How disruptive can disruptive tech be when the internet doesn’t actually work?
The risks of Central Bank policy mistakes are escalating. Fixed Income markets are wising up to the potential of long-term stagflation/inflation. A bond correction will crush stock markets if/when real interest rates turn positive. Central Bankers will need to decide: intervene to save markets – continuing the current distortions, or let loose the dogs of market meltdown. Anyone for the last few choc-ices?
Markets are never as bad as you fear, but never as good as you hope. The Threat Board has seldom looked so complex: we can try to predict outcomes, but its notoriously difficult. The list of potential ignition points seems to be expanding exponentially: Energy Prices, Oil, Inflation, Stagflation, Supply Chains, Recession, China, Politics, Consumer Sentiment, Business Confidence, Property Markets, Liquidity, Bond Yields, Stock Prices.. you name it and someone is worrying about it.
It’s silly season in the UK as the queues lengthen at petrol stations, raising fascinating questions about how the pandemic has changed behaviours, the pricing of corporate credit and equity fundamentals. In Europe the power vacuum left by the last days of Merkel is set to deepen. China’s property meltdown should be making investors look elsewhere and into new Emerging Markets for future growth.
Stock markets look to have shrugged off this week’s dip despite the likelihood of rising interest rates and the end of QE programmes – the dreaded “Taper” – next year. Markets look calm, but the equinoxal gales are coming as traders focus increasingly on the inflation vs stagflation outlook. There is increasing uncertainty on everything from China, German Elections, to Supply Chains.
The UK attracted a record £137 bln order book for its £10 bln Green Gilt. But what does the Green Gilt achieve? Its marketing puff. It may disguise how ill-considered and ultimately self-defeating the Government’s rush to looking green has been. No matter how well intentioned a Green Gilt is – its style over substance, papering over the cracks in a confused and contradictory long-term climate-change mitigation strategy.
Evergrande’s imminent default is rocking markets – but few believe the collapse of a Chinese property developer could trigger a global financial crisis. What if Evergrande is just a symptom of a deeper malaise within the Chinese economy and its political/business structures? Maybe there is more at stake than we realise? What if Emperor Xi decides he needs a distraction?
The most destructive rock falls start with a single pebble trigging a cascading chain reaction. Are markets heading towards a cascading crash as spiking energy costs join inflation and supply chains on the list of likely meltdown trigger points? Or should we relax?