Tag Archive: newsletter

Is Greater Productivity a Danger?

It is bad enough that opponents of the free market wrongly blame capitalism for environmental pollution, depressions, and wars. Whatever the failings of their causal theories, at least they are focused on undoubtedly bad things. We have really gone beyond the pale, though, when the market is blamed for something good.

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Unemployment in Geneva higher than neighbouring France

In December last year, the Observatoire statistique transfrontalier published unemployment figures for the French region surrounding Geneva. French unemployment calculations follow the method used by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which include all job seekers, according to Tribune de Genève.

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Mnuchin to head US delegation to Davos

The US delegation at the upcoming World Economic Forum (WEF) gathering in Davos will be led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. It is unclear whether President Donald Trump will again attend the annual event.

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FX Daily, January 02: Equities Start New Year with a Pop

Overview:  Equities have begun New Year like, well, last year, with most Asia Pacific markets advancing, led by more than 1% gains in China, Hong Kong, and Thailand.  Only South Korea and Indonesian markets fell.  In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is up almost 1% in late morning turnover.  US shares are trading higher as well, and the S&P 500 is up nearly 0.6%.

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The spirit of Fintech past and the spectre of Fintech future

It was a busy 2019 for Swiss fintech and there is promise for more to come in 2020. Here’s a round-up of fintech past and my observations of how things may shape up in the coming months. The year 2019 started with the arrival of a new breed of Fintech banking license, designed to allow small financial players to accept up to CHF100 million in deposits, but with restrictions.

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2019 Was a Bad Year For the “Only Cops Should Have Guns” Narrative

On December 29, an armed gunman entered the West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas and shot two members of the congregation. Within six seconds, a third member of the congregation drew a weapon and shot the gunman dead. The events were captured on live-streamed video, with the dramatic events — in the minds of many observers — highlighting the benefits of privately-owned firearms as a defense against armed criminals.

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The Fed’s “Not-QE” and the $33 Trillion Stock Market in Three Charts

One day the stock market 'falcon' will no longer hear the Fed 'falconer', and the Pavlovian magical thinking will break down as the market goes bidless. The past decade has shown that when the Federal Reserve creates trillions of dollars out of thin air (QE), U.S. stocks rise accordingly. The correlation is very nearly perfect.

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A Sour End To The 2010’s Doesn’t Have To Spoil The Entire 2020’s

It has been perhaps the most astonishing divergence in the first two decades of 21st century history. In late 2017, Western economic officials (mostly central bankers) were taking their victory laps. They took great pains to tell the world it was due to their profound wisdom, deep courage, and, most of all, determined patience, that they had been able to see their policies through to the light of day (no thanks to voters around the world).

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Economic Stats Won’t Tell Us What Really Causes Recessions

Most economists are of the view that by means of economic indicators it is possible to identify early signs of an upcoming recession or prosperity. What is the rationale behind this opinion? The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) introduced the economic indicators approach in the 1930s.

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Presseschau vom Wochenende 52 (28./29. Dezember)

NATIONALBANK: Die Schweizerische Nationalbank (SNB) dürfte gemäss Schätzung der SonntagsZeitung für das laufende Jahr einen Gewinn von gegen 50 Milliarden Franken ausweisen, nachdem 2018 noch ein Verlust von fast 15 Milliarden resultiert hatte. Für die ersten drei Quartale 2019 hatte die Nationalbank bereits einen Gewinn von 51,5 Milliarden Franken ausgewiesen, dies dank Wertsteigerungen auf den Anlagen als Folge sinkender Zinsen und steigender...

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Technical problem shuts down Swiss nuclear power station

The Leibstadt nuclear power station in northern Switzerland has been disconnected from the power grid and shut down because of a technical fault. Once the cause has been clarified, the plant will be put back into operation as soon as possible, the operator said. It is not clear when that will be.

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The Hour Is Getting Late

After 11 years of "the Fed is the market" expansion, the Fed has now reduced its bloated balance sheet by 6.7%. This is normal, right? So here we are in Year 11 of the longest economic expansion/ stock market bubble in recent history, and by any measure, the hour is getting late, to quote Mr. Dylan: So let us not talk falsely nowthe hour is getting lateBob Dylan, "All Along the Watchtower"

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USD/CHF drops to fresh four-month low as greenback extends losses

USD/CHF remains week for the fifth consecutive week. Cautious optimism surrounding the phase-one, a lack of major data and positive performance of commodities seem to weigh on the USD. Second-tier data from the US and Switzerland will be watched closely for fresh impulse.

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How to Write and Understand History

[Adapted from Chapter 2 of Human Action.] The study of all the data of experience concerning human action is the scope of history. The historian collects and critically sifts all available documents. On the ground of this evidence he approaches his genuine task.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX was broadly firmer last week, taking advantage of the dollar’s soft tone as well as another wave of risk-on sentiment.  Bullishness on the global economy is quite strong, whilst we are perhaps a bit more skeptical given ongoing weakness in the UK, Japan, and the eurozone.  Dollar bearishness may also be overdone given our more constructive outlook on the US economy, but technical damage has been done that must now be repaired.

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Signs Swirl All Around Us – The Monetary Reset Is At Hand

For most of this decade owning gold and gold-related investments has required the patience of Job, and the sector is so obscure that it is hard to be sure of anything. But for months now the unusual developments have been piling up so much that it may be possible to regain some optimism.

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To Be Useful, Data Needs Theory

For most so-called practical economists, information regarding the state of an economy is derived from data. Thus, if an economic statistic such as real gross domestic product or industrial production shows a visible increase, it is considered indicative of a strengthening of the economy. Conversely, a decline in the growth rate is regarded as weakening. It seems that by looking at the data one can ascertain economic conditions. Is this the case,...

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The Turn

The year is winding down quietly, and the last week of 2019 is likely to be more of the same.  The general mood of the market is quite different than a year ago.  Then investors had marked down equities dramatically amid fears of what was perceived as a synchronized downturn.  Now with additional monetary easing in the pipeline and renewed expansion of the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank's balance sheets, risk appetites have been stoked.

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Facebook’s Libra has failed in current form, says Swiss president

Facebook’s Libra project needs reworking to be approved, according to the president of Switzerland, where the cryptocurrency is seeking regulatory consent. “I don’t think [Libra has a chance in its current form], because central banks will not accept the basket of currencies underpinning it,” Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, who held the rotating presidency in 2019, told Swiss public radio, SRF.

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Grüne fordert Verteuerung von klimaschädigenden Investitionen

Die Grünenpolitikerin Greta Gysin (TI) hat einen Vorschlag zur Berücksichtigung von ökologischen Aspekten bei Investitionen unterbreitet. "Wir müssen die Kosten solcher Investments internalisieren", sagte sie dem "Tages-Anzeiger" vom Samstag.

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