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.
Trying to strip out noise from facts has never been so complex! It’s time to resort to the rarest of all commodities; Common Sense - to work out how this will likely play out. There will be clear winners – and one massive loser – and significant economic pain before we get there.
The World has changed and changed utterly – although we may not realise it yet. We are likely on course for massive disruption, inflation, rising geopolitical crisis and uncertainty, and a high probability of stagflation. But – don’t tell anyone.
Anyone for a choc-ice?
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?
Lockdowns and travel restrictions highlight the economic damage Omicron has done to the whole European Economy. Corporate resilience will be severely tested – whatever governments decide. The likelihood of stagflation has risen, but markets are likely to benefit from buy-the-dip mentality as investors weigh-up renewed government support if/when it turns nasty!
Let me present a list of things to worry about next year. Inflation, US and China growth, Stagflation, Central Banks, Stocks, Climate and Equality, etc, etc.. But the big risks will be the consequences of US Politics and a Liquidity Meltdown in the Credit Markets.
The risks of Plan B and a further Covid Lockdown are multiplying. It will clearly impact markets, but the real economic effects of Covid combined with energy costs, supply chains and bleak company earnings forecasts may be pushing us towards stagflation anyway.
Fraxious markets as stocks wobble, fears rise, energy prices spike; what’s to worry about? Preparing for inflation would be one thing – but being ready for opportunity is another!
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.