The VP Blog

A blog about financial markets and the VP investing framework

Peak in Heavy Truck Sales Point to Cyclical Pain

Heavy truck sales are oddly a good leading indicator for the economy.  It is odd because a lot of industrial production is coincident with the business cycle.  However, if you go back over forty years, you can see that recessions have always been preceded by a decline...

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USD Positioning Supports Weaker Dollar

In January and February we discussed our view that we thought the dollar would find it difficult to rally further and would instead display a modest weakening bias.  The initial leg up of the rally in 2014 was not due to higher yield differentials with the US, or the...

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Earnings to Fall Further

Profit margins are declining, and we expect them to fall much further.  As you can see from the chart below, Variant Perception’s leading indicator for wages does a very good job of leading US corporate profit margins by a little over a year and a half. The message is...

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Aussie Housing Finance Rolling Over

We are already seeing cracks in the housing market in Australia.  At Variant Perception we track news articles of things in oversupply, as this flags interesting investment themes.  Normally, we’ve seen commodities in oversupply, but interestingly, Australian...

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Commercial and Industrial Lending to Fall

You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.  This is generally the mistake made by many when it comes to credit.  If you expand the availability of credit, and make it more attractive, then more people will want credit.  But this is rarely the case. ...

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Financial Conditions Keep Tightening

Financial conditions are slowly but surely tightening.  We have had one actual rate hike by the Fed, but conditions had begun to tighten before this. This is primarily a developed market phenomenon. Real M1 for the G7 has been trending down for the past 6 months....

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Inflation Alive and Well in the US

We have focused on the theme of the misplaced fear of deflation at Variant Perception frequently over the past 18 months.  At several points, markets and commentators seem to have become preoccupied with a belief that growth-destroying deflation was imminent. Using...

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