The turmoil we are currently seeing in stock and bond markets is just one battle in the war that has been going on in capital markets for a long time: debt versus equity versus central banks.Continue reading
Despite good news about vaccine roll-outs, it is too early to tell when or even whether economies will fully reopen and life will go back to “normal.”Continue reading
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will surely say that he got “Brexit done”, as he promised. However, in a sense, Brexit is only just beginning.
With news of another Covid-19 vaccine on its way and optimism rising ahead of the end-year holidays, it looks like 2021 will shape up to be much better than 2020.
But one forgotten danger could spoil the party: inflation. Price rises are far from investors’ minds, but an ‘inflation tantrum’ could have devastating effects on various countries’ economies if they are not kept in check.
The world is slowly coming to terms with the idea that Covid-19 is here to stay and we will have to somehow learn to live with it.
Coupled with the imperative to try to slow down global warming to avoid a climate catastrophe hitting today’s young, this has huge implications not only for our way of life but also for our economies, the way we shop and very likely our diets.
By Mirela Roman
This “like-no-other” Covid-19 pandemic is clearly a dangerously unique event, with ongoing severe economic and social consequences all around the globe. Nassim Taleb has famously described the Black Swan and more recently, BIS researchers pointed to the Green Swan in reference to the impact of climate change.
But the Covid-19 Swan is quite a combination of colours. It is an ongoing emergency situation, with fear often overcoming hope while anxiety heightens amid a decline in living standards.
Before the new coronavirus pandemic, one of the main ways in which the UK’s Conservative Party boosted consumer confidence was pushing house prices up with the aid of various taxpayer-funded schemes such as Help to Buy.
But as the damage done by Covid-19 to the economy heaps pressure on the public purse, should the taxpayer still generously fund schemes that mainly serve to boost house prices and the fortunes of a few big companies and their already well-off clients?
The fact that chatter about a wealth tax is increasing to the point where it could become reality in the UK should not be a surprise. But it would be a very odd thing for a Conservative government to be the one to actually implement it.
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.
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.