Real Interest Rates

Russia Unexpectedly Cuts Interest Rates For The First Time In Seven Months

The Russian Central Bank surprised markets when it unexpectedly cut interest rates by 25 bps to 9.75% (30 economists expected no change, 8 predicted a 25 bps cut), its first rate cut in four meetings or 7 months, as inflation, which has dropped from a peak of 17% to just 4.6% last month, appears to be under control.

The Norwegian Economy In 2017: Black Swans Hovering Overhead

Norwegians are just now starting to grapple with the effects of their “single cylinder” economy, mostly dependent on oil and gas (ca. 60% of exports). Despite optimism about $50-$70/barrel oil, American crude output is surging, on track to be the highest ever, since 1970, while cracks start to form in OPEC’s latest agreement. In addition to the oil tailspin, a flock of “black swans” have taken flight, led by one with a very orange beak.

US Financial Markets - Alarm Bells Are Ringing

If any unexpected fundamental news should emerge that throw doubt on the beliefs so widely held by market participants of late, a sizable surge in market volatility is likely to ensue.

Dave Collum's 2016 Year In Review - "And Then Things Got Really Weird..."

"Markets don’t have a purpose any more - they just reflect whatever central planners want them to. Why wouldn’t it lead to the biggest collapse? My strategy doesn’t require that I’m right about the likelihood of that scenario. Logic dictates to me that it’s inevitable..."

Brace Yourself For Italy's Bankruptcy

"The diagnosis is simply that Italy has become woefully uncompetitive, and as a result, is not solvent. This much is clear from the perilous state of its banking system, which is always the outcome when banks lend to firms that have been rendered uncompetitive by some reckless central banker..., This has to be the most well-telegraphed, and now inevitable, national bankruptcy that I have seen in my 45-year career."

2016 Year In Review

We started this year with the economy deteriorating and finished it with the second interest rate increase in ten years. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way, but ultimately 2016 was defined by three key story-lines:  1) Brexit 2) The Presidential Election 3) Fed Policy. The first two events were votes that shocked the world. The stock market’s reaction to each was arguably even more shocking.