The European Central Bank’s ultra-dovish comments last week came as a bit of a surprise. Yet, the Euro’s appreciation of over 10% from its March lows is a big burden for the Eurozone‘s exporters to carry (particularly Italian and German), at a time when China is slowing down and world trade is contracting. As inflation remains moribund and “negative rates” become mainstream, sooner or later the US Federal Reserve (Fed) is likely to go down this path as well. What if negative deposit rates don’t bring back growth and inflation? Will central banks send cheques in the post directly to the people? Strangely enough a “cheque in the post” policy may do more to bring back growth and inflation than anything done so far by the central banks. Therefore, monetary policy is going to remain accommodative for quite some time, and in such a case equities will remain bid due to the lack of a substitute asset class with a better risk-reward tradeoff. It’s likely we will see a new high on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) before snow arrives. As for next year, one argument is that the SPX has never been up seven years in a row. This is true, but neither have we seen every major central bank easing at the same time, taking rates to zero and buying assets.
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