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Observations Lab

Non-Linear Views on Financial Markets and the Economy, based on Friedrich Hayek's paper on decentralized knowledge, "The Use of Knowledge in Society".

Stephen Springham
Knight Frank, The Doomsday of All Scenarios? COVID-19 Market Update, 30/03/2020
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Dr. Brian Taylor, Chief Economist
Global Financial Data, February 27 2020
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Tony Coniaris, Portfolio Manager
Harris Associates, September 5, 2019
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By Daisuke Ikeda, Toan Phan, and Tim Sablik
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Economic Brief, No. 20-01, January 2020
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Mark Robertson
Aviva Investors,  30 September 2019
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Latest Observations
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Are The 2s Already Rejecting Rate Hikes?

The last four weeks have seen the most deliberately belligerent rate stance from officials since 1994. Yet, during those same weeks the 2-year note, the Treasury security most sensitive to alternative policy rates, has largely dismissed all that. Why?

Jeffrey P. Snider
Alhambra Investments, May 20, 2022

Recent Inflation Surges Have Modestly Affected Long-Term Expectations

"Despite the historically high unexpected inflation, current revisions to long-term inflation expectations remain around 20 basis points, similar to the revisions in 2018 and slightly smaller than revisions in 2014."

J. Scott Davis, senior economist
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, April 05, 2022

High Prices Don’t Cure High Prices

"This was an interesting week, in which it seemed that equity investors finally and abruptly got the message that high inflation is bad for the market."

Michael Ashton, CFA, Managing Principal
Enduring Investments, April 23, 2022

We Are Made of Music, We Are Made of Time: Violinist Natalie Hodges on the Poetic Science of Sound and Feeling

“Time renders most individual moments meaningless… but it is only through the passage of time that life acquires its meaning. And that meaning itself is constantly in flux.”

Maria Popova
The Marginalian, April 2022

Market Share Concentration by Firm: Active Management

Ivan “Butch” Cliff
Callan, Exclusive Callan Study Analyzes Investment Management Fees Paid by Institutional Investors, January 19, 2022

Staying power versus paying power

Inflation is running hot, even before wage-price pressures have begun

Jamie Dannhauser, Economist
Ruffer, The Green Line, 10 March 2022

The bond crash in one chart:

The Austria 100 years bond price is down almost 50% from its 2020 all-time-high...

Charles-Henry Monchau, Chief Investment officer
Syz Private Banking, Global Markets Weekly, 2 April 2022

US Fed Funds Target Rate vs. Wage Growth 

Fed Pivot Becomes Fed Prayer

Franklin Templeton, Insights, Fed Pivot Becomes Fed Prayer, March 30, 2022

Energy Intensity: Consumption per Real Dollar of GDP : United States

Peter van der Welle, Strategist SMAS
Robeco, Monthly Outlook, 08 March 2022

The ECB doesn’t seem to have learned the lessons from its own past

The ECB long held the view that inflation risks were primarily tilted to the upside, which, it believed, warranted pre-emptive policy action. It changed course under the leadership of Mario Draghi to avert the threat of secular stagnation, but now it seems to be reverting to hawkish type once again despite the threat of recession overhanging Europe. We believe it could be on the verge of a costly mistake.

Willem Verhagen, Senior Economist, Multi-Asset
NN Investment Partners, 15 March 2022

Markets vs wars

With the Russia-Ukraine war continuing to rattle global equity markets, we revisit historical analogs of how markets typically behave around wars.

Variant Perception, March 5, 2022

Stock markets usually fall before war breaks out, not afterwards

Professor Dr Bernd Meyer, Chief Investment Strategist & Head of Multi Asset
Berenberg Markets - Monitor, 28 February 2022

Flies of Paradise

Non-linear observations on the nonlinearity of 2016-2020

Ronald G. Weber
Smashwords, July 2021

Compulsory vaccination: déjà vu pattern from the 19th century

Excerpt

Suzanne Humphries MD, Roman Bystrianyk
Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and The Forgotten History, July 2013

The perils of yesterday’s logic

Reimagining portfolios for tomorrow’s reality

Henry Maxey, Chief Investment Officer
Ruffer, The Ruffer Review, 28 February 2022

Will Japan join the tightening party?

The inflation narrative in Japan is shifting to focus on upside risk.

Ales Koutny, CFA, Portfolio Manager
Janus Henderson Investors, February 2022

''The war on misinformation seeks false consensus.''

Excerpt

Bret Swanson
Maximum Entropy, February 4, 2022

A Literature Review and Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Lockdowns on COVID-19 Mortality

"While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument."

Jonas Herby, Lars Jonung, Steve H. Hanke
Studies in Applied Economics, No. 200, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise, January 2022.

Bitcoin as a Hedge for Boredom

People do not buy Bitcoin as an inflation hedge; they do so because it’s exciting.

Steve Hanke, Matt Sekerke
National Review, Capital Matters, January 27, 2022

Correlation is a Bitch!

"Much of how successfully crypto assets can be properly integrated into conventional investment portfolios will depend on how tools from modern portfolio theory (MPT) can be utilized."

Fidelio Tata
January 26, 2022
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