Jacob Rothschild, the 78 year-old banker and chairman of RIT Capital Partners, has delivered savers in the £2.3bn trust a stark warning about global instability and the fragility of future returns.
He used his chairman’s statement in the trust’s 2014 annual report to outline his concerns, saying that on top of a “difficult economic background” investors face “a geopolitical situation perhaps as dangerous as any we have faced since World War II”.
He said this was the result of “chaos and extremism in the Middle East, Russian aggression and expansion, and a weakened Europe threatened by horrendous unemployment, in no small measure caused by a failure to tackle structural reforms in many of the countries which form part of the European Union”.
This was a much gloomier assessment of the world than the picture painted in his statement a year ago.
Then, he listed the major dangers as the slowdown in China’s growth and a possible over-valuation of shares.