The VP Blog
A blog about financial markets and the VP investing framework
The economy and financial markets remain in the grips of the most easiest monetary policy the world has ever seen. The balance sheets at the Fed and the BOJ continue to expand at record pace and global real rates have been negative for over 3 years now. Negative real rates create tremendous incentives for borrowers to lever up and often create asset bubbles in debt, equity and property.
Variant Perception’s Jonathan Tepper was on Bloomberg TV this morning talking about leading indicators in the US, the government shutdown and debt ceiling in the US as well as the Fed’s monetary policy.
Variant Perception’s Claus Vistesen was on CNBC last week to discuss the market consequences of the government shutdown in the US.
The notion of a perfect storm is a tired cliché but in Portugal’s case, its use has rarely been more apt. Our view is that the market is underestimating the risks surrounding Portuguese debt roll-over and planned exit from the Troika programme in 2014. According to...
One of the most interesting developments across speculative positioning in the past weeks has been the reversal in net positioning in US stock futures. On an unsmoothed basis speculators most recently turned net short S&P 500 futures for the first time since October 2012 (although they increased their bullish bets slightly following the non-taper at the Fed). On a smoothed basis and including positioning in Dow Jones futures, net long speculative positioning has now declined for 5 months running.
Below is an excerpt from our weekly report from last Wednesday. On Friday, Moody's downgraded Ukraine to Caa1 (from B3), citing plummeting FX reserves, downside risk from future negotiations with the IMF, and Ukraine's worsening relations with Russia. Less reported...
Data in the UK have taken an unequivocally positive turn. PMIs for services, construction and manufacturing are at 3 year highs. Furthermore, the underlying picture is healthy, with the new orders to inventory ratio for manufacturing surging to 1.4. This has resulted in growth forecasts being upgraded, including the OECD, which now sees annualized growth in 2H13 of 3.5%, compared to the BoE’s last estimate of 2.8%.
In our latest thematic report, we look at how the unconventional monetary policies of the Fed et al are having distortionary effects on asset markets and increasing their inherent instability. In the classic film The Italian Job, Michael Caine berates his motley crew...
One concrete example where the recent sharp drawdown in the FX rate may herald better times ahead is in Brazil. As in most other emerging markets, a weaker currency is a double – edged sword. If it happens too quickly it can cause a run on FX reserves and add to inflation risks.