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Cushioning downside risks

September 11, 2019
Read on for our discussion of the economic outlook and our expectations for central bank responses. We also outline key recent/upcoming political developments (Brexit, trade war, etc.), major risks in 2019, and update our cross asset market views. [more]

More documents from Jim Reid

32 (25-32)
September 11, 2018
25
We’re at the stage of the policy tightening cycle where history suggests a higher likelihood of accidents in financial markets. Recent events support that, with markets buffeted by negative headlines from Italy, Turkey, Argentina, and broader EMs. Although there are idiosyncratic risks in the above, they are being magnified by a persistent, if steady, Fed tightening cycle and an ECB that is tapering towards a QE standstill. Meanwhile Brexit and trade wars bubble along in the background. [more]
September 5, 2018
26
It remains a macro world for credit, with no real concerns of a fundamental nature within the corporate bond universe. The problem is that the macro world has become increasingly complicated this year. At the start of 2018, when markets were extraordinarily becalmed, we did feel that 2018 would see the return of volatility and that credit spreads would widen in sympathy. The reality is that 2018 has certainly deviated from our roadmap even if spreads have migrated to roughly where we thought they would be at this stage of the year. [more]
June 6, 2018
27
About 250 years on from the first industrial revolution, we appear to be on the brink of a new age of automation, one dominated by complex robots and artificial intelligence. In this issue, we examine the impact of the next generation of automation on workers, industry, and society at large. Evidence from history, economics, and our industry analysts suggest that robots are more likely to complement us than replace us. [more]
May 30, 2018
29
In our 7th annual DB survey of global prices and living standards, we rank 50 cities that are relevant to global financial markets. We consider Quality of Life, Salaries, Rents and Disposable After-Rent Income, and our Weekend Getaway, Cheap Date and Bad Habits indices. We then look at the individual series of the prices of goods and services. Our survey highlights relative prices around the globe and how they have changed over time. [more]
April 19, 2018
30
When will the next major default cycle occur? We assess lead indicators of previous default cycles in an attempt to predict the timing of the next one. Most indicators with a relatively short lead time suggest no imminent concerns of rising defaults through 2018. But some longer-term lead time indicators are starting to issue warning signs. Much can change over the next 12-24 months to shift the outlook, but H1 2020 looks a realistic start of the next major default cycle based on our analysis at this stage. [more]
March 1, 2018
31
In the fourth part of our series on the impact of rising yields, we discuss the rising incidence of zombie firms in recent years. Bottom-up data of some 3,000 companies in the FTSE All World index show that the percentage of zombie firms has more than tripled to 2.0% of firms in 2016 from 0.6% in 1996. Such firms are defined as those with an interest coverage ratio under 1x for 2 consecutive years and a price to sales ratio under 3x. That matters because zombie firms are linked to fading business dynamism and because years of low interest rates should have led to fewer such firms, not more. There are early signs we are at a turning point, however. The numbers for 2017, with two-thirds of firms reporting, suggest that zombie firm incidence declined sharply last year. If this proves to be a real trend, it may give central banks confidence that continuing to raise rates and pull away from unconventional monetary policy will have some advantages. [more]
January 15, 2018
32
Against expectations, economies and markets powered ahead in 2017. Many predict more records to be broken in 2018. Yet, in many sectors, things are more complicated and 2018 may be the year of tipping points that augur unexpected change – both positive and negative. In this issue, we probe these tipping points and analyse the effects on economies and industries that investors may have ignored. [more]
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