Author Archives: James Picerno

Macro Briefing: 21 October 2021

* Senate Democrats consider abandoning planned tax-rate hikes
* European Union set to rebuke Poland for challenging primacy of EU laws
* UK’s energy crisis could force 20 power suppliers into bankruptcy
* China Evergrande’s shares plunge after asset-purchase deal falls apart
* Fed’s Beige Book: slower growth amid higher inflation in early autumn
* Bitcoin futures ETF reaches $1 billion in assets after record-breaking debut
* Inflation worries are driving investment flows into bitcoin, says JP Morgan
* Six reasons why Americans are reluctant to return to work
* US stock market (S&P 500) closed just below a record high on Wednesday:

Macro Briefing: 20 October 2021

* Fed Chair Powell’s inflation metrics raise doubts about transitory forecast
* US 10-year Treasury yield rises to 1.67% on Tuesday — highest since May
* Has China become uninvestable? Milken conference guests debate the question
* UN report expected to forecast that fossil fuel producers set to ramp up output
* Can carbon-sucking fans help the world reach net-zero emissions?
* Multiple factors driving labor shortage that’s slowing US recovery
* German producer prices increase at fastest annual pace in more than 46 years
* US housing starts fell in September vs. expectations for moderate rise:

Macro Briefing: 19 October 2021

* US Lawmakers focus on tougher regs to curb Big Tech’s influence
* China and Russia naval vessels sail through Japan strait
* North Korea fires ballistic missile on Tuesday
* Energy crunch threatens global recovery as winter approaches
* Is supply-crunch inflation beyond the powers of containing via monetary policy?
* Fed Chair Powell sold more than $1 million of stock as market was tanking
* North America’s largest port remains gridlocked off coast of LA
* China’s property and construction industries contracted in Q3
* Global car output at risk from China’s magnesium shortage
* Bitcoin near record high ahead of debut of futures-based ETF
* WisdomTree commodities ETF (GCC) adds 3% allocation to bitcoin futures
* US homebuilder sentiment continued to rebound in October
* US industrial output fell in September, in part due to supply-chain disruption:

Macro Briefing: 18 October 2021

* Dems will focus on finalizing Biden’s massive social spending bill this week
* Inflation poses rising political risk for Biden and Democrats
* World still reliant on fossil fuels amid surge in energy prices
* China’s GDP increased 4.9% year over year in Q3, less than expected
* Energy, real estate shocks are slowing China’s economy, with global implications
* Fallout in China’s property sector looks set to continue
* Investors expect central banks will keep rates too low for too long, survey shows
* NY Fed Mfg Index posts slightly softer growth in Oct amid supply-chain shortages
* US consumer sentiment fell in early Oct to second-lowest level in a decade:

Book Bits: 16 October 2021

Trillions: How a Band of Wall Street Renegades Invented the Index Fund and Changed Finance Forever
Robin Wigglesworth
Interview with author and excerpt via
The finance industry has historically been adept at inventing new products that line its own pockets more than those of Main Street. The index fund is a rare exception to the rule. At a time when the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening everywhere, the positive impact that an initially much-maligned invention by a motley group of self-described finance industry renegades and heretics can have in the space of a few decades is inspirational. Nonetheless, new technologies — and that is essentially what the index fund is — always have side effects, and not all of them are positive. As index investing has grown, the initially snide comments have been replaced by concern, even fear. Over the past decade, it has become a crescendo. Paul Singer, a famous hedge fund manager, even argues that passive investing has grown into a “blob” that is now “in danger of devouring capitalism.”

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