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Why should the Trump Administration issue 50-year bonds?

As the Trump economic team comes together, their economic vision is also coming together. In the last post, I laid out some overarching themes I am seeing from them on the hopes that reducing taxes and regulation will increase productive capital formation and long-term economic growth. You can put all of these ideas under the moniker of supply-side economics. I am also seeing a few individual ideas I wouldn’t put under that umbrella including the extension of the maturities of government bond issuance. Here are some thoughts on that issue.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Supply-side economics likely to dominate Trump’s economic agenda

Donald Trump’s vision of economics is becoming clear as he makes his cabinet picks. In particular, his picks of Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary and Larry Kudlow as probable Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors point to a more traditional Republican bent, which makes it less likely his policies will meaningfully reduce the income inequality which I believe was behind his surprise victory. Gary Cohn as NEC head is a bit of a wild card. Most likely, Trump will go for some variant of supply side economics, concentrating on lowering and simplifying taxes and making bilateral trade deals.

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The dollar bull market will eventually break something

The dollar bull market will eventually break something

With the fed having raised interest rates for the second time in ten years, in an environment in which US growth looks pretty good, we should expect more hikes to come. The question is whether the economy can withstand the hikes and what they would mean for markets. I have five asset classes to watch: Treasuries, the US Dollar, Emerging Markets, the Japanese Yen, and Gold.

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Upbeat about the near-term, dubious on the longer-term

This is a quick post about the US economy. To put it simply, I am upbeat about what the near-term holds for the US economy. I have lots of doubts about the longer term. But whereas I might have led with the doubts earlier in the year, as the year ends, I want to lead with the optimism.

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A short squeeze in government bonds?

A short squeeze in government bonds?

This summer – when stock markets across the globe began to rally after their post-Brexit collapse, bond markets put in a top. US 10-year yields bottomed at 1.35% on July 8th. And in the time since, they have zoomed to over 2.5%. In short, while stock markets have rewarded investors, bond investors have taken a beating. What’s happening here?

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Tuning out political hysteria in the US

Ever since Donald Trump unexpectedly won the US presidential election, there has been an unending stream of anti-Trump tirades in the media. The emotions creating this wave of criticism make it difficult to have a reality-based view of the potential economic consequences of a Donald Trump presidency. So I am going to try to frame four issues of concern on an international level here that I think are relevant: Trump’s proximity to Russia, Trump’s proximity to big business, Trump’s hawkishness on China, and Trump’s hawkishness on Mexico.

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In defense of the Fed’s rate hike campaign

Thought I have been on recession watch for nearly all of 2016, I want to write this post as a reminder that there are upside scenarios for the US and global economy. The Federal Reserve looked forward and felt it could tighten into a slowing economy and rising dollar without the economy falling into recession. And so far, they have proved correct. Thinking of this business cycle in comparison to the last two, let me outline my thinking on what are upside scenarios here.

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China: Choosing More Debt, More Unemployment, Or Transfers

China: Choosing More Debt, More Unemployment, Or Transfers

China’s success will depend on the extent to which Beijing in 2016 is able to centralize power, to begin to sell off government assets (probably local and provincial, and not central, government assets), to rein in credit growth, and to accept much lower GDP growth rates while keeping household income growth from dropping too sharply. If it cannot do this, China’s adjustment is likely to be much more difficult, much longer lasting, and perhaps much more disruptive.

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The unwinding of the carry trade of the British pound sterling

The unwinding of the carry trade of the British pound sterling

Between the first quarter of 2013 and the end of 2015, London property prices rose rapidly, the exchange rate appreciated, and the current account deficit widened. This column argues that the rise of the pound was in fact a financial bubble, riding on a property price-exchange rate carry trade.This unsustainable bubble was deflated by Brexit.

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Donald Trump and the return of Rockefeller Republicanism

With the Republicans taking both houses of Congress as well as the Presidency, the potential for Trump to reshape the party in his image is immense. The question now regarding the Trump economic platform is how much he will bend to the will of the Republican establishment and how much will Trump remain focused on his blue-collar and middle class base of support.

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Some initial thoughts on Trump’s victory

Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States last night was a surprising and historic event. I think a lot of people are surprised given UK bookmakers had him at 150 to one odds. I would say the shock politically ranks higher than Brexit given the 5 to one odds placed on that outcome. And frankly the US matters […]

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Demographics are driving wages lower, which is negative for investment returns

Demographics are driving wages lower, which is negative for investment returns

For managers of money, the post-crisis low growth world has had major implications for asset allocation strategies. Assumptions about returns are greatly affected by the both monetary easing used to counteract the slowing and the yield curve flattening indicative of that easing’s ineffectiveness. Recent research on demographic trends and wage growth suggest trends now in place may continue, with grave implications on returns.

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