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The returns are still valid. Looking at the global investment landscape today, there is a gaping hole where dependable fixed interest assets used to be. Successive rounds of central bank purchases have annexed much of the territory that pension, life insurance and collective investment vehicles formerly occupied. Deprived of income yield and duration, investors have pursued multiple strategies attempting to recoup what they have lost, without assuming excessive market risk. Many have... Read More >

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It shows just how hard it will be to reach net zero. As the world prepares to discuss more aggressive cuts to carbon emissions at the UN’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, China has just sent out the worst possible Read More >

Building a commitment to egalitarianism on our genetic uniformity is building a house on sand.– Paige Harden Paige Harden is a University of Texas-Austin behavioral geneticist who does not deny that inborn determinants of IQ can Read More >

Everyone is talking about inflation. And rightly so. The consumer price index (CPI) grew by 5.4% from June 2020 to June 2021. That is a far cry from double-digit inflation. Read More >

“Let China Sleep. When she awakes, she will shake the world…” This Morning: The media is full of China noise – does the rising tension mean it may become un-investible? The Chinese economy is very different, but recognisably similar. Read More >

Monetary policy isn’t about interest rates. It’s about money. Specifically, it’s about the supply of money relative to the demand to hold it. But you wouldn’t know that from financial journalists’ constant focus on interest rates. Read More >

Who’s right about the best way to reduce child poverty? Reading through the recent intellectual proxy fight between NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof and Fox News panelist John Tamny (Property Chronicle, 22 March), I couldn’t help but recall Read More >

In the wake of the interview of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with Oprah Winfrey, numerous pundits questioned the relevance of having monarchs serve in a ceremonial function of head of state. And to be sure, that does not apply merely to Great Read More >

We live in a world of virtual reality: virtual conversations, virtual relationships, virtual work, and virtual leisure. Artificial intelligence is on a mission to replace us all with avatars: bright, shiny versions of ourselves. Central banks Read More >

Recently I wrote part 1 of this article in the hope that with the coming of a new presidential administration we can start to think rationally about dealing with what is a tricky adversary. Tricky because it is clear that China is an existential Read More >

US-China relations have an incredibly complicated history that dates back many years to when the United States first interacted with imperial China. There have been some periods of mutual benefit and trade. There have also been numerous armed Read More >

The Roaring Twenties hold a certain nostalgia in the collective American mindset, harkening back to the days of flappers, speakeasies, and the headiness of the economic boom that preceded the Great Depression. While most have some recollection Read More >

As 2021 begins, the real estate world is starting to process and plan for the achievement of herd immunity in the United States – the moment when transmission of covid-19 cases ceases due to mass vaccination and acquired immunity. Whether that Read More >

The paper of record in 2020 shifted dramatically to the most illiberal stance possible on the virus, pushing for full lockdowns, and ignoring or burying any information that might contradict the case for this unprecedented experiment in social Read More >

The US Dollar Index has fallen almost 6% since its March 2020 highs. This is no surprise given the sheer scale and speed of the Federal Reserve’s response to the pandemic – a $3 trillion rise in the balance sheet, a buying spree in US Read More >

Last week witnessed a feeding frenzy from the crème de la crème of Wall Street’s smart money (and some Dubai’s smart money LOL!) to be part of the private market financing of Reliance Jio, the emerging supernova of India’s digital Read More >

Blain's Morning Porridge - June 10 2020: A Wicked Game “It’s strange what desire will make foolish people do..” Where do financial markets go from here? Yesterday headlines were screaming US stocks are now positive for the year! Today Read More >

The rise in gold prices to $1750 an ounce, as I write, makes impeccable macroeconomic sense. After all, the Federal Reserve has increased its balance sheet by 65% since March alone, a policy response to the pandemic echoed by all the world’s Read More >

The price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia has wreaked havoc on the global crude oil market. Brent crude, $74 a barrel just after the US drone hit on Iran’s General Soleimani’s motorcade in early January, plummeted to 2002 pre-Iraq War Read More >

All leaders, not just generals, tend to fight the last “war.” All readers of Hayek know why: they feel compelled to promulgate a response but lack sufficient information to make optimal decisions. They all have a vague sense that historical Read More >

It was a delight to discuss the Greek property market with one of my oldest investor friends in Dubai as our wives chatted over delicious Burmese Khowsuey in the patio of his villa under a starlit winter night in Jumeirah. Is Greece, like Read More >

The US dollar is the traditional safe haven currency during times of geopolitical or financial stress even when the cause of a risk aversion spasm is ultimately American, such as the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008, Obama’s epic budget Read More >

A month and a half after Saudi Aramco’s historic IPO on the Tadawul exchange in Riyadh, I conclude a few salient themes from its price action and trading patterns. One, the $2 trillion valuation sought by the Royal Court in the kingdom since Read More >

Thankfully, I was not in the global markets during the Black Death, the Great Plague and the Spanish flu pandemic but coronavirus cases have now crossed 40,000 infections and this is way beyond a local Wuhan outbreak. Despite the blowout 225,000 Read More >

Portugal has been a fabulously profitable market for a few prescient real estate investors from the UAE since 2015, with close friends telling me that prices of their apartments in upscale districts of Lisbon and Porto are up an incredible 50% Read More >

Libya, more than any other province of the kingdom of black gold apart from Iraq, has been a tragic victim of the “oil curse”. Libya possesses 48 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, the largest in Africa, bigger than even Angola Read More >

The unthinkable has finally happened in a secretive central bank’s digital ledger in the heart of Beirut. The rating agency Fitch predicts imminent default on Lebanon’s sovereign debt, at $88 a colossal 185% of GDP, making the once “Paris Read More >

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Charles Dickens’s chronicle about Paris and London at the time of the French Revolution in the 1790’s captures my feelings about the Arab capital markets in 2019. The best of times? Saudi Read More >

I have been thinking a lot about the James Bond villain Auric Goldfinger in 2019 – and why not? Spot gold has generated a stellar 17% profit in 2019 to date, despite King Dollar, the fall in the Volatility Index to 13 (minimal fear, maximum Read More >

I was a tad unnerved by the thousands of views and hundreds of responses to my article that “This crazy bull market will crash and die in 2020”. Guess what? The Dow is down 700 points in the past two sessions – so my warning was priceless Read More >

November was a beautiful month for bulls on the North Sea Brent futures contracts traded on the London IPE and Chicago Merc. After all, Brent crude surged from $58 in late October to almost $64 now as I write. The wet barrel market prices in a Read More >

Trading sterling based on the eccentricities of UK polling data has been historically a mug’s game – an existential reality magnified by the traumatic fall in cable after the June 23 2016 shocker on the Brexit referendum. So I had a 1.30 Read More >

I had recommended SAP shares at €82 in the Gulf financial press in early 2018 as its then CEO Bill McDermott committed the firm to the digital transformation of the UAE at Dubai’s World Government Summit. I published a second article on Read More >

I first encountered Lebanon as a teenager after the fabled Choueifat College opened its first UAE campus in Sharjah, fleeing the civil war in the Chouf. My ignorance of the country I was to know and love as my own patrie was monumental. When a Read More >

November 2019 is the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that led to the collapse of the Soviet occupied, neo-Stalinist DDR and the eventual reunification of Germany forty-five years after the nightmarish end of the Third Reich. Read More >

I literally laughed when I heard that Goldman Sachs put a valuation range of $1.6 to $2.3 trillion on the Saudi Aramco IPO. One, a valuation range of $700 million only means the Goldie analyst bankers (deal promoters?) are clueless about what Read More >

Saudi Aramco is the biggest, most profitable company in history ($110 billion revenues in 2018, $40 billion more than Apple). It has been the economic engine of the Arab world’s preeminent superpower since Chevron geologists struck the mother Read More >

A few years ago I was on Bloomberg one morning and said something like, stocks looked overly expensive and should be due a correction if it wasn’t for the support they were getting from company buybacks and the low relative yields on bonds. Read More >

It’s going to be relatively short comment today – I just spent the last 1 ½ hours standing all the way from Southampton to the City.  SouthWest Rail decided to reduce the busiest Up train of the day to 5 carriages.  I suppose Read More >

Global financial markets seem increasingly disconnected from real world events – keep your eyes on the macro trends I’ve spent 35 years in finance, and much of the market activity I’m watching just doesn’t make sense any more. Am I Read More >

Why did the Fed Ease? Last night’s Fed decision was anything but unanimous with 10 of the 17 members dissenting – views ranging from no cut to a larger ease.  Powell described a “solid outlook” for the US economy but warned of Read More >

“Sophisticated investors buy negative yielding bonds – are you not a sophisticated investor?” What madness will today bring?  From up in the Shard’s Eyrie in the Walkie Talkie Building we can see Marquees and Tents going up on Read More >

The political drama in Westminster last week was pure Sophocles, as nemesis gutted Boris Johnson’s hubris. Boris Johnson’s agenda for a “do or die” hard Brexit was killed by two humiliating defeats in the House of Commons parliamentary Read More >

Wall Street folklore contends that four data points reflect the interrelationship between the price of money, interest rates, the price of currency (US Dollar Index), the price of gold and price of crude oil, the four heartbeats of global Read More >

Saudi Arabia plans to accelerate the IPO timetable for Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s flagship state owned oil and gas monopoly that happens to be the world’s most profitable company. Saudi Aramco will be the world’s largest IPO ever if it Read More >

Weebles Wobble but they don’t fall down..”  In the headlines this morning Blain’s Financial Porridge Podcaston Website (Subscribe to Audioboom podcast or go via Spotify or iTunes (Other channels Read More >

Brent crude oil plunged almost 4% from $67 to $63.50 a barrel after both President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signaled progress in reducing geopolitical tensions with Iran in the Gulf. Iran Foreign Minister Javed Zarif's Read More >

I had recommended buying the Indian rupee at 69.25 as I expected the Union Budget to focus on fiscal prudence since the BJP’s landslide election win meant Prime Minister Modi did not have to appease his vote banks in the Hindi “cow belt”. Read More >

I had originally recommended Oracle as a turnaround candidate but the slow growth of its legacy database business and execution missteps in its transition to cloud computing solutions meant the House of Samurai Larry was dead money in the past Read More >

The S&P 500 index trades at 2990 as I write. The risk-reward calculus on the broad index no longer flashes a buy signal to me. The economic data around the world has deteriorated at an accelerating pace, as the decline in global PMI’s, 9% Read More >

The crypto-bulls have regained their mojo now that Bitcoin is at $11600, though $2000 below its most recent peak. While financial history tells me parabolic moves always end in tears, the current euphoria does not surprise me. Facebook’s Libra Read More >

Nonfarm payrolls rose to 224,000 in June, the highest since January, thus popping the bond market consensus that the Federal Reserve would turn ultra-dovish at the July FOMC. Average hourly earnings are up 3.1% on an annual basis, another nail Read More >

Widespread disaffection, income-inequality, Brexit and Donald Trump – will it get better? I sense that summer 2019 in London is going to be a disruptive hell. Climate change protests in April were both extraordinarily polite and Read More >

Governor Chris Patten and the Prince of Wales watched forlornly as the Union Jack slid down its flagpole for the last time as Hong Kong morphed from Her Majesty’s Crown Colony to a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic Read More >

“I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.” In the headlines this morning Subscribe to podcast Happy birthday America! This morning’s intro-quote is over Read More >

US equities markets went ballistic after the Federal Reserve confirmed Wall Street consensus that it will cut the overnight borrowing rate by 50 basis points if the economy weakens. This did not surprise me. The current Fed Funds target rate is Read More >

“France has no friends, only interests…” In the headlines this morning. When the Fed Chairman has to say he’s “insulated from short-term political pressures”, then you know his ears are bleeding from a full up-to 11 Trump rant. Read More >

It is impossible to analyze the real time dynamics of the global oil market without a grasp of the myriad domestic/regional economic, diplomatic and national security dilemmas that govern the formulation of Saudi Arabia’s oil pricing strategy. Read More >

I had forecast a collapse in the Pakistani rupee to a 160 – 180 range against the US dollar and a plunge in the Karachi stock market index to 32000 after PMLN Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was sacked by the Supreme Court at the behest of the Read More >

Thanks to the orchestrated bullishness of a dozen Wall Street sell side analysts and the mother of all short covering rallies, Uber has managed to claw back its losses from 38 to its IPO offer price of $45 though the latest management disaster Read More >

“Every unresolved problem eventually creates something worse to solve it…” In the headlines this morning... I switched on the TV this morning and watched Naga sitting on the Brek-drek couch in Normandy, then a cut-away to a Piper at Read More >

Citigroup, the third largest US money center bank, owns subsidiaries in Latin America whose pedigrees go back almost a century. For instance, Banamex, Citi’s subsidiary in Mexico, is the second largest corporate/retail bank south of the Rio Read More >

Despite the global fame of its brand ambassadors Leonardo DiCaprio and Snoop Dog, Alternative faux meat specialist Beyond Meat (symbol BYND) electrified Wall Street with its white-hot IPO. The recent panic in financial markets and rising Read More >

The Uber IPO is absurdly overvalued on NASDAQ  Uber Technologies goes public in the most controversial and global tech IPO since Facebook seven years ago. Uber bulls claim that the ride sharing colossus is another embryonic Amazon, a Read More >

It is insane for sophisticated investors to put savings in illiquid, high risk, brick and mortar property in the GCC with volatile rental yields, rules biased in favour of developers, exorbitant service charges, excessive mortgage cost and Read More >

While China is up a stellar 30% since New Year’s Day 2019 and the post Bolsonaro rally in Brazil has been a license to print money in the Bovespa, the broader emerging markets have been a sucker’s bet in the past decade relative to the Read More >

“Please… make it stop…  ” In the headlines this morning... In the news this morning we’ve got a raft of stories to wake up and think about. Yesterday’s hotly anticipated US and China data was benign and won’t roil Read More >

“Anything of yours is mine, and what is mine me’s own..” In the headlines this morning... What next for this sad benighted isle? The one thing certain is more Brexit uncertainty. It probably gets worse long before it gets Read More >

In the headlines this morning... This is the day the UK isn’t exiting Europe. Surprised? Not really.  Think I’ll try something different this morning - a review of the week touching on some of the key themes we should be thinking Read More >

“Only the guy who isn't rowing, has time to rock the boat” In the headlines this morning... Apologies to anyone trying yesterday to link to Shard’s March 2019 Alternative Asset Outlook – I managed to append the wrong site-address Read More >

Why that’s absurd, the wing is on the bird..” In the headlines this morning... Spring has sprung, and it was a fantastic weekend – attached photo of she-who-is-now-Mrs-Blain driving the boat at full pelt across the Solent. What’s Read More >

“On the wings of a snow-white dove, he sends his pure sweet love, a sign from above….”  In the headlines this morning... To make it easy, the lyrics this morning are from the only band that might possibly understand the world at Read More >

“There seem to be more banks in Germany than bicycles in Beijing…”  In the headlines this morning... Unfortunately, a number of readers responded to yesterdays not-terribly-serious Morning Porridge by asking what I really think Read More >

“II have not failed, I’ve just found another way that doesn’t work...”  In the headlines this morning... For Non-British readers who are perhaps unfamiliar with the complexities of British Parliamentary procedure and Read More >

“It’s the edge of the world and all of western civilization, the Sun may rise in the East at least its settled in a fine location..”  In the headlines this morning... What a Saturday…Well done Wales on a well-deserved Grand Read More >

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.. ” In the headlines this morning So much stuff going on.. it’s shaping up to be a very interesting weekend. But, let me start with a Read More >

In the headlines this morning One of our traders was dragged screaming and foaming at the mouth from his desk this morning. As we gently strapped him up in the office straight-jacket and wheeled him towards the Calm Room he was yelling: Read More >

Had history been democratic, their would have been no farming or industrial revolution.. ” In the headlines this morning Apologies for lack of Porridge last week.. But, even from the top of the Alps I heard the people cheer as my Read More >

“Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus” In the headlines this morning... A moment of frostiness in the Blain household this morning after I failed to provide my very Welsh “She-Who-Is-Now-Mrs-Blain” with Daffodils for St David’s Day. Cup of tea Read More >

Big might be beautiful… but not always” In the headlines this morning... Lots of stuff for today… Kashmir, Brexit Shenanigans, and where next on trade negotiations… but let’s wait and see what develops. Yesterday, I was Read More >

“Just do the right thing – whatever it might be…” In the headlines this morning... I’ve attached a photo illustrating just what a fantastic weekend it was – but sailing under bright sunny skies wearing a summer jacket in Read More >

“She was a Stradivarius of an Airplane!” In the headlines this morning... Some marvellous stuff in the papers this morning and on the screens – slight delay to the porridge this morning is because we watched the USAF RAF flypast from Read More >

“Lenin was right. There is subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency.” In the headlines this morning... I must post this line from one of my favourite Financial sector Read More >

“A February Super Snow Moon? Its warmer than a Scottish Summer out there...” In the headlines this morning... I note with some delight Bernie Sanders plans to stand for US President. One of my US chums sent me the story of the Read More >

“Any customer can have a car painted any colour they want, so long as it is black.” In the headlines this morning Reasons to be cheerful….? Can’t really think of anything this morning. Just more snapshots on why we should remain Read More >

“Once I built a tower, now its done, Brother, can you spare a dime?” In the headlines this morning Another fascinating weekend… It’s a holiday in the US, and much of UK is off for mid-term. I’m still trying to digest the Read More >

Not as glamorous as Brooklyn, as cool as Staten Island, or as private as Manhattan… ”* *In the headlines this morning Bit of jolt to stock market’s yesterday – US Retail Sales crash, Trade War concerns, slowdown in China, Read More >

“I was going to buy you a thousand red-roses my darling Mrs Blain.. but they were a bit expensive..  ” In the headlines this morning: There was a girl selling very expensive roses Read More >

In the headlines this morning  (Apologies for delay) What a fascinating world we live in. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos exposing himself, and exposes the National Inquirer for attempted blackmail. A young senator, Alexandria Read More >

“Oh dear. How sad. Never Mind.” In the headlines this morning. I’ve peeved the Americans two days in a row. In the interests of fairness and balance, EU MiFID 2 regulations dictate I must upset someone else today. So, this morning, Read More >

I had recommended buying the British pound at 1.2700 against the US dollar in successive columns in the past two weeks. Sterling is at 1.3200 as I write, the trade is already hugely profitable. Cable has now closed above its crucial 200 day Read More >

The epic political dramas of last week (Aunty Theresa’s Brexit plan was rejected by the House of Commons but she managed to survive a no-confidence vote by a narrow margin) strengthened the British pound, exactly as I had expected. Yet sterling Read More >

In the headlines this morning: I’ve just seen the surest sign economic apocalypse lies around the corner: Holiday sales in the UK are up 5% on a like for like basis, confirming we are so Read More >

In the headlines this morning: I got up early to see the Super Blood Wolf Moon this morning. It hung in the western sky, a baleful dark pink ball in the sky - caused by the earth eclipsing the Read More >

In the headlines this morning: Wow… we passed the middle of the first month of the New Year, and the world hasn’t blown up. Phew… that’s a relief.. For a moment I thought 2019 might get Read More >

In the headlines this morning: There is little point commenting on yesterday’s Brexit shenanigans – except to note the degree of parliamentary indiscipline across the Conservative Party was Read More >

Merger mania in Wall Street media shares was a profitable theme for me in 2018, particularly since I owned 21st Century Fox shares well before Walt Disney made its epic bid for the Murdoch clan’s flagship brand, the parent of President Read More >

I have gone gaga on software shares since 2013, when Satya Nadella redefined Microsoft – and tripled the valuation of the Evil Empire of Redmond in the next five years. True, Microsoft was the best Big Tech performer of 2018, an annus Read More >

The Euro has been a disaster since its birth in 1999. Its monetary pathologies led to youth unemployment rates of 50 – 60% in Greece, Spain and the Italian Mezzogiorno. It gave a trillion-dollar windfall to German exporters at the expense of Read More >

I confess, I fell in love with South Africa’s Cape Town, though not its Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). 2018 was an annus horribilis for both the rand and South African equities, with 30% losses for a US dollar investor, the fifth worse in Read More >

The current balance of payments crisis in Pakistan evoked my memories of visiting Argentina as a Chase Manhattan derivatives banker in the 1990’s. Domingo Cavallo’s artificial peso peg against the US dollar led to a currency collapse, banking Read More >

It is impossible to make a strategy call on the emerging markets without also making a call on the trade war, the credit/property slowdown in the Middle Kingdom, the resurgence of King Dollar since April, Federal Reserve monetary policy and the Read More >

The wing flaps of the macro black swans have unnerved the financial markets in December 2018. What next if we extrapolate current trends to their logical conclusion?   La Bella Italia’s fiscal, banking and political chickens come home to Read More >

For investors in the Middle East, global equities and crude oil, it will be hard to wax nostalgic for 2018 given the sheer scale of the losses this year inflicted. Even I was stunned to see Brent crude plunge to $58 just a week after AMEInfo Read More >

Geopolitics has reshaped the financial markets and sovereign debt issuance pathologies of the Middle East since the 1880’s. After all, the Rothschild clan financed Benjamin Disraeli’s HM Treasury stake in the Suez Canal and the Royal Navy’s Read More >

OPEC's ministerial meeting on 6 December will have a seismic impact on the outlook for global oil markets. OPEC has been unnerved by a 30% fall in crude oil prices in the past two months on expectations of lower oil demand due to a Chinese Read More >

The swift, brutal 30% plunge in Brent crude since October 3, 2018 has reawakened fears of global recession, the economic rationale for past oil price crashes in 2000 and 2008. Fears over Trump’s tariffs have amplified the economic slowdown in Read More >

The post Lehman decade was defined by the Federal Reserve’s “lender of the last resort” strategy to stabilize the global banking system. The American central bank expanded its balance sheet from $900 billion to $4.5 trillion. This led to a Read More >

The swift 10% correction in the S&P 500 index in October is a mild echo of the 25 – 35% bear markets emerging markets, led by the financial panics in China, Turkey, Argentina, Pakistan and the ASEAN markets. Even in the US, the homebuilder Read More >

2018 has been a difficult year for GCC and Dubai real estate. Rents and capital values continued to fall in the third quarter, albeit at different rates in specific segments and micro-markets. The Federal Reserve’s latest monetary tightening at Read More >

Saudi Arabia and Russia engineered a dramatic rise in the price of Brent crude via output cuts, the French far right National Front did not win the Élysée Palace in the Presidential election and the US Dollar Index fell almost 10% in 2017. I Read More >

Political risk in Washington has risen alarmingly now that President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to multiple charges of tax evasion, money laundering and paying hush money to adult film Read More >

Market View – Risk is a four letter word - but then so is ruin! Trading the financial markets has taught me that often what Dr. Kissinger (or Sun Tzu, Von Clausewitz and Lord Acton) says about geopolitics and Sigmund Freud says about death Read More >

While the Federal Reserve did not raise the overnight borrowing rate at the August FOMC last week, I was chilled to read the US central bank explicitly describe the economic growth as “strong”. The last time this happened was May 2006 at the Read More >

Gold has fallen to 1231 an ounce. The Chinese yuan has depreciated to 6.76 and triggered a Black Death in emerging market currencies. Copper has fallen 18% in the past month. Emerging market equities/debt markets are in free fall. The US Treasury Read More >

Barclays was a traditional, Quaker High Street clearing bank whose roots in Britain and its colonies literally went back centuries. The bank was a traditional and commercial bank with branches across the world Barclaycard was the best known Read More >

There was nothing surprising about the reelection of Turkish President Recep Erdoğan’s victory with even more concentrated executive power and his Justice and Development (AKP) party coalition now has a parliamentary majority. This scenario Read More >

​Market View – The tragedy, destiny and endgame of Abraaj Capital F. Scott Fitzgerald, the literary king of Jazz Age New York, and the author of the Great Gatsby, wrote “there are no second acts in American life”. The traumatic events Read More >

There is absolutely no doubt that the next OPEC ministerial meeting in June will pit Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies against Iraq, Iran and Venezuela, three founder members of the oil exporters organization. Saudi Arabia has increased its Read More >

After a stellar 28% return in 2017, the BSE Sensex (down 2%) and the NSE Nifty 50 indices in India been a disappointment in 2018 to date. The emerging markets convulsions in May were compounded by the political shock for the BJP in Karnataka. The Read More >

Crude oil prices plunged by 7% in two sessions as Saudi Arabia and Russia confirmed that they would release 1 million barrels a day in the wet barrel markets. Speculative froth in the oil futures markets vanished, to be replaced by a new trading Read More >

Five years after the 2013 “taper tantrum”, the world is on the brink of yet another emerging market meltdown whose twin epicenters are now Istanbul’s Bosphorus and the Argentine pampas. There is now a tangible risk of contagion in the asset Read More >

Market View – The Federal Reserve and the rise in inflation risk The dominant theme of 2018 has been a rise in the bellwether ten-year US Treasury note yield from 2.40% to 3% amid fears on Wall Street that a rise in wage inflation and Trump Read More >

I had written an article titled “six reasons to be bullish Saudi equities in 2018, published in the KT on January 28. Yet I was surprised to see Saudi Arabian equities become the world’s second best performing stock market in 2018 after Read More >

A dismal legacy of civil war, sanctions, insurgency, foreign invasion and terrorism has had a catastrophic impact on the Iraqi economy. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told the assembled global elite at Davos 2018 that Iraq needed $100 billion in Read More >

The Sensex and Nifty seem near a cyclical peak though the declines in Indian midcap/smallcap shares have been draconian. There is no doubt in my mind that, after a stellar 2017, investors sentiment in the Indian equities market is at an Read More >

After a 1000 point midweek Dow rally, the US stock market was slammed again by 567 Dow points on Friday after President Trump announced $100 billion in additional tariffs on China and the March payroll growth number was a dismal 103,000 relative Read More >

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell made it clear that his strategy on interest rate hikes will be guided by the real time performance of the US economy, not the estoric econometric models of the central bank’s staff monetary economists. Read More >

GCC Focus – Losing and making money in commercial property The sharp rise in US Treasury, British gilt, German Bund and other government bond yields is a disaster for real estate investment trusts (REIT’s) worldwide, including those in the Read More >

On February 27, the South African National Assembly set in motion a process to amend that country’s Constitution so as to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. If implemented, the measure will destroy the political Read More >

Currencies – What next for the Indian rupee, sterling, yen and the Euro? I reiterate my call last week for a depreciation in the Indian rupee to at least 66 against the US dollar. Note that the India is showing the fastest GDP growth of any Read More >

Saudi Arabia has been the traditional voice of price moderation and long-term stability in the global oil market, given that it has the world’s highest long life reserves and lowest cost of production of crude oil. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Read More >

I will never forget last week’s stock market carnage. Global equities lost $5.2 trillion in value. The Dow Jones plunged 2000 plus points, with two 1000 point falls, its worst week since the post-Lehman meltdown in October 2008. The Chicago Read More >

2018 is the year the world financial markets will embrace the unloved, underowned Saudi stock market, whose TASI index is down 42% since mid-2014. Why? One, the kingdom has reassumed its role as OPEC’s swing producer after it cut its output by Read More >

I had projected a bloodbath in the US Treasury bond market since late 2016, when it was obvious that Trump’s tax reform would double the US budget deficit at the same time as the Federal Reserve prepared to 'normalize' or shrink its balance Read More >

Dubai-based Gulf Islamic Investments (GII) acquired a one million square foot Amazon logistics centre in Dortmund, Germany for $144 million. This deal is a testament to the boutique global merchant bank created in Dubai by GII’s co-founder/CEO Read More >

The rise in Brent crude to $60 a barrel and the trade volume ballast generated by the world’s first post Lehman synchronised economic recovery is hugely positive for UAE economic growth in 2018. After all, the UAE is unique because Abu Read More >

I am often asked by investors to articulate my 'philosophy' of real estate investing. Tough question. My ideal deal is one where it is possible to buy brick and mortar assets at 60–70% of replacement cost. This usually occurs in the aftermath Read More >

US and global equities surged on news that the US House of Representatives passed the tax reform bill, Cisco and Walmart posted blowout earnings and a potential bidding war emerged for Fox’s media assets. The rally on Thursday followed a week Read More >

2017 has been a wonderful year for major emerging markets, thanks to a 7% fall in the US Dollar Index, no hard landing in China, the end of recessions in Brazil and Russia, falls in inflation that enabled central bank easing and stimulated Read More >

Emaar Properties will sell 20% of its UAE development portfolio in an initial public offering in November. This is the first IPO in the UAE capital markets in the last three years and follows bellwether offerings such as Emaar Malls and Emaar Read More >

Japan experienced two “lost decades” of deflation and financial distress after its stock market and property market bubble burst in 1990. The Nikkei Dow index experienced one of history’s longest, most savage bear market, falling from Read More >

September 2017 was an historic month for the global crude oil market. West Texas rose to $52 and Brent rose to $58 as financial markets finally accepted that Saudi Arabia has been successful in brokering high compliance rates with last year’s Read More >

Jamie Dimon, the unanointed king of Wall Street and chief executive of New York banking colossus JP Morgan did not mince his words. He called bitcoin “a fraud”, a speculative bubble comparable to the Dutch tulip mania of the 17th century and Read More >

The North Korea crisis has led to a 1000 point decline in the Nikkei. Japan is the cheapest developed world stock market in 2017. Any spasm of risk aversion leads to a rise in the Japanese yen and a correction in its Nikkei Dow averages lower. Read More >

It took a North Korean ballistic missile launch and Hurricane Harvey’s devastation of the $500 billion Houston/Galveston/Corpus Christi economy to push sterling higher to 1.2950 against the US dollar. While the British pound is the most Read More >

The US dollar plunged after Janet Yellen did not talk about Fed monetary tightening and Mario Draghi did not protest 1.19 Euro at the Jackson Hole central banking symposium. This is a green light for the carry trade in emerging market currencies. Read More >

Trump’s post Charlottesville remarks, the Barcelona terrorist attacks and Cisco’s results unnerved the US stock market bulls last week. Friday was a surreal moment in the history of Wall Street. It was entirely rational for traders on the New Read More >

The old stock exchange cliché goes “markets go up like an escalator, go down like an unhinged elevator”. The world learnt this lesson the hard way as geopolitical tensions between the US and North Korea escalated to nuclear brinkmanship. Read More >

“Brazil is a country of tomorrow and always will be.” General Charles de Gaulle dissed Latin America’s largest economy with Gallic disdain. Quelle horreur! Yet I have been fascinated by the magical land of samba, carnival, Pele, Gisele, Read More >

The US stock market has been resilient to the political and policy firestorms created by the Trump White House. Trump’s failure to enact tax reform or a major fiscal stimulus has restrained but not destroyed the 'animal spirits' of the Wall Read More >

Prime London home prices (Mayfair, Kensington, Belgravia, Chelsea) are now down 20% from their pre-Brexit peaks. Theresa May’s general election gamble and the surprising success of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has negatively impacted Read More >

European equities were the classic 'pain trade' of 2017, the bull market’s wall of worry was scalable, even a slam dunk. Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen were defeated in the Dutch and French election, reducing political risk in Europe. Greece Read More >

The Canadian housing bubble has gone so ballistic that the Ontario government is considering a 15% tax on foreign buyers to cool down the speculative spiral in Toronto condominiums. The smart money on Wall Street’s latest trade is to short Read More >

Dr Janet Yellen surprised the financial markets with her hawkish take on interest rate policy and inflation even as the FOMC raised the Fed Funds rate for the fourth time since December 2015. Despite successive weak CPI and auto/retail sales Read More >

Like David Cameron’s Brexit referendum, Theresa May gambled her political career on her decision to hold a snap election to consolidate the Tory majority in the House of Commons. With 318 seats, Mrs May’s gamble backfired and the Tories are Read More >

I was stunned to read a Boeing report that forecasts that the global passenger jet fleet will more than double to 45,250 by 2035. Given that almost 20,000 of the world’s in-service aircraft will be retired or converted to freighters in the next Read More >

Saudi Arabia engineered a short covering rally and cyclical bottom in Brent crude with its 15 May agreement with Russia to roll over last November’s oil output cuts for another nine months. The kingdom has, in essence, resumed its traditional Read More >

Image (c) iStockphoto The financial markets have finally cottoned on to the increasingly sordid political realities created by the Trump White House. Trump could well be impeached for obstruction of justice if he tried to pressure FBI Director Read More >

The 11% fall in the price of crude oil in the past month on panic selling in the energy futures pits of New York, London and Singapore has unnerved the world’s leading oil and gas exporters. Saudi Arabia will both extend last November’s OPEC Read More >

The euro, the French stock market, OAT-German debt interest rates spreads, the Volatility Index (VIX) and the ghosts of Vichy, Oradour and Algérie française convince me that Emmanuel Macron will be the next President of France on Sunday. So I Read More >

The French election is a game changer for global financial markets for multiple reasons. One: the worst case scenario of far right (Le Pen) and far left (Melenchon) as second round candidates for the Elysee Palace on May 7th is no longer a Read More >

Emerging market equities have been the darling asset class de jour in 2017, mainly in Asia and Latin America, despite the March FOMC rate hike, a US Dollar Index at or above 100 and a mini-swoon in crude oil after a Saudi-Russian output cut spat. Read More >

I find it laughable when investment bankers come to my office and try to assure me that warehouse and logistics space in Dubai is a “defensive” investment. Mathematical reality does not support this argument. Rents in Jebel Ali Free Zone Read More >

Emerging market equities have outperformed the S&P 500 index and the flagship asset class index fund (symbol EEM) is up 12.5% in 2017. The US dollar and the ten-year US Treasury bond yield have both fallen since the March 14 FOMC rate hike, Read More >

Chinese equities have risen steadily higher in 2017 in a stealth bull markets, despite $700 billion in capital flight last year, a fall in the renminbi to 6.90, periodic liquidity squeezes in the Shanghai money market, draconian credit controls, Read More >

I doubt if West Texas crude oil rebounds beyond $52 in the short term without clear evidence that Saudi Arabia and its GCC allies can persuade Russia, Iraq, Algeria and Iran to keep their output cut promises amid a global glut and resurgent US Read More >


Investor's Notebook

Smart people from around the world share their thoughts

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The Macro View

Recent financial news and how it connects across all asset classes

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Fintech, proptech and what it all means

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A sideways look at the world of wine

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The Architect

Some of the profession's best minds

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Residential Investor

Making money from residential property investment

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The Professor

Analysis and opinion from the academic sphere

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Face to Face

In-depth interviews with leading figures in the real estate/investment world.

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The Headhunter

Recruitment and career moves

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The Analyst

Investment themes and trends

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The Historian

A look back at previous cycles, events, characters

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The Economist

Money, rates and prices

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Political Insider

The inside scoop on Washington, Westminster and Whitehall

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The Agent

Reflections on estate agency, today and in past times

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Alternative assets

Investing in tangible assets

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