Thursday, 28th May 2020
The ancient relationship between experience and money….
Early 2020 is on record as the most volatile period in the markets since the Great Depression….
The CBOE Volatility Index sits at 27.6. That’s well short of a peak fear reading of 82.69 recorded on 16th March….
…. but still ahead of a year-to-date average of 16.0….
…. and a long way above the low readings (signaling confidence and/or complacency) seen for long periods during the bull market that followed the 08/09 global financial crisis….
In other words, volatility has subsided. But it hasn’t gone away. A bit like the COVID-19 virus….
Something else that hasn’t gone away is worrying data – some of it the worst in living memory….
US jobless claims are at almost 40 million. That’s a fifth of the labour force in the world’s biggest economy sitting idle and watching daytime TV….
Output has slumped worldwide. World trade volumes have shrunk ‘precipitously’. Every metric you might quote is on the floor. Every sector in every economy has contracted….
Things are improving as global lockdowns relax – but only in terms of shrinking at slower pace. The world faces a post COVID-19 of steep and significant proportions….… Click here to read more
Thursday, 30th April 2020
These two simple blockchain projects would revolutionize life at grass-roots level….
The ‘experts’ tell us blockchain technology will change the world….
It hasn’t happened yet. That’s not to say that it won’t. Just that we’re still waiting….
There are some really ambitious plans for blockchain. Perhaps that’s the problem. Ideas can be so big and so complex it takes a lot of time to get them over the line….
Meantime – without sacrificing big and necessary ideas – it might be worthwhile focusing attention and resources on some small and possibly unnecessary ideas….
Perhaps we can revolutionize the world at grass roots level first?
At any rate, I have a couple of small ideas – ideas that would benefit us all and that I’d like to see some blockchain whizz kids bring to fruition….
More shortly. First, a quick flip through what’s going on….
It doesn’t matter where you look – the data is down….
Global GDP; global business activity; consumer confidence; household finance; manufacturing sector optimism; employment rate; retail sales; business confidence; global air cargo volumes; durable goods orders. They’re all at record lows. Or close to….
Oil prices are generally a good indicator of upcoming economic activity.… Click here to read more
Thursday, 16th April 2020
The ‘key worker’ of the future will look very different – and he’ll be back on the agenda shortly….
There is little good news….
The IMF warns that the world faces the worst recession since the Great Depression. It expects the global economy to contract 3.3%….
That doesn’t sound like much. But the effect will be cataclysmic…. unprecedented…. ‘a crisis like no other’….
The IMF chief says global living standards will plummet. The advice to government? Spend. Keep on spending. Then spend more….
Here, the Office for Budget Responsibility expects the economy to shrink by a third this quarter…. for jobless figures to hit 10%…. and for the government deficit to rise beyond £200 billion….
Is there a glimmer of hope in the latest monthly survey of investors conducted by Bank of America?
It says 93% of leading fund managers expect the world economy to contract this year. That leaves 7% who don’t believe it….
I’d like to meet that 7%. I don’t know if they’re eternal optimists, drunks, comedians or fruitcakes, but they sound like fun. That said, some contrarian bets you just don’t make….
- This bear didn’t hit bottom….
Stock markets have bounced back from low points reached during earlier stages of the coronavirus crisis….… Click here to read more