Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

What Are the Odds that the 2020-2022 Olympics Will Be Cancelled?

In the modern era (1896-present), the Olympics have only been cancelled in wartime: 1916 (World War I), 1940 and 1944 (World War II). But world war is not the only circumstance that could derail the Olympics; a global crisis in energy, finance or geopolitics could send the risks and costs of the Olympics beyond the reach of most participants.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM ended last week on a soft note.Fed tightening expectations were buffeted first by hawkish Dudley comments and then by the more balanced FOMC minutes. On net, the markets adjusted the odds for tightening by year-end a little higher from the previous week, and stand at the highest odds since the Brexit vote. Yet despite the strong jobs data in June and July, odds of a move on September 21 or November 2 are still low, with the December 14 meeting...

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The Dos Santos Succession Saga

Arguably one of the easier calls for us to make after 37 years in power was that President dos Santos would find ways of affording himself another 5 years in. Like any ‘effective’ leader, Mr. Santos made sure the final deal to do just that was stitched up long before the Party Congress formally convenes in Luanda, with a lower level MPLA ‘Central Committee’ already rubber stamping his name in mid-August.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

China unveiled a second equity link that will allow foreign investors to buy local stocks with fewer restrictions. Saudi Arabia will allow qualified foreign investors to subscribe to local IPOs starting this January. South Africa’s two main opposition parties agreed to informally band together in local governments. The Brazilian central bank decreased the daily intervention amount to 10,000 reverse swap contracts from 15,000 before, just a week...

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Norway: Towards Stagflation

We have all heard the incredible stories of housing riches in commodity producing hotspots such as Western Australia and Canada. People have become millionaires simply by leveraging up and holding on to properties. These are the beneficiaries of a global money-printing spree that pre-dates the financial crisis by decades.

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What the Fed Hasn’t Fixed (and Actually Made Worse)

The Fed has not only failed to fix what's broken in the U.S. economy--it has actively mad those problems worse. The Federal Reserve claims its monetary interventions saved America from economic ruin in 2009, and have bolstered growth ever since. Don't hurt yourself patting your own backs, Fed governors past and present: it's bad enough that the Fed can't fix the economy's real problems--its policies actively make them worse.

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It’s Time to Abolish the DEA and America’s “War on Drugs” Gulag

It's difficult to pick the most destructive of America's many senseless, futile and tragically needless wars, but the "War on Drugs" is near the top of the list.Prohibition of mind-altering substances has not just failed--it has failed spectacularly, and generated extremely destructive and counterproductive consequences.

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Stupid is What Stupid Does – Secular Stagnation Redux

Which country, the United States or Japan, have had the fastest GDP growth rate since the financial crisis? Due to Japan’s bad reputation as a stagnant, debt ridden, central bank dependent, demographic basket case the question appears superfluous. The answer seemed so obvious to us that we haven’t really bothered looking into it until one day we started thinking about the demographic situation in the two countries.

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The Odds of a Global Food Crisis Are Rising

Given the current abundance of food globally, confidence in permanent food surpluses and low grain prices is high. Few worry that the present abundance of food could be temporary. But the global food supply is more fragile than we might think, despite historically low grain/agricultural commodity prices.

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Why Wages Have Stagnated–and Will Continue to Stagnate

Mainstream economists are mystified why wages/salaries are still stagnant after 7+ years of growth / "recovery." The conventional view is that wages should be rising as the labor market tightens (i.e. the unemployment rate is low) and demand for workers increases in an expanding economy.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended the week on a soft note, despite the weaker than expected US retail sales report. Official concern about strong exchange rates is beginning to emerge. First it was Korea, then on Friday it was Brazil as acting President Temer said his country needs to maintain a balanced exchange rate, neither too weak nor too strong. We expect more pushback to emerge if the current rally is extended. Still, the global liquidity outlook for now favors...

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

S&P upgraded Korea a notch to AA with a stable outlook. Voters passed the constitutional referendum in Thailand by a wide margin. The IMF and Egypt have reached a staff-level agreement on a 3-year $12 bln. loan program. Argentina’s central bank will begin using a new overnight rate to manage monetary policy. Political uncertainty has returned to Brazil.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM ended last week on a firm note, despite the stronger than expected July jobs report. As we suspected, one strong US data point is not yet enough to derail the dovish Fed outlook. With the RBA and BOE cutting last week and the RBNZ expected to cut this week, the global liquidity backdrop remains supportive for EM and risk.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

India’s upper house approved the creation of a Good and Services Tax (GST). The Polish government softened its stance on the proposed Swiss franc loan conversion plan. Support for South Africa’s ruling African. National Congress (ANC) appears to have fallen below 60% for the first time ever. Brazil’s Senate impeachment committee recommended putting President Rousseff on trial.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM ended last week on a firm note, helped by the weaker than expected US Q2 GDP report as well as the small bounce in oil. With the RBA and BOE expected to ease this week, the global liquidity backdrop remains favorable for EM and “risk.” US jobs report Friday will be very important for EM going forward. We get our first glimpse of the Chinese economy for July with the PMI readings this week.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM ended the week on a soft note, as the dollar reasserted broad-based strength against most currencies. The FOMC meeting this week could see the Fed push back against the market’s dovish take on policy, in which case EM would be likely to remain under pressure.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

The New York Times reported that the US is preparing to seize $1 bln in assets tied to 1MDB. S&P downgraded Turkey a notch to BB with a negative outlook, citing political uncertainty. Turkish President Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency. The Nigerian Naira weakened above 300 per dollar for the first time. Brazil’s central bank signaled a longer wait until it cuts rates.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM ended last week on a soft note, due in large part to the attempted coup in Turkey. Weakness in the lira spilled over into wider EM weakness in thin Friday afternoon market conditions. The situation in Turkey has calmed, and so EM may gain some limited traction this week. However, that calm will likely be very fragile and so we retain a defensive posture with regards to EM.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM and other risk assets rallied on Friday after the strong US jobs data. It appears that markets are pricing in a benign backdrop for risk near-term; that is, the US economy is recovering but not by enough to warrant an imminent Fed rate hike. The July 27 meeting seems unlikely, and so the next likely window would be September 21. Yet EM typically weakens in the run-up to FOMC meetings and so investors should be very careful about taking on too...

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Hungary (+3.0%), UAE (+2.0%), and Qatar (+0.7%) have outperformed this week, while Mexico (-3.4%), South Africa (-2.1%), and Colombia (-1.7%) have underperformed. To put this in better context, MSCI EM fell -1.2% this week while MSCI DM fell -0.3%. In the EM local currency bond space, the Philippines (10-year yield -22 bp), Singapore (-12 bp), and Brazil (-11 bp) have outperformed this week, while Russia...

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