Author Archive

Geopolitical and political risks – some important challenges ahead

Over the past year and more, market fundamentals have managed to overcome the occasional short-term bouts of volatility triggered by political and geopolitical factors. But we cannot dismiss the possibility that these factors will impinge more forcefully on economies and financial markets in the period ahead. Many of the sources of risk and uncertainty are […]

A spectacular return to pure supply-side economics

Since the sub-prime crisis 10 years ago, the US economy has been stuck in a growth regime that is modest by past standards, with deflationary pressures persisting in spite of an historically low unemployment rate. It is against this backdrop that the tax reform finally ratified in the last days of 2017 was greeted as […]

Increasing growth visibility would reassure investors

The current growth phase of the economic cycle started almost nine years ago in the U.S. and some emerging countries, making it the second-longest period of expansion in modern American history after the 1960s. But, increasingly, the question of whether a new recession is imminent or not has been coming up in discussions about scenarios […]

The populist wave may be yet to peak

Populist parties have been on the rise in Western democracies in recent years. They have already achieved two landmark successes, with Brexit and Trump, and are threatening breakthroughs elsewhere. We see six main drivers of the populist surge: rising economic insecurity, globalisation, a technological innovation shock, cultural backlash, broader socio-economic change, and fragmentation of information […]

Macron victory still raises questions for markets

The first round of the French presidential election has come as a relief for markets as a pro-European, reformist candidate came first and now looks very likely to win the second round. For once, opinion polls were fairly accurate in capturing voting intentions and last-minute momentum. But the result of the first round is not […]

Reality check means markets face a pause

The first quarter was an exceptional one for risk assets—so exceptional that it is difficult to see how their performance can be repeated in the present quarter without some strong catalysts. According to our analysis, annualised returns on equities in the first quarter were up to three times higher than their historic average in the […]

Geopolitics and investing: assessing rising instability

We believe US-China competition will be the overriding geopolitical issue in the coming years. History suggests there is a strong chance that China’s rise will not be incorporated peacefully. Three forms of geopolitical competition between China and the US could dominate the next decade: over international governance, territorial dominance and supplies of raw materials. Along […]

UK’s Brexit vote to have wide repercussions, changes economic & market scenarios

Looking at the referendum result in terms of macroeconomics, financial markets and politics, our views are as follows: Macroeconomics. The vote for Brexit is, we believe, likely to reinforce a recent loss of momentum in parts of the UK economy. We believe the result of the referendum will hit consumer and business confidence, at least […]

Bond yields under pressure

Global bond yields have plunged to new lows in recent days, as markets have switched to ‘risk off’ mode. This is just the latest manifestation of a trend: sovereign bond yields have been under downwards pressure for several years. Central bank QE and economic uncertainty are partly to blame. But investors should remember that sovereign […]

Conditions are ripe for rebound on equity markets

On 26 January, we explained that we expected the turmoil on global equity markets to abate in the near future. Several of the possible triggers for a rebound on equity markets that we identified are now materialising: Policy support from central banks. The Bank of Japan (BoJ) unexpectedly announced last week that it is cutting interest rates […]

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