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.
Beyond the depressing, backward-looking policies that the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as US president seem to have brought, there is a ray of hope.
People elsewhere in Europe, seeing the first ugly consequences of populism, might find enough motivation to go to the polls in elections just to try to keep populists out of government. I am talking about the decent people who are tired of politicians but aren’t seduced by the populists’ siren calls.
“You see, no hope’s a dangerous thing.”
— W.A.S.P. “My Tortured Eyes”
Last year’s Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as president of the U.S. shook the world out of complacency and sent analysts and experts into a frenzy of attempts to explain what was behind these two events.
For Trump’s election there is the partial explanation of the Russian intervention. For Brexit, the fact that the tabloid newspapers have, for years, portrayed Eastern Europeans as benefit scroungers who at the same time “steal” jobs from the British may have played a role.
But what about the rest of Europe?
Politics are back in play in most of Europe, and this doesn’t bode well for central bankers. Even the almighty European Central Bank had a moment of weakness last week, when it broadcast a message so complicated to markets that it should not be surprised it fell wide of the mark.
Greece has to repay another tranche to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday, worth 300 million euros ($382.2 million) and there are signs it may not be able to make it.
The past couple of weeks had been relatively quiet for Russia and Ukraine due to the Russian orthodox Christmas holiday, but this week the rollercoaster started again.
If you’re still struggling to put together a Halloween costume, RBS strategist Alberto Gallo suggests trying to dress like a zombie bank.
Eurozone equities have enjoyed a prolonged rally but the party isn’t over yet – at least in the opinion of strategists at Austria’s Raiffeisen bank.
“Fake havens” have mushroomed in the continuous search for safe investments that offer some yield, after years of money-printing by the world’s major central banks.
But investors should be wary of them, says Alberto Gallo, a strategist with RBS. He lists five fake havens that could suffer a correction in the coming months.