Sunday, 22 May 2016

Stories we should be thinking about

Ahead of the new working week here are a few finance and related stories to be thinking about.

Macro matters:

Of course the G7 finance minister meeting did not come up with anything hugely definitive...

...but there was the sign of a little spat as (according to Seeking Alpha):

'Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said he did not consider recent yen moves as "disorderly," but his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso dubbed them "one-sided and speculative." G7 leaders also called for a mix of monetary, fiscal and structural policies to boost demand but left it to each country to decide its own policy priorities'.

Of course whilst it is tempting to conclude that no government in Spain year-to-date is good for growth the reality is that easy comparisons have had the most influence
(and also note the absolute level of growth - hardly any country above that 'trend' level of 2.2%...

In Europe a very close Austrian Presidential election is ongoing... results tomorrow between the far right and the green candidate for the largely ceremonial role...but one which again indicates voter malaise across Europe. 

Of course the biggest test in Europe of this is likely to be the UK EU referendum on 23 June.  Here's the ballot paper: 
As for referendums did you see this chart? More referendums...lower turnout: 

Meanwhile in interesting discussions/data around the EU referendum vote I note these two stories which are being run on the Financial Times website: 

'The Vote Leave campaign has published campaign posters that say “Turkey (population 76m) is joining the EU”, alongside a picture of a British passport, suggesting a new wave of migration.

Britain has long supported Turkish accession to the EU, but Mr Cameron told the ITV on Sunday that it would be “literally decades before this even had a prospect of happening”'

'Just 9 per cent of people buying “prime” central London houses and apartments in the first quarter of this year came from other EU countries, compared with 29 per cent a year earlier and a five-year average of 20 per cent. This is despite a 10 per cent fall in sterling against the euro that has made UK homes significantly cheaper for European buyers'

Nice chart via @Callum_Thomas showing that the biggest historic impact on bond yields via QE was anticipation and not reality.  So what happens with rate rises?

I liked this via @bespoke_invest on how absolute return funds are anything but...

 Maybe they should have chosen more value strategies...

Meanwhile in the US Presidential election run-up an interesting update: 

 Rise of the robots: 60,000 workers culled from just one factory as China’s struggling electronics hub turns to artificial intelligence (link here).  A worry?  Not really...just change and this is what you want in a dynamic economy. 

Talking about change, a nice indication of advertising market change: 

Wonderful demographic indicator: 

(h/t @GCGodfrey) 

Sector and companies: 

Interesting story from the Saturday FT.  I still don't know why the US authorities give such monies a 5% tax rate and an equivalent figure for training...

Talking about tech stocks hedge funds 'hate Apple ... but love Facebook' (link here)

I see Gazprom is set to have its first negative free cash flow year for a decade: 

(h/t @jfarchy)

Bank valuations have compressed recently...and only in Australia are they still above book...

...well there are indications that historic lessons may not have been fully learnt...

(h/t @cablecarcapital)

And finally...

What it's like to be part of the 'rare breed' of people still using Google Glass (link here)...

...and what a list of stock market cliches! 

(h/t @davidmoadel)

Have a good week - and don't forget to check out the last week on Financial Orbit here

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