Sentiment in the markets ahead of the UK election is eerily similar to that before the referendum on European Union membership in June 2016. Complacency seems to have the upper hand, so if the election result is a surprise, expect a sharp readjustment.
Brexit is the main issue of the election campaign, but those who believe the Prime Minister’s slogan that the can “get Brexit done” are deluding themselves.
When he finishes negotiating his “deal” with China, US President Donald Trump will probably try to take credit for the country’s shrinking current account surplus with the rest of the world.
However, the fact that China’s exports are slowing is not a new phenomenon, and it is not necessarily a reason to celebrate.
The central banks’ “extraordinary” and “non-conventional” measures are now more than a decade old and they are still going strong.
If initially they were only supposed to last for a few years after the financial crisis of 2007-2009 until things “went back to normal”, this expectation was quietly dropped once it became clear that the extraordinary had become ordinary.
But as these measures continue, their toxic side effects are increasing. They may in fact be contributing to the sluggishness of the world economy and to the lack of productive investment, rather than counteracting them.
Of all the fears sweeping the markets right now, perhaps the most worrying is the fear of a debt crisis in the corporate sector.
Warnings about corporate debt rising to unsustainable levels are intensifying, at a time when interest rates are at record lows and even Greece joined the club of negative-yield sovereign debt issuers.
The fourth quarter of the year started with heightened volatility and rising uncertainty and is likely to continue this way, despite some green shoots in the first part of October.
How seriously is Wiley taking its European customers? The NYSE-listed provider of professional education services doesn’t seem to be aware of basic consumer rights legislation in Europe and the UK.
European customers should expect the final price they pay for Wiley’s products to be higher than advertised, even when offered a discount.
Caught in the middle of the Brexit saga, European investors can be forgiven if they glossed over a speech by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell that could turn out to be the starting point of a very risky period for the global economy.
It’s no secret that President Donald Trump would want the Fed to cut interest rates and debase the dollar. Earlier this year, he called the Fed “crazy” and Powell himself, “clueless.”
Of course, Powell did not immediately show that these repeated attacks influenced his policy. However, in a speech he gave last week he reiterated his fondness for a very risky idea on how to ease monetary policy even further.
Uncertainty about the outcome of the Brexit negotiations has hit new highs, President Trump seems determined to scare the markets witless with his threats of escalating the trade war, debt problems in China are accelerating – the perfect background for a contrarian ‘buy’ signal.
Just as it was beginning to look like the bond market’s luck was finally running out, President Trump made some remarks that all but guarantee that the bond rally will go on for a little while longer.