This year may be remembered as either the beginning or the end of the golden age of billionaires. One has miraculously become president of the United States. According to Oxfam, the eight richest billionaires in the world hold as much wealth as the poorer half of humanity. One of those eight, Warren Buffett, has recently been canonized in a rather hagiographic HBO documentary that retraces Buffett’s career.
Hu Shuli via Caixin | It has been six years since China adopted what has been tagged “a prudent monetary policy stance” in 2011. In practice, policies have been slightly eased to alleviate pressure from a slowing economy and rein in financial market fluctuations.
Xavier Colás | Russia is hoping that in 2017 its economic indicators will look brighter again after three years of questions over the country’s economic health due to sanctions, rock-bottom oil prices and a rouble which has lost half of its value.
Francesco Saraceno | Munchau recently argued that central banks’ choices are increasingly political in nature, especially if their mandate is broad, as is the case for example of the Fed. His argument is that a broad mandate implies tradeoffs, and as such it does not go well with central bank independence.
The price-inventory apparent mismatch of crude oil matters to the extent that going long crude appears to be a crowded trade so that the risks are on the downside if it were to happen that the “confirmed” cuts have been more paper ones than real ones.
John Bruton | The transformation of China is the most important global economic story of the past 40 years. It has changed the balance of power on the Eurasian landmass, in ways we are only beginning to comprehend.
Behavioural finance theory tells us that markets are susceptible to short term emotional moves and politics can be part of that. For example, the current narrative of isolationism and tariff barriers impacting EM exporters as strategists and analysts try and pull out economic effects from the potential policies of the new US administration.
The wall with Mexico, which the crazy US President Donald Trump had ordered to be built and financed by imposing a 20% tariff on Mexican imports, will end up being paid for by the Americans – although the impact for Mexico will be far from negligible.
Mexico seems to be one of the countries most threatened by Trump’s protectionism plans. The prospects, however, for Mexican companies are better than many investors fear.
On Thursday, ex-President of the ECB, Jean Claude Trichet warned that the political and economic authorities would have little room to manoeuvre in the face of a new crisis after the central banks exhaust their QE.