Category Blain’s Morning Porridge

Tech sector’s tectonic plates keep shifting

Yesterday’s events across Tech served to remind us it’s a fluid sector where what we believe one day may be false the next, but deep down there is bedrock. Crypto currencies saw a last-chance bubble pop, while Tesla genuinely surprised me by producing solid results – which don’t for one moment change my perspective its fatally overvalued. Meanwhile, the latest China clampdown on listed stocks shocked markets, but reminds us we need to think differently about the wakening Dragon.

Be very suspicious of banks declaring diversity goals

Don’t be fooled by thin summer markets – the world has changed, markets no longer take August off. Yet, finance changes slowly - for all the talk about diversity it’s taking generations to change the mindset and sense of entitlement that underlies markets. Maybe a good shock will be no-bad-thing – but banks making statements about their diversity ambitions should be treated with suspicion.

To predict Europe’s future read some Japanese history..

The ECB has tweaked the words and now has low interest rates forever, and a new mandate to “tolerate” higher inflation. What will it achieve? To answer look at the failed 30 year experiment in Japan and the multiple parallels. The outlook for Europe as a global economic and innovative powerhouse looks shaky.

Markets are ignoring the new inflation reality

Markets have entirely recovered after their wobble earlier this week, but it’s based on a simple belief: central banks will stand behind markets. Investors are increasingly convinced inflation threats are irrelevant – and they are wrong to do so. Inflation risks are growing from immediate climate change, the costs of rising environmental instability and inflation leaching out of financial assets into the real economy.

Freedom? Markets and Climate Chaos

Its “Freedom Day” in the UK, but it feels same as, same as. Bond markets look stressed, but freak weather is raising the probability government intervention dwarfing the scale of the pandemic may become necessary. There will not be a gradual, ordered progression to a new higher temperature climate.  Instead… the reality looks like high-cost chaotic freak-weather events becoming increasingly common.  The cost could hit trillions.

Will China ever be as investible as the West?

The media is full of China noise – does the rising tension mean it may become un-investible? The Chinese economy is very different, but recognisably similar. Investment into China boils down to how effectively a capitalist economy can succeed in the face of government diktat, bureaucracy, and intervention – and on that basis it’s a proceed with caution market.  

Inflation: the next stage of the Global Financial Crisis 2007-2031

What Inflation? “Oh, that’s nothing to worry about, the central banks have no choice but to keep juicing markets”… The market is so focused on the short-term and ignoring the consequences of the last 10 years of QE, monetary experimentation and easy rates, that its blundering into the next crisis. Inflation matters, and has jumped from financial assets into the real economy.