Global economy

There are two things that matter in investing: what the fundamentals, such as earnings and the economy, are doing, and where they are expected to go. Investment editor James Mackintosh says when sentiment is extreme, investors will react much more strongly to any sign of bad news.

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James Mackintosh

Brits wanting a holiday in the sun have to stump up a lot more since the pound’s crash during the financial crisis. Even after a partial recovery, the pound remains down almost a fifth in real terms against its trading partners.

On the plus side, exports should be booming. Sadly, they aren’t. There are plenty of excuses explanations, but one stands out: British exporters have too much focus on slow-growing European economies and not enough on the whizzy emerging markets. The killer statistic is that the UK exports more to tiny troubled Ireland than to all the Brics put together. Read more

The yen’s collapse was rudely interrupted on Tuesday. James Mackintosh, investment editor, points out that the yen’s premium as a haven from the global crisis has now evaporated, and examines the implications for the carry trade.

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The parade of best bourses so far this year is a rogue’s gallery of the past few years’ basket cases: Greece, Dubai, Egypt and Argentina, with the eurozone periphery close behind. James Mackintosh, investment editor, analyses whether this dash for trash is wise.

John Authers

Was Keynes a Keynesian? I had to answer this essay question at university and managed to answer No. The issue was whether John Maynard Keynes’ 1930s ideas really entailed the interventionist policies that bore his name, and which rightly took much blame for 1970s stagflation.

Since then, an era of distinctly non-Keynesian economics by any definition has culminated in a global crash, leaving the world in what looks like what Keynes called a “liquidity trap” – where lower interest rates have little or no effect. In a week when the European Central Bank, the People’s Bank of China and the Bank of England have all eased monetary policy, the debate about Keynes’ legacy rages. It is barely a debate at all – a sterile recitation by each side of a preconceived position. Read more