At least she was wrong in a conventional way
March 20, 2017

Mint - Blain's Morning Porridge

Short comment this morning. I celebrated another year by going out to race my sailing dinghy – the first time since my medical adventures last year. I was a bit windy, and I barely avoided a few capsizes. I'm well and truly broken. Back in bits and chest wound a bit sore. In other words.. a fantastic weekend!

The big issue to be thinking about is global protectionism. From the frosty Merkel/Trump summit, the G20 meeting failing to agree wording on free trade, and the cobbled together Europe/Japan trade announcement – it certainly feels like the global trade agenda is under threat as the US versus the world vibe takes hold. President Trump characterizes the noise as part of the "deal", but that's not the way it works when it's global sentiment at stake.

The implications are going to be interesting. More than a few commentators are wondering about downturn. I'm thinking it's a caution signal for stocks.

I'm still getting my head around articles talking about European growth and the need for the European Central Bank to consider raising rates. Really? The outlook for inflation isn't encouraging, growth is gossamer thin. Ah...wait a moment...this is a big election year, so let's create some feelgood factor by hinting at non-negative rates…

Meanwhile I am delighted to read that Och-Ziff and Goldman have both invested in Icelandic domestic banking assets after capital controls were lifted last week. Back in the day, when I was a debt capital markets banker, Iceland was my favourite nation to cover: three banks all doing plenty of business. When a nation of 320,000 people attracts as many bankers as a nation multiple times larger…well you just know it's not going to end well.

Elsewhere we've got Deutsche Bank's rights issue…and I've read some notes suggesting it's a buy as European banking stocks are set to continue rising. Fair enough… but I'm a selective seller myself..

Out of time this morning.. normal service tomorrow.

Bill Blain

Head of Capital Markets/Alternative Assets

Mint Partners





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Mint - Blain's Morning Porridge

Short comment this morning. I celebrated another year by going out to race my sailing dinghy – the first time since my medical adventures last year. I was a bit windy, and I barely avoided a few capsizes. I'm well and truly broken. Back in bits and chest wound a bit sore. In other words.. a fantastic weekend!

The big issue to be thinking about is global protectionism. From the frosty Merkel/Trump summit, the G20 meeting failing to agree wording on free trade, and the cobbled together Europe/Japan trade announcement – it certainly feels like the global trade agenda is under threat as the US versus the world vibe takes hold. President Trump characterizes the noise as part of the "deal", but that's not the way it works when it's global sentiment at stake.

The implications are going to be interesting. More than a few commentators are wondering about downturn. I'm thinking it's a caution signal for stocks.

I'm still getting my head around articles talking about European growth and the need for the European Central Bank to consider raising rates. Really? The outlook for inflation isn't encouraging, growth is gossamer thin. Ah...wait a moment...this is a big election year, so let's create some feelgood factor by hinting at non-negative rates…

Meanwhile I am delighted to read that Och-Ziff and Goldman have both invested in Icelandic domestic banking assets after capital controls were lifted last week. Back in the day, when I was a debt capital markets banker, Iceland was my favourite nation to cover: three banks all doing plenty of business. When a nation of 320,000 people attracts as many bankers as a nation multiple times larger…well you just know it's not going to end well.

Elsewhere we've got Deutsche Bank's rights issue…and I've read some notes suggesting it's a buy as European banking stocks are set to continue rising. Fair enough… but I'm a selective seller myself..

Out of time this morning.. normal service tomorrow.

Bill Blain

Head of Capital Markets/Alternative Assets

Mint Partners



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