By Marc Chandler As the year winds down, a Gordian knot tying Russia, oil prices and China together is receiving a great deal of attention. Let’s see if we can unravel some of the confusing twists and turns. We turn first to China’s offer of assistance to Russia. The idea that Russia could activate its CNY150 bln (~$24 bln) currency […]
Tag: United States
If wages in Japan are stagnant, how is increasing inflation going to help wage earners afford a better stream of good and services? It won’t. Ultimately, what we need to see are policies which maintain wages for median and lower-income wage earners with the greatest marginal propensity to spend. Without this, in a demographically challenged and indebted private sector, so-called secular stagnation is almost a certainty.
There are no big themes dominating the news today. So it is a perfect time to hit a couple of themes with an economic and market theme approach. Let’s talk banks, Japanese trade, the currency wars and deflation.
“I am determined that the American dollar must never again be a hostage in the hands of international speculators”
Below is the video of Richard Nixon closing the gold window exactly 43 years ago today. Hat tip to Raja Korman
This is an abbreviated post from our subscription series at Credit Writedowns Pro. I am very interested in the intersection of private debt, financial fragility and economic growth because I believe this intersection is pivotal in understanding whether the secular forces which led to the Great Financial Crisis have been arrested. I want to use Ireland as a jumping off […]
This week’s economic and market themes piece is going to be a little shorter than usual because I have covered a lot of the major topics earlier in the week. Full commentary at Credit Writedowns Pro
This is an abbreviated post from our subscription series at Credit Writedowns Pro. This post is on the same topic of the US economy that I addressed yesterday. But I want to go a bit deeper and add more colour to my comments. Signs that the US economy’s cyclical outlook are improving are getting ever more numerous, especially when we […]
The bottom line here is that I have been and still am bullish on the cyclical prospects in the US, UK and Spain in particular. The US jobless claims numbers are unusually low and that tells you that slack in the labour market is declining. Moreover, we are likely to see inventory builds here, adding to more momentum. Nonetheless, I do have two caveats for the US.
Ukraine is at risk of becoming a failed state
China’s growth is due to stimulus
Japan’s macro figures worsen
Microsoft’s strategy is weak
Facebook is overvalued
Ukraine will have global impact
More sanctions are coming but will be somewhat limited
The global financial system is moving away from the US
US auto subprime is going to blow up
As the war in Ukraine moves to the center of global consciousness, I think it is important to remember the various actors’ positioning, constraints and likely agendas. As much as we would like to know ‘the truth’, the reality is always that beyond a core set of known facts, any situation is subject to interpretation based on positioning, constraints and agendas. And to the degree these factors make for focus on very different sets of data points, it makes it hard to reach common ground in a negotiated agreement.
The geopolitical situation regarding the conflict in Ukraine has escalated considerably due to the downing of a passenger jet from the Netherlands to Malaysia. Given the visceral and gruesome nature of the events now unfolding, domestic political opinion throughout the West is now a major force in this conflict. However, given the political economy in Russia and the United States in particular, the potential for de-escalation is small. The potential for the conflict to now have wide-reaching economic impacts has grown. In the analysis below I explain how the political economy in the U.S. favours President Obama taking an increasingly hawkish position and how the political economy in Russia favours President Putin also maintaining an aggressive stance regarding Ukraine. In addition, the airline massacre also means that the EU will be galvanized into supporting tougher sanctions against Russia, with the potential of a tit-for-tat response.