Category: United States

Macro Focus: Discretion over rules. The Federal Reserve’s “puzzle and conquer” strategy

From its latest moves, it appears that the Federal Reserve has two important messages for the markets and for everyone else. 1. Don’t fight the Fed. 2. Don’t expect any guidance from the Fed.
These two messages are two facets of the same “puzzle and conquer” strategy that seeks to provide support to the economy and to the markets while preventing the spread moral hazard and the build-up of self-fulfilling market bubbles. This strategy is risky as it may err on either side by untertaining a haze of uncertainty over its course of actions. However, it is probably the best strategy as long as the macro outlook and the fiscal side of the policy mix equation remain difficult to project.

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Markets & Geopolitics: The ORE of discord or the Battle for Rare Earths

Rare earhs could become a focal point in the coming trade battles following the scraping of that agreement. Several initiatives like Sen. Ted Cruz ORE legislation and Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross inquiry into vanadium imports support this claim. We explain why the Battle for rare earths is a the heart of a reshaping of globalisation and an acceleration of the technology race in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

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Macro Focus: Nowcasting 2020 Q2 GDP and forecasting Unemployment over the 2020-2022 period.

Our nowcasting model shows that US GDP might fall by -29% in 2Q 2020 and that unemployment might take up to three years to return to its pre-crisis levels. These results cast additional shadows over the assumption of a V-shape recovery for the US economy, which has already been abandoned by the Federal Reserve.

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Macro Focus: Minutes of the FOMC April 28 meeting and Chair Powell testimony before the Senate.

TThe FOMC April 28 meeting minutes provide some glimpse into the Federal Reserve’s early assessment of the crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the outlook for the US economy over the coming months and quarters. Fed Chair Powell testimony on May 19 before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban affairs offers additional insights into the Fed’s current thinking and options to contain the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis and to speed-up the recovery of the US economy.

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Market Focus: Why there is no end in sight for the oil war

A temporary production reduction agreement under current conditions is not necessarily in the interest of all stakeholders in the global oil industry
This deal will not solve the huge oversupply that is currently still building-up
The oil war is not due to misunderstandings or ego plays but to the intrinsically different strategies and motives of the key players at hand.
For all these reasons, an OPEC ++ coalition cannot not be sustained over time and its impact on oil prices is likely to be marginal and disappointing.

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