This special report will take an in-depth look at current and historical trends in income inequality, its causes and consequences, and possible directions for policy. It focuses on the U.S., but many of the same factors are at play throughout the developed world...
Contributing author Jordan Hokanson, President of HCI Ventures Ltd., outlines the benefits of investing in agriculture. "Investing in Farmland" goes beyond “pop economics” to explore the fundamentals behind farmland returns and what it might mean for future expected returns
Last summer, we published a Special Report entitled A “Two Euro Solution” to a Terminal Illness. We argued then that the most likely and least painful way out of the eurozone crisis was for Germany and the other core hard money eurozone countries to split off and create a “hard” euro.
It is clear that there has been a sea change in Japanese economic policy. The new policy, "Abenomics" reflects a determination to break out of the country’s long stagnation and growing sense of defeatism, complacency and 20-year relative decline. Abenomics is a combination of unconventional monetary policy, fiscal expansion and reform and have been presented as Abe’s three arrows.
We are likely in the midst of a bull market correction in gold – the severity and duration of which is not unprecedented. Goldman Sachs' bearish call, and the increasing pressure on Cyprus to sell their 10 tonnes of gold holdings, are likely triggers of last week’s sharp movements. In our report, we analyze the current risks gold faces, from the probability of a gold sell-off by the PIIGS and disappointing economic performance by China, to the current implications and future consequences of continued monetary expansion. While we affirm that the fundamentals behind gold are still intact, our analysis attests to our belief that gold is a long-term wealth preserver; gold investors should exercise patience in the face of impending volatility.
We believe that the U.S. housing market still looks quite fragile. Home prices are rising, and unsold inventories have fallen substantially, but the lack of participation from home buyers under 40 implies that the housing recovery is vulnerable and that the upside for prices in most areas is limited. In our report, we provide an overview of international real estate markets, and discuss the implications of this outlook, in particular on monetary policy.
In this Special Report, we discuss the most recent wave of central bank activism and its implications on global exchange rates.
The U.S. housing market appears to be at a turning point, with prices stabilizing, inventory falling and new construction picking up (Charts 1a-c). However, it is too soon to expect a sharp rebound, or to expect much of a contribution to growth from real estate activity. A detrimental factor has been eliminated from the economic and psychological picture, but the bubble that burst in 2006 was massive and will continue to affect the dynamics of the real estate sector for many years.
Assessing the financial risk of a nation requires comparing the aggregate debt of all sectors with a measure of the ability to service that debt. The typical measure of debt to GDP, akin to the “revenue” of a nation, can be misleading, especially during the false prosperity generated within a financial bubble. Instead, comparing debt to savings provides a more direct measure of leverage that is far less vulnerable to the distortions created during a bubble.
QE has become shorthand for ultra monetary ease and unlimited lender of last resort on the part of central banks. QE entered a new round in the last few weeks with moves by the European Central Bank (ECB), the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ).