Dusted off an anecdote from 2014 about finding strength in humility (see below). Off to UAE. Back next Sunday with full wknd notes. All the very best, E
Week-in-Review: Mon: Milei prevails in runoff to win Argentina’s presidential election, Moody’s revises Italy’s outlook to stable over wknd, US 20yr bond auction goes well, Pro-China parties failed to choose a unifying candidate for upcoming election after last week agreeing to form alliance, China drafts list of 50 property firms eligible for funding support, Japan’s Kishida approval polls hit new lows, ECB’s Villeroy says disinflation ‘somewhat quicker’ than expected, PBOC sets stronger renminbi fix than exp, OpenAI drama accelerates over the weekend as 700 employees threaten to leave if Altman is not brought back / board remains resolute in its decision to oust Altman / MSFT hires Altman, China keeps 1y & 5y LPR unch as exp, Germany PPI -11.0% as exp, US Leading index -0.8% (-0.7%e), S&P +0.7%; Tue: FOMC mins reiterate incoming data to determine if disinflation is progressing sufficiently, Hungary CB cuts 75bp as exp, rumors that Israel/Hamas close on hostage deal, Binance’s CZ stepping down and pleads guilty to US criminal charges, RBA mins notably hawkish, ECB’s Lagarde said infl pressures should weaken further, PBOC sets another strong CNY fix – largest adj since July, OpenAI reinstates Sam Altman in abrupt turnaround, NVDA beats but doesn’t rally, S. Africa leading index 111.6 (111.3e), UK Public borrowing 14.9b (12.8b exp), Poland PPI -4.1% (-3.6%e), Canada CPI 3.1% as exp / Core 3.5% (3.6%e), US Chicago Fed Nat Activity -0.49 (0.0e), US Existing home sales 3.79m (3.90m e), S&P -0.2%; Wed: Israel/Hamas deal to 4d pause in fighting in exchange for 50 hostages, OPEC+ meeting delayed as African countries push back on supply discipline, draft of bailout for China property developers leaked, ECB financial stability review warns sluggish growth risks financial stability, PBOC continues with strong fixing, S. Africa CPI 5.9% (5.6%e) / Core 4.4% (4.2%e), Poland ret sales 4.8% (4.7%e), Mexico ret sales 2.3% (3.7%e), US Jobless claims 209k (227k e), US Durable goods orders -5.4% (-3.2%e), US Mich sentiment 61.3 (61.0e) / 1y infl exp 4.5% (4.4%e) / 5-10y infl exp 3.2% (3.1%e), EU cons conf -16.9 (-17.8e), Argentina Eco activity index -0.7% as exp, S&P +0.4%; Thu: US Thanksgiving holiday (quiet markets), Germany suspends borrowing limit, Dutch election surprisingly won by right-wing Freedom Party, OPEC+ meeting back online, Sweden unch (25bp exp), S. Africa CB unch as exp but consensus decision send dovish message, Turkey CB hikes 500bp (250bp exp), EU PMI mfg 43.8 (43.5e) / serv 48.2 (48.1e) / comp 47.1 (46.8e), UK PMI mfg 46.7 (45.0e) / serv 50.5 (49.5e) / comp 50.1 (48.7e), S&P closed; Fri: Israel/Hamas 4d pause begins as Hamas releases 13 hostages, Taiwanese pro-China parties formally fail to create coalition, ECB’s Lagarde says ECB in a position to pause tightening, Japan CPI 3.3% (3.4%e) / Core CPI 4% (4.1%e), UK cons conf -24 (-28e), Hungary unemp 4.1% (3.9%e), Germany IFO exp 85.2 (85.8e), Poland unemp 5% as exp, Mexico 3Q final GDP 3.3% (3.2%e), Canada ret sales 0.6% MoM (0%e), US PMI mfg 49.4 (49.9e) / serv 50.8 (50.3e) / comp 50.7 (50.4e), S&P +0.2%.
Weekly Close: S&P 500 +1.0% and VIX -1.34 at +12.46. Nikkei +0.1%, Shanghai -0.4%, Euro Stoxx +0.9%, Bovespa +0.6%, MSCI World +0.8%, and MSCI Emerging +1.2%. USD rose +2.3% vs South Africa, +0.6% vs Turkey, +0.5% vs Indonesia, and +0.1% vs India. USD fell -9.1% vs Ethereum, -5.4% vs Bitcoin, -1.8% vs Chile, -1.2% vs Sterling, -1.1% vs Australia, -1.0% vs Russia, -0.9% vs China, -0.7% vs Sweden, -0.7% vs Mexico, -0.6% vs Canada, -0.2% vs Euro, -0.2% vs Brazil, and -0.1% vs Yen. Gold +0.9%, Silver +2.0%, Oil -0.7%, Copper +1.7%, Iron Ore +1.8%, Corn -0.6%. 10yr Inflation Breakevens (EU +10bps at 2.21%, US -1bp at 2.28%, JP +2bps at 1.36%, and UK +6bps at 3.71%). 2yr Notes +6bps at 4.95% and 10yr Notes +3bps at 4.47%.
Year-to-Date Equities (high to low): Argentina +124.9% priced in US dollars (+354.1% priced in pesos), Poland +41.8% priced in US dollars (+29.6% priced in zloty), Greece +38.3% priced in dollars (+35.4% in euros), Hungary +36.9% (+28.1%), NASDAQ +36.2% in dollars, Venezuela +33.7% (+180%), Italy +26.8% (+24.2%), Denmark +25.2% (+22.9%), Mexico +24.5% (+9.2%), Brazil +23.5% (+14.4%), Spain +23.4% (+20.8%), Russia +22.7% (+49.4%), Taiwan +18.8% (+22.3%), Ireland +18.8% (+16.3%), S&P 500 +18.7% in dollars, Euro Stoxx 50 +17.7% (+15.2%), Germany +17.6% (+15.1%), Czech Republic +16.5% (+15.5%), MSCI World +15.6% in dollars, France +15.1% (+12.7%), Netherlands +13.5% (+11.1%), Japan +12.9% (+28.9%), Sweden +8.7% (+9.1%), India +8.6% (+9.3%), Korea +8.1% (+11.6%), Chile +6.9% (+9.8%), Austria +6.3% (+4.1%), Colombia +6% (-11.7%), Switzerland +6% (+1.4%), Saudi Arabia +6% (+5.7%), UK +4.7% (+0.5%), Portugal +3.5% (+1.3%), Canada +3.1% (+3.7%), Russell +2.6% in dollars, Indonesia +2.2% (+2.3%), Norway +2% (+11.1%), Belgium -1.3% (-3.3%), Australia -3.3% (+0%), Philippines -4% (-4.5%), Singapore -4.8% (-4.8%), China -5% (-1.6%), South Africa -5.9% (+4%), Israel -6% (-0.1%), Turkey -6.4% (+44.5%), UAE -6.4% (-6.4%), New Zealand -6.5% (-2.3%), Finland -8.1% (-10%), Malaysia -8.6% (-2.8%), HK -11.1% (-11.2%), Thailand -17.8% (-16.3%).
Anecdote (Jan 2014): “I believe we have a duty to care for those who came before us, for those who come after,” he said. And he has. He does. A decade ago, his father-in-law was slain as he lay in bed with his wife. A random act of violence, committed by impoverished young burglars. In South Africa. “Afterwards, my mother-in-law moved in, became the second mother to our children,” he continued, describing the profound depth of her impact on their family. “You move on, you’ve got to forgive,” he said softly, sincerely. “Through forgiveness you learn humility, and in humility you find strength, you remain open, you learn, grow,” he explained. And intrigued by this senior business executive, a battle-hardened negotiator in a nation besmirched by violent conflict between black labor and white capital, I was reminded of my fascination with his stories, his observations, his perspectives, during our time together on Safari. “You don’t need to be soft to be humble, you can stand your ground, but through humility you afford the time to listen.” With Mandela’s passing, fears that SA would descend into violence have given way to a national dialogue on his sublime legacy of forgiveness, reconciliation. “It is through the real things in life that you grow, introspect, and ultimately realize the true value of life.” So I asked my friend how he felt about South Africa today. “Last year’s strikes have passed, the political landscape is settled, the ANC will win, but the weakening Rand is difficult for our economy, for our poor in particular.” The wealthy own stocks, which have surged, while the cost of living has risen for laborers. The Chinese are buying land to develop new industries in Africa’s gateway. Bill Gates is investing in education. “But it’s hard to really know what to say about your country when you live in it.”
Good luck out there,
Chief Investment Officer
One River Asset Management
Disclaimer: All characters and events contained herein are entirely fictional. Even those things that appear based on real people and actual events are products of the author’s imagination. Any similarity is merely coincidental. The numbers are unreliable. The statistics too. Consequently, this message does not contain any investment recommendation, advice, or solicitation of any sort for any product, fund or service. The views expressed are strictly those of the author, even if often times they are not actually views held by the author, or directly contradict those views genuinely held by the author. And the views may certainly differ from those of any firm or person that the author may advise, converse with, or otherwise be associated with. Lastly, any inappropriate language, innuendo or dark humor contained herein is not specifically intended to offend the reader. And besides, nothing could possibly be more offensive than the real-life actions of the inept policy makers, corrupt elected leaders and short, paranoid dictators who infest our little planet. Yet we suffer their indignities every day. Oh yeah, past performance is not indicative of future returns.