FTSE closed today down at 5,724.10, a point first reached (travelling the other way) in December 1998. The longer-term chart above suggests to me a glass ceiling. Or flogging a dead horse (I can't tell you how some ten-year-olds I know misheard that last saying recently, or how their conversation continued. That generation appears to be developing backwards from middle age.)
Adjusted for inflation, the line would look worse, of course. I think my gut feeling was right ten years ago: essentially, we've been going down since the late nineties.
But what inflation measure to use? Gold seems to go down together with equity sell-offs, rather than seesawing against them. And unlike with the Dow, there doesn't seem to be an easily accessible index of the FTSE priced in gold terms; but GATA last week went very public with their theory that gold is being held down by surreptitious selling - and has been quietly disappearing from central bank vaults. This is something I've touched on a number of times before, and MoneyWeek gives its take on it here. Meanwhile, here's the ad: