interest rates

Currency wars kick off as Japanese yen tumbles to 35-year low; Bank of Japan spends initial $59bn to defend it

This is the 3rd time we have forewarned of an approaching crisis. Both previous times, ahead of the Great Financial Crisis and the Covid pandemic, we were told we “didn’t know what we were talking about”. And nobody did anything to avoid the looming disaster Let’s hope its “3rd time lucky” and that “this time is different”.

Currency wars kick off as Japanese yen tumbles to 35-year low; Bank of Japan spends initial $59bn to defend it Read More

All happy property owners are alike, each unhappy owner is unhappy in their own way

“The entire commercial real estate space has to reset. No one really knows where the values are…You can’t raise rates this quickly and not expect a financial shock. We’re already working on transactions at 50% on the dollar: the equity is wiped out and half of the loan is wiped out.”

All happy property owners are alike, each unhappy owner is unhappy in their own way Read More

Rethinking, repositioning and restructuring are now essential for industry survival

Resilience requires companies to refocus downstream and diversify their portfolio. They also need to be clear about the value proposition for their target market – are they providing Value, or Luxury? Rethinking, repositioning and restructuring are now all key to survival and future profit.

Rethinking, repositioning and restructuring are now essential for industry survival Read More

Asia’s debt crisis starts to approach its endgame as the yen continues to tumble

Last week, the Japanese yen fell through the US$ : ¥150 level for the first time since 1990. It has now fallen by nearly 50% against the US$ in the past two years. The currency is behaving as if Japan were a 3rd world country – whereas it is actually the 3rd largest economy in the world. Clearly, something is very wrong.

Asia’s debt crisis starts to approach its endgame as the yen continues to tumble Read More

Food banks spread in richer countries, hunger spreads in poorer countries, as Europe’s fertilizer crisis continues

Unfortunately, the problems look set to get worse rather than better. And the oil price rise caused by the Israel/Gaza crisis adds to the problems caused by the Ukraine invasion. A difficult winter, and 2024, lie ahead.

Food banks spread in richer countries, hunger spreads in poorer countries, as Europe’s fertilizer crisis continues Read More

Asia’s debt crisis edges nearer, as Japan’s interest rates rise and China’s property bubble bursts

Bubbles are great fun while they last. But they are much less fun when they burst. For the past 20 years, central bank stimulus has created some of the largest bubbles ever seen. But now, led by developments in Japan and China, they are bursting

Asia’s debt crisis edges nearer, as Japan’s interest rates rise and China’s property bubble bursts Read More

An Asian debt crisis would shake the global economy, now the ‘Presidential Cycle’ effect is over

The Presidential Cycle is now over. Instead, worries about the recession and the US debt ceiling talks are moving centre-stage. But Asian currency markets are sending a warning signal. A rising US dollar and US interest rates, and a falling yen and yuan, could soon raise the risks of a major Asian debt crisis.

An Asian debt crisis would shake the global economy, now the ‘Presidential Cycle’ effect is over Read More

FT Letters - Jackson Hole comment by Paul Hodges

Today’s financial crisis confirms that “failing to plan, equals planning to fail”

Companies and investors need to invest time now on having a genuine debate about the risks ahead. The regulatory failures of the past few days highlight what can quickly go wrong, if one hasn’t war-gamed out potential risks. As the saying goes, “Failing to plan, equals planning to fail”.

Today’s financial crisis confirms that “failing to plan, equals planning to fail” Read More

Japan’s premier warns of “social dysfunction” as ageing populations challenge Western and Chinese economies

Japan has wasted trillions of yen with its failed stimulus programmes. Had it devoted even a tenth of this money to developing a proper Retraining programme for people in their 50s/60s, it wouldn’t now be facing a major debt and currency crisis. The rest of the Western world needs to rapidly learn from its mistake.

Japan’s premier warns of “social dysfunction” as ageing populations challenge Western and Chinese economies Read More

Interest rates break out of their 40-year downtrend – and start creating chaos in global markets

US inflation was last at 8.3% in January 1982. And then, the 10-year yield was 14.6%. History may not be a perfect guide, but it is the best we have. So it might be worth planning for rates to go much higher than most “experts” expect, now that they have broken out of their downtrend.

Interest rates break out of their 40-year downtrend – and start creating chaos in global markets Read More

“Things get to a point where you have to do the right thing”, Lord McDonald, former head of the UK Foreign Office

The election’s timing could hardly be worse, with Johnson a caretaker premier. The UK should be working closely with the EU to combat the Russian threat to food and energy supplies. But instead, we may well see candidates attacking the EU to win constituency support

“Things get to a point where you have to do the right thing”, Lord McDonald, former head of the UK Foreign Office Read More

US Supreme Court throws a lifeline to Democrats for the mid-term elections

Social and political issues were always more important than economics before the SuperCycle.  And now they are resurfacing again. Does an individual woman have the right to choose what to do with her body? Or can judges tell her what she can, and can’t do? It is early days, but many women may choose to vote Democrat because of this issue in November.

US Supreme Court throws a lifeline to Democrats for the mid-term elections Read More

Markets will see plenty of rallies, but history suggests the real bottom will be at least 2 years away

The history of the 1929 and 2000 downturns suggests the real pain is yet to come. Housing markets look terribly over-valued around the world, as I noted last month. And US consumer sentiment is at all-time lows. So most company earnings seem set to fall, with more than 60% of US CEOs now expecting to see a recession.

Markets will see plenty of rallies, but history suggests the real bottom will be at least 2 years away Read More

US housing bubble starts to deflate as sellers cut prices and mortgage rates rise

The Fed might change its mind and rush to support asset markets again. But that seems unlikely today. If it doesn’t, then debt, divorce and death will force an increasing number of people to sell their home. And if buyers continue to disappear, then sellers will have to continue cutting prices in order to try and achieve a sale, as the bubble finally bursts.

US housing bubble starts to deflate as sellers cut prices and mortgage rates rise Read More

The world’s real estate bubbles start to burst, as central banks pivot to focus on inflation

Problems in the housing market aren’t just confined to the US, UK, Germany and China. The average house price/income ratio is now back to the highest level since records began. And the problem for homeowners is that potential buyers are already starting to disappear as mortgage rates rise – and affordability reduces.

The world’s real estate bubbles start to burst, as central banks pivot to focus on inflation Read More

Ukraine, pandemic, herald major market shifts

Energy and financial markets are exacerbating the risks ahead. Oil prices at current levels – as the chart confirms, they now account for more than 3% of global GDP – have historically led to recession as the chart shows. The reason is that consumers have to cut back on their discretionary spending, which drives economic growth, in order to heat their homes and travel to work and school. Today’s high levels of natural gas prices add to this risk.

Ukraine, pandemic, herald major market shifts Read More