Eq: Total Market

(Washington)

The Fed has a big new worry that is not presently on the market’s radar. With all the worries about headline economic data and the trade war, very little attention has been paid to the potential shock equities and bonds may feel from climate change. The Fed, however, is very focused on the risk. The Fed says that climate change can have a jarring effect on the economy that may “affect national economic output and employment”. “As such, these events may affect economic conditions, which we take into account in our assessment of the outlook for the economy”, says Fed Chairman Powell.


FINSUM: Calculating climate risk is tough because it can have short-term effects, but also much longer and more challenging ones, such as migration and agricultural output. That said, no one is expecting a climate change-induced financial crisis.

(New York)

The trade war is scaring investors and tightening up markets. Benchmark indices have had a rough time this week and new data on investor flows should add to worries. UBS group, the world’s largest wealth manager, has just put out data on the holdings of its high net worth portfolios. The info shows that the world’s wealthy have 32% of their capital sitting in cash. In the US the figure was lower, at just 23%. UBS think that investors have become too conservative.


FINSUM: This is actually quite a bullish indicator for us. The markets have managed to rise a lot this year and there is still a lot of dry powder to push them higher.

(New York)

Investors are currently worried about the trade war between China and the US. Tensions have reached a new peak this week after threats from President Trump regarding hiking the tariff rate to 25%. This big development, and the trade war generally, prompted JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to weigh in this week. “The odds of something bad happening [in trade negotiations] is now double. Whatever you thought they were — 2%, 5%, 10% is probably doubled. That’s why the market is reacting to it because they’re not just afraid of the direct effect, they’re afraid if it reverses global trade, it reverses global growth and hurts trade around the world”. All that said, he sees an 80% likelihood a deal will occur because smart people on both sides will make it happen.


FINSUM: We agree with Jamie. Both sides have a lot on the line and we think everyone will eager to seal a deal, even if a modest one, and move on. Perhaps that is western-centric thinking though.

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