Hot Air Balloon Economy

1

The interplay between debt and income can be a difficult thing to understand. Here is a useful analogy. Imagine a hot air balloon lying on the ground preparing for take-off. The fuel tank, used to heat the air, is the balance sheet in this analogy while the loft of the balloon is the income statement. […]

A Massive Liquidity Illusion

1

Since the election we’ve heard the rally in stocks characterized as a “Trump Trade” or a “reflation” trade. We think there is a really important element missing from this analysis that could change very quickly over the next several weeks. On March 16, 2017 (the day after the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest […]

Q&A with Author Peter Zeihan: How Shale is Reshaping America and the World

Absent Superpower

We recently met with geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan to discuss world events since the American election and his new book, “The Absent Superpower,” released last month. In the book, Peter credits energy and resource innovations with reshaping the global geopolitical environment. He predicts by 2019, US oil production costs could drop to $25 per barrel, […]

Why Hitting 2% Real GDP Growth Is Key For US Corporate Profits

1 - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy

While the myth that stock market returns are highly correlated to a country’s GDP growth rate has largely been debunked, there remains a strong, and intuitive, relationship between corporate profits and GDP. GDP measures the output of an economy and corporate profits are simply the income to capital owners derived from that output (with some accounting adjustments made along the […]

French Economic Uncertainty at All-Time Highs

310b10cd0407456e841f90fc7c4e1896

The rise in European government bond yields has been widespread since lows in early fall last year, led by Italy and (now) France. As investors turn to the relative safety of bunds, the spread between French and German yields (light blue line below) has risen to multi-year highs. In addition, the economic policy uncertainty index […]

Cause for Concern? Coincident-Lagging Economic Ratio is at a 41-Year Low

1 - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy (2)

The Conference Board’s Coincident-Lagging Ratio has done a pretty good job of identifying recessions since 1958. That is, until now. In each of the last eight recessions, the Coincident-Lagging Ratio bottomed near the end of the recession and was declining throughout the recession. It has been a pretty reliable indicator giving only three false signals, excluding […]