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Insights Archives 2017-10-13T01:54:33+00:00

Sharpen Your Axe

August days in financial markets tend to be quiet. Volumes contract as many investors take to the sidelines. This time offers a chance to spend time with families and friends, read a book, enjoy a beer; in short, it’s a good time to sharpen our axes for the fall.

By | August 27th, 2018|

Taper Tantrum 2.0

Like greenskeepers carefully tending to the needs of golf course greens with the arrival of spring, central banks face an equally delicate task of restoring national economies showing slower signs of life without killing off healthy ones, and seek stability over wild undulations.

By | May 31st, 2018|

Things are Better Than They Seem

In his new book, psychologist Steven Pinker details how the human condition has steadily improved over the past millennia.  His data suggests that we enjoy longer, healthier and happier lives than our ancestors; that we have made significant progress against disease and starvation; and we have experienced a steady decline in deaths resulting from wars, natural disasters and crime. 

By | April 30th, 2018|

Russia Update: Rising Instability, Syria and Sanctions

The last 30 plus days have seen a dramatic unfolding of events involving Russia. The combination of rising political tensions, new U.S. sanctions and another chemical weapons attack in Syria have put investors on edge. The conundrum facing investors is whether this new Syria crisis will quickly fade or linger given other cumulative effects.

By | April 16th, 2018|

The End of Risk-Free Returns

Markets are known for offering investors lessons in humility. On the one hand, Warren Buffet suggests that “humility can make you rich.” On the other hand, a lack of humility, typified by chasing unsupportable gains (aka Bernie Madoff), can lead to ruin. The difference in outcomes rests on the ability of investors to gauge the market.

By | March 30th, 2018|

Apophenia

Humans have an innate tendency to discern patterns and connections between otherwise unrelated things. Psychiatrists have termed this ability as apophenia. It’s an essential trait to make sense of an otherwise random world.

By | February 27th, 2018|

Stories and Storytellers

These days it is easy to be cynical. Writing this on the eve of a U.S. government shutdown, it seems that our leaders and institutions too often disappoint us. Perhaps the truth about our leaders and institutions was always oversold, yet we chose to believe differently.

By | January 29th, 2018|

2018 Investment Outlook

The U.S. economy is in the late stages of an expansion, and speculative excesses are beginning to proliferate. Risk assets will probably perform well in 2018 but increasing caution and portfolio conservatism are warranted

By | January 24th, 2018|

Monitoring Global Risk Events: Applying GDELT to Global Events

Over the course of 2017, we integrated big data analytics into Northwest Passage Capital Advisors’ tracking of global events. As part of our firm’s ongoing “Boots in the Cloud” research initiative, we are actively leveraging the vast data potential of the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (“GDELT’’) to gain a fuller and better-informed perspective on world events impacting emerging markets.

By | January 11th, 2018|

Season’s Greetings

Jefferson V. DeAngelis
December 18, 2017

As 2017 ends, investors are fully engaged in a seasonal event as much a tradition as eggnog or caroling this time of year. It’s forecasting season.

Traveler standing alone on stone cliff lake and misty mountains

Come on in, the Water’s Fine

Jefferson V. DeAngelis
November 30, 2017

While difficult to recognize the signals in real time, most economic cycles follow a recognizable pattern apparent in hindsight.

himalayan moutains covered in fog

¿Donde Esta Santiago?

Jefferson V. DeAngelis
October 3, 2017

Across Latin America, voters have rejected populism, of both the far right and left variety, moving to a more centrist position. A case in point is Argentina. 

2017 Q2 Fly Away on My Zephyr

William C. Slaughter
July 31, 2017

Results reflect a benign environment for fixed-income assets with EM bond markets tracking the overall strong performance of risk assets.

Back in Synch

Jefferson V. DeAngelis
July 1, 2017

The Olympic motto (“Swifter, Faster, Stronger”) captures the essence of competition; that through competition the best is brought out …

Boots in the Cloud

Jefferson V. DeAngelis
June 1, 2017

Intelligence organizations have historically relied on agents in the field employing well-honed spycraft to collect and report vital information …

2017 Q1 Cognitive Dissonance

William C. Slaughter
May 2, 2017

Fixed-income markets deliver strong returns, ignoring continuing political and economic risk, in a complete unwinding of the “Trump trade.”

Honey vs. Vinegar

Jefferson V. DeAngelis
May 1, 2017

In policy-making, everyone wants the honey without the vinegar…

Brexit Endgame

K.P. O'Reilly PhD, JD
April 4, 2017

The recent triggering Article 50 renews speculation over Brexit. Application of basic game theory sheds light on some potential outcomes.

Trouble in Paradise

Jefferson V. DeAngelis
April 1, 2017

Today, Cuba stands at a crossroads. Will it continue to rely on its old allies …

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