The rise of Chelsea and Man City shows that it takes a lot of money to break into the Champions League elite, but once you're there, it creates a virtuous circle. The same is true for inflation. There is a self-reinforcing loop of high inflation expectations, wages and prices. But the 2014 oil shock looks to have knocked the US and Japan out. Consumers' inflation expectations remain stubbornly low.
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 President Trump argues that the "very outdated filibuster must go".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?
Oil price spikes have contributed to almost all US recessions since 1950. But with the US shale revolution, most investors are more concerned with how low oil prices could go. Ultimately, OPEC will decide the answer to that question. Our analysis suggests OPEC will continue to limit production when necessary, with the aim of generally keeping prices between $45-$55 outside of recessions and significant new supply disruptions.
Low interest rates can be considered both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that the government yield curve impacts discount rates used across almost all financial assets. The curse is that they incentivise changes in economic structures (e.g. higher debt) which, in turn, make low interest rates more entrenched. The blessing and curse of low interest rates is therefore that they are (probably) here to stay.
In 1979, Pink Floyd cried "Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!”. Ironically, this marked a turning point. The contribution to US wage growth from educational attainment appears to have peaked since the early 80s. This is just another brick in the wall in our argument of weaker US trend growth.