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February 19, 2018
Opinions differ when it comes to bitcoin. Discussions are triggered largely by bitcoin’s spectacular price increasess and are not very informed or nuanced. In this paper we focus on several standard claims, which we will put into context and, if necessary, rectify. This will hopefully help our readers to familiarise themselves with the topic. [more]
February 15, 2018
Analyst:
The rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and the decline in cash payments are the background for a new concept: digital cash issued by central banks. An old academic debate about who creates money and how is resurfacing, but what about the user’s perspective? Why would we use crypto euros? Such digital cash would compete against bank deposits, physical cash and private cryptocurrencies to win over consumers in the areas of payments and savings. [more]
February 12, 2018
Region:
Topic:
Analyst:
German manufacturing industry ought to be at the peak in the current cycle. Domestic production in 2017 edged up by 3% in price-adjusted terms, which marks the strongest increase since 2011. At the same time, producer prices (+2.3%) also recorded the sharpest increase since 2011. Although industrial order intake continues to be very dynamic, several factors, including the strong euro and the recent slight dip in business expectations, suggest that growth momentum is likely to slow in the course of 2018. Against this backdrop, German industrial production looks set to rise by 2.5% in 2018. In the face of high wage settlements and plans to lower the limit on fixed-term contracts, German companies are likely to create fewer new jobs. [more]
February 9, 2018
Opinions differ when it comes to bitcoin. Discussions are triggered largely by bitcoin’s spectacular price increasess and are not very informed or nuanced. In this paper we focus on several standard claims, which we will put into context and, if necessary, rectify. This will hopefully help our readers to familiarise themselves with the topic. [more]
February 8, 2018
Region:
The four-month deadlock following the inconclusive German federal elections was brought closer to its end with the coalition agreement between the CDU/CSU and the SPD. The last hurdle to Merkel's re-election is now the SPD membership ballot which is expected to give its approval, though at a thin margin. The agreement foresees significant investment in infrastructure and education but caters too much to permanent spending on social and pension policy given the largely cyclical nature of the budgetary leeway. Europe is supposed to take centre stage in the would-be coalition's policy – a signal which matters for Martin Schulz but less so for the member ballot and the German voter. The coalition commits itself to the transformation of the ESM and more spending on Europe but the red lines will only emerge when the details will be tabled. Surprisingly, the SPD will hold most of the major portfolios in the cabinet. With the foreign and the finance ministry the SPD got hold on the key portfolios for shaping the European policy course, although the key decisions will still be left to the chancellor. [more]
February 7, 2018
After a stellar 2017 and an even stronger January, risk assets have undergone a sharp pullback in the last week. Initially triggered by higher rates as markets repriced inflation expectations higher, the episode evolved into a technical spout of volatility exacerbated by programmatic strategies. The pullback is healthy, after a highly unusual stretch of market tranquility. [more]
February 6, 2018
Region:
The economy continues to steam ahead, with quarterly GDP growth of 0.5% qoq in the winter half. A tight labour market and swelling order books are boosting the union's bargaining power so they are pushing hard for higher wages, although increases might fall short of expectations among workers and the ECB tower. Meanwhile in Berlin, Groko hopefuls are spending Germany's fiscal surpluses, seemingly unconcerned with demographic challenges and the fact that record low interest rates and above potential growth will not last. This party will likely go on for some time - maybe even a few years. However, the situation feels increasingly reminiscent of carnival revellers' popular song "Am Aschermittwoch ist alles vorbei" (It's all over on Ash Wednesday). [more]
January 26, 2018
Region:
Metropolitan areas in Germany are booming. The current real-estate cycle started in 2009 and has led to significant price increases for residential property in many cities. Prices for apartments have as much as doubled in some cities. Strong population and employment growth and declining unemployment rates are driving demand, and supply elasticity is low. Overvaluations are rising, and the risk of a price bubble in the German housing market is increasing. The price uptrend is likely to continue for several years, at least in most major cities in Germany. [more]
January 25, 2018
The lead market commentator of the Financial Times this morning writes that the dollar sell-off has “stopped making sense”. Indeed, viewed with the post-crisis lens of activist central banks and exceptionally tight correlations between FX and rates the dollar is entirely out of line with fundamentals. But currency moves over the medium-term ultimately boil down to one thing: flows. If inflows into an economy pick up the currency strengthens and vice versa. Looked at from a flow perspective, the dollar bear market makes complete sense: our outlook for FX 2018 argued that the flow picture is exceptionally supportive for EUR/USD and this positive dynamic is currently playing out. [more]
January 23, 2018
This edition reviews the global macro outlook, with 2018 likely marking the peak of the current cyclical expansion. Read on for our views on the US macro outlook and the Fed, the eurozone and the ECB, China’s macro outlook and risks. Find also a summary of our views on key themes as well as on the different asset classes and the main macro and markets forecasts [more]