Brazil: Speculators Take Profits on BRL and BRL Assets

We turned bullish on Brazil back in February.  Our leading indicators had been turning up, the effects of previous Selic hikes had begun to recede, and we expected inflation would fall, opening up the path for interest-rate cuts.  Year-to-date, Brazil…


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Monetary Policy Still Too Hot for Germany

An ongoing theme we kept coming back to throughout 2015 in the eurozone is that monetary policy tends to either too hot or too cold for the core or periphery.  The ECB’s attempts to fight deflation and reflate the periphery…


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Peak in Heavy Truck Sales Point to Cyclical Pain

Heavy truck sales are oddly a good leading indicator for the economy.  It is odd because a lot of industrial production is coincident with the business cycle.  However, if you go back over forty years, you can see that recessions…


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USD Positioning Supports Weaker Dollar

In January and February we discussed our view that we thought the dollar would find it difficult to rally further and would instead display a modest weakening bias.  The initial leg up of the rally in 2014 was not due…


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European Recovery: Periphery Loan-growth Needed

One of the aims of loose monetary policy is to boost lending.  The theory is lower rates and greater availability of liquidity will encourage lending and borrowing, which in turn will boost economic activity.  Unfortunately, an increased supply of loans…


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Earnings to Fall Further

Profit margins are declining, and we expect them to fall much further.  As you can see from the chart below, Variant Perception’s leading indicator for wages does a very good job of leading US corporate profit margins by a little over…


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Aussie Housing Finance Rolling Over

We are already seeing cracks in the housing market in Australia.  At Variant Perception we track news articles of things in oversupply, as this flags interesting investment themes.  Normally, we’ve seen commodities in oversupply, but interestingly, Australian apartments are now…


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Commercial and Industrial Lending to Fall

You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.  This is generally the mistake made by many when it comes to credit.  If you expand the availability of credit, and make it more attractive, then more…


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Financial Conditions Keep Tightening

Financial conditions are slowly but surely tightening.  We have had one actual rate hike by the Fed, but conditions had begun to tighten before this. This is primarily a developed market phenomenon. Real M1 for the G7 has been trending…


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Inflation Alive and Well in the US

We have focused on the theme of the misplaced fear of deflation at Variant Perception frequently over the past 18 months.  At several points, markets and commentators seem to have become preoccupied with a belief that growth-destroying deflation was imminent….


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