Investors may not realize it yet, but the Fed is in a quite pickle: damned if they keep hiking, damned if they don’t. In what is being dubbed a potential “Dollar doom loop”, the Fed might create a cycle of excessive Dollar strengthening if it keeps hiking. This may cause an overseas debt crisis as many foreign borrowers, especially EMs like Turkey, have issued excessive Dollar-denominated debt. This would in turn put stress on Europe. Additionally, the strong Dollar strengthening would start to hurt US corporate earnings and exports, in turn weakening the economy and possibly causing the Trump administration to move to artificially weaken the Dollar. That said, if the Fed quits hiking, it risks the economy, which is already hot, quickly overheating.

FINSUM: This situation is very real, but luckily we think there is a pretty simple solution—only proceed slowly with hikes. It should be enough to keep the economy in check (given inflation is not high), but not so much as to send the Dollar surging (imperiling foreign borrowers).


Investors in stocks will be familiar with the market’s habit of focusing on an issue for a week or two, getting anxious, and then moving on almost completely once things looks even half-resolved. That is exactly what happened with Italy’s debt crisis a few months ago. However, this problem looks likely to rear its ugly head again. Italy is the third largest debt market in the world, and its looks dangerously close to imploding. That may be why Trump offered Italy funding to help its situation. The big fear is a near-term budget vote where the country’s parties are considering a package that would offer a flat tax rate and universal income for the left, all while ballooning the deficit to 7% of GDP, way above the EU limit of 3%.

FINSUM: Italy is currently led by a pair of parties that hate the Euro, so it seems likely that they may tempt fate with this kind of package. However, there is a potential compromise in the works.


The US and China ended two days of trade war negotiations yesterday, and apparently there was little progress. Both sides pressed ahead with enforcing $16 bn of further tariffs on one another. The deputy White House Press Secretary commented at the end of the negotiations that the two countries “exchanged views on how to achieve fairness, balance and reciprocity in the economic relationship”, but made no mention of any material progress being made. One senior Trump administration official added “in order to get a positive result out of these engagements, it’s really critical that they address the fundamental concerns that we have raised. We haven’t seen that yet”.

FINSUM: While the market seemed very hopeful about these talks, the trade battle with China looks likely to keep going for a while yet as the issue seems to be quite intractable.

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