OPINION30 November 2022

Lorna Tilbian: The F words

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Impact Opinion Technology Trends

Lorna Tilbian ruminates on the ‘stock market heroes’ ingrained in our lives. 

Fresh produce in grocery aisle

The stock market pendulum has swung from ‘risk on’ irrational exuberance to ‘risk off’ ultra-caution – or, in other words, from unbridled greed to existential fear. Fomo (fear of missing out) has given way to old-fashioned wealth preservation.

The Faangs – American technology companies Facebook (Meta), Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google (Alphabet) – were the poster children of the free-money era from March 2009, when interest rates bottomed at 0.25% after the global financial crisis, to December 2021, when their upward march commenced from a pandemic-induced low of 0.1% to today’s 1.75% and rising.

In the wake of this increase in the cost of money, the leadership baton was passed from the tech titans, the new masters of the universe, to the old stock market heroes, namely the 10 Fs: food, fags, phones, pharma, films, facials, fossil fuels, firearms, finance and fizz.

Each of the 10 Fs brings a unique strength of its own to the stock-market party, as we cannot live ...