While much of the media focus over the past week has been on the potential corruption scandal involving Ukraine's former president and Donald Trump's now former advisor, Paul Manafort, perhaps it is time for it to shift attention to the Podesta Group, the lobbying firm which belongs to Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta
"Falling rates of global trade growth have attracted much comment by analysts and officials, giving rise to a literature on the ‘global trade slowdown’ giving the impression of world trade losing momentum, but growing nonetheless. The sense of the global pie getting larger has the soothing implications... but our first finding that the rosy impression painted by some should be set aside...trade volumes have plateaued... Except during global recessions, a plateau lasting 15 months is practically unheard of since the Berlin Wall fell."
There has been little notable market moves overnight, with the record rally in the S&P500 set to continue and European stocks climbing as German IFO business confidence proved more resilient than economists predicted in the month after Britain voted to leave the European Union, falling less than expected from 108.7 to 108.3, above the 107.5 consensus, with expectations printing at 102.2 above the 101.2 expected. Bonds fell with gold as the dollar gained before central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan this week.
After breaking a multi-year stretch of 9 daily record highs in the Dow Jones, overnight global markets saw some early weakness with Asian stocks retreating after BOJ chief Kuroda dashed hopes for so-called helicopter money, triggering yen’s steepest rally in a month and pulling the Nikkei lower by 1.1%. This however did not last long, and around the European open the traditional ramp in the USDJPY helped European equities shrug off early downside, while US equity futures have already recovered half of yesterday's losses.
The approximate hour Janet Yellen spent wandering in circles and spewing double talk during her presser yesterday was time well spent. When the painful ordeal of her semi-coherent babbling was finally over, she had essentially proved that the Fed is attempting an impossible task. And better still, that the FOMC should be abolished. The alternative is real simple. It’s called price discovery on the free market; it’s the essence of capitalism.
On the day in which the government reported modestly stronger than expected retail sales for the month of May, signalling a return to strength for spending and the US consumer - the driving force behind 70% of US GDP - a far more ominous statistic was revealed by credit card company Synchrony Financial, which earlier today announced in a regulatory filing that it expects write-off rates to climb 20 to 30 basis points over the next 12 months, and will increase reserves for soured loans beginning this quarter.