Mind the Gap

Economic fundamentals (the “real economy”) have been struggling to catch up with the buoyant behavior of financial markets and, eventually, these diverging patterns (gaps) will have to be reconciled. On the economic side, the main global structural imbalances (a mountain of debt, a lack of aggregate demand) remain very much in place and the multiple transitions that all the major economic areas are facing are far from being completed. The recent market dynamics would be inconceivable in a “normal” market cycle, but nothing is impossible in the fantastic world of Quantitative Easing (QE) and money printing. Continue reading

The Vote for Scottish Independence: Which Way Will It Go?

In 2013, the governments of Scotland and United Kingdom passed the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill inviting all United Kingdom residents living in Scotland and aged 16 and over to vote on the referendum question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” On September 18 2014, 4.3 million registered voters will vote “Yes” or “No” on Scottish independence. A simple majority is required to gain independence. Monica Defend, Pioneer’s Head of Global Asset Allocation Research, provided the summary that follows … Continue reading

ECB Tackles Low Growth and Falling Inflation

Attended by the world’s top central bankers, the European Central Bank (ECB) met in August for its regular monthly meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I thought I would share some insights from Tanguy Le Saout, Pioneer’s Head of European Fixed Income.

Anticipation was running high that the ECB would announce further measures to help tackle Europe’s twin problems of low growth and falling inflation. In a surprising move, ECB President Mario Draghi, deviated from his prepared speech. These and other unscripted remarks appeared to signal a significant shift in ECB policy. It raised hopes for the imminent announcement of a Quantitative Easing (QE) program and caused a substantial fall in European bond yields and the euro currency. With expectations high, did the ECB deliver? Continue reading

Japanese Economic Update: A Meaningful Recovery?

Monica Defend, Pioneer’s Head of Global Asset Allocation Research, and Alessia Berardi, Japanese Global Asset Allocation Research Economist recently released an update on the Japanese economy. Below are some of the highlights. For the full report, click here. Continue reading

Emerging Markets Economic Update: Growth, Inflation and Monetary Policy

Pioneer’s Head of Global Asset Allocation Research, Monica Defend, along with U.S. and Latin America Global Asset Allocation Research Economist, Annalisa Usardi, recently released an economic update on the Emerging Markets. Highlights from their report surrounding Latin America, specifically Brazil and Mexico, are below. To read the full report, click here. Continue reading

UK Forecast Update: Growth, Inflation and Monetary Policy

Pioneer’s Head of Global Asset Allocation Research, Monica Defend, along with Europe and EMEA Global Asset Allocation Research Senior Economist, Andrea Brasili, recently released an update on the UK economy. The update was based on the 2Q14 preliminary results for gross domestic product (GDP), which came in higher than expected. They expect growth above 3%, higher inflation in 2015, and a gradual shift in monetary policy towards higher rates. Highlights from their report are below. To read the full report, click here. Continue reading

“Whatever it Takes” Two Years Later: What’s New?

Today is the second anniversary of Mario Draghi’s “Whatever it takes” pronouncement during the darkest days for the euro. Let me share with you some thoughts on how that event probably changed the course of the Eurozone.

Draghi’s speech did what it was supposed to do – it preserved the euro and it calmed the economy and the financial markets – without costing a single euro. The most important measure of success is that after the speech, the Outright Monetary Transaction Program (OMT), which allowed the European Central Bank (ECB) to buy short-term bonds from euro governments, was not utilized even once. The bottom line: The speech and the program were nothing more than a communications initiative, albeit an extremely adept one.

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