Could somebody give me a brief guide as to how these things work because I'm damn sure that economic reality plays no part in it!

Sure, there was a bit of a blip during the recent Fukushima episode but they bounced back straightaway (although the situation has worsened since!) and then, in a week which saw Ireland collapse even further and Portugal's credit rating downgraded twice to just above "junk" status, I noticed that the FTSE soared and actually gained 100+ points the day after Portugal's latest debacle.

I've been convinced for some time now that the markets are rigged and that the first priority of all governments is to keep them buoyant by whatever means they can. This almost certainly involves lying about economic data, but I think it also includes fiddling the indexes themselves (however they achieve this???)

I realise that most of the Q.E. billions have been used to prop up flagging stock markets instead of going into the real economy, which could be a partial explanation, but would this explain it all? The only alternative I can think of to rationalise current trends is that investors are complete idiots, which I don't believe for one moment. Fact is, things have gotten WORSE over the last couple of years and yet the FTSE has risen from 4800 to 6000 points!! Or is it just me in some parallel universe, imagining that the problems of 2007/8 are still with us when everyone else can see that prosperity has been restored I do sometimes wonder and, if so, then what's with all this "austerity" stuff I keep hearing about??

I'm certainly glad I took all my money away from these places some time ago as they seem to operate without any laws or logic and the only real winners (apart from a few investors who get lucky) are the "insiders" who are a party to the fraud that is surely going on.