74-year-old bond guru Lacy Hunt is among a rare breed in finance today: people who actually traded during a period when bonds continuously lost value. Today, as hints of inflation start to bubble and calling the next bear market becomes the industry’s favorite pastime, Hunt says no, "I’m still long bonds, especially the long-end."
"I’m hoping that if leftists see how tax hikes are “successful” in discouraging things that they think are bad (such as consumers buying sugary soda or foreigners buying property), then maybe they’ll realize it’s not such a good idea to tax – and therefore discourage – things that everyone presumably agrees are desirable (such as work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship)."
As the world's elite gather in Davos to decide for the minions what the world should look like, The IMF has taken a far dimmer view of global (and by that we mean Trumpian) economic growth than markets appear to be. In addition to slashing Brazilian, Mexican, and Saudi Arabian economic growth forecasts, Lagarde's lackeys are taking a cautious stance toward the policies of U.S. President-electDonald Trump, who takes office this week, assuming only a modest boost to the U.S. economy from his promise of fiscal stimulus.
Taken together recent economic data paint a picture of a global economy that’s finally returning to the kind of solid growth and steady, positive inflation that most people consider both normal and good. Unfortunately, the reason for the improvement is emphatically not good: In 2016 the world borrowed a huge amount of money and spent the proceeds. The result is “growth,” but not sustainable growth.
"Will “Trumponomics” change the course of the U.S. economy? We certainly hope so as any improvement that filters down to the bottom 80% of the country will be beneficial. However, as investors, we must understand the difference between a “narrative-driven” advance and one driven by strengthening fundamentals. The first is short-term and leads to bad outcomes. The other isn’t, and doesn’t. "
As the IMF writes, China urgently needs to tackle its corporate-debt problem before it becomes a major drag on growth in the world’s No. 2 economy. Corporate debt has reached very high levels and continues to grow, as it demonstrates in this chart that keeps it up at night...
According to the Institute for International Finance, total global debt as of Q3 2016 once again rose sharply, increasing by $11 trillion in the first 9 months of the year, hitting a new all time high of $217 trillion. As a result, late in 2016, global debt levels are now roughly 325% of the world's gross domestic product.
After incorrectly predicting virtually every "surprise" for 2016 one year ago, the bulls better beware because in Byron Wien's list of "ten surprises" for 2017, the 83-year-old Blackstoner has turned decidedly bullish this time, and expects the S&P to surge to 2,500 while the US economy grows at a brisk 3%. With that, he may have just doomed any hope for a non-recession in 2017.
So far, so expected. After earlier announcing the failure to attract any anchor investors for a private capital raise, Monte Paschi has announced that it will officially ask the Italian government for a "precuationary capital increase" - in other words a bailout. The funds will come from the newly decreed EUR20 billion bailout fund, and as Bloomberg reports will not trigger a "bail-in."