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.
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?
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.
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 President Trump argues that the "very outdated filibuster must go".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?