Portugal to Reignite Debt Crisis in 2014

The notion of a perfect storm is a tired cliché but in Portugal’s case, its use has rarely been more apt. Our view is that the market is underestimating the risks surrounding Portuguese debt roll-over and planned exit from the…


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Speculators are giving up on US stock futures

One of the most interesting developments across speculative positioning in the past weeks has been the reversal in net positioning in US stock futures. On an unsmoothed basis speculators most recently turned net short S&P 500 futures for the first time since October 2012 (although they increased their bullish bets slightly following the non-taper at the Fed). On a smoothed basis and including positioning in Dow Jones futures, net long speculative positioning has now declined for 5 months running.


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Nearing the Edge of the Cliff in Ukraine – Devaluation Coming

Below is an excerpt from our weekly report from last Wednesday.  On Friday, Moody’s downgraded Ukraine to Caa1 (from B3), citing plummeting FX reserves, downside risk from future negotiations with the IMF, and Ukraine’s worsening relations with Russia. Less reported…


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Recovery to be short-lived in the UK

Data in the UK have taken an unequivocally positive turn. PMIs for services, construction and manufacturing are at 3 year highs. Furthermore, the underlying picture is healthy, with the new orders to inventory ratio for manufacturing surging to 1.4. This has resulted in growth forecasts being upgraded, including the OECD, which now sees annualized growth in 2H13 of 3.5%, compared to the BoE’s last estimate of 2.8%.


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An Ugly Wager – Is the S&P in a Bubble?

In our latest thematic report, we look at how the unconventional monetary policies of the Fed et al are having distortionary effects on asset markets and increasing their inherent instability. In the classic film The Italian Job, Michael Caine berates…


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Weaker currency points to better times ahead in Brazil

One concrete example where the recent sharp drawdown in the FX rate may herald better times ahead is in Brazil. As in most other emerging markets, a weaker currency is a double – edged sword. If it happens too quickly it can cause a run on FX reserves and add to inflation risks.


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The Great Brick Wall of China

In this report we discuss the outlook of the Chinese economy across a number of key parameters: re-balancing the economy, the current account/exchange rate and the risks stemming from rapid credit expansion. The central thrust of our argument is that…


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The Great Releveraging in the US

The headline above is not a mistake; aggregate debt to GDP is now growing again in the US . This is evident if we look at the broadest measure of credit in the US which rose to a new high of $57 trillion USD in the first quarter of 2013.


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Margin debt almost always precedes a draw down

August 13 (CNBC) — Jonathan Tepper, partner at Variant Perception (Source: CNBC)


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Eurozone Periphery Still at Risk

The cyclical recovery in Europe is real and will likely have further to go in the second half of this year. However, amid upbeat cyclical indicators, it is important to keep a close eye on developments in the periphery and in particular Spain. The process of clearing bad debts is far from over in our view and the idea that Spain has, “turned the corner” lacks logic and evidence.


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