Finance

Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Gadfly columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.

Britain's vote to leave the European Union has toppled a prime minister, torpedoed the pound, and sent global asset prices tumbling, all in the space of a morning.  

But there are a few reasons for you to moderate your despair as you head home to spend your first weekend adjusting to this brave new world.

1. This isn't the 2008 financial crisis

Your Bloomberg terminal will doubtless have been flashing red in all the wrong places this morning...unless, of course, you were short sterling and European equities and long gold and Bitcoin. 

But Brexit hasn't sparked systemic panic. It's a far cry from 2008, when the world only just coped with the fallout from banks' mania for slicing and dicing U.S. mortgages. Payment and settlement seem to be happening just fine. Financial markets have had plenty of opportunity to prepare for the possibility of Brexit and adjust risk-pricing accordingly.

That doesn't mean it will be a cake walk: Foreign direct investment in the U.K. will probably fall, free-trade with the European Union may be impaired in the long-term and the U.K. may experience a recession. But this isn't a Lehman moment. 

2. Central bankers will unleash fury, if needed

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney was channeling Mario Draghi's "Whatever it Takes" speech this morning when he said the Bank of England "will not hesitate" to take action as required. His grave tone and the setting were reminiscent of a president declaring war on a rogue state.  Carney pledged to inject an additional 250 billion pounds ($340 billion) of liquidity, if necessary.

If we learned anything from the 2008 financial crisis it's that Mr. Market likes big numbers. To be sure, central banks' firepower is much diminished: interest rates can't fall much further. But we haven't had a bank run.

3. House prices could actually fall in London and are a bargain in Frankfurt

A swathe of London bankers may be forced to up sticks for the continent. That will doubtless please those who don't earn a princeling's retainer in London and may now be able to live somewhere that doesn't resemble a shoebox. That is, unless they're crowded out by a whole new class of superrich foreigners looking for a safe place to park their money. 

The consolation for finance's new migrants is that your money will go a lot further in Frankfurt than London. This 16-room villa can be yours for less than the price of a one-bedroom flat in Chelsea. Everyone's a winner.

The Unstoppable London Housing Market...
...might actually be stopped, or at least slowed, by Brexit. Maybe.
Source: U.K. Office for National Statistics

4. Brits will holiday at home and the U.K. is on sale

The pound's sell off means there will be fewer Brits dragging down the cool factor on Ibiza's beaches or at the Burning Man festival this summer. They may opt for a staycation instead.

Meanwhile, the sterling drubbing has made posing for a selfie with a Justin Bieber waxwork at Madam Tussauds a whole lot cheaper for pretty much everyone else in the world. That's good news for U.K. hotel chains and attractions. 

5. Need more convincing?

By the end of the day a good chunk of FTSE 100 shares were in positive territory. So much for the Brexit shock. British American Tobacco shares were up on the day, for example, doubtless because David Cameron now will be free to smoke as much as he pleases when he steps down as prime minister.

Call this a Crisis?
The FTSE 100 fell on Friday but it's still higher than at the start of the week
Source: Bloomberg

So you see, in the wake of Brexit more people will get to hug Justin Bieber, move to Germany and smoke themselves silly. And you though there were no reasons to be cheerful about Brexit.

--With assistance from Gadfly writers Andrea Felsted and Lionel Laurent

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Chris Bryant in Frankfurt at cbryant32@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Jennifer Ryan at jryan13@bloomberg.net