Pulse: Global


EconVue Spotlight - The Energy Standard

There are two reports I always look forward to reading each June: the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, and analyst Mary Meeker’s annual report on Internet trends. For those interested in the art of investment prognostication, a stroll through the archives of Meeker’s reports since 1996 is fascinating. They chart the growth of the Internet and the disruption of global communications that have impacted nearly everything.

EconVue Spotlight - Iran Podcast & China's New Long March

As some of my more patient friends know, I have been toiling away at a book on Chinese monetary history during the Interwar period off and on for some years.  Immersing myself in the public and private words of the historic figures of the 1930’s has perhaps sensitized me to the propensity of even well-intentioned leaders to glide into chaos.  That which is unthinkable inexorably becomes inevitable.
 

‘Tariff War’ Flares Up, But Deal Still Likely Later this Year


Today, five days after he tweeted this deadline and nine months since he first declared the intention to do so, President Trump raised the tariff on $200B of imports from China from the +10% first applied in March 2018 to +25%. The action follows China’s message to U.S. negotiators backtracking on a number of earlier promises to increase intellectual property protections.
 

EconVue Spotlight -The Mythology of Economics


“For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth— persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”   John F. Kennedy, Yale University Commencement Address June 11, 1962

The Powell Put: Fed Easing and Market Performance

The latest quarterly report by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) underlines the change in the relationship between the major central banks and financial markets.  Claude Borrio, the BIS’s Chief Economist, describes the “extraordinarily tight” relationship between central banks and financial markets in the aftermath of the financial crisis and recession of 2008. Thus, the financial markets scrutinize the central banks for cues, while at the same time relying on central bank “puts” for comfort.

Europe's Slowdown Prompts the ECB to Action

The European Central Bank (ECB) replicated the Federal Reserve Bank’s earlier U-turn on monetary policy at its latest meeting.  Barely three months after the central bank announcing an end to Quantitative Easing (QE), Mario Draghi, the ECB president, pulled the alarm over the sharp economic slowdown and announced a two-pronged approach. First, the central bank would continue its ultra-low interest rates policy at last through the end of 2019. Second, barely three months after announcing), the ECB will provide continued support to financial markets and banks.

EconVue Spotlight

Another amazing week.  As politics got murkier however, markets surged higher.  In terms of what will be remembered decades from now, the event that shocked nearly everyone was the abrupt ending of the US-North Korea Summit.  As the next set of leadership-level meetings loom this month, surely the Chinese must be reevaluating their strategy vis-à-vis President Donald Trump. What these negotiations have in common is that in both cases the US is asking Kim Jun-un and Xi Jinping for structural changes that for different reasons each might have trouble delivering.

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