Risk Premia Forecasts: Major Asset Classes | 5 September 2018

The expected risk premium for the Global Market Index (GMI) continued to inch up in August, reaching an annualized 5.0% — fractionally higher vs. the estimate in the previous month. The projection reflects the annualized return over the estimated “risk-free” rate for the long run for GMI, an unmanaged market-value-weighted portfolio that holds all the major asset classes.
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Macro Briefing: 5 September 2018

New offensive operations begin in Syria: NY Times
Trump considers a government shutdown ahead of elections: Bloomberg
Senate confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh begins with chaos: Reuters
US ISM Mfg Index soared to 14-year high last month: MarketWatch
Global Mfg PMI fell to 21-month low in August: IHS Markit
US Mfg PMI dipped to nine-month low in August: IHS Markit
Construction spending in US ticked up 0.1% in July: AP
SUV sales in US rose sharply again in August: CNBC
Selling continues to weigh on assets in emerging markets: Bloomberg

Macro Briefing: 4 September 2018

Trump warns Syria, Iran and Russia on new offensive in Syrian province: Reuters
Italy’s spending plans are rattling markets again: MarketWatch
GOP looks for plan to avoid gov’t shutdown ahead of elections: Politico
Considering Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings this week: CNBC
South Africa falls into recession for first time since 2009: Bloomberg
UK Manufacturing PMI slips to 25-month low: IHS Markit
Amazon is moving into the online advertising industry: NY Times
Chicago PMI fell in August–first slide in five months: Chicago ISM
US Consumer Index dipped to 7-month low in August: CNBC

Happy Labor Day!

The good news this Labor Day regarding the celebratory subject du jour: there’s more of it. The quality of the jobs minted in recent years is a topic that’s open for debate, but the quantity is certainly moving in the right direction: US civilian employment reached 155.965 million, as of July 2018 — a record high.

Book Bits | 1 September 2018

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World
By Anand Giridharadas
Review via The Chronicle of Philanthropy
We don’t hear much about Zuckerberg’s presidential prospects these days; he has his hands full addressing concerns that Facebook helped spread disinformation propagated by Russian troll farms as part of an effort to sway the 2018 election.
In fact, his diminished public stature registers the eroding foundations of philanthrocapitalism more generally. An anti-establishment upsurge, wide-scale apprehensions about inequality, swelling grass-roots social movements, and the high-profile fumbling and failings of the economic elite themselves have all conspired to tamp down the inclination to turn to the rich to save the world.
For those who still might be tempted to do so, there’s an important new book by journalist Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. It levels a devastating attack on philanthrocapitalism. There isn’t much left standing after his assault — and that’s both his book’s strongest point and its main shortcoming.
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Macro Briefing: 31 August 2018

Trump prepared to escalate trade war with China: Reuters
China’s factory activity strengthened in August: Bloomberg
White House set to announce expansion of retirement plans for small firms: ABC
Trump says Dems can’t impeach him because economy is strong: Bloomberg
Currency crisis spreads, weighing on assets in emerging markets: CNBC
Weekly US jobless claims show labor market still tightening: CNBC
US inflation at six-year high in July: Bloomberg
Consumer spending up sharply in July–5th straight gain: MarketWatch

Macro Briefing: 30 August 2018

Trump claims “left-wing violence” is coming if Dems win in fall: BBC
Trump counters Sec. of Defense: no need for US-S. Korea war games: Reuters
Trump: Canada will rejoin US-Mexico trade deal ahead of Fri deadline: CNBC
US oil sanctions expected to send Iran’s economy into recession: USA Today
Researchers find more anomalies in China’s economic data: SCMP
US Q2 GDP growth revised up slightly to 4.2%: MarketWatch
Pretax corporate profits for US firms up 7.7% in Q2, the most in 4 years: LA Times
US Pending Home Sales Index down for 7th straight month in July: CNBC
Democrats projected to retake House in fall elections: FiveThirtyEight.com