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Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May delivers her keynote address on the second day of the Conservative party annual conference in Manchester, northern England September 30, 2013.  REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN  - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY) - RTR3FFSM

Why talk of a soft Brexit is misplaced






I have been hearing a lot of pundits talk about how the UK election changes the outlook for Brexit. And a lot of this stuff is misguided because the election doesn’t change the outlook in any discernible way. Here’s why.

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Secular stagnation is a policy choice

Secular stagnation is a policy choice






In my most recent posts, I have been saying that bond markets are pricing in secular stagnation scenarios based on how shallow the yield curve is. But secular stagnation is a policy choice. And that is something I thought I should highlight in view of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s change of heart in pursuing austerity. Some comments below






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The economics for populism no longer exist in Europe

The economics for populism no longer exist in Europe






While the economy in the UK was favourable for Corbyn last week, I don’t think the economics support populism elsewhere in Europe right now. Everywhere you look, the populists are in retreat in Europe. And that will give the EU breathing room to put some reforms in place. Let’s see if they do.






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Anarchy in UK politics means lower yields and ends austerity as we know it

Anarchy in UK politics means lower yields and ends austerity as we know it






There are several threads I want to comment on in the wake of the UK general election. And from an economic standpoint, the conclusion that follows is that austerity in the UK has now lost its appeal politically. It also means lower yields for longer. Let me explain how I came to this conclusion.






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What are credit markets signalling about the US economy?

What are credit markets signalling about the US economy?






The US economy has been very resilient during this post-crisis business cycle, as we are now into our ninth year of economic expansion. Soon we could hit a record for the length of an expansion. Yet, with that backdrop, 10-year Treasury yields were at 2.13% this morning – even as the Fed signals more hikes to come in 2017 as well as reverse QE. I think the bond market is signalling continued low growth and low inflation. Some thoughts below






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On the Fed’s pause due to dual-barrelled monetary tightening

On the Fed’s pause due to dual-barrelled monetary tightening






Fed Governor Jerome Powell recommended a June hike and 2017 balance sheet reductions, in one of the last public speeches by a Fed official before the June FOMC meeting. When the Fed follows Powell’s game plan, we will be in the unchartered waters of dual-barrelled tightening, with the attendant risks that entails. Some comments below






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All politics are local: understanding Trump’s threats and misunderstanding Merkel’s disappointment

All politics are local: understanding Trump’s threats and misunderstanding Merkel’s disappointment






What Angela Merkel was doing this past weekend when she spoke of the need for Europe to “take our fate into our own hands” was using an international issue for domestic purposes.






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The threat of an overheated German economy

The threat of an overheated German economy






The Eurozone economy is doing really well. Some data points to 3% growth. The German economy is doing even better – with some data pointing to 5% annualized growth. But there’s a downside – overheating. And with the ECB at negative rates and engaged in 60 billion Euros of QE to boot, overheating in Germany is a reasonable fear. Some thoughts below






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More on why Trump’s woes aren’t driving markets

More on why Trump’s woes aren’t driving markets






This is a brief follow-up on the last post I wrote about how markets aren’t freaking out about the Trump scandals. I wrote that “this is only one day. What is happening with Trump – while negative – will not change the arc of the US economy and markets.” And we see that this is true today.






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Markets actually aren’t freaking out about Trump

Markets actually aren’t freaking out about Trump






We are seeing decent selling in today’s US equity markets, with the VIX up some 25%. And most people are pointing to the Trump scandals. But this is only one day. What is happening with Trump – while negative – will not change the arc of the US economy and markets.






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Why Macron’s work was made harder by German regional elections

Why Macron’s work was made harder by German regional elections






Germany held elections in Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) this past weekend. And the results, while encouraging for Angela Merkel’s CDU, point to difficulties that lie ahead for French President Emmanuel Macron’s reform agenda in Europe. This is negative for periphery bonds.






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Trump’s abuse of power and monetary offset

Trump’s abuse of power and monetary offset






Here in Washington, the city is abuzz over the crisis engulfing the Trump Administration. But politics are less important to markets than one might expect, despite markets being forward-looking. That’s because it’s often hard to judge what impact the politics will have on interest rates and profits. The negative impact of Trump on the US dollar is palpable, but I […]

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