201501.25
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Investment Themes and Research Highlights

The cyclical rebound in global return on equity has further to run in an economic recovery scenario, despite having softened modestly in the past year. Earnings will be a tailwind for stock prices. Global equities are fairly valued relative to corporate profitability. Valuations are not an impediment to further stock price gains, and indeed have…

201501.19
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The Dangers Of Leverage

Leverage: the use of credit to enhance one’s speculative capacity Merriam-Webster Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world. Archimedes The Swiss National Bank – the Swiss equivalent of our Federal Reserve – didn’t exactly move the world last week but the fallout…

201501.19
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Currencies

The dollar is very stretched in momentum and sentiment terms and, thus, due for a consolidation or brief correction. This is true for all the major and commodity currencies. However, the key cyclical drivers for exchange rates – relative growth trends and interest rate differentials – should remain dollar-supportive this year. Most likely, after a…

201501.11
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Signs Of Stress

2015 has started with a bang with the Dow trading in a roughly 700 point range through the first six trading days. The increase in volatility started in the 4th quarter and appears to have entered the new year with a new – higher – range. The source of the volatility appears to be angst…

201501.04
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Checking In With Mr. Market

Mr. Market is the fictional business partner Benjamin Graham invented in his classic value investing book, The Intelligent Investor. As Mr. Graham describes him, Mr. Market is the business partner of the investor, offering on a daily basis to buy your share in the business or alternatively to sell you his share. There are times…

201412.21
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Questions For 2015

Well, it’s that time of year again, when all the pundits offer their crystal ball views of the coming new year. I don’t usually participate in the prediction game and this year won’t be any different. Like everyone else I wonder what the future holds but I know I have no special ability to predict…

201412.17
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Woe the ‘Dollar’

It seems Charles Dickens had a flair for 21st century economics all the way back in the 19th century. Writing in his book Little Dorrit (thanks to W Krauss for the reminder) he observed that credit systems tended to be, “…a person who can’t pay, gets another person who can’t pay, to guarantee that he…

201412.14
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A Considerable Period

con·sid·er·able 1. Worth consideration; significant 2. Large in extent or degree Merriam-Webster It was six years ago this month that the Federal Reserve cut the Fed Funds rate to its current target range of 0 – 0.25%, essentially cutting the interbank lending rate to zero. The upper end of that range hasn’t been a problem,…

201412.12
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Global Credit Markets Have Proclaimed An End To The Recovery

The amount of credit market fireworks this week is only surpassed by those of October 15. Everywhere you look, credit markets are not just growing bearish but, as I said earlier in the week, bearish in comparison with past crisis periods. The past few days have surpassed even that observation, making credit now a fast-moving…