Himsworth: Cut taxes to kick-start recovery
The FE Alpha Manager says quantitative easing has failed and that new tactics are needed to restore growth in the developed world.
Western governments should consider implementing fiscal stimulus measures such as tax cuts to boost economic growth, as the current loose monetary policies are simply not working.
This is according to FE Alpha Manager Leigh Himsworth
, who runs the £25.5m CF Eden UK Select Opportunities
and the £64.1m CF Eden Global Multi Strategy
Himsworth believes growth will remain sluggish as long as policymakers in the developed world continue down the same path they are on at the moment.
"Until governments change their stance from monetary to fiscal stimulus we will be stuck in a very anaemic recovery at best and this is how I am positioning the portfolio," he said.
"I do firmly believe tax cuts, capital investment incentives and so on would, in time, result in a far higher tax-take through generating economic growth than raising taxes and stifling investment."
The manager thinks that the UK and US are currently in the same unenviable position.
"I think the economy is a different beast but there is little difference between the UK and the US. Both are trying unbelievable monetary stimulus through low interest rates and quantitative easing – in my view these do not work," he said.
"The stimulus has been massive yet we have still seen a contraction in credit in the past four years. Quite simply no-one – neither corporates nor private individuals – wants to borrow, no matter how cheap money is."
The manager says this is why tax cuts need to be implemented: "For me, if corporates and individuals are not creating demand in the economy, governments need to step in with fiscal stimulus."
Despite his pessimism on the economy, Himsworth is reasonably bullish about the prospects for UK markets, saying it is important that investors understand that the two are not dependent on one another.
Many UK-listed companies are exposed to the global economy and quickly growing emerging regions, meaning a number of UK sectors are in good shape – especially those that are further down the market cap spectrum.
"We have actually had a bull market this year in mid and small caps," he explained. "To the end of September, the total return for the FTSE 250 was 19.28 per cent and for the FTSE SmallCap it was 19.6 per cent."
data shows that Himsworth has a good record against his peers in falling markets, outperforming in both 2008 and 2011.
Performance of manager vs peer group composite over 10yrs
Source: FE Analytics
Over 10 years, he has returned 293.15 per cent, more than double that of his rivals.