Posts tagged Brexit
Big Decisions

I vividly remember my first desktop computer. It was a mighty machine powered by an AMD Athlon 800mhz processor with 64mb ram. As a true geek, I upgraded it several times and with respect to the graphics cards, there were only two choices at the turn of the century. You either went with AMD's Radeon chips or NVIDIA's GeForce range. My choice settled on a Radeon with 64mb; AMD was the underdog at the time, but their Radeon cards were top quality. It offered crisp pictures, and smooth gameplay, to support my career as online gamer in the Unreal Tournament clan The Viper's Nest. The world has moved on since then. I am no longer as adept with an Instagib rifle as I used to be, and NVIDIA no longer only relies on selling graphic chips. Today the firm is centre stage in the debate on whether U.S. tech stocks—and the infamous FANGs—are in a bubble.

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Is reality catching up with investors' favourite narratives?

I am still willing to give Mr. Trump the benefit of the doubt. We have no actual policymaking to judge yet, and at least some of the people he is surrounding himself with look capable. I admit, however, that the burden of evidence is getting heavy. The president-elect's tweets, on their own, are evidence that he has tendency to act long before thinking. Last week's presser also provided a timely reminder that we are dealing with a volatile character. I understand that infuriating "soft" liberals, such as yours truly, is exactly what Mr. Trump and his strategists want. I have no doubt that the incoming administration's communication "style" is carefully planned. The base loves it! But problems are brewing, chiefly among which is the growing chasm between Mr. Trump and the intelligence apparatus upon which he will so desperately depend for policymaking when he takes office. 

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Equities Finally Get the Memo

After a week's break, and a detour, I am back in the saddle for a busy run-in to Christmas. The main market mover of note, while trawling the museums and bars of Paris, was that global equities finally showed a bit of weakness. The MSCI World slid 1.8% last week, down 4.8% from its peak in August, which means that the index is flat as a pancake year-to-date. A belated reaction to the recent mini tantrum in bond markets, or a knee-jerk reaction to tighter polls across the pond, are probably the lazy strategist's reason for the sell off. But it has been coming regardless. 

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