Economics & Markets

The grass is greener in the Land of the Long White Cloud

The grass is greener in the Land of the Long White Cloud

14 mins. to read

New Zealand is a land of moderate weather, politics and economic policy. Growth prospects for the New Zealand stock market this year are also moderately good. Kia-Ora! When you enter New Zealand the passport check is accomplished by robots – but getting through the bio-security channel is lengthy and troublesome. If you have so much as…

Mellon on the Markets

Mellon on the Markets

5 mins. to read

Normal service was somewhat delayed by the exigencies of the road trip I have been on for two weeks to Asia and Australia. My colleague Anthony Chow and I have been doing the crossover (i.e. pre-IPO) institutional/UHNW (ultra-high net worth) round for Juvenescence Ltd and the result has been that by the time I get…

The Great Australian Soap Opera

The Great Australian Soap Opera

13 mins. to read

Australian politics has much in common with the country’s most famous TV soap. But the real issue right now is whether Australia can sustain its remarkable prosperity in a more uncertain world. Everybody needs good neighbours: Mr Turnbull under pressure On 09 April The Australianproclaimed that Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Prime Minister, had “lost” the…

Banker-bashing down-under

Banker-bashing down-under

9 mins. to read

Australia’s bankers are mired in scandals that make the country’s cricket team look virtuous by comparison.  Bloated bank bonuses down-under On Wednesday (05 April), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the country’s bank regulator, resumed a theme that has driven news headlines of late down-under. Wayne Byres, the APRA Chairman, told the Australian Banking and…

Grappling with the bear

Grappling with the bear

14 mins. to read

What will be the long-term consequences of the incident in Salisbury on 04 March? It seems a new arms race, already underway, has intensified. Chess-players In Russia, chess is a spectator sport. I have seen, in Gorky Park in winter, a small crowd form around two players locked in intellectual combat over an oversize chess…

The Twilight of the Zombies

The Twilight of the Zombies

13 mins. to read

Globally, the corporate default rate is about to spike. That will have serious consequences for the international financial system – though not all bad. Rates are on the way up Interest rates in the USA and the UK are going to rise – and more quickly than we thought. We know this because the central…

Mr Hammond’s good news

Mr Hammond’s good news

13 mins. to read

The outlook for UK government finances has improved (mildly) – that is good news. But the debate about “austerity” will remain with us for many more years. Moderately encouraging numbers Until Mr Hammond’s arrival at 11 Downing Street, March was the month of the budget when tax rates and bands were announced for the forthcoming…

Brexit: We are all Ultras now…

Brexit: We are all Ultras now…

13 mins. to read

The Brexit negotiations have entered a critical phase. Decisions made by both sides in the next three months will have long-term consequences. In a state of conflict, all sides become extreme. A modern English Civil War The classic schoolboy pseudo-history 1066 And All That asserted that, during the English Civil War, the Cavaliers were “Wrong…

Mellon on the Markets

Mellon on the Markets

6 mins. to read

The mini collapse in shares earlier in February must surely presage something more serious. In my excessively long experience of markets, the first shudder is rarely the last. Emollient words from inexperienced market commentators should be roundly ignored. This bull market is approaching the shadows of its duration and investors should make use of the…