It’s no secret that people are living longer. Falling fertility rates indicate that, on average, global populations are getting older. This “demographic tsunami” has already hit Japan, and continental Europe is not far behind.
US bank shares are in a bear market. The KBW Bank Index fell 20% in 2018. That’s much worse than the overall stock market, which fell 6% in the same period. Ten years after the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, many investors are worried that this economic upturn can’t last much longer. Anxiety about the risk of a recession is high.
Fans of the “Fast & Furious” movies know the game of chicken. Two cars race toward each other, each driver waiting for the other to swerve out of the way. If neither swerves, the cars collide head-on. This game has been playing out in Europe as the UK and Italian governments each face off with the EU.
Many of India’s state-owned banks are in trouble. This month the government is injecting $13 billion to help these banks offload non-performing loans. By 2020, the total cost of injections is projected to rise to $21 billion, about 1.3% of GDP.
The US House of Representatives passed a tax reform bill on November 16. How could it affect financial and real estate stocks?
London office property prices have stayed surprisingly high since the Brexit vote to leave the European Union (EU) in mid-2016. A recent rise in vacancy levels (from a low base) hasn’t yet made a dent in high rent costs, while low transaction prices have attracted foreign buyers lured by the post-Brexit fall of the British pound.
Auto insurers have been caught off-guard. Traffic deaths had been in decline for four decades, as a result of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), seat belts, crumple zones, anti-lock braking systems, air bags and a string of other safety improvements.
European banks seem to be on an upward trajectory – although improvements are likely to come at a slow pace and with some risks.