Weekly Market Review: A sea of black swans

How today’s tensions are resolved could determine direction of capital markets

One of the key themes that I anticipated would affect markets this year is disruption. I have maintained that disruption would likely come in different forms: geopolitical risk and monetary policy risk. (There is one additional form — disruption caused by innovation — that will be addressed more fully in a future commentary.) At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I must underscore the concerns I have articulated time and again about geopolitical risk. In many ways, these risks can be viewed as black swan events — difficult to predict, but with far-reaching potential consequences.

North Korean standoff rattles capital markets


Weekly Market Review: Between a rock and a hard place in the UK

With Brexit looming, the UK’s quandary could be a cautionary tale for the US

Last week, the Bank of England (BOE) opted to keep its key short-term bank lending rate unchanged at 0.25% by a vote of 6–2. The BOE’s Monetary Policy Committee is keeping interest rates ultra low because of concerns that the United Kingdom (UK) economy is too weak to accommodate higher borrowing costs. It may seem surprising that


Weekly Market Review: The summer of a hundred paper cuts

Political uncertainty has drawn blood, but not enough to call in the medics just yet

Those of us who work in offices have our own kind of occupational hazards — not the least of which is the paper cut. While hardly dangerous, a paper cut can range from harmless but annoying to mildly painful. The good news is that we rarely get more than one paper cut at once. But what if we experienced a hundred or more paper cuts around the same time? While they may not be deadly, they could certainly cause some serious suffering.


How Ireland’s economy rebounded after the financial crisis

The “Celtic tiger” now leads the eurozone in growth

Prior to the global financial crisis (GFC), Ireland’s economy was a stellar performer, earning the country the moniker of “Celtic tiger.” The onset of the GFC caused a major economic contraction and a housing crash — but today, Ireland is once again the fastest-growing economy in the eurozone. In this blog, I examine the key elements that allowed Ireland to regain its footing.

Key components of the recovery 


Weekly Market Review: Are emotions overriding facts?

In the US and Europe, sentiment doesn’t seem to match current realities

Global stocks moved higher last week, driven by a US stock market that continued to advance despite a plethora of negative headlines and a growing likelihood that President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda will not come to fruition in 2017. In addition, US stock market volatility, as measured by the VIX Index, remains very low. It’s almost as if US stocks have a Teflon-like coating around them, shielding them from the brunt of negative news. But why?


Weekly Market Review: The global forces of disruption

Disruption of many kinds has been a common theme in 2017

One of the key themes I’ve identified for 2017 and beyond is global disruption. Disruption can take many forms and be either a positive or negative force. The economist Joseph Schumpeter argued that disruption could be a positive force for economies — hence the term, “creative destruction.” Disruption — both positive and negative, both geopolitical and monetary — is abundant across the globe right now.

Changes afoot in France

Let’s start with France.