Markets are being whipsawed by rate hike threats from Central Banks, China lockdowns, the Ukraine war, while being stalked by inflation and stagflation. The big risk remains policy mistakes – trying to solve these with the wrong monetary and fiscal policies.
The Ukraine War has catalysed a tsunami of negative economic events around the global economy – and markets are remaining pretty much blind to the long-term consequences.
In bonds there is pain as prices tumble – but that does not change the fundamentals of investing in bonds. The risk is rising bond yields will expose the dangerous over-valuations low rate distortion has caused across other financial-assets, perhaps causing more than a few bubbles to pop.
The risks in Ukraine are escalating as Russia shows the nuclear card – but markets are behaving as if its Russia has been backfooted as the West finally wakes-up to the threat. Russia might have miscalculated some aspects of its strategy, but it would be wrong to think much has changed – yet!
Occasionally the Morning Porridge strikes a lucky insight on markets – this morning here are some thoughts on how 2022 markets and events may or may not develop. If they occur I shall hail myself an investment genius. If not, can we quietly forget them?
“The future may dimly be perceived through the veil of the past”, sounds like bad poetry, but has a point. The confusions and conflabulations that characterised 2021 will likely set the tone for what’s coming – what were the key themes of 2021? Best to understand them before trying to fathom what comes next.
The new Germany looks almost exciting! What will a post-Merkel Germany look like? Will green and business interests align under the new fraffic-light government? How will the relationship with Brussels and the ECB shape up? “Interesting” times ahead.
Who cares who replaces Angela Merkel? But the likely inability of the ECB to address the consequences of monetary experimentation and inflation in coming years could cause Germany’s coming generation of bland political nobodies to be superseded by something more populist and chaotic, creating all kinds of problems for Yoorp.
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 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.