The investment trends accelerated by Covid-19

The Covid-19 outbreak is likely to change the way we think, work and live. It is accelerating trends that were already in place and changing people’s behaviour. All of this has implications for investors. Here we look at some of the long-term consequence of the ongoing pandemic. Creating jobs by de-carbonising the economy Creating jobs … Continue reading “The investment trends accelerated by Covid-19”

Government borrowing is large but not yet a problem

Advanced country governments have found it easy to increase their borrowings at very low interest rates, but they can’t make a habit of borrowing such large sums. Over the last three months, most governments have greatly increased their spending and suffered a major decline in tax revenues. There was always going to be a large … Continue reading “Government borrowing is large but not yet a problem”

Central banks continue to prop-up markets

The tsunami of money has been unprecedented and is the main reason equity markets have performed as they have. The stimulus measures have been at their largest in the US, where money growth has shot up to 25% for the year. In the Eurozone and the UK, it is a lively but more modest 10%. … Continue reading “Central banks continue to prop-up markets”

The beneficiaries of globalisation are right to be worried

The dispute between China and the US is likely to continue for many years as their clash of ideologies changes global trading patterns and supply chains. A senior American politician publicly derided one of the most important British companies on a scale we have not seen since attacks on BP following its oil spill in … Continue reading “The beneficiaries of globalisation are right to be worried”

Battling the pandemic speeds up business changes

Before the pandemic struck, high streets were already under pressure, the digital revolution was gathering pace and green change dominated the agendas of European governments. Global trade was under attack and a new Cold War was brewing between China and the US. On the high streets many shops and retail chains were struggling. High rents, … Continue reading “Battling the pandemic speeds up business changes”

Washington wants to halt US investment in Chinese companies

The controversy over the initial stages of the Covid-19 infection in China has allowed a raft of measures to be put on the table to ensure the superpower advantage remains with the US.  Washington wants to starve Chinese companies of money, with investors required to consider “America first”. In a speech given in the White … Continue reading “Washington wants to halt US investment in Chinese companies”

China drives into global trouble

China may discover that more countries in the world now intend to stand up to Beijing’s actions, as the US finds a rare political unity in opposing its actions from technology to Hong Kong. In an ironic twist to the global story, China has relaxed its economy more and is making better progress with its … Continue reading “China drives into global trouble”

Assessing the economic hit from measures to stop Coronavirus

A summary of some of the estimates from industry bodies, economists and analysts on the impact of the economic damage from the measures introduced to slow the rate of infection of Covid-19.  The horse and cart made way for vehicles powered by the internal-combustion engine because the newcomer was faster and more efficient. Comparably, mass … Continue reading “Assessing the economic hit from measures to stop Coronavirus”

Scarring: Mapping the damage of the lockdowns

Governments are looking at the longer-term impact of lockdowns on their economies. Expect to hear more around the world about ‘scarring’ over the next few weeks. Chastened governments are examining the damage that lockdowns have brought. They are cautious about the speed at which they can relax to get more people back to work. They … Continue reading “Scarring: Mapping the damage of the lockdowns”

Same virus, different market reactions

Coronavirus dominates share market thinking and brought on the big bear dip in most markets. It does not, however, seem to be the severity of the virus that differentiates between the different countries. This week the value of companies quoted on the US Nasdaq index continued to outpace the value of all the listed companies … Continue reading “Same virus, different market reactions”

Plumbing the depths

Yesterday The Office of Budget Responsibility in the UK tried to update its forecasts for the UK economy. They emerged at the pessimistic end of the current range of estimates but attracted news coverage because of who they are. They anticipate on the scenario they published a fall of 35% in the UK second-quarter GDP, … Continue reading “Plumbing the depths”

‘Lockdown for longer’ is a major market threat

Stock markets have staged a significant recovery from the Coronavirus slump, rallying sharply from lows hit in March. But gains of 10% or more are common in bear markets – and the crisis at many of the world’s businesses has only just begun. A wave of insolvencies will puncture the optimism, as companies with too … Continue reading “‘Lockdown for longer’ is a major market threat”

How long a shutdown can governments afford?

If a return to work is organised after the three-month stage, there will be some rebound, but economies will not spring back into full output immediately. The Central Banks have responded quickly and with great force to the crisis. Led by the Fed they have produced huge amounts of cash to keep markets afloat, rescuing … Continue reading “How long a shutdown can governments afford?”

US Senate reaches agreement to a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package

As expected, the US Senate reached agreement between the parties to a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package yesterday, which gave the markets a big boost. Democrats allowed substantial funds to be available for business through a $500bn fund for industries, cities and states, with a $367bn loan programme for small business. They also accepted the … Continue reading “US Senate reaches agreement to a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package”