: Adarsh Sinha, the chief foreign exchange strategist at Barclays, told a travel industry gathering in June that sterling would continue to appreciate with £1 being worth $1.80 in six to 12 months. Mr Sinha told the Barclays Commercial Travel Forum: “The UK story is not great, but prospects for the US and the rest of the world look worse.”
But sterling has dramatically weakened, particularly against the euro, so companies heeding his warning lost out heavily. “We were going to hedge our exposure, but Barclays’ strategist was so bullish that we decided not to,” said one travel boss, who declined to be named. “It played a big part in my company folding,” said another.
A couple lessons here. First, for the travel agents, this is a good reminder that nobody knows anything. For the rest of us, it’s a good reminder that when pros make these kinds of forecasts, people actually believe them and act on them.
For its part, Barclays is saying that the call was merely meants as a “forecast” and not “advice,” whatever that means. Ultimately, we agree though, it’s not Barclays fault that the anonymous travel boss went out of business.