Politics

Macrobites

Politics, policy and (market) peaks

While our forecasts for 2018 follow a similar trajectory to 2017, a healthy dose of potential risk lurks in the shadows. For a different take on the Asset Allocation team’s outlook for next year, here’s an insight into the regular debate at our team meetings in the first of a three-part series focusing on our discussions on each of the three Ps of politics, policy and (market) peaks.

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Economics

A postcard from South Africa

The outlook for the South African economy and assets remains uncertain. Adding to the uncertainty are the upcoming elections of ANC leadership which could bring a range of outcomes for the market.

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Economics

Car-ry on spending?

Just like cars, it costs more to maintain an older person than a younger one. Government borrowing could rise by 3% of GDP over the next 20 years as a result of ageing. To offset this, the UK government has squeezed the rest of the public sector in an attempt to balance the books. This seems politically unsustainable. Is the government about to reverse course by ending public sector pay caps?

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Strategy

All roads lead to Rome

With the country saddled with high debt and unstable politics, Italian debt markets have persistently underperformed European averages for the last couple of years. This pessimistic narrative is definitely seductive but we believe it is dangerous to get sucked into an excessively negative outlook. The debt problems are chronic rather than acute, the politics are not obviously more unstable than usual, the ECB is being flexible with asset purchases, and the return potential could be greater than it first appears.

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Macrobites

A filibusted flush

The filibuster is an important procedural device in the US Senate that makes it significantly harder to break the gridlock between Republicans and Democrats. President Trump argues that the "very outdated filibuster must go". But what is it? Why is it important? And what are the investment implications of throwing it on the Congressional scrapheap?

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Economics

Does the EU have any teeth?

We look at the ways the EU can affect policies in member states ranging from diplomatic suasion to legal challenges and financial penalties, or changes to the EU budget, in the context of controversial laws passed recently in Poland.

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Economics

Cycling uphill

The markets appear to have given up on President Trump delivering his campaign promise to boost growth. Yet despite the delay, there are signs this could be about to change with profound implications for the current goldilocks environment.

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