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02/01/18
Iran
The Mullah’s moolah problem

Iranian protests are unlikely to topple the regime. But popular discontent with the economy and endemic corruption will shift the…

22/12/17
Spain
Homage to Catalonia (of sorts!)

The Catalonian election results won’t weigh on the euro or EU financial assets in the short term. Whether this holds…

13/12/17
Global
A big deal

Demography is perhaps the single most important investment theme over the next half century. Many of its implications will begin…

Iran: The Mullah’s moolah problem

Iranian protests are unlikely to topple the regime. But popular discontent with the economy and endemic corruption will shift the barriers through which the authorities have to navigate through. There is more room for fiscal spending to counter protests and it ought also to act as a restraint on Iran’s foreign policy forays. But meaningful economic reforms are needed, which conflict with the beliefs and interests of the mullahs.

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Spain: Homage to Catalonia (of sorts!)

The Catalonian election results won’t weigh on the euro or EU financial assets in the short term. Whether this holds in the longer term depends on two factors. First, Rajoy’s and his Peoples Party’s (PP) readiness for dialogue, compromises and release of all Catalonian leaders from jail. Second, the Catalonian Independents eschewing another reckless dash for freedom from Spain and working towards a more autonomous status within Spain. Frankly, both sides have everything to win and everything to lose. But getting there, given the political process, will take several months.

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Global: A big deal

Demography is perhaps the single most important investment theme over the next half century. Many of its implications will begin to bite much sooner. Three trends are happening simultaneously. First, global population is expected to expand by nearly 40% through 2065. Second, population growth is slowing globally as fertility rates drop. By the end of the century, births per woman in all regions will be below the natural “replacement rate”. Third, and most important for investors, working-age populations will be shrinking outright in Japan, much of Europe and, most dramatically, in China. This is likely to keep economic growth and financial asset returns low by historical standards.

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