Trade deficits and tariff wars

President Trump believes that if you are running a large deficit it should be easy to “win” a trade war. The problem with this argument is the EU and China may decide to engage. In 2016 the US ran a deficit of $505bn on trade in goods and services, according to the World Bank. Germany … Continue reading “Trade deficits and tariff wars”

Trump’s tariffs

Last week, the White House announced tariffs on imported steel and aluminum of 25% and 10% respectively – a move that sparked global indignation and threats of a trade war. But tariffs are more common than you may imagine. Almost every US president since Ronald Reagan has announced a tariff of one kind or another. … Continue reading “Trump’s tariffs”

Will the US infrastructure plan be effective?

The United States (US) presidential plan is to raise $1.5trn to $1.7trn to spend on US infrastructure over the course of the next ten years. The proposed plan aims to restructure the permitting process, which is currently inefficient and may have actually disincentivised investment efforts. Where is the money coming from and what will it … Continue reading “Will the US infrastructure plan be effective?”

The US budget should help economic growth

The Trump administration White House has set out its preferred budget for 2019. It is likely the House and Senate will wish to tone down its dramatic proposals. The President’s wish is to boost military and veterans expenditure substantially, whilst cutting back hard on various other departments and programmes. A 13% increase in defence is … Continue reading “The US budget should help economic growth”

What does a normal interest rate look like?

Markets have been worried that interest rates in the west are heading back to normal in a hurry. If rates go too high too soon they could damage the recovery and do more harm to shares. As the West agonises over the pace of putting up interest rates and winding down special monetary measures, the … Continue reading “What does a normal interest rate look like?”

One year of Trump

January 20th marked Donald Trump’s one-year anniversary as US President.  So far, his tenure has proved controversial and divisive, both domestically and abroad. His attempts to take credit for the performance of the US economy and equity market should be taken with a pinch of salt, particularly given the considerable momentum carried over from his … Continue reading “One year of Trump”

What is normal for the Fed?

As expected, the US Central Bank has raised interest rates to 1.25% and talked about normalising its policy. The statement included detailed guidance on what the Federal Reserve intends to do next. During the financial crash and its aftermath the Fed bought up large quantities of Treasury bonds and mortgage backed securities, forcing interest rates … Continue reading “What is normal for the Fed?”

Trump’s first 100 days: how markets have performed

Is the “Trump bump” over? The surge in the stockmarket, the dollar and bond yields that welcomed Donald Trump’s arrival at the White House has shown signs of flagging as his first 100 days approaches. Donald Trump sailed into the White House on a wave of populist, pro-trade polices. He promised to spend big, create … Continue reading “Trump’s first 100 days: how markets have performed”

Fed policy: it’s conditional

Remarkably few economic decisions depend directly on the interest rate set by the US Federal Reserve (the Fed). Yet with this tool, the central bank is able to exert vast power over the US economy and to steer it towards the Fed’s dual mandate of full employment and 2% inflation. The key to understanding how … Continue reading “Fed policy: it’s conditional”

Why Trump makes the case for emerging markets

Donald Trump’s first weeks as US president are turning out to be just as controversial as his bruising election campaign. A flurry of executive orders on border controls, trade and healthcare has dominated headlines, causing dismay and galvanising opposition. The drama unfolding on a daily basis makes the modest comeback that developing markets have been … Continue reading “Why Trump makes the case for emerging markets”

What happens when rates go up?

A look at the implications of rising interest rates in the US. The US Federal Reserve has begun the painstaking process of raising interest rates, up to 0.5% to 0.75% in December, and has signalled 2017 will contain more of the same. We believe that strong fundamentals support the idea that the US stands to … Continue reading “What happens when rates go up?”

Has the US market risen too far too fast?

Markets do not normally go up in straight line. They usually have pauses for reconsideration and bouts of fear. Investors got over their shock and dismay at the election of Mr Trump very quickly. Share markets soon latched on to the reflationary potential of the Trump tax cuts, proposed increased infrastructure spending and more interventionist … Continue reading “Has the US market risen too far too fast?”

Donald Trump and the prospects for US investment markets

Donald Trump’s victory is an event that could one day be looked back upon as a generational turning point in global politics. In this article, we take a step back from the headlines and examine how his election could affect the trends already underway in the US economy, ultimately to determine how investment markets might … Continue reading “Donald Trump and the prospects for US investment markets”