Summer thoughts about the ‘longer term’

As I wrote last week, capital markets are currently not exactly quiet or boring as one might reasonably expect in the middle of summer. On the other hand, they are pretty much behaving as we had expected – choppy. Stock markets trended down slightly over the week, despite much better than expected Q2 corporate results in the US and Europe. Now that bond markets have calmed down, currency markets and US politics are blamed. The US$ weakened noticeably against the €-EURO, as president Trump’s Twitter storms reach an ever-higher pitch of personal attack and insult – without achieving the slightest in terms of progressing his policy initiatives.

The IMF: A top-down view of the economic world

This week saw the release of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest set of economic data and forecasts for the global economy. While there are plenty of other economic publications worthy of analysis and debate, few provide the opportunity that the IMF report does to take a ‘bird’s eye view’ of global economic developments (and growth).

UK consumer credit growth – danger or opportunity?

t was mixed signals out of the UK this week, with two pieces of news offering different takes on the economy. On Monday, the Bank of England’s (BoE) Alex Brazier gave an alarm-bell speech in which he warned that the easy credit conditions offered by UK banks risks endangering “everyone else in the economy”. Mr Brazier, a member of the BoE’s Financial Policy Committee (MPC), decried that lenders “may be dicing with the spiral of complacency,” where “lending standards can go from responsible to reckless very quickly.”

Q2 earnings: Reassuring, but concentrated among fewer, ever bigger firms

With over 25% of the companies listed on the US S&P500 index having reported Q2 earnings, the season is turning out to be better than first thought, particularly among technology firms.

Is India building a wall with China?

India has recently been identified by various research institutions as one of the most interesting of the developing countries, as its goes through as transformation process under the leadership of Narendra Modi. Reform has been the driving force of his time is office, with infrastructural development across the states one of the main focuses for the prime minister. This week, India’s Nifty50 (the country’s top fifty companies by market capitalisation) crossed the 10,000 level for the first time in its 21-year history, a reflection of the ‘Modi effect’. Reliance Industries, the largest of the fifty stocks, led the market over the 10,000-point mark, as the firm reported it continued to 11 benefit from infrastructural reform in telecommunications. Strong evidence the government is delivering for a demographic that is extremely hungry for change and new opportunities.


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