Monthly Archives: August 2014

Russia-Ukraine Progress Behind the Scenes?

The Russian market has reacted positively to yesterday’s meetings in Minsk to seek an end to the crisis, despite the media running fairly negative headlines, and no obvious signs of progress.

The headline billing is that Russia isn’t willing to scale back its support for the separatists, and Poroshenko comes across as the more humble of the two leaders, showing openness for a solution. (It remains unclear what more could be offered since his last peace plan, we’ll see.)

Why then is the Russian market doing well today? Continue reading

The Great Growth Debate – Bond Clues

imageWhat is the growth outlook for developed markets? Ask a bull and we go back to the pre-crisis normal. But ask a bear, and you get a different answer, with trend growth possibly even as low as 2% for the US (hence lower for the UK and Europe). The US bond market appears to agree with the bears, with US GDP growth clocking 4% but the 10yr at just 2.4%. That makes headlines, because the market persistently believes that the bond market has superior predictive powers. But there might be more to the story. Here I expound my general view on growth as reflected by bond market dynamics. Continue reading

What’s With Carney Bashing?

James BeadleThere was a time when the mainstream media carried a semblance for professionalism, and focused on factual news rather than fictitious and opinionated manipulation of stories to fit an agenda. OK, so that ended, but investors continued to enjoy access to decent quality factual news to make economic decisions. Following Governor Carney’s press conference yesterday, it seems like the financial press is dying too. Continue reading

Get Help Navigating the Russia Conflict

cnbc 09032009Troubling times call for a clear-headed understanding of the crisis, which the media sadly refuses to present. Contact me for advice on how to navigate the worst geopolitical crisis in a generation.

Without publicly delving into the politics, relations between Russia and the West have fallen to a shocking low, breaching commercial defences and entering the business sphere. For many years, companies have been gaining confidence, reaching beyond their borders, first to the near abroad then gradually moving further afield. In an era of surging globalisation, to many it felt easy. A few simple tools to avoid well publicised pitfalls, and you couldn’t go wrong. But now we see differently – the rise of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, and its subsequent strains on relations between Russia and the West expose that business internationalisation is far from the path of roses many have come to expect.

Have you expanded into Russia? Or been thinking about it? Are you in Eastern Europe or other parts of the CIS, and now worried about how the Russia-Ukraine crisis impacts your business?

Troubling times call for a clear-headed understanding of the crisis, which the media sadly refuses to present. Navigating these tricky waters requires a good chart, or the help an old-hand.

The political nature of the crisis makes it impossible for those of us in the know to blog-away as we usually might. But expert advice is available. Don’t hesitate to contact me for an in-depth briefing on the crisis, its causes, the probable outcomes and implications for your business. With insightful guidance from an old-Russia hand, your business can not only survive, but turn crisis into opportunity. Bespoke assistance is readily available!

Does Draghi Know What’s Going On?

James BeadleAt his press conference today, ECB head Mario Draghi, unsurprisingly, faced a lot of questions about the potential impact of Russian sanctions, and what he can do to counter their negative impacts. True, the details of the sanctions were only just coming out, but it is surprising the market hasn’t reacted more, because Mr Draghi exposed that he didn’t know much about them. Continue reading

Update: Ukraine Crisis Riles Markets

James BeadleMy last two posts have pointed readers toward the rising risks of the Ukraine crisis, as it reaches a new phase. Writing in the FT, Niall Ferguson excellently stressed that the current trend, pushing Vladimir Putin to either back down or escalate is dangerous and unconstructive. True to form, after a brief 24 hour market breather, Ukraine was again credited with weighing on financial markets as the US closed last night.

Russia is now reported to have Continue reading

Dear Goldman Sachs: Yes it’s Geopolitics

James BeadleIn its end of week notes, GS asks, if geopolitics explains the nervousness in markets that started on Thursday, then why did it only start then? For one of the world’s most astute investment organisations, this is an incredibly naive question.

The selling picked up on Thursday, but markets had been nervous for some time, and clearly the geopolitical situation is not static. On Tuesesday, the world processed the Continue reading