Author Archives: James Picerno

Macro Briefing: 25 January 2021

* House prepares to send Trump impeachment charge to Senate
* Biden to impose new int’l travel restrictions to fight new Covid variants
* China provocatively flies warplanes close to Taiwan over the weekend
* China overtook US as top destination for new foreign direct investment in 2020
* Widespread protests in Russia are encouraged by West, Moscow claims
* Mexico’s president contracts the coronavirus, reports mild symptoms
* German business sentiment continues to roll over after 2020 bounce
* US Composite PMI (GDP proxy) reflects solid growth in January:

Book Bits: 23 January 2021

Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots
James Suzman
Review via The New Yorker
In “Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots” (Penguin Press), the South African anthropologist James Suzman, a specialist on the Khoisan peoples, disputes the economic definition of “work.” One culture’s work is another’s leisure; one people’s needs are, to another people, mere wants. Suzman proposes, instead, to define “work” as “purposefully expending energy or effort on a task to achieve a goal or end,” a definition so committed to its universality as to risk becoming meaningless. He insists that the key word here is “purposeful”: to act purposefully is to understand cause and effect. Among the traits that distinguish Homo sapiens from other primates, Suzman argues, is this capacity, which—because of humans’ harnessing of, for instance, fire—makes possible a different relationship to provisioning.

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The ETF Portfolio Strategist: 22 Jan 2021

In this issue:

  • Global stock markets rebound, led by Asia ex-Japan shares
  • Portfolio strategy benchmarks rally
  • Managed risk strategies struggle

The bull market revives: Equity markets around the world closed higher this week. Last week’s stumble inspired a new round of worries, but a lot can change in a week. For now, the bulls show no signs that they’re ready to throw in the towel on the post-coronavirus-crash recovery.

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Macro Briefing: 22 January 2021

* Biden will sign executive orders today providing Covid-19 relief to workers
* Senate Republicans oppose to Biden’s coronavirus relief bill
* Eurozone economic activity contracts for a 3rd month in Jan via PMI survey data
* UK economy falls in January, biggest decline in 8 months via PMI survey
* UK retail sales posted a record decline in 2020
* Japan’s economic activity continues to decline in January via PMI survey data
* US jobless claims continue to rise at an alarming rate: +900,000 last week
* Mid-Atlantic manufacturing activity surges in January via Philly Fed Mfg Index
* US housing starts rose to 15-year high in December:

Macro Briefing: 21 January 2021

* Biden signs 17 excecutive orders on Wed., reversing several Trump policies
* Biden will sign 10 executive orders today, including new Covid-19 plan
* Biden’s overall policy agenda depends on results in battling Covid-19
* Biden faces several major economic challenges in the months ahead
* US homebuilder sentiment eases in Jan but still reflects bullish conditions
* US stock market (S&P 500) rises to record high on first day of Biden presidency:

Macro Briefing: 20 January 2021

* Washington under tight security for today’s Biden inauguration ceremony
* Biden plans blizzard of executive orders to reverse Trump policies
* Yellen, next Treasury Secretary, promotes sweeping stimulus package
* Treasury nominee Yellen: US can afford higher corporate tax rate
* UK annual inflation picks up to 0.6% in Dec but still well below BoE’s 2% target
* Eurozone annual inflation remained negative in December at -0.3%
* Eurozone is capping bond yields–with a European twist
* US Treasury market’s 5-year implied inflation forecast rises to 3yr high: 2.12%: