Posts

Modern Monetary Theory: it’s a currency question

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a political reaction to the constraints and costs of private financing for public spending. It is the explicit position that fiscal policy and monetary policy should be coordinated in order to avoid these constraints and costs. History is relevant. The future is untold. Money is currency is money. I hope …read more

Canadian elections highlighting the risk of consensus views

The Canadian economy has been growing at a moderate pace however household debt has reached historical highs, raising the question of its sustainability and risks to the economy There is clear consensus among market participants and Canadian investment professionals regarding the outcome of the election The 2016 US elections and Brexit vote have resulted in …read more

Why is FX volatility low? An econometric model

2018 has been an eventful year, with an ongoing trade war, tightening monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, increasing pressure in the Brexit negotiations, and a new Italian government which has resurrected fears about the stability of the Eurozone Despite this, G10 FX volatility has remained remarkably subdued In this blog post, we construct an econometric model to …read more

Terminating NAFTA: What would the impact on Canada be?

• As NAFTA negotiations become increasingly fraught, the risk of a complete termination by US President Donald Trump is increasing
• The long-run impact of such a termination is likely to be limited, based on the MFN tariffs the US could apply
• The most likely impact would be in terms of the real economy, as the shock generated would hit consumption, spook investment and delay the Bank of Canada’s hiking cycle.
• To investigate the magnitude of this effect, we model the impact on real economic variables and interpret the impact on the Canadian dollar. Our results suggest that a 6% depreciation of the Canadian dollar against the US dollar could be justified.

The dilemmas of Pravin Gordhan

• On 22nd February, Finance minister Gordhan presented his annual budget to the national assembly.
• Gordhan faced a painful trade-off between managing South Africa’s eye-watering debt situation, supporting stagnant private consumption and political sustainability in the most unequal country in the world
• We simulate South Africa’s debt/GDP path under different assumptions, and argue that the economy still has a long way to go to achieve fiscal sustainability

JPY: Has Japan lost the Currency War?

The currency war “truce” at the G20 meeting in February of this year has effectively placed political pressure on Japan to refrain from further depreciation of the yen. We investigate whether this has frozen USDJPY at its “fair value”. Although a naïve reading of PPP figures suggests that the outcome is reasonable, adjustment for productivity differentials suggests that the yen is now heavily overvalued versus the dollar, with attendant negative consequences for the Japanese economy.