It has been a better couple of months, and since hitting a low point at the beginning of March - the FTSE 100 index fell to 3,512 on 3 March - share prices have recovered strongly and the FTSE 100 reached 4,419 at the end of May - a recovery of around 26%.
Despite the welcome uplift in the value of riskier assets from March to May, share prices still remain depressed by historical standards.
In fact, the FTSE 100, at the end of May, was still below its level of May 1997 (4,621) which, coincidentally, is when Mr Brown became Chancellor.
By historic standards, equity fundamentals remain compelling. The current earnings yield spread, at around 6.5%, is indicative of the fact that investors are requiring a much higher potential return from riskier assets relative to safer assets.
Other indicators are also positive. The FTSE 100 divided yield is presently 4.7% (again, very high by historic standards) and, despite the recession and credit crunch, UK companies are generating cash.
At of 1 June 2009 the free cash-flow yield for UK companies was around 7.3% per annum. As companies have slashed inventories and investment, they have been able to refinance from their own cashflow. Overall, corporate Britain is in pretty good shape.
My optimistic outlook does not mean that risks have disappeared. The global economy needs to adjust to the severe financial imbalances that developed from the late 1990s.
Countries like Germany and Japan, whose economic growth can be attributed almost entirely to exports, must realise that the inefficiency and lack of demand within their domestic economies has been a major contributor to this credit crunch.
If the global economy is to return to high and sustainable growth the big surplus countries (Germany, Japan and China) will need to do something about their poor domestic demand.
For the big debtor nations (USA, UK and Spain) some common sense and determination will be required to rein-in borrowing and restore public sector finances to better health.
These risks, though significant, should not deter investors. Despite the recent rallies the prices of "real" assets still reflect a pretty bleak outlook.
The future does not have to be perfect for asset prices to improve significantly; all it requires is that we do not encounter the financial maelstrom that seemed imminent following the demise of Lehman Brothers last September.
Ironically, the credit crunch and recession is likely to prove more instrumental in shaping for a better future than the efforts of politicians who have been far too ready to blame the recent malaise on market failure in an effort to cover their own inadequacies.
But people, and more importantly, "voters", have become aware of many of the problems that blight the global economy.
If security is indeed "mortals' chiefest enemy" then insecurity is probably the best weapon we possess for shaping a better future, and with it a more balanced global economy. That augers well for investors.
Gary Reynolds is director and chief investment officer at CourtiersIFAonline
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