With 2017 now upon us, it’s clear that a new political paradigm has emerged. The prominence of Brexit, Trump, Le Pen, Corbyn, Alternative for Deutschland and many others is not the result of idiosyncratic national political issues; it reflects a systemic political shift. Given this shift, is it possible for investors to find inner peace?
"Ain't nothing over 'til it's over" Sylvester Stallone sagely stated in the film Rocky Balboa. Much like a 21st century Rocky, long after his heyday in the 70s, we question OPEC's ability to rule oil markets. OPEC now hope to have hit a knockout blow that will raise prices and solve the excess supply problem. But this isn't the 70s and the cartel isn't in its prime...
December is a good time to slow down (just a little) and take stock. 2016 has certainly been a year for the political history books. As we approach 2017, the main thread running through most of our thoughts is how we adapt to these new changes and move forward.
The regulatory regime that applies to US money market mutual funds is changing significantly in mid-October. The side effect of this change has been a notable increase in bank funding costs (i.e. higher LIBOR-OIS spreads). While they are relevant for US credit investors, these recent developments tell us nothing about market concerns around bank solvency.
Following a stark market response to what was an unexpected result, markets remain volatile. Political uncertainty is at record levels in the UK which impacts business investment. See my interview on Bloomberg TV's European Close show yesterday where I discuss the market impact of the Brexit vote, how imported inflation could hit consumption, and which areas of the market have been worst hit, including sterling and UK property.