Are higher business taxes on the horizon?

The finance ministers and central bankers of the world’s biggest economies met to refine their action plans for recovery and world financial governance. What are the likely outcomes? Finance ministers and central bankers want to set a minimum corporation tax rate for the world, partly to prevent the largest global companies such as the digital … Continue reading “Are higher business taxes on the horizon?”

The pandemic takes a large toll on Europe

Europe has endured one of the worst experiences of the pandemic worldwide, with high case rates and all too many deaths. By 18 March, the European Union’s official figures showed 24 million cases to date and 577,000 mortalities. All seven of the countries that have recorded more than 1,900 deaths per million from Covid-19 globally … Continue reading “The pandemic takes a large toll on Europe”

Running hot – but not too hot?

Last year, the big themes that found favour in the market were the digital winners from lockdown and the potential green winners from Build Back Better. This year, there is more emphasis on the shorter-term winners from recovery. The speed and nature of that recovery is now at the heart of the market debates. Will … Continue reading “Running hot – but not too hot?”

Why you should know your index

The FTSE 100 has been a relative underperformer because of its high weighting in financial and commodity companies. The indices that have outperformed have businesses that look to the future. The last few years have seen wide divergence in the performance of different international equity indices. Over the last five years, Nasdaq – the world’s … Continue reading “Why you should know your index”

Bitcoin should not be considered an investment

Investors should be wary of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Charles Stanley does not consider them an ‘investable asset’ and we wouldn’t include digital coins in any of our portfolios. Cryptocurrencies were established to take the government out of money. Many people don’t trust central banks, believing these institutions will devalue their wealth by manipulating the … Continue reading “Bitcoin should not be considered an investment”

The virus is still costing the economy dear

Despite the equity market exuberance as vaccines boost recovery hopes, the spread of Covid-19 is still having a significant economic impact and will have for some time to come. Equity markets are well advanced in pricing in a strong economic recovery this year from the lockdowns on both sides of the Atlantic. It still seems … Continue reading “The virus is still costing the economy dear”

The virus prolongs its economic damage

As President Biden takes office, he highlighted the heavy Covid-19 death toll – now exceeding 400,000 – and the other damage done by the pandemic in the USA. The winter in the Northern hemisphere has not been kind, with a major surge in infections on both sides of the Atlantic. There have now been 96 … Continue reading “The virus prolongs its economic damage”

Volatile markets reflect fears of reality

Many refer to the growing gap between the reality of Covid-19-torn economies and equity markets. Battered businesses trying to adapt to social distancing and closures struggle to generate profits, to meet rent bills – or pay dividends. At the same time, major equity indices hit new highs. Most of us run with the wind, which … Continue reading “Volatile markets reflect fears of reality”

Wall of money keeps markets buoyant

Inflation is not the enemy of central banks right now and their printing presses continue to run. Money creation look set to continue and government debts will rise. There is uniformity amongst the leading central banks of the world that recession, not inflation, is the enemy. They are all offering ultra-low interest rates, substantial money … Continue reading “Wall of money keeps markets buoyant”

Patience required on the path to recovery

The growing confidence that 2021 will be much better than the year we have just endured is probably correct. That these positive emotions are stirred over Christmas and new year is right and proper – as feelings of optimism and renewal are central themes in our winter celebrations. There is also real evidence to support … Continue reading “Patience required on the path to recovery”

Trade policy under Joe Biden

Donald Trump’s focus on trade will be tempered under President-elect Joe Biden, but he understands the potency of Mr Trump’s rhetoric on these matters. President Trump in 2016 set out to slash the large US balance of trade deficit. He identified his villains – China, Germany and Japan – and set about exposing the villainy. … Continue reading “Trade policy under Joe Biden”

Care needed with big power politics

The pandemic and the stimulus packages have preoccupied markets for most of this year but risks relating to the aims of the great powers are too important to ignore. The growing tensions between China and the US are likely to characterise the Biden era as much as Trump. One of the few things Democrats and … Continue reading “Care needed with big power politics”

What a difference a vaccine makes

The announcement that a vaccine might be available before the end of the month that works and is safe changed everything – and nothing.  The optimists in markets decided that the news would be confirmed and get better. They think the vaccine they will complete its trials, it will pass its safety test – and … Continue reading “What a difference a vaccine makes”

What President Biden will mean for markets

Although recounts and legal challenges relating to the election need to be resolved, markets are moving on to considering what a Biden Presidency will mean. The media have decided Joe Biden will be the next President of the USA. Three states still need to complete their counts. In Georgia, there is likely to be a … Continue reading “What President Biden will mean for markets”

Debts, deficits and stimulus

We have just witnessed the Japanification of world finance as central bank attempt to counteract measures to stop Covid-19. How will this all end? Never before in human history has so much extra money been created by central banks and thrown at a deep recession. Never have governments pledged to borrow so much as they … Continue reading “Debts, deficits and stimulus”