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Showing posts from May, 2018

In Detail: Deceleration In Europe?

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This article will be periodically updated - CH


Europe's major economies are slowing down.

In Germany the economy is loosing steam and this is apparent in Q1 numbers. Indicators are showing that - according to data and reporting from Focus Economics, key G7 indicators are pointing to a slowdown.

France: Preliminary measurements point to a slowdown in private consumption and a deceleration in investing but their outlook remains stable. A roster of events support this outlook including low unemployment, a strong euro and fiscal monetary conditions. Meanwhile in the real sector, business sentiment dropped (INSEE Index).

Over the weekend Italy president said no to appointing a Euro-skeptic FinMin. I reckoned this a positive, but the narrative has shifted..."this emboldens the two populist parties" to perhaps form a new populist front before the next elections.

While Italy remains in certain shambles and the political system upside down, a subsequent government has been form…

Note From Chad: Bitcoin Grades

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The info below is really helpful if you think about assets and pricing (which is something I think about a lot). Bitcoin inevitably could be graded based on transaction history. As soon as the US Fed adapts a "Fedcoin" system and we have the main sovereign coin with pure bitcoin coins, this could be worthwhile. The closer to the mining operation - or limited transaction history - would result in a coin that trades at a premium, assuming there was a system. After-all a clean BTC could mean it was never tainted, it was never a vehicle for black market payments. Grade A level to Grade D, or what have you. From this I see sorts of additions to the system, perhaps coupon redemption and distressed debt administration. - CH
From Davis Polk: A possible future for bitcoin is one in which the old banknote lists return in 21st-century form—bitcoin from a particular address would be graded based on its transaction history and relative distance from flagged transactions or blacklisted ad…

Russian Economic Outlook April 2018

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From Focus Economics:
Comprehensive GDP data revealed that the recovery lost steam in the fourth quarter of last year, with growth weighed on by inventories as well as slowing fixed investment. Recent indicators, however, suggest that activity likely bounced back in the first quarter of 2018 and that overall the recovery remains on track if lackluster. Consumer confidence improved in Q1 and the unemployment rate inched down in February, boding well for household spending in the quarter. Positive signs emerged from the external sector as well with exports growth hitting a 10-month high in January and the Ural oil price jumping in March, which should support export revenues. On the political front, as widely expected, President Vladimir Putin won the 18 March election, securing over 75% of the votes. More recently, on 6 April, the United States unveiled new sanctions against several high-profile Russian businessmen and their affiliated companies. The measures freeze their U.S. assets an…

Eurozone - Regional Outlook Improves

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A string of weaker economic data suggests that the Eurozone economy decelerated at the start of 2018, following a robust spell of growth last year. While GDP data for the first quarter is still outstanding, monthly indicators have been soft, with economic sentiment falling throughout the quarter, and industrial production dropping in January and February. That said, the tailwinds of last year’s solid growth remain largely in place, and the slowdown is likely to be moderate thanks to a tightening labor market and ultra-accommodative monetary policy. FocusEconomics analysts expect GDP to have expanded a seasonally-adjusted 0.5% over the previous quarter in Q1, down from Q4’s 0.7% expansion. Preliminary GDP data released by national statistical institutes revealed that growth waned in Austria, Belgium and France. In France, a weak performance by the external sector and a sharp slowdown in corporate investment dented momentum in the quarter. While subdued domestic activity likely sparked…