on meat from 2025 and could completely ban all domestically produced meat from live animals by 2030, Charu said. Chanana, Saxo Market Strategist.
Meat is responsible for 57% of emissions from food production, according to research published by Nature Food.
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“I wouldn’t be surprised to see schools in Denmark and Sweden ban meat entirely, it’s definitely going that way,” Saxo’s Jacobsen told CNBC. “Sounds crazy to us oldies,” he added.
The United Kingdom, European Union countries, Japan and Canada are among the nations with legally binding net zero commitments.
The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Agriculture said it had “no plans” to introduce a meat tax or ban meat production when contacted by CNBC.
Some of Saxo’s other “outrageous predictions” for next year include the resignation of French President Emmanuel Macron, the yen’s peg to the US dollar at Japan’s 200 level and the formation of a united European Union army.
However, all predictions should be taken with a pinch of salt. Saxo’s Jacobsen told CNBC that there is a 5-10% chance of each prediction coming true.
The bank has made a series of “outrageous predictions” every year for the past decade, and some of them have actually come true – or at least come close.
In 2015, Saxo predicted that the UK would vote to leave the European Union after the collapse of the UK Independence Party, he predicted that Germany would enter recession in 2019 – which the country narrowly avoided – and bet that bitcoin will experience a meteoric rally in 2017
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