A playlist for the summer holidays
2022 will be remembered in history as the year that promised so much hope after coming out of the Covid fog of the previous two years, but delivered a sense of confusion, conflict and change, of the like that we haven’t seen for years. It’s a year that impacted Kiwis no matter their location or stature and one that I’m sure many will be pleased to wave goodbye to.
So, instead of using a flurry of economic jargon to reflect on 2022 and look ahead to what 2023 might bring, I thought we could all do with something a bit more fun: a few of my favourite tracks that sum up the year and also make a decent playlist for the summer.
Get your Spotify app ready to find the bangers that have got us to where we are today and, most likely, will linger with us for a fair old chunk of 2023.
Number 10: ‘Working class hero’ – Marianne Faithfull
When the Covid cloak lifted somewhat in the early part of 2022, it revealed some huge gaps in the workforce and, in particular, the retail and hospitality space. With little immigration, and many of those workers retrained in other areas, it left a large gap to fill. And it wasn’t just in those two specific industries: I mean Auckland needs another 500 new bus drivers as an example! This is not just a New Zealand issue; many countries around the world are dealing with a skill shortage which begs the question where have all the workers gone? Retirement? Who knows, but it seems that this is a problem that will take some time to resolve.
Number 9: ‘Age of Anxiety’ - Arcade Fire
A new track from an old band and a song that describes what many of us may be feeling. Climate change, political tensions, conflicts, social media, rising costs for pretty much everything, as well as very volatile investment markets that have impacted investors and KiwiSaver funds this year, can’t be underestimated. With the big R (recession) hovering above us next year, no wonder we have all been looking forward to a break and, hopefully, some surf and sun to wash away some of those fears.
Number 8: ‘Let’s get it on’ – Marvin Gaye
A great soul track that has lasted the test of time. The sentiment of the song could apply to the global tensions that have been part of every generation’s life on this fragile planet of ours. I’m not talking about the current conflict in Ukraine - that’s coming up later on. This is more about the tension between China and the USA. A lot of posturing has taken place between these two superpowers and it’s one to keep an eye on. Let’s hope they follow Marvin’s advice and see love not war being the answer.
Number 7: ‘Can’t get enough’ – Super Groove
Nice to include a New Zealand homegrown hit in this countdown and it’s there because it represents supply and demand. A huge issue over the past two years because it felt like no matter what we wanted we couldn’t get it. Gib board comes to mind and anything else you needed for those home renos. However, watch this track fall down the charts in the new year. Warehouses are full to bursting and demand for stuff is waning because of interest rate rises. Perhaps some big bargains are to be had in the new year.
Number 6: ‘Money’ – Flying Lizard
Wow this track hasn’t been seen for years, but it has flown back into the charts and is all about pay rises. The massive increase in salary and wages has been significant for many. Brought about by inflation and the general increase in the cost of living over the years, many industries and sectors have said enough is enough. I suspect there will be more to come, but be careful what you wish for: demand for staff may not be as high next year if the Reserve Bank has its way.
Number 5: ‘Moving on up’ – M People
Well that’s exactly what has happened this year with the official cash rate. Back in November 2021 it was 0.75% and since then has moved through the roof to 4.25, with many expecting to see it head close to 6% sometime in the new year. Home buyers took advantage of the lowest mortgage interest rates we had ever seen over the past few years, however some may find themselves in a challenging environment as their fixed rate mortgages fall due. Let’s hope, in the not too distant future, we see these rates come back as inflation gets under control.
Number 4: ‘Our house’ – Madness
A great 80s track that will get most punters up on the dance floor. It wasn’t that long ago that if you said house prices don’t just go up they can sometimes go down, you would have been laughed out of the party. Covid did something that most would have never predicted (and most didn’t initially) and helped house prices to soar. Low interest rates, Kiwis flying back in their droves to New Zealand and homeowners looking to improve their properties once they knew the world wasn’t ending, propelled prices across the land to reach over inflated highs. Well, just like the 1969 song ‘Spinning Wheel’ by Blood Sweat and Tears, “What goes up must come down” and that’s exactly what happened in 2022. Much to the shock and horror of a generation that has only known house prices to rise. Who knows what they will do next year but I suspect things will continue as they are for a while.
Number 3: ‘War’ – Edwin Starr
The Ukraine conflict has had a significant impact on global economies and very few countries have escaped the impact of the war in one way or another. This caused an increase in fuel and food prices, affecting the cost of a range of goods and services. Here’s hoping that there is a speedy, positive outcome to the conflict and the Ukrainians can again live in peace.
Number 2: ‘Higher Ground’ – Stevie Wonder
If there were still people living in bubbles at the end of last year, not believing in climate change, then this year’s weather events, both nationally and internationally, should have convinced them otherwise. It felt like hardly a day went by when there wasn’t a story in the news about somewhere in the world suffering from extreme weather, including here in New Zealand. More businesses are taking a far more active approach to tackling the impact of climate change as many fund managers, like ourselves, invest in the companies that are doing everything they can to reduce their carbon and environmental impact. Here’s hoping this never reaches number one, but expect to see it in each year’s chart for the foreseeable future.
Number 1: ‘Inflation’ – Earnest Jackson and Sugar Daddy and the Gumbo Roux
Music is often an outlet for songwriters to express their political and personal frustrations. That was the case with the New Orleans singer-songwriter Earnest Jackson who, in 1975, composed the song “Inflation” in response to being adversely affected by the high cost of living. The funny thing is it was never released until this year, by Planet Money. It’s a great story because inflation is always around us but there have been times in history when it has reared up its ugly head. It is our number one track this year because it has impacted every single person in some way or another. It’s with a little trepidation that I predict it might be top in next year’s countdown too, but let’s hope not!
My bonus track and back to bubbling under again is ‘Shake the Disease’ by Depeche Mode
Pretty much topping the past few years’ countdowns that have been, as many people have said, unprecedented times. Then, just when we thought it was going for good, Covid has come knocking on the door of the top ten hits again this year. It has brought so much pain and loss over the past few years, causing a ripple effect like no other event in my lifetime. Here’s hoping we shake it for good in 2023.
I hope you all have a great 2023 and let’s hope a number of these tracks will disappear from my list next year.
Disclaimer: David Boyle is Head of Sales and Marketing at Mint Asset Management Limited. The above article is intended to provide information and does not purport to give investment advice.
Mint Asset Management is the issuer of the Mint Asset Management Funds. Download a copy of the product disclosure statement.
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