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    Gavekal Research

    Five Corners (8 May 2013)

    In the latest Five Corners biweekly review of global economics and investment:

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    Gavekal Research

    Good, But Not Out Of The Woods Yet

    After weeks of relentlessly disappointing growth data, the US finally delivered a major positive release. Stronger-than-expected payroll numbers set off an equities rally and pushed up bond yields. This report comes as a relief —but we are not out of the woods yet.

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    Gavekal Research

    Five Corners (24 April 2013)

    Long-time GaveKal readers will recall a former publication called Five Corners, in which we presented a series of short takes on global economic and market developments. Today we re-launch Five Corners in a new format, which we hope will enable readers to keep closer track of our core views.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Growth Falters And GIPSI Bonds Rally?

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    New Century, New Structural Growth Rates

    In the second half of the last century, the US labor force was swelled by baby boomers and a surge of female participation. These major demographic forces shaped the economy and established growth expectations. But they have since changed dramatically. The structural growth rate of the labor force is now, and will continue to be, slow and steady. All else equal, this implies a slower and steadier structural growth rate of the economy.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Growth & Markets Monthly (April 2013)

    1
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    Gavekal Research

    A First Non-Euro Currency Debate

    Last Thursday the Bank of Japan stunned investors with a muscular monetary response that aims to break a deflationary cycle that had seemed to condemn Japan to permanent economic decline. In this piece we debate what the new policy settings mean for investors and crucially, seek to answer the trillion-yen question of where the Japanese currency is headed.

    3
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    Gavekal Research

    Why Does Velocity Fall In Spring?

    Tolstoy said that “spring is the time of plans and projects.” Obviously, Tolstoy did not manage money as for the fourth year in a row, spring appears to be the time when US growth indicators roll over, the euro project threatens suicide, and investor risk appetite falls out of bed. To be honest, we are still scratching our heads for a solid explanation (and very much welcome comments from our wise readers). But below are a few possibilities to...

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    Gavekal Research

    Why Bond Yields Are Falling

    So much for the great rotation out of bonds. With the lone exception of Italy, ten-year G7 government bond yields have dropped to new lows for the year. And the simple average yield for all G7 bonds just made a new all-time low of 1.92%. Perhaps most crucially, US treasury yields have skidded to 1.75%, decisively below the critical level of 1.84%—which served as a resistance last year and then, thus far this year, a support (see chart). We see...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Riding A Bull Market With No Conviction

    The Irish poet WB Yeats wrote, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” We see something similar in equity markets. With the S&P 500 on Tuesday hitting a new all-time high, we clearly remain in bull market territory. Central bank easing measures such as that just announced by the Bank of Japan mean we could push higher. And yet we see plenty of evidence that these new peaks have come on the back of...

    4
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    Gavekal Research

    Beyond The Sequester

    Newspaper headlines are focused on the sequester, but we are more interested in the recent positive developments in the private sector. After all, it is the private sector that truly drives the economy forward over the long run, not the government.

    1
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    Gavekal Research

    Is US Housing Cheap, Really?

    US homebuilder stocks were hit especially hard last week by the revelation that some Federal Reserve policymakers want an early end to quantitative easing. Such an investor response makes sense given that the US housing recovery has been fuelled by super low mortgage rates, so any “exit” from easy money must be a big negative. Follow this logic a little further and a thornier question is whether US housing, after an approximate 25% price decline...

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    The Fed In The Red

    QE3 has been dubbed “QE Infinity” because it does not have an expiration date. But a growing constituency at the Federal Reserve now appears to be asking whether a third quantitative easing program was one too many. According to the minutes of January 29-30 FOMC meeting, released yesterday: “A number of participants stated that an ongoing evaluation of the efficacy, costs, and risks of asset purchases might well lead the Committee to taper or...

    8
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    Gavekal Research

    US Consumers: Death By Taxes?

    A slew of tax increases went into effect in the United State on January 1st, raising concerns that the death of consumption will follow. Nearly all US consumers will be affected—either by the 2 percentage point increase in the payroll tax, the 4.6pp rise of the top marginal tax rate, the new Medicare surtax, higher capital gain and dividend taxes, etc. Without a doubt, this is a significant headwind for US consumption. But there are two major...

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    Gavekal Research

    US Dipping Into Recession? Not Yet

    US GDP just contracted for the first time since the 2007-09 recession. It was a mere –0.1% decline, but this is still rather unsettling given there is only one example to be found over the last 50 years, in 1977, when US GDP growth dipped below zero without marking the start of a recession. And yet markets shrugged off this shocking news—as they should have. Behind the poor headline number, the components indicate that underlying domestic growth...

    4
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    Gavekal Research

    Europe's Goldilocks LTRO Scenario?

    3
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    Gavekal Research

    The Big Cap Effect Is Not About To Ebb

    Small firms, and very often newly formed endeavors, have long fuelled job growth in the US. Indeed, it has become axiomatic in public discourse that the business of America is small business. Hence, a reduction in the number of startups and the tendency for small firms to employ fewer workers has sparked a predictable blame game: those with a “declinist” view contend that the US is losing its innovative edge, mainstream economists point to...

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    Gavekal Research

    A Pulse From US Manufacturing

    Maybe the patient lives. 2013 has already started to deliver early indications that we are indeed at an inflection point in global growth. Canada reported yesterday that its Ivey PMI rebounded to an expansionary level of 52.8 in December, from 47.5; respondents to Germany’s IFO survey of business expectations (highly correlated to German exports) has risen for two straight months. And while less obvious, US data is also beginning to stir. Recent...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    US Seminars: Charles & Anatole Debate, Plus Francois, Will, Nate and Tom

    We sent a big gang to Boston and New York for our pre-Christmas seminars this year. Charles and Anatole debated on Keynesianism and the true scope of government participation in OECD economies. Francois explained his nearly singular view within GaveKal that European growth is set for take-off (at least in some parts). Will Denyer examined the shifting drivers of the US economy. Nate looked at why shale gas has not taken off in China, and Tom...

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    Gavekal Research

    A New Threat To The US Recovery

    Improvements in the US domestic sector have raised hopes that the US will pull the global economy out of its current funk. But what if the cycle is working in reverse—with weakness beyond American shores feeding back to undermine the nascent recovery at home? After 37 straight months of growth, employment in US manufacturing contracted in November for the first time since 2009, according to ISM. This raises the concern that weak growth in the...

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