Capital Markets

The Coming War Of Central Banks

History has shifted, and we're leaving the era of central bank convergence and entering the era of central bank divergence, i.e. open conflict.

To BREXIT Or Not To BREXIT...

On 23 June the British will vote in a referendum to decide whether their country should remain in or leave (BREXIT) the European Union (EU). The importance of this event cannot be overstated, since it will impact the future of the UK – and very likely that of Europe – for decades to come. The polls suggest that this will be a close contest. This means that a significant proportion of the population will be deeply unhappy with the outcome of the referendum, not really an encouraging sign given its profound implications. But why on Earth are the Brits questioning their membership of the EU in the first place? Why can’t they just settle down like everyone else?

Chaos & Volatility Is On The Rise

Things are getting ‘weird’ out there if you’re trying to be polite, and downright 'chaotic' if you're being blunt. Everywhere we look, we see signs that the systems that support us are breaking down.

"The High Yield Bond Rally Won't Last" BofAML's 9 Reasons To Sell Any Strength In Junk

BofAML's Mike Cantopoulos' distaste for corporate fundamentals, displeasure with the efficacy of QE and easy monetary policy on spurring growth and inflation, and concerns that a further deterioration in credit conditions will create deeper economic troubles not appreciated by many have left credit markets with poor default adjusted valuations and little room to absorb a negative shock. He highlights nine key reasons below why BofAML believes this rally won't last (and in fact may have already seen its end).

The Central Bank War On Savers - The Big Lie Beneath

The central bank war on savers is rooted in a monumental case of the Big Lie. Here is what a retired worker who managed to save $5,000 per year over a 40 year’s lifetime of toil and sweat in a steel factory now earns in daily interest on a bank CD. To wit, a single cup of cappuccino. Yet the central bankers claim they have absolutely nothing to do with this flaming economic injustice.

Frontrunning: May 4

  • Donald Trump’s Win Just Latest Tremor Shaking GOP (WSJ)
  • Trump Becomes Presumptive Republican Nominee as Cruz Exits Race (BBG)
  • How 'Stop Trump' failed to halt the Republican front-runner (Reuters)
  • Islamic State seeks news blackout in Mosul as Iraqi army nears (Reuters)
  • U.S. gathers allies on next steps in Islamic State fight (Reuters)

Every Time This Has Happened, A Recession Followed

As of today, we now have three consecutive quarters of tightening lending standards. In fact, based on the latest survey, net lending standards tightened even more than during Q4 as shown in the chart below, and are now the tightest on net since the financial crisis. Needless to say, if a recession and a default cycle has always followed two quarters of tighter lending conditions, three quarters does not make it better.

10 Stats About The Last 10 Years

Think back over the last 10 years - how different was your life in April 2006?  While you may think your daily existence is largely the same (maybe the kids are older or you’re married now, but that about it…), consider what was actually different about your life in the spring of 2006:No iPhone;No Facebook (unless you were in college at the time); No Twitter; No Instagram; No Kim Kardashian; No Uber; No iPad.

Taking The 'Petro' Out Of The Dollar

While the Arab countries floated themselves on oceans of petro-dollars forty years ago, they have little need for them now. So we must now turn our attention to China, which is well positioned to act as white knight to Saudi Arabia. China’s SAFE sovereign wealth fund could easily swallow the Aramco stake, and there are good strategic reasons why it should. A quick deal would help stabilise a desperate financial and political situation on the edges of China’s rapidly growing Asian interests, and keep Saudi Arabia onside as an energy supplier. China has dollars to dispose, and a mutual arrangement would herald a new era of tangible cooperation. The US can only stand and stare as China teases Saudi Arabia away from America’s sphere of influence.