"Some 92% of those unaccompanied migrants were male last year... there is definitely something strange going on. More than half of the world’s refugees are women. In World War II, when Sweden took refugees from Finland, they were children and 90% were below the age of 10. But now almost all of them are late teenagers – supposedly; we know many are older for a fact... If you have an open door policy and you are incentivizing Afghans to take advantage of the system, can you really blame them?"
Last month, JPMorgan estimated that persistently low oil prices will likely force sovereign wealth funds to sell some $75 billion in global equities in 2016. According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, that figure is off. By a lot.
If the Benjamin is killed, it will “deter illicit activities” they say, apparently taking us all for complete idiots. Very organized criminals all over the world could be heard rolling on the floor laughing their heads off at this pronouncement.
When last we checked in on Norway, we documented the country's currency conundrum which is keeping the krone from depreciating as much as the Norges Bank would probably like in the face of flagging economic growth. On Tuesday we get the latest data out of the country and sure enough, GDP growth has flatlined. A rate cut next month is now virtually assured.
"If putting risk back into risk management were the only challenge for policy normalization it would be hard enough. It takes only days or weeks to form a habit: they’ve had us hooked on the juice for seven years. But there is a much more systemic problem our leaders have created."
While algos patiently await the only thing that matters for US stocks today which is Janet Yellen's testimony before Congress. expected to be released at 8:30 am (and previewed here), the rest of the world this morning is a hot mess of schizophrenic highs and lows.
"Because that's where the money is..." Every household earning below $250,000 will face a tax hike of nearly 9 percent. Past that, rates explode, up to a top rate of 77 percent on incomes over $10 million.
"Despite the sharp bounce in oil prices that these headlines generated, we do not expect such a cut will occur unless global growth weakens sharply from current levels, which is not our economists' forecast. This view is anchored by our belief that such a cut would be self-defeating given the short-cycle of shale production and the only nascent non-OPEC supply response to OPEC's November 2014 decision to maximize long-term revenues."
Many believed that the NOK was backed by oil, not requiring a gold reserve. However, oil is no longer a scarce resource but an abundant commodity. Switzerland, Germany, America and other first world nations have gold reserves. Norway should have one too.
"Within equities which sectors are most vulnerable? We aggregate publically available holdings data to see how overweight these SWFs funds are positioned in terms of sectors and regions relative to the composition of the MSCI AC World index. With the caveat that these publicly available data represent only a portion of their public equity holdings, we find that SWFs are most overweight Financials and Consumer Discretionary, and most underweight Healthcare, Consumer Staples and Technology."
This is the paradox for Norway: the country needs to buy NOK in order to fund stimulus and support the economy. But by doing so, the Norges Bank is putting upward pressure on the currency at a time when it really needs to depreciate. In other words, what Norway must do to pay for stimulus (buy kroner) is indirectly hurting the economy by keeping the NOK from depreciating and functioning as a counter cyclical buffer.