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E.g., 28-10-2021
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    Gavekal Research

    US Inflation Has Many Fathers

    As the economics adage goes, inflation happens when “too much money chases too few goods”. This is an oversimplification but it does contain a core truth: the monetary price of goods is dictated by supply and demand factors that impact both the goods in question, and money itself.

    4
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    Gavekal Research

    US Banks And The Steepening Curve

    The brightening of the US economic outlook and the steepening of the US yield curve over the last three months have been positive for the shares of US commercial banks. The prospect of a return to normal as vaccination quells the pandemic means banks are more willing to extend credit. According to the Federal Reserve’s January senior loan officer survey, far fewer banks are now tightening their lending standards. Experience suggests this will...

    5
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    Gavekal Research

    Will Stimulus Cause US Overheating?

    The US Democrats are declining to cut the size of their stimulus proposals enough to secure bipartisan support, and are instead proposing to push the bulk of their US$1.9trn package through Congress using the reconciliation process (see The State Of Biden’s Stimulus). Their determination has raised fears that pressing ahead with such a large fiscal stimulus at a time when the US output gap appears to be closing fast could prove uncomfortably...

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    Gavekal Research

    After GameStop

    Yesterday saw Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen chair a meeting of US financial regulators to assess the fallout of recent frenzied trading in “meme stocks”. There is unlikely to be a Dodd-Frank type response to this episode but a new administration may be motivated to act decisively. Yet the effect of GameStop may go wider, so consider the effect on the four key actors in the saga.

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    Gavekal Research

    The US Turns A Corner

    It was not surprising that the US economy grew at a mere 4% quarter-on-quarter annualized in the final period of 2020, but there was a grim recognition that the next phase of the recovery will be hard fought. There are, however, reason to be optimistic.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    A Tactical Turn In The Dollar?

    Neither the United States nor the European Union got off to a flying start, but the US is out front with its vaccination program. This points to longer Covid disruption in Europe, which—in the short term—should support the US dollar versus the euro. Yet, in the longer term there remain many reasons to underweight the dollar, certainly against cheaper “risk-on” currencies.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Follow The Money

    After last spring’s lockdowns, the Federal Reserve undertook a huge liquidity response and the US government borrowed hand over fist to keep a range of economic actors afloat: US companies got forgivable loans, households received cash grants and the jobless were offered enhanced unemployment payments. Even after this splurge, the Treasury is still left with wheelbarrow-loads of cash. In the year ahead, how these record sums of money are...

    6
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    Gavekal Research

    Biden’s Spending Plan

    In a speech late Thursday, US President-Elect Joe Biden called on Congress to approve an additional US$1.9trn of federal spending to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and support the US economy. If approved, Biden’s package will bring US government stimulus spending since the start of the pandemic to more than US$5trn. Heavy on support for households, Biden’s proposal would avert the risk of a first quarter contraction in the US economy and prime the...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Road Ahead For US Yields

    Friday’s US labor market figures showing a surprise 140,000 contraction in December’s non-farm payrolls emphasized just how tough the winter months are going to be for the world’s largest economy as coronavirus infection rates and resulting hospitalizations continue to accelerate. Yet the grim near-term economic outlook notwithstanding, the first week of 2021 saw inflation expectations push higher, with the 10-year breakeven inflation rate...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Bitcoin, Gold Or Fiat?

    Governments and central banks are giving users of fiat money reason to consider alternative mediums of exchange and stores of value. And it seems entirely possible that Bitcoin can rally even harder than it already has. But are there the makings of a good money? Because if the answer is “no”, then bitcoin is running on fumes.

    29
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    Gavekal Research

    The Senate Upheaval

    With some trepidation, Yanmei and Will offer their view on the economic consequences of Georgia, assuming that the Democrats have indeed secured a wafer-thin majority in the Senate. While the fiscal restraints will now surely be released and tax hikes are more likely, the real winners of this election will be centrists in the Democratic Party, who in effect wield veto power over its more liberal instincts.

    3
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    Gavekal Research

    An Unfavorable Risk-Reward Bet

    Today sees the US vaccination program initiated, and investors are enthused that some kind of return to normal life is finally becoming visible. Nowhere has this “glass half full” view been stronger than in the US corporate credit market, as yield spreads for both investment-grade and high-yield bonds have broken new lows. These moves have occurred despite treasury yields creeping higher, and are starting to look overcooked.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Rising Yields And US Housing

    Investors are looking ahead to us economic growth picking up as vaccines are deployed and restrictions dialed back. With the Federal Reserve having anchored short rates near zero, this dynamic is causing a yield-curve steepening. The question is whether higher yields feed back into a still vulnerable US economy and choke off the recovery.

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  • Gavekal Research

    Video: The Treasury’s Liquidity Programs And Markets

    US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has come under fire for failing to extend a number of the Treasury’s liquidity support programs into 2021. But as Will outlines in this short video interview, while the existence of the facilities that are set to expire helped to shore up sentiment back in March and April, they have been little used, and are now largely irrelevant in practical terms.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Georgia On My Mind

    In the four weeks since the US election, the S&P 500 has climbed 7.5%. The bulk of that run-up can be attributed to hopes for an early vaccine roll-out, but at least some is due to the perceived decline in US political risk, Yet although US electoral risk may have diminished, it has not disappeared, and may yet return to affect investor positioning in markets over the coming weeks.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Strategy Monthly: Two Equity Rotations For A Post-Covid World

    The impending rollout of vaccines in the United States is spurring two big equity rotations. With investors looking ahead to a post-Covid world, a rotation has begun from stocks that thrived in the pandemic to those that merely clung on. Second, the expectation that a robust economic recovery will push interest rates up has caused beaten-down value stocks to recover some mojo. Investors should play these rotations at a granular, sub-sector level...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Two Equity Rotations In The Making

    Investors are bulled up on hopes that successful vaccine roll-outs will end the Covid-19 pandemic before next spring and the US will get a smooth transition of power that leaves an investor-friendly divided government. Since Pfizer announced its successful stage-three vaccine trials on November 9, managers have been forced to reassess their US portfolio positioning. That process has likely only just got going.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    A Boost From US Restocking

    As the latest wave of US coronavirus infections continues to worsen, the probability of a modest contraction in fourth quarter GDP is rising. However, there are solid arguments for believing that the worst case scenario for 4Q remains no worse than a mild contraction in output.

    3
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    Gavekal Research

    The Brake On US Growth

    Hopes for effective coronavirus vaccination programs in 2021 propelled both the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 small cap index to record high, but on the ground in the US, accelerating infections and rising hospitalization rates prompted more state and local governments to order additional restrictions in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Time To Look Beyond The US

    Heading into the US elections, there were three big reasons to be bearish on the US dollar. With the results as they stand, one of those concerns has diminished. But the other two continue to weigh on the US currency. Meanwhile, the US equity market is looking extremely expensive compared with equity markets elsewhere. Together, these factors favor unhedged positions in selected non-US equity markets.

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