Time to revisit the Italian election

Markets have been relaxed about the Italian election.1 Last year it was on the investment radar as a potential risk to the euro and the Eurozone, with the Five Star movement leading in the polls and expressing scepticism about the single currency. As they did well so the new leadership of Five Star toned down … Continue reading “Time to revisit the Italian election”

Why do some people like Bitcoin?

This week the Chicago Board Options Exchange allowed trading in Bitcoin futures. There has been great interest in the Bitcoin phenomenon all year, leading up to this partial recognition of it by the authorities. Those who had some money to spare for a high risk adventure have been able to do well from buying Bitcoin. … Continue reading “Why do some people like Bitcoin?”

North Korea is a problem for China – if only the US would realise

North Korea now has nuclear warheads that it can attach to missiles, that can travel great distances – to Guam, almost certainly, the nearest offshore US territory, and, with a bit of practice perhaps heavily populated parts of the US mainland. It sounds scary, but then Russia, China and others have had this capability for … Continue reading “North Korea is a problem for China – if only the US would realise”

A pleasant surprise from President Trump

It’s fashionable to write off President Trump. His healthcare reform has been slowed by strong opposition, his tax reform has been delayed, and now he is being investigated over his links with Russia and the removal of the FBI Head from office. The market has wobbled over these difficulties. Meanwhile President Trump has turned his … Continue reading “A pleasant surprise from President Trump”

Paying to lend? The failure of negative interest rate policy

We look at the economic and market impact of negative interest rate policy and where policymakers might head next. It has been a universal truth that borrowers need to incentivise lenders to provide loans, normally via the promise of the return of capital (hence “My word is my bond”) with additional compensation in the form … Continue reading “Paying to lend? The failure of negative interest rate policy”