Yesterday’s ongoing pain in crashing financial asset markets demonstrates the need to diversify portfolios and decorrelated returns. Shipping is one such asset; returns have been boosted by scarcity as a result of the pandemic – the question is: can these returns be maintained?
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.
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.
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?
The market is worrying about the potential of an October crash, but what might trigger it? Two suspects: a resurgent Coronavirus and/or a global supply chain cardiac triggering stagflation?
And top tip from my father: teach your kids to Ski, Sail and play Tennis!
There are plenty of positive news stories emerging as the global economy reopens, but also an increasing number of real-world tangible threats emerging. The Pandemic has affected economies from top to bottom, and many issues won’t be resolved overnight. For markets the issues to consider aren’t just inflation or market bubbles, but how supply chain issues and instability could continue to impact sentiment.
You could not make this up; an unimaginably complex WW3 Techno-thriller unfolding as markets stumble and global supply chains hover on the edge of anarchy. On the other hand, maybe that’s just the way it was planned.
Global Supply Chains could be stressed by the boat jammed in the Suez Canal. The lessons from the Pandemic offer an opportunity to rethink Global Infrastructure Spending – and mop up much of the money glut currently funding financial asset inflation!