Monthly Archives: January 2020

Book Bits | 25 January 2020

The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite
By Michael Lind
Review via The Washington Examiner
The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite [is] a short volume that examines the populist revolts in the U.S., Britain, and Western Europe. All of them, Lind says, are part of a transatlantic class war being waged on three fronts — politics, economics, and culture. For a brief period after World War II, working-class and rural constituencies enjoyed real bargaining power in all three realms. Since then, the West has seen a “technocratic neoliberal revolution from above” that has systematically destroyed the working class’s ability to participate in national life. The result has been the rise of working-class populism, culminating in Brexit and the election of President Trump.
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Macro Briefing | 24 January 2020

Does China’s virus outbreak threaten the global economy? NY Times
Eurozone economy remains close to stagnant in January: IHS Markit
German economy shows sign of modest recovery in January: IHS Markit
UK economy returns to modest growth in January via PMI survey: IHS Markit
Japan’s economy posts a rebound in January: IHS Markit
US jobless claims rose last week but still near lowest in decades: CNBC
KC Fed Mfg Index remains weak in Jan, but avg for regional banks still positive
US Leading Economic Indicator’s 6-mo trend dipped deeper into the red in Dec:

Correlations Profile | Major Asset Classes | 23 January 2020

Return correlations for the major asset classes have edged down in recent years, which implies that diversification opportunities have increased, if only marginally. The correlation readings are only modestly softer overall and for several asset class pairings it’s fair to say that nothing much has changed. But reviewing all the key slices of global markets by way of pairwise return correlations shows that the median for this risk metric has slipped, based on a set of proxy ETFs.
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Macro Briefing | 23 January 2020

China locks down a second city to halt spread of coronavirus: WSJ
Coronavirus is threat that will test China’s economy: SCMP
US envoy: slain Iran general’s fate awaits successor if he kills Americans: Reuters
Trump says US growth has slowed because of Federal Reserve: CNBC
ECB expected to keep deposit rate at minus 0.5% in today’s announcement: BBG
Will digital taxes lead to the next tariff war? NY Times
Global economy in ‘sweet spot,’ says Harvard University economist: Bloomberg
Low rates, low inflation threaten central bank independence: VoxEU
Existing home sales in the US accelerated in Dec, close to 2-year high: Reuters
US economic trend still sluggish but continued to edge up in Dec: Chicago Fed

Momentum Stocks Roar Higher In 2020 Start For Equity Factors

The year is still young but so far there’s a clear winner in the horse race among US equity factors: momentum. Following a mostly meandering performance in 2019’s fourth quarter, large-cap momentum has been on a nearly non-stop rally in the new year that’s left the rest of the field in the dust, based on a set of ETFs representing factor strategies in the US equity market.

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Macro Briefing | 22 January 2020

China virus spreads, lifting death toll and raising pandemic fears: Reuters
Senate blocks effort to allow Bolton’s testimony in impeachment trial: The Hill
No date set for second phase of US-China trade talks, says China source: BBG
Trump says US GDP growth would be close to 4% if Fed cut rates sooner: CNBC
Trump’s top economic adviser Kudlow: Fed’s T-Bill buys ‘basically’ QE: MNI
Trump administration imposes more sanctions on Venezuela’s regime: CNBC
US plans to add travel restrictions to seven nations in Africa and Asia: WSJ
Amazon’s Bezos’ phone reporetedly hacked by Saudi Arabia’s crown price: TG
10-year Treasury yield slips to 1.78%, lowest since Dec. 4:

US Business Cycle Risk Report | 21 January 2020

The US economy continues to show signs of stabilizing after last year’s second-half slowdown. In addition, revised projections for the business cycle trend hint at the possibility that growth is rebounding in early 2020. Although an upbeat outlook for this year remains tentative, today’s forward review points to a mildly stronger output for the US in the first quarter.
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Macro Briefing | 21 January 2020

China confirms that new virus can spread through human contact: Reuters
China’s coronavirus outbreak prompts flight screenings in Australia: NY Times
U. of Hong Kong: virus has likely spread to 20 cities: SCMP
Trump to speak at World Economic Forum as impeachment trial begins: AP
Hundreds of US-bound migrants cross Mexico’s southern border: BBC
US Treasury Sec. warns UK and Italy re: digital-tax plans: WSJ
Moody’s downgrades Hong Kong’s long-term debt rating due to gov’t ‘inertia’: BBG
Foreign investment by firms around the world fell in 2019 to near-decade low: WSJ
IMF predicts world growth will pick up in 2020: CNBC