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August 14, 2018 @ 13:04 +03:00
RIT Capital Partners 2014 annual report commentary, the scion of Rothschild family warned that “the geopolitical situation is most dangerous since WWII.” One year later, Jacob Rothschild again warned about the outcome of “what is surely the greatest experiment in monetary policy in the history of the world”, and then again in August 2017 he cautioned that “share prices have in many cases risen to unprecedented levels at a time when economic growth is by no means assured.”
Little did he know that they were only going to keep rising, but related to that, he also made another warning which the market has so far blissfully ignored: The period of monetary accommodation may well be coming to an end. Geopolitical problems remain widespread and are proving increasingly difficult to resolve.
The billionaire banker pointed to the US-China trade war and the Eurozone crisis as the key problems putting economic order at risk, and the lack of a “common approach” – a reference to the gradual unwind of globalization in the wake of President Trump – that has made “co-operation today much more difficult”:
“In 9/11 and in the 2008 financial crisis, the powers of the world worked together with a common approach. Co-operation today is proving much more difficult. This puts at risk the post-war economic and security order.”
One potential risk is Europe, where debt levels have reached “potentially destructive levels”: The problems confronting the Eurozone are of concern – both political and economic – given the potentially destructive levels of debt in a number of countries.
There is also the threat that the global trade war escalates substantially from here, as Chinese stocks have learned the hard way: The likelihood of trade wars has increased tension and the impact on equities has been marked, for example by early July the Shanghai Composite Index had dropped some 22% from its peak in January.
Rothschild also echoed the recent warning from the head of the Indian Central Bank, warning that the shrinking of global dollar liquidity is hurting emerging markets: Problems are likely to continue in emerging markets, compounded by rising interest rates and the US Fed’s monetary policy which has drained global dollar liquidity. We have already seen the impact on the Turkish and Argentinian currencies.
Finally, Rothschild remains understandably “concerned about geo-political problems including Brexit, North Korea and the Middle East, at a time when populism is spreading globally.”