Giles Keating

The Fed is behind the curve

  • With core CPI and 6-month PCE inflation at or above 2%, and real short rates still deeply negative, the Fed is clearly behind the curve
  • Some people found the Fed’s report dovish, but subtle hints, notably the rise in the number of staffers expecting three rate rises this year, suggests the contrary: the Fed may be paving the way for further acceleration in its tightening
  • This would likely cause market corrections, in equities and especially in the most over-stretched credits, but would help avoid the much larger crash that could come later if they keep going slowly.

Green investing – Two new Zeitgeists for investors and for the environment

For investors focussed on green and sustainable investments, it is hard to ignore the impact of Donald Trump. It is no coincidence that, after his election as US president, the shares of companies that earn their money with fossil fuels were among the winners on Wall Street. President Trump, as one of his first actions, restarted two oil pipeline projects that Barak Obama had stopped for ecological reasons. Next on his agenda could be to lift the ban imposed by his predecessor on oil exploration in large parts of the Arctic, and also the rescue of the American coal industry.

New Zeitgeist Challenge: Gold vs. Cyber Security

First Hillary Clinton’s emails, then the entire US election and the surprising victory of Donald Trump – did hackers actually play a role? The growing number of attacks across the internet mean increasing demand for the services of cybersecurity providers. But is it now the time to invest? Or might gold be a better way to get security in an uncertain world?  But how can an investment already widely used in the Roman Empire become a Zeitgeist, 2000 years later?

Dark clouds on the horizon – Werthstein index continues to fall

The deflation ghost seems to have been exorcised, inflation rates are picking up again worldwide. This may accelerate the end of cheap money, which has stimulated stock markets for so long. At the same time, US President Donald Trump has introduced an unfamiliar and sometimes confusing way of governing. Investors face new uncertainties: will there be protectionism instead of globalization, trade war rather than free trade? And, all this comes at a time of high stock market valuations. The Werthstein Institute sees dark clouds on the horizon. The experts on the panel have become even more cautious, the index continues to decline in February.

 

The Werthstein Index is a lively representation of the Werthstein Institute’s market opinion. It expresses the individual voting members’ expectations for the development of global stock markets over a time horizon of up to three months, as the average of their votes on a scale from 1 (extremely negative) to 10 (extremely positive).

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