Two years after the Brexit vote, the UK population is as divided and as shocked as it was immediately after the results were announced, if not more so. The difference is that the negative economic consequences of the vote are in sharper focus.
This past week, there has been a frenzy of selling of emerging markets assets. The outflows from both stocks and debt in emerging markets reached their highest level since December 2016.
This amounted to $3.7 billion withdrawn from emerging market equities and bonds, according to data analysed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. These outflows have helped push our old friend, the Bull/Bear indicator developed by BofA Merrill Lynch, to 4.8 — its lowest level since January 2017.
The International Monetary Fund is worried. Yes, it’s true that it always is, but this time we should be, too — or at least, those of us living in Britain.
Facebook’s troubles were to be expected. The company’s main ambition has always been to harvest, use and even, in some self-confessed instances, manipulate information about people based on finding out and studying their emotions. To achieve this, it would even turn down business from people who do not want to share their personal details with it.
Remember when Donald Trump hinted that he would threaten to restructure the US debt to get better terms on it? His protectionist measures may “help” him to achieve some sort of restructuring, but not in a good way.
The snow has melted and it’s time to make plans for the future again. And like every spring, those plans are likely to include what has become known as “reflation” — inflation increasing again to a level where it can eat away at the mountain of debt the world’s big economies have to deal with.
Will consumer price inflation, rather than inflation in asset prices like property and securities, finally take off? There have been two interesting points of view last week on this issue.
Everybody is waiting for Jay Powell, the new Fed Chair, to set out his vision this week. The main question is: will there be a “Powell Put” just as there has been a Greenspan put, a Bernanke put and a Yellen put?
The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Bull/Bear indicator last week hit the highest level since its last sell signal, just as U.S. President Donald Trump took credit, once again, for the surge in the stock market.
This year, the UK government must come up with solutions to the main crises that eat away at some ordinary Britons’ well-being. One of these is the housing crisis, which continues unabated despite the billions of pounds thrown at the problem.