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If today’s global macroeconomic map were to be drawn by a 16th-century cartographer, you could expect more than a smattering of fantastical beasts, deadly obstacles and warnings along the lines of "here be dragons". The markets have given investors a full-on Glasgow kiss to celebrate Hogmanay, and the worry is that the traditional hangover will reach into the new year, with the dread combination of slowing GDP growth and rising debt bringing on a recession that could morph into a crash that makes 2008 look like a car park nudge. The natural reaction is to turn your portfolio into the investment equivalent of the Maginot Line — preferably without the slight hitch that allowed the attackers to pop around the end. The global commentariat has been full of dystopian talk of investors piling into easily transportable forms of wealth and sewing jewels into the linings of their coats in the manner of the Romanovs circa 1917, though this may be due to a slow news week rather than any confirm...

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