Forecasting GDP, unemployment and inflation is largely pointless. But what should investors be looking at instead?

Forecasting GDP, unemployment and inflation is not only difficult, but largely pointless. Even if we could do it successfully they tell us little about existing let alone future corporate profitability and in a world of QE nor do they have … Read More

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Will we see Dollar/Euro parity? And learning the lessons of leverage and liquidity

At the beginning of the year, the consensus was that this year would be all about the dollar. So far it has been all about the Euro. As 1700 private jets flew into Davos so that their gilded occupants can … Read More

Posted in China, Eurozone | Leave a comment

Do the Swiss expect ‘shock and awe’ QE from the ECB and what countries or investors are really feeling the Swiss franc pain?

The move by the Swiss to abandon their ‘peg’ to the euro took the markets completely by surprise, not least because  the vice-chairman of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) had declared “we are convinced that the minimum exchange rate must … Read More

Posted in Currency, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The times are changing for Hong Kong’s tycoons

Markets remain broadly flat for the year, but merger and acquisition activity has generated a lot of excitement, particularly in the healthcare sector where Pfizer’s  attempt to merge with AstraZeneca has focussed attention on a variety of issues. For those … Read More

Posted in M&A | Leave a comment

Distress in the oil market risks distress in the high yield bonds of energy producers

The VIX, which has been subdued for much of the year, jumped sharply last week to a level that is the highest December level for the last five years except for 2011. However, we suspect that much of the market … Read More

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The oil price, hedge funds and what it all may mean for US high yield bonds

After 11 straight days of gains, the Shanghai Composite hit some volatility today on discussions about restrictions on margin financing. This is to be welcomed, leverage is always a destabilising factor in markets and there is no doubt that leverage … Read More

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US shoppers have spent $50bn extra that would have gone on gasoline but watch out for a strengthening dollar

The Thanksgiving holiday always leads to lower volumes in markets and a seasonal focus on the US consumer as the ‘Black Friday’ and now cyber Monday consumption statistics are analysed for insights into the strength or otherwise of the US … Read More

Posted in Dollar | Leave a comment

The new Chinese Silk Road should bring a positive return on capital, drive trade and make the economy more efficient

Next week sees Thanksgiving in the US and effectively the start of ‘the holidays’, producing shorter trading weeks and lots of choppy data. The G20 summit in Brisbane produced more positive news from China on trade, in this case with … Read More

Posted in Cars, China, Driverless cars | Leave a comment

Japan set for snap election to help drive reforms / Will the mid terms force a decision on Keystone XL pipeline?

Another week and another surprise from Japan. This time we are led to understand there will be a snap election, probably on December 14th, to act as a referendum on the need to raise the consumption tax for a second … Read More

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Strong dollar, weak yen. What are the investment implications?

Last week the US ended their QE and the Japanese accelerated theirs, pushing the yen down and the Nikkei up.  Some regard this as little more than a week yen policy, but it does have other direct impacts.  Unlike the … Read More

Posted in Dollar | Leave a comment
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