Investment Themes - General

Search all article by their themes/tags in the search area
below for example “Energy” or “Technology”.

Search Results

Found 1000 results in General
November 12 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Easing Auto Supply-Chain Woes May Foreshadow Path for Inflation

This note from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Investors will keep a close eye on UMich inflation expectations, due at 10 a.m. NYT. Another piece of the inflation picture that bears attention is the auto supply-chain crunch that’s been an exceptionally large contributor to rising prices.

News from Toyota adds to signs that supply issues may finally be easing. The carmaker is targeting greater December output than it’s seen in recent years, with next month set to be the first time in seven months that all of Toyota’s production lines in Japan will be operating normally.

That follows an Oct. 31 report that GM had no chips-related downtime scheduled in North America, the first time it had been able to resume full production since February. BMW’s results showed it’s muscling through the chip shortage, and Ford said revenue and profit rose due to increases in chip availability and vehicle shipments. Smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm‘s outlook, and steel and freight shifts, have also added to recent signs of broader relief.

Yet consumers may not feel like there’s been a downshift. U.S. used-vehicle prices rose 9.2% in October, according to Manheim Auctions; the index was up 38% from a year earlier. Reported used-vehicle inflation is also lower than suggested by the Manheim index, suggesting another big print for November’s CPI, as my colleague Cameron Crise pointed out.

Eoin Treacy's view -

There is clear potential that we are looking at the peak of supply disruption for chips. This is obviously a nuanced topic because there are lots of different kinds of chips and not every sector requires the same types of components. However, on aggregate, the supply of chips to the sectors that have contributed most to inflationary pressures is improving.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 12 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

How NFTs Create Value

Thanks to a subscriber for this article from the Harvard Business Review. Here is a section:  

Itʼs not uncommon to see creators organize in-person meetups for their NFT holders, as many did at the recent NFT NYC conference. In other cases, having a specific NFT in your online wallet might be necessary in order to gain access to an online game, chat room, or merchandise store. And creator teams sometimes grant additional tokens to their NFT holders in ways that expand the product ecosystem: owners of a particular goat NFT, for example, were recently able to claim a free baby goat NFT that gives benefits beyond the original token; holders of a particular bear NFT, meanwhile, just received honey.

Thus owning an NFT effectively makes you an investor, a member of a club, a brand shareholder, and a participant in a loyalty program all at once. At the same time, NFTsʼ programmability supports new business and profit models — for example, NFTs have enabled a new type of royalty contract, whereby each time a work is resold, a share of the transaction goes back to the original creator.

This all means that NFT-based markets can emerge and gain traction quickly, especially relative to other crypto products. This is both because the NFTs themselves have standalone value — you might buy an art NFT simply because you like it — and because NFTs just need to establish value among a community of potential owners (which can be relatively small), whereas cryptocurrencies need wide acceptance in order to become useful as a store of value and/or medium of exchange.

Eoin Treacy's view -

The value of the NFT evolution is in giving greater control to the creators of intellectual property. The penniless artist is a long-standing meme because the few become truly great. Even then, seldom ever profit from their early works. It is only when they become famous and the value of their oeuvre increases that financial rewards come from new works. That’s not a great business model and NFTs help creators to participate in the increasing value of all their work to the extent others see value in it.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 12 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Ray Dalio and BlackRock's Rick Rieder on the New World Investors Are Facing

This article from Bridgewater may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Second point I would make is that the usage of fiscal and monetary policy to bridge to the other side of this epidemic has been pretty extraordinary and beyond anything I’ve ever seen, certainly, in the investment universe. I would say generally well-designed, flexible, more than adequate, in order to minimize social and economic disruption. And you think about the backdrop of when you pull monetary and fiscal together, not just in the US, but globally—I mean, you pressed into the system immense amounts of liquidity. But just to put a couple of these numbers in the backdrop into perspective, today versus 20 years ago—20 years ago there was less than $3 trillion of liquidity in the system—in dollar equivalents, 6% of GDP. It’s now $40 trillion or just under 50% of GDP.

So, first thing, from an investment point of view, that liquidity is completely different. And then, how do you invest? And now, you think about you’re probably on the back side of that. And then finally, to wrap up, I’ll pass it to Ray for his better, bigger-picture thoughts than mine, I would throw out: how do you think about global and political tensions on the back side of what I just described? Supply-chain breakages, the dynamics around how do you think about your domestic trade, how do you think about your domestic ecosystem, which I think you’ll see some stress based on, you know, how have you operated internationally over the last few decades? So, big consideration, I think, is going to be how do you think about political tension, and how do you think about sovereign or regional dynamics? Maybe a bit more profound and different than we’ve seen over the last couple of decades. So, with that, I’ll pass it to Ray for his big-picture thoughts on these things.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Capital is both global and mobile, so it flows to the most attractive assets wherever they may reside. With liquidity representing 50% of global GDP there is a clear incentive to invest in capital intensive industries that will bear fruit long into the future.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 11 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for November 11th 2021

November 11 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Gold as a monetary metal

Eoin Treacy's view -

Gold is a monetary metal. That’s true even if we never use it for everyday purchases. It’s also true even if we never go back to a gold standard. The reason it is a monetary metal is it has a history as a unit of exchange and it is possible for it to become a unit of exchange in some potential set of future circumstances.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 11 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Three Reasons To Be Bullish

This report from Morgan Stanley focusing on Indonesia may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Economics - 3 Reasons To Be Bullish: We see an absolute and relative growth story in Indonesia for 2022. We expect growth here to accelerate into 2022, even as it moderates in other parts of Asia and growth differentials between Indonesia and the rest of the world are likely to become more favourable. Indeed, we expect Indonesia to be a prime beneficiary as growth broadens out from the front-runners to the laggards and from exports to domestic demand. This is due to: (1) Indonesia is a reopening domestic demand play. We estimate that Indonesia will have implemented more than enough doses to fully vaccinate its adult population by Jan-22 and 99% of its total population by Mar-22. Rising vaccination rates should unlock growth delta from domestic demand. India's recovery patterns offer some interesting insights in that regard. (2) Indonesia offers an inflation hedge against stagflation concerns from supply-side constraints. It is one of the only two net commodity exporting economies in AXJ and hence benefits from the positive terms-of-trade as commodity prices rise. (3) It has one of the strongest structural growth stories in the region and offers diversification opportunities away from China. Its benign demography and low debt ratio stand in contrast to most other parts of Asia. Geopolitical tension and Covid have increased the need to diversify manufacturing risks and policy[1]makers are capitalising on this with the right structural reforms.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Indonesia was one of the best performing markets in the post GFC recovery. That was because the entire ASEAN region was not leveraged to the US mortgage market and reacted very positively to massive monetary accommodation. The recovery in commodity prices also contributed to its outperformance. That ended when commodities peaked and the Dollar began to recover.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 11 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Why You Should Care About Taproot, The Next Major Bitcoin Upgrade

This article from bitcoin magazine may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

For one, Taproot ultimately empowers the Lightning Network to unleash its full potential as a proper scaling technology for Bitcoin. Currently, the second layer protocol can be spotted in action in the Bitcoin blockchain, reducing coins' fungibility. Fungibility is vital for a monetary good to actualize the medium of exchange role because it allows for coins to be seen as equal. If transaction outputs were seen differently, they could suffer from discrimination by the receiver, preventing users from using their BTC for payments in certain conditions.

In addition, the Lightning Network and other complex wallets and contracts will enjoy greater efficiency and lower transaction fees, further empowering the usage of Bitcoin as a medium of exchange. Enabled by Schnorr signatures, even the most complex transactions made between Taproot-supporting wallets will incur the same fees as simple ones. Furthermore, this reduction of costs and the increased flexibility and capabilities for smart contracts will ultimately enable very complex setups that were previously not feasible in Bitcoin.

Eoin Treacy's view -

One of the biggest arguments against bitcoin retaining its crown as the most significant cryptocurrency is the slow and limited size of transactions. The Taproot protocols being implemented tomorrow are aimed at addressing many of those arguments.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 11 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Greenland parliament vote effectively halts Kvanefjeld rare earths project

This article from agmetalminer.com may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

Earlier this year, we touched on the snap elections in Greenland, where the victorious left-wing Inuit Ataqatigiit party ran in opposition to the promising Kvanefjeld mining project on the southern tip of the island.

Australian firm Greenland Minerals had been working to secure a mining license for the project.

“The project is centred on the globally unique Ilimaussaq Alkaline Complex in southern Greenland,” the firm says on its website. “To date over 1 billion tonnes of mineral resources (JORC-code compliant) have been delineated in the project area, across three different zones – Kvanefjeld, Sørensen and Zone 3. Mineralisation is hosted by a rock-type called lujavrite, and is enriched in rare earths, uranium, and zinc.”

However, Greenland’s parliament voted Tuesday to ban uranium mining and exploration, effectively halting the project.

On Wednesday, Greenland Minerals submitted a request for a trading halt “pending an update to the market regarding passing of legislation concerning uranium, in the Greenland parliament.” As of Wednesday, the company had yet to release a statement about parliament’s decision.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Greenland has some of the most promising rare earth and uranium deposits in the world and the receding ice is revealing additional untapped potential sources of minerals. Shutting down exploration/development of uranium removes potential sources of new supply from the global market. It could well be terminal for Greenland Minerals.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 10 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for November 10th 2021

November 10 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Newcrest Joins M&A Gold Rush With $2.8 Billion Pretium Buy

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Newcrest Mining Ltd. agreed to buy Pretium Resources Inc. in a cash and shares deal valuing the Canadian gold producer at about $2.8 billion, adding to a wave of consolidation in the sector.

Melbourne-based Newcrest will offer Pretium holders C$18.50 ($14.87) a share, a 23% premium to the target’s closing price Monday in Toronto. Pretium’s board has unanimously recommended the transaction, although it still requires the approval of two-thirds of the company’s shareholders.   

“Our strategy is to specialize in low-cost, long-life and large-scale gold mines, and this is certainly that,” Sandeep Biswas, Newcrest’s managing director and chief executive officer, said on a media call. Adding Pretium, which owns the Brucejack operation close to Newcrest’s Red Chris mine in British Columbia, would immediately add more than 300,000 ounces a year of gold output, the company said, taking annual production to more than 2 million ounces. 

Eoin Treacy's view -

Exploration and development is risky, expensive and time consuming. M&A by contrast is quick, the reserves are relatively well understood but the upfront cost tends to be headline grabbing. That’s why timing of purchases is so important. Miners have a long dismal history of paying record prices at market peaks. At least on this occasion Newcrest is buying Pretium after a good-sized shakeout.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 10 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

China's Inflation Risks Build as Producers Pass on Costs

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

The producer price index climbed 13.5% from a year earlier, the fastest pace in 26 years and above economists’ median forecast for a 12.3% gain, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Wednesday. The consumer price index rose 1.5%, the highest since September 2020 and exceeding the projected 1.4% gain.

Producer prices in China have been rising rapidly in the past few months, first due to the global commodity price rally and then output curbs caused by a power crunch. Consumer inflation is also starting to pick up as weather-related supply problems push up food prices and manufacturers pass on higher costs to retailers. 

The data “implies broad-based inflation pressure on both the production side and the consumer side,” said Bruce Pang, head of macro and strategy research at China Renaissance Securities Hong Kong Ltd. “Inflationary pressure and the more hawkish stance of monetary policy in other major economies will likely limit China’s room to maneuver for monetary easing.”

Eoin Treacy's view -

China exported deflation for much of the last twenty years, with a steady flow of cheaply manufactured goods flooding the global market. That boosted consumption as well as created the impression prices would never again rise in an unexpected matter.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 10 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Inflation in U.S. Builds With Biggest Gain in Prices Since 1990

This article for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

“We haven’t seen, I’ll say, any more resistance to our price increases than we’ve seen historically.” -- McDonald’s Corp. CFO Kevin Ozan, Oct. 27 earnings call

“Looking at Q4, we expect our selling price actions to continue to gain traction, as we work to mitigate the raw material and logistics inflationary pressures we have experienced throughout the year.” -- 3M Co. CFO Monish Patolawala, Oct. 26 earnings call

“We feel very comfortable that any inflation that is affecting our margin today, we have the ability to offset it.” - Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. CFO John Hartung, Oct. 21 earnings
call

“We have now announced pricing in nine out of ten categories, so very broad based.” -- Procter & Gamble Co. CFO Andre Schulten, Oct. 19 earnings call

While most CPI categories rose, the cost of airfares declined for a fourth month and apparel prices were unchanged. Wages have strengthened markedly in recent months -- with some measures rising by the most on record -- but higher consumer prices are eroding Americans’ buying power. 

Inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings fell 1.2% in October from a year earlier, separate data showed Wednesday.
 

Eoin Treacy's view -

The ability of companies to pass on inflation is a good reason why the stock market generally does well in the early portion of an inflationary cycle. The big question therefore is not whether they can successfully pass on one price increase but whether they can continue to pass on price increases should inflationary pressures trend higher.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 09 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

November 09 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Email of the day on gold, ratios and real rates

In contradistinction to your bullish backdrop for gold and your contention of an eventual breakout (not breakdown) of the price, I would appreciate your comments on the relevance and significance of this part of the John Authers’ Points of Return article in Bloomberg this morning:

The Loser of the Year of the Vaccine: Gold
The last 12 months have seen a steady rise in inflation, yet gold has Authors taken a drubbing. That is weird, because the precious metal has long been regarded, more or less correctly, as a hedge against inflation and monetary debasement. There’s been a lot of both inflation and money-printing in the last 12 months, and yet gold has declined, with miners of the metal becoming the single worst-performing sector in the S&P 500.

We would have found this even harder to predict if we had been told a year ago that real yields would stay solidly and historically negative. Gold has no yield and historically has a strong inverse relationship with real yields. The less bonds pay after inflation, the less unappealing gold will appear. But real yields have remained bafflingly low and that hasn’t helped:

As the chart indicates, there is only one other period since the crisis that looks anything much like this. Unfortunately, that was in 2012 and early 2013, when real yields stayed low during the Federal Reserve’s “QE Infinity” and gold began to fall. It turned out on that occasion that the price was telling us something. The spring of 2013 saw first a dramatic fall for gold and then the “taper tantrum” as bond yields shot upward in response to a hawkish Fed.

Another indicator looks surprising. The ratio of stocks to gold, the effective price of the S&P 500 in ounces rather than dollars, has stayed surprisingly constant since Richard Nixon removed the U.S. from the last vestiges of the gold standard in 1971. The S&P has been worth more in gold terms than it was in 1971 only for a few years at the top of the 1990s bull market. Despite all the worries about debasement, that golden ratio is now stronger than it was in 1971, and at a 16-year high:

It’s possible that gold’s admirers have deserted it for cryptocurrencies, of course. There are various explanations out there. But the interpretation that it’s telling us to beware a possible tantrum in the bond market and correction in stocks seems fair.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Thank you for this email which raises a number of important points. I don’t mind admitting I have found the Dow/Gold ratio to be particularly perplexing over the last three years. For the first 15 years of my career, it was the most reliable of all long-term ratios. It had a wonderful history of cyclicality which depicted the ebb and flow of capital between asset classes over more than a century. It was one of the primary tools for rationalising the beginning of a secular bull market in equities from 2011 onwards. Then it pulled back in a big way in 2018 which raised big questions about the consistency of the move.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 09 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Brainard Interviewed by Biden for Fed Chair as Search Heats Up

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

But the White House has raised the possibility with some Senate Banking Committee members that Powell might not be reappointed, according to two people familiar with the matter. Discussing the chairmanship with Brainard could signify that the Biden team is weighing how a break with Powell might
help advance their goals for the central bank. Brainard and Powell work closely together on multiple issues and are viewed as holding similar views on monetary policy, but she’s favored a tougher stance on big banks.

If he chose Brainard, Biden would be nominating someone who would excite Democrats in Congress but put Republicans and large banks on edge -- setting up a tougher confirmation battle in the Senate, where Democrats command only 50 of the 100 seats. Still, Vice President Kamala Harris would be able to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Eoin Treacy's view -

The progressive wing of the Democratic Party was intent on forcing the infrastructure and big social spending bill to be passed together. By breaking from that policy, the Biden administration successfully passed the infrastructure bill over the weekend, but will also have angered the progressives. Courting Lael Brainard for the position of Fed chair and the potential to appoint progressive-friendly people to the Fed board will likely be used as a way of keeping that wing of the party on side.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 09 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Email of the day on telecoms companies

Hi Eoin, would like to hear your opinion on the Global Telecom sector and AT&T in particular. Is there any reason why these high yielding but low growing stocks are so unloved? Tkx for your thoughts!

Eoin Treacy's view -

Thank you for this question. I was also looking at AT&T over the weekend and found the size of the decline puzzling. The most recent news is focused on the delay to rolling out 5G imposed on both AT&T and Verizon; resulting from a complaint by the FAA that their signals might interfere with aircraft.  



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 08 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

November 08 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Global Themes Review November 2021

Eoin Treacy's view -

A year ago, I began a series of reviews of longer-term themes which will be updated going forward on the first Monday every month. The last was on October 1st. These reviews can be found via the search bar using the term “Secular Themes Review”.

The metaverse has captured the imagination of many investors over the last month. It’s an online world that accepts real world money and is growing at an exponential rate. The value being created rests on the assumption someone will put more value on the space or bauble than you, at some point in the future. Stories of people making 1000x on their investments are not uncommon so it is understandably creating a great deal of excitement in the online community.

The fact this is occurring as an offshoot of the cryptocurrency sector is unsurprising. Bull markets find ways to continually increase leverage in the system. Binance, for example, recently limited leverage to 40 times but 100 times is still easily available. The introduction of futures-based ETFs for bitcoin and the options that trade on them has re-upped the leverage in the system. On top of that we have the money pouring into the NFP and metaverse offerings through the medium of cryptocurrencies.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 05 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

November 05 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

November 05 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Treasuries Surge Despite Strong Jobs Data, Pricing In Slower Fed

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Gains in Treasuries may be partly driven by short-covering, which appears to have contributed to Thursday’s U.K.-led rally. CME Group Inc.’s preliminary open-interest data for Treasury futures show steep declines, in particular for the two-year note contract. Open interest in two-year note futures fell 2.3%, its biggest drop in three weeks.

Fed officials continue to emphasize that inflation is too high even as they hope to foster labor-market recovery by keeping interest rates low.

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George Friday said “the risk of a prolonged period of elevated inflation has increased,” and “the argument for patience in the face of these inflation pressures has diminished.”

The declines in 10- and 30-year yields -- which fell as much as 6.5 basis points to 1.899%, the lowest since Sept. 23 -- come despite next week’s auctions of those tenors. The auctions, whose sizes were announced on Nov. 3, are smaller than the previous new-issue auctions in August, however. The reductions were the first since 2016.

Eoin Treacy's view -

The longer-term inflationary trend is being driven by wage demand growth and the upward pressure on the cost of housing and rents. However, it does not all happen at once, and some of the supply inelasticity factors that contributed to inflation over the last year are easing.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 05 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Is the Metaverse Really Going to Happen? Nvidia Is Betting Yes

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

The company, now called Meta Platforms Inc., argues that millions of users are ready to adopt virtual reality technology — like its own headset — and live their lives in immersive online environments. That could mean attending a work meeting in a virtual boardroom, touring a digital factory or hanging out with far-flung friends in a simulated saloon. “The metaverse is the next frontier,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg declared.

For now, few people even have VR gear, and the metaverse concept would have to overcome concerns about privacy and — for some — a certain creepiness. But it has a big believer in one key corner: the largest maker of video-game chips, which says the metaverse is closer than we think and potentially the next gold mine for technology. 

The video-game boom set Nvidia Corp. on a path to become the world’s most richly valued chip company — overtaking the likes of Intel Corp. — and now it’s ready to remake the internet as a three-dimensional place. Rather than using the web to look at electronic pages, there will be a set of connected virtual worlds, according to Richard Kerris, an executive at the chipmaker whose career has included stints at Apple Inc. and Lucasfilm.

“You might not think you’ll be in the metaverse, but I promise in the next five years all of us will be in one way or another,” he said.

Eoin Treacy's view -

The metaverse has captured the imagination of the mob over the last week. The fact it twins with the evolving trend of recreating the supply inelasticity of land in the virtual world through the issuance of non-fungible tokens and crypto tokens has helped fuel enthusiasm. 



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 05 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Zillow's House-Flipping Rivals Defend Tech-Powered Homebuying

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

For Opendoor, Zillow’s departure represents an opportunity, CEO Eric Wu said in an interview. He expects his company, which pioneered the iBuying model, to be the market leader now that the best-known brand is out.

“We’re going to lead the charge in this transition from offline to online,” he said in an interview.

Wu said Opendoor has invested heavily to build expertise in home pricing and getting renovations done in a timely, cost-efficient manner. Those challenges contributed to Zillow’s iBuying demise.  

On Oct. 17, Bloomberg reported that the Seattle-based company would stop pursuing new acquisitions for its iBuying business, citing shortages of workers and supplies it needed to fix up homes. But Zillow also struggled to get pricing right. The company bought many homes for more than it could sell them for, forcing it to take writedowns of more than $500 million on property inventory. 

Those results convinced Zillow CEO Rich Barton that the iBuying model was too risky for his company.

“Fundamentally, we have been unable to predict future pricing of homes to a level of accuracy that makes this a safe business to be in,” Barton said on the company’s earnings call this week.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Anyone using Zillow’s app to look at houses over the last year will quickly have realised how inaccurate the “Zestimate” score is for gauging a home’s value. It was in no way reflective of the market condition because it was not adjusting quickly to new selling prices for homes. That resulted in differences of over 20% when we were housing hunting in the spring. That would also have forced Zillow’s algorithm to be manually adjusted to cope with the lag of data which obviously created issues.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 04 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for November 4th 2021

Eoin Treacy's view -

A link to today's video commentary is posted in the Subscriber's Area. 

Some of the topics discussed include: Pound continues to pull back from the upper side of its base. developed markets compete for weakest currency, China property remains under pressure, Australian dollar continues to ease, stocks steady, iron-ore weak, shipping rates break below trend mean, 



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 04 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

UBS Global Real estate

Thanks to a subscriber for this report from UBS which may be of interest. Here is a section:

Frankfurt, Toronto, and Hong Kong top this year’s UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index, with the three cities warranting the most pronounced bubble risk assessments in housing markets among those analyzed. Risk is also elevated in Munich and Zurich; Vancouver and Stockholm both reentered the bubble risk zone. Amsterdam and Paris round out the cities with bubble risk. All US cities evaluated— Miami (replacing Chicago in the index this year), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and New York— are in overvalued territory. Housing market imbalances are also high in Tokyo, Sydney, Geneva, London, Moscow, Tel Aviv, and Singapore, while Madrid, Milan, and Warsaw remain fairly valued. Dubai is the only undervalued market and the only one to be classified in a lower category than last year. On average, bubble risk has increased during the last year, as has the potential severity of a price correction in many cities tracked by the index.

Hot but likely short-lived fireworks
House price growth in the cities analyzed accelerated to 6% in inflation-adjusted terms from mid2020 to mid-2021, the highest increase since 2014. All but four cities—Milan, Paris, New York, and San Francisco—saw their house prices increase. And double-digit growth was even recorded in five cities: Moscow; Stockholm; and the cities around the Pacific, Sydney, Tokyo, and Vancouver.

Eoin Treacy's view -

The methodology of taking the price of an apartment in the downtown area of a city is certainly convenient. However, for markets like Los Angeles, it does not fully reflect the dynamics of the market. There is no doubt that the price of apartments has risen significantly in the last decade, it is also true that some of the city’s cheapest pieces of real estate lie within a couple of miles of downtown. In fact, the further one gets from downtown the higher the price per square foot gets.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 04 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Tactical US Themes Monthly

Thanks to subscriber for this report from UBS which may be of interest. Here is a section:

Applications for 5G are expected to include autonomous driving, the massive internet of things (IoT) and telemedicine, mobile and fixed broadband, among others.

• Investor perceptions of 5G are tracking prior cycles of early excitement followed by skepticism. While there are certainly technologic and economic hurdles to overcome, we view the global 5G build-out as inevitable and see the current sentiment as an attractive opportunity.

• The 5G build-out will take a number of years before consumers fully realize its benefits. However, we believe the “inevitability” of 5G relative to investor skepticism creates an attractive opportunity in companies leveraged to infrastructure. We believe infrastructure companies will benefit from 5G before smartphone-focused companies.

Eoin Treacy's view -

The big difference 5G offers over existing infrastructure is that it eliminates lag. One of the limiting factors behind current wireless technology is the time it takes to upload a file versus downloading it. That slows down two-way communication. Anyone who had ever played an online multiplayer game is familiar with lag because one’s character can hang on the screen while the connection tries to catch up with the activity. During that time you often end up getting killed by someone with a better connection.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 04 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Sprott Analysis of I-80

Thanks to a subscriber for this report which may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

The acquisition of Lone Tree and Ruby Hill makes I-80 the premier gold developer in the US, and on par with the best developers in Canada and Australia. For SCPe capex of US$458m, we estimate that I-80 can reach annual production of >400koz/year. Adding the Ruby Hill open pit, we estimate 2026-2031e average annual production of 500koz(peaking at 638koz) at LOM US$1,155/oz AISC. On defined resources alone, this generates an NPV5%-1850 of US$1.73bn. Uplift to producer peer averages results in annualized returns of 21-31% from present to 2026e. Moreover, all of I-80’s assets have exploration upside at depth with limited historic exploration for sulphides due to a lack of sulphide processing capacity. To reiterate: a path to 500kozpa, exploration upside, sulphide processing ability and 20% annual returns equates to one of the best risk-adjusted return opportunities in the gold miner/developer peer group. We update our model for the transaction and reiterate our BUY rating and lift our price target to C$7.00/sh on our unchanged target multiple of 0.75xNAV5%-1850. Stepping back, yes for newcomers this is a complex set of assets but upside is spectacular and with domestic US assets in a mining friendly state.  

Eoin Treacy's view -

The big challenge for gold explorers is securing acreage in close proximity to major mines. That greatly enhances their chances of securing funding because they can point to their neighbours and argue that where gold was found once it can be found again.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 03 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for November 3rd 2021

November 03 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

On Target #273

Thanks to Martin Spring for this edition of his letter which may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section on battery back-ups:

The key inefficiency is intermittency. When winds don’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, electricity has to be found elsewhere. In July there was so little wind driving the turbines on which Britain depends for a quarter of its power supplies that they operated at less than 5 per cent of their capacity for 314 hours. We’re told that we’ll eventually have battery farms on such a scale storing back-up energy to overcome the intermittency problem with the renewables that will replace fossil fuels. But the figures don’t add up. A friend who has analyzed them tells me that, using reasonable assumptions, to replace the 1,400 Terawatthours of electricity used in the European Union each year and currently coming mainly from natural gas and coal will require battery storage back-up of some 273 million tonnes of batteries. Assuming battery prices continue to fall, that will nevertheless cost say $8.2 trillion – double that taking into account necessary peripherals -- and need about 25 years’ mining of lithium carbonate. And you’d need to replace the entire stack of batteries every few years as their charge holding capacity erodes. As my friend says: These are “insanely prohibitive costs.” Activists argue that the current energy crisis must be used to intensify the transition to renewables. That is, more of one of the root causes of the crisis. More inefficiency, more malinvestment and more demand for relatively scarce materials such as copper.

 

Eoin Treacy's view -

The willingness of the environmental lobby to drive investment towards renewables remains unabashed particularly as we look at the verbal commitments being made as part of the COP26 discussions. The viability of these commitments rests squarely on developing new battery chemistries that are more efficient, cheaper and less resource intense. It’s a tall order and, even then, will only form part of the wider energy mix.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 03 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Chinese Developers Repay Bonds Early as Contagion Spreads

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

As stress among Chinese developers mounts, some firms are telegraphing their ability to meet debt
obligations.

On Monday, Zhenro Properties Group Ltd. said it informed a bond trustee it will redeem its 5.95% dollar notes early in full on Nov. 16. Central China Real Estate Ltd. on Tuesday said it has remitted funds to a trustee for payment of its 6.75% dollar bonds, which are due Nov. 8.

“Central China Real Estate becomes one of a string of developers publicly setting aside money to redeem offshore bonds in apparent attempts to set themselves apart from weaker firms,” said Daniel Fan, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

Property companies need to do all they can to restore investor faith. Yields on Chinese junk dollar bonds -- dominated by real estate firms -- surged to more than 20% on Monday, the highest in at least a decade. Credit assessors are downgrading the industry’s companies at the fastest pace on record. At least four developers defaulted last month and others sought to delay near-term bond payments as contagion sparked by China Evergrande Group spreads.

Eoin Treacy's view -

China’s property developers are in a fight for survival. Regardless of how leveraged or otherwise their business models are, they all require access to liquidity. That’s creating a rush to put distance between themselves and China Evergrande, which is in a state of terminal decline.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 03 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

China Urges Winter Food Stockpiling, Prompting Online Worry

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

China’s bracing for a cold snap this week, with temperatures in some regions forecast to fall by as much as 15 degrees Celsius. Vegetable prices typically rise when the temperature drops in winter and supply is unable to catch up with increasing demand before the Lunar New Year holiday.

The Monday statement told local commerce departments to coordinate more to improve local and inter-provincial supply chains for vegetables and also to strengthen monitoring of the prices of key staples such as vegetables and meat. 

Major agricultural distributors were encouraged to sign long-term contracts with producers, while provinces in both southern and northern China were told to improve their vegetable reserve systems and also release meat and vegetables from the reserves in a timely manner to replenish supplies. 

The call to stock up on food comes less than two weeks after a different government department told companies not to hoard food. 

 

Eoin Treacy's view -

Food prices are rising everywhere and that is putting everyone on edge. The experience of empty supermarket shelves was isolated to only a few household items during the pandemic while supply of staples was relatively constant. We’re still eating the rice we bought in January 2020 as a precautionary measure for example. (The chocolate is long gone).



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 02 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for November 2nd 2021

November 02 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

November 02 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

New Bitcoin ETFs May Ease Pressure on ProShares as Limit Looms

This note from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Four Bitcoin futures ETFs are set to launch in the U.S. in the next week, which could ease demand for the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) as it nears November contract limits and annualized roll costs hover around 11%. With more than 30 crypto ETFs still awaiting SEC approval, we expect an Ethereum futures product in 1H, well before a spot Bitcoin ETF. (11/02/21)

1. BITO Already Near Limit on November Contracts

The CME increased position limits for front-month Bitcoin futures contracts to 4,000 from 2,000 for November, but ProShares' BITO is already at 3,885 and has even bought some December futures. BITO's success at attracting assets will likely hinder its correlation to spot Bitcoin by forcing it to buy more contracts for December or further out on the curve. BITO switched early from October futures due to intense demand but was close to the planned roll date anyway. In November, it's being pushed down the curve just one trading day into the month.

ProShares may get an exemption to increase position limits to maintain exposure. We also expect multiple new ETFs to ease demand for BITO.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Open interest on bitcoin futures totals 13,106 contracts for maturities stretching between now and December 2022. That’s more than double the number of outstanding contracts at the end of September. 9,452 are in the front month. That suggests the BITO ETF has a dominant position. If they are permitted to hold 4,000 contracts it would represent a virtual cornering of the market in bitcoin futures as the market currently stands.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 02 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Cash on Cash, Gold on Gold

Thanks to Iain Little for this edition of his Global Thematic Investors’ Diary focusing on gold miners. Here is a section:

For most of my 40 year career, analysts have mocked poor management in the mining business. The wisdom is that gold mines -perhaps with the exception of royalty or streaming financiers- are low quality, cyclical investments that only work when the cycle is right. Management doesn’t matter. The gold price -and luck with your timing- do. So I was intrigued by this chart. After decades of devouring investors capital for capital-intensive projects and surviving on shareholder bounty, the current generation of gold miners have finally got the message. They have done so when most of their all-in, sustainable costs cluster around USD 1,000 an ounce. Gold trades near USD 1800. Free cash flow yield (FCFY) measures the free cash flow (net profits plus depreciation less annualized capex) as a percentage of a company’s market value. It can be compared to the yield on a bond or a cash deposit. Gold mining, handcuffed by capital constraints after years of shareholder abuse, is now the highest yielding sector on the planet, with a FCFY of 7%, roughly double that of the rest of the market. During the last 2001-2012 bull cycle, when most gold shares multi-bagged, they never really got close to cash positivity. This is money -or maybe gold- that can be paid to investors and it is on the increase. In a yield deprived, inflationary age, is this not El Dorado?

Eoin Treacy's view -

It is going to take a long time to shake the reputation miners’ earned for being capital destroyers. The move to positive free cash flow yields is indeed positive and is helping to support the shares of the major miners during what has been a lengthy correction for the gold price.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 02 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

RBA's Dovish Tone Set to Reignite Aussie Yield-Curve Steepening

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

“The RBA is clearly more dovish than the market anticipated,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda Asia Pacific in Singapore. “The market was clearly short and now they are taking some of it back after bit of a disappointing decision by the RBA.”

Australia’s underlying inflation is forecast to be no higher than 2.5% at the end of 2023, with only a gradual increase in wages growth, the RBA said in its policy statement. The central bank said last month its central scenario was that conditions for a rate hike wouldn’t be met before 2024.

The RBA’s policy statement means traders are likely to dial back some of their expectations for higher rates and that should pave the way for a steeper yield curve, according to Westpac Banking Corp.

“We expect that the market will be satisfied with the shift in the RBA’s approach, and will continue to pare back some of the aggressive front-end pricing,” Damien McColough, head of fixed-income research at Westpac in Sydney, wrote in a research note.

Eoin Treacy's view -

The RBA ended its yield curve control policy today so that implies they will allow not get in the way of short-term rates rising. The other side of that argument is they are not going to be in a hurry to raise rates. There are still too many uncertainties in too many portions of the economy to commit to a pattern of raising rates.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 01 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for November 1st 2021

November 01 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Chris Wood Shrugs Off India Equity Downgrades, Says A Selloff Will Be A Buying Opportunity

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Jefferies’ Chris Wood stays bullish on Indian equities and sees any selloff as a buying opportunity even as global research firms have started downgrading domestic markets citing expensive valuations. “If Greed & fear had to own one stock market globally for the next ten years, and not be able to sell it during that period, that market would be India,” the market veteran said in his latest report said. He remains "remains structurally...

Jefferies’ Chris Wood stays bullish on Indian equities and sees any selloff as a buying opportunity even as global research firms have started downgrading domestic markets citing expensive valuations.

“If Greed & fear had to own one stock market globally for the next ten years, and not be able to sell it during that period, that market would be India,” the market veteran said in his latest report said. He remains "remains structurally overweight on India".

India, from a macro perspective, looks in a similar condition to where it was in 2003 when the country embarked on the last property and capex cycle, Wood said. "Rising interest rates will not derail the upcoming investment cycle. Indeed, they will reflect accelerating growth.”

“The 10-year bond yield rose from a low of 5% during the 2003-2004 period to 8-9% during the next several years without impacting the then accelerating investment-led cycle,” the report said. Jefferies sees a similar situation now that will help accelerate growth.

A selloff triggered by a tapering or tightening scare on Wall Street will provide opportunities to add to Indian equities, most particularly if this coincides with a further likely rise in the oil price on an accelerating re-opening of the global economy, he said.

India's benchmark Nifty 50 has surged more than 26% so far this year, making it the best performer among world's major equity indices. And Jefferies' bullish stance is contrary to what some of the other research firms are saying.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Indian equities to ‘equal-weight’ from ‘overweight’ citing expensive valuations, following similar moves by Nomura and UBS. Morgan Stanley sees Fed tapering, higher energy costs and a likely rate hike by Reserve Bank of India in February as some of the risks.

Strategists at UBS downgraded Indian equities saying the valuation gap with Asean markets was “too wide to justify”. Nomura downgraded domestic equities to ‘neutral’ citing unfavourable risk-reward.

Eoin Treacy's view -

India’s stock market has more than doubled since the pandemic panic lows in March 2020. With a 10% overextension relative to the trend mean evident, it is susceptible to some consolidation but the current reaction is no larger than anything seen in the last eighteen months and suggests momentum is still dominant in supporting the market.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 01 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

America's Plunging Barley Crop Means Cheap Beer No More

This note from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers.

It’s last call for cheap beer. Rising input costs are soaring across the globe, fueled by withering barley supplies and surging aluminum costs, plus the same labor and transport bottlenecks plaguing every other industry. In North America, dry weather scorched fields, which typically produce enough barley to account for about 20% of global commercial beer production. In the U.S., American farmers reaped the smallest crop since 1934, just after Prohibition ended, while in Canada - - the fifth-largest producer -- barley output shrunk 34% to the second-smallest harvest since 1968

Eoin Treacy's view -

The cost of both barley and aluminium might be rising but there is increasing evidence that brewers are using this as an opportunity to raise prices. Many consumers have been couped up at home for more than a year and they are probably more willing to accept a price increase now than before the pandemic if they can get some semblance of their normal social life back.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
November 01 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

I'm A Twenty Year Truck Driver, I Will Tell You Why America's "Shipping Crisis" Will Not End

This article from Medium.com may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

How do you convince truckers to work when their pay isn’t guaranteed, even to the point where they lose money?

Nobody is compelling the transportation industries to make the needed changes to their infrastructure. There are no laws compelling them to hire the needed workers, or pay them a living wage, or improve working conditions. And nobody is compelling them to buy more container chassis units, more cranes, or more storage space. This is for an industry that literally every business in the world is reliant on in some way or another.

My prediction is that nothing is going to change and the shipping crisis is only going to get worse. Nobody in the supply chain wants to pay to solve the problem. They literally just won’t pay to solve the problem. At the point we are at now, things are so backed up that the backups THEMSELVES are causing container companies, ports, warehouses, and trucking companies to charge massive rate increases for doing literally NOTHING. Container companies have already decreased the maximum allowable times before containers have to be back to the port, and if the congestion is so bad that you can’t get the container back into the port when it is due, the container company can charge massive late fees. The ports themselves will start charging massive storage fees for not getting containers out on time — storage charges alone can run into thousands of dollars a day. Warehouses can charge massive premiums for their services, and so can trucking companies. Chronic understaffing has led to this problem, but it is allowing these same companies to charge ten times more for regular services. Since they’re not paying the workers any more than they did last year or five years ago, the whole industry sits back and cashes in on the mess it created. In fact, the more things are backed up, the more every point of the supply chain cashes in. There is literally NO incentive to change, even if it means consumers have to do holiday shopping in July and pay triple for shipping.

Eoin Treacy's view -

I was at the bonded warehouse in Dallas this morning to pick up Mrs. Treacy’s Christmas inventory. There is a great deal of talk at present about the supply chain crisis so I thought subscribers might be interested to know how long it took for us to get our goods.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 29 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

October 29 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

The Macro Case for Precious Metals

Thanks to a subscriber for this chart-laden article from Crescat Capital. Here is a section:

As inflation continues to develop in the economy, see below the incredible link between gold and CPI since the GFC.

Note how after the pandemic lows, gold front ran the potential risk of a rise in consumer prices and the entire precious metals market appreciated sharply.

It is important to remember that before recently peaking, gold had been going on a streak for two years already.

The metal was up more than 75% from August 2018 to August 2020 and even reached historical highs during this period.

Back then, with CPI around 1%, very few investors foresaw inflation as a risk to the economy. Now it is a real problem.

We think gold likely appreciated too quick and too fast becoming what some thought as an obvious trade.

Extreme sentiment probably explains the reason for its recent weakness after signaling way earlier than any other asset the possibility that an inflationary environment could be ahead of us.
We are now on the other side of this extreme.

 

Eoin Treacy's view -

I have a lot of sympathy with the view that gold ran ahead for almost two years so it was due a pause. We also know that medium-term corrections in gold can last up to 18 months so it is a good time to start looking at the sector again since the peak was in August 2020.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 29 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Higher For Longer Oil Prices?

This podcast from Morgan Stanley may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

Underlying our structurally bullish view on EEMEA is an assumption of higher for longer oil prices due to supply constraints on the path to net zero. Marina speaks to Martijn Rats about his bullish near-term and long-term outlook for oil and the questions EM investors have been asking on this theme.

Eoin Treacy's view -

The shock of negative prices during the pandemic killed off speculative appetite among exploration and production companies in the oil sector. Few new wells were dug and the sector has been relying on the stock of drilled but incomplete wells over the last intervening year. That has curtailed the sector’s ability to respond quickly to higher prices.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 29 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Global Carbon Markets

Thanks to a subscriber for this report from Citi which may be of interest. Here is a section:

The world is a mess when it comes to carbon regimes — there are currently 64 carbon pricing systems globally, with another 30+ in development. Thirty of the existing systems are carbon markets, with the remaining 34 carbon tax regimes. Not only is there no agreement on a mechanism, but the prices within these regimes vary from the meaningless $0.10/tonne to an eye-watering $142.40/tonne — against a price widely seen as necessary now for Paris-alignment of $40-$80/tonne. This fragmented approach is clearly inefficient, and evidence tells us that so far, it is proving ineffective at a global level. Accordingly, to achieve real progress, we must find some way of integrating these individual regimes into one globally-fungible system. There are essentially four ways we could achieve this, using one, or a combination, of the methods mentioned below:

The first option is essentially via command and control directives, where governments/regulators simply mandate the amount of emissions that are allowed when and from which industries, with non-compliance penalized severely. While potentially effective, this is unlikely to be efficient, and almost certainly would not provide the lowest cost solution. This leads us to the three other, market-based solutions (which, it should be pointed out, are not mutually exclusive):

The first of these is a carbon tax on emissions, which could either be applied as a flat rate globally, or with differing rates for emerging and developed markets, potentially with differing ratcheting up speeds, to eventually bring the world into alignment.

The second option involves cap and trade systems, whereby allowances for emissions are granted and/or auctioned up to a (reducing) limit, with parties showing faster than prescribed progress allowed to sell their excess allowances to other slower moving parties — while still reaching the same cap.

The third option involves baseline and credit systems, whereby parties earn credits for reducing emissions, which could be sold to others in deficit, potentially within one of the two preceding mechanisms.

Each of these is fraught with complexities, both technical, and perhaps more importantly, political. Discussion of the pros and cons of each of these methods, the pitfalls and stumbling blocks, as well as how they might be implemented, forms the basis of this report.
 

Eoin Treacy's view -

A link to the full report is posted in the Subscriber's Area.

With the latest big climate conference scheduled for this month there is a great deal of speculation about the possibility of world changing regulations being implemented. If the past conferences are any guide, the possibility of the world’s governments agreeing on an achievable zero- carbon goal by 2030 has to be treated as a low probability outcome.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 28 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for October 28th 2021

Eoin Treacy's view -

A link to today's video commentary is posted in the Subscriber's Area. 

Some of the topics discussed include: Australia short-dated yields surge on the end of yield curve control, commodiity currencies firm, banks extend break outs, FANGMAN+Tesla back at relative highs, debt traps are a real threat to plans to hike rates, gold steady, natural gas, coal, iron-ore and aluminium correcting on China risk. 



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 28 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Curve Control Under Attack in Australia as Traders Bet on Shift

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Australia’s sovereign bond yields surged Thursday after the central bank chose not to defend its yield target, raising speculation that it could adjust its policy guidance next week. 

The rate on the April 2024 note more than doubled, jumping as much as 30 basis points to 0.51%. That took the gap to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s 0.1% target to the widest since yield control was introduced in March 2020.

Governor Philip Lowe and his peers are being challenged by market expectations that they’ll need to tighten policy more rapidly than previously thought. Data Wednesday showing Australia’s core consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in six years helped spark a flattening in global sovereign yield curves, with Bank of Canada adding to the impetus by signaling a rate hike as early as April.

“I think if the RBA doesn’t step in to buy the April 2024 bonds tomorrow, then the risks are certainly increased that the RBA will announce a change to its forward guidance next week,” said Hayden Dimes, an economist at ANZ Banking Group “Not buying bonds tomorrow will fuel the markets expectation that next week Governor Lowe will move away from his guidance of no rate hikes till 2024.”

Eoin Treacy's view -

Yield curve control didn’t last very long in Australia. Today’s upward dynamic in short-dated yields suggests the RBA is abandoning the policy and preparing the market for interest rate hikes.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 28 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

October 28 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Nuclear Stocks are Making a Comeback

Thanks to a subscriber for this article by Brendan Coffey for Cabot Wealth which may be of interest. Here is a section:

HALEU is in between, with 5% to 19.75% of the uranium mass that power-source isotope. As an added bonus, HALEU can be made from down-blending the used, military-grade uranium. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is so excited by HALEU that it’s close to approving a new generation of reactor designs it says “will completely change the way we think about the nuclear industry.” Power plants will be smaller, more efficient, produce less waste uranium and they won’t need their cores replaced for 20 years, unlike every 18 to 24 months for current reactors. At the moment, the DOE is in the process of deciding on the next generation reactor from 10 finalists; nine of them are designed to use HALEU.

The first market for HALEU will be micro-reactors for the military. The Pentagon is seeking to remove domestic bases from the wider electrical grid as part of its climate change-related plans to keep bases operational under increased extreme weather events. A Defense Department prototype reactor, Pele, should be available by 2024. Perhaps 130 reactors will be deployed. By mid-decade, utility owned micro-reactors will start rolling out for remote locations like interior Alaska and far-flung islands. They’ll generate perhaps 10 megawatts (MW) of energy with a one-time upfront fueling to last 20 years. More powerful, advanced utility reactors could come to market by 2030. Even current reactors will be able to use HALEU in place of the low-enriched stuff.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Militaries pioneered small modular reactors for use in aircraft carriers and submarines so they are also likely to be the first to deploy small reactors for use in other applications as well. The US military’s answer to climate change is to double down on nuclear reactor technology by taking bases off the grid and creating options for power in remote locations like Alaska and forward operating bases. 



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 28 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

EU Gas, Power Tumble After Russian Signals to Add More Fuel

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

It’s the latest intervention in the market from Putin to talk down gas prices, even as some European officials suspect he’s been holding back supply to pressure Europe into approving Nord Stream 2, the controversial new pipeline linking Russia to Germany. Russia is also concerned that excessively high prices could destroy demand, and would like to see them fall by about 60%, according to people familiar with the situation.

Higher Norwegian gas flows and a drop in Chinese coal prices are also putting downward pressure on prices, Engie EnergyScan said in a note. Norway’s Equinor ASA promised Wednesday to boost exports. Maintenance at its giant Troll field in December will be shorter than previously planned, system operator Gassco said Thursday, also a bearish factor.

Tom Marzec-Manser, an analyst at pricing agency ICIS, said the timing of Putin’s comments on adding fuel to Gazprom’s storage sites in Germany and Austria could be connected to Germany’s Economy Ministry saying on Tuesday that certification of Nord Stream 2 wouldn’t pose any risks to security of supply.

Eoin Treacy's view -

UK natural gas futures extended their pullback on the above news. That further supports the view that a peak of medium-term significance has been reached. The bigger question is how much prices will fall as the bottlenecks ease? Generally speaking, it is unusual for commodity prices to trade back down into their base formations once breakouts occur. Significant sources of new supply would be required for that to happen.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 27 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

October 27 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Sunak Delivers Johnson-Style Budget That Ramps Up U.K. Spending

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

“We need to strengthen our public finances so that when the next crisis comes, we have the fiscal space to act,” Sunak said. He also said the country hasn’t yet turned the corner on infections, warning of “challenging months ahead.”

The chancellor signaled the need to repair the country’s finances after racking up hundreds of billions of extra debt to protect workers and businesses through the pandemic. Unveiling new fiscal rules that will guide his approach to rebuilding the economy from its worst recession in a century, he vowed that in “normal times,” the government would only borrow to invest and that underlying public sector net debt must be falling as a percentage of output.

With inflation already well above the Bank of England’s 2% target and forecast to rise to at least double that, it’s already raising the cost of repaying the country’s debt, a quarter of which is linked to inflation indexes. Sunak also faces the prospect of an interest-rate hike that would add to borrowing costs: For every percentage point that interest rates go up, the Treasury estimates it would cost an extra 23 billion pounds a year.

“The House will recognize the challenging backdrop of rising inflation,” the chancellor said. “Our public finances are twice as sensitive to changes in interest rates as they were before the pandemic and six times as sensitive as they were before the financial crisis.”

And

Sunak’s firepower was boosted by a significantly improved outlook for the British economy from the Office for Budget Responsibility, the government’s independent fiscal watchdog. It revised upwards its forecast for growth this year to 6.5% from 4%, and downwards its forecast for the long-term economic scarring caused by the pandemic to 2% of output from 3%.

With growth filling the government coffers, the OBR’s borrowing forecast for the next five years was lowered by 154 billion pounds, while planned debt sales for this fiscal year were cut by a fifth.

Eoin Treacy's view -

The UK is boosting spending which is a crowd pleaser. That’s possible because the economy is rebounding from the pandemic nadir and the outsized growth is benefitting from the base effect of last year’s decline. Sustaining that momentum will be a key challenge, so supporting workers with higher wages and businesses with lower taxes is a necessary move but it also delays balancing the budget which will exacerbate the fiscal drag.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 27 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Bitcoin Breaks Below $60,000 as ETF-Related Bliss Evaporates

This article for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Analysts said speculators are cutting back on positions as the launch of the first U.S. Bitcoin exchange-traded fund fanned enthusiasm and pushed prices to new all-time highs. Total liquidations of long crypto positions topped $700 million on Wednesday, the most since Sept. 20, according to data from
Bybt.com. 

“The market has been leveraged long for a few weeks, so there has been that overhang in positioning,” said Jonathan Cheesman, head of over-the-counter and institutional sales at crypto-derivatives exchange FTX.

Stephane Ouellette, chief executive and co-founder of FRNT Financial Inc., a crypto-focused capital-markets platform, said some of the elation around the ETFs has vanished and the selloff’s been exacerbated by the fact that there is much more leverage available in crypto for retail traders globally than there is in other asset classes.

“We already saw a wave of quite severe leverage come into the space which was evidenced by futures contangos, perpetual swap and peer-to-peer lending rates all spiking around the launch of the BTC ETF,” Ouellette said. “In the last few weeks, for example, we saw monthly and quarterly BTC futures contangos in the 20-to-30% range. While leverage can in some cases get even more extreme, the activity over the last few days has some tell-tale signs of a typical crypto check-back.” 

Eoin Treacy's view -

Futures-based funds were originally designed for intraday trading but investors assume they were designed for holding for longer time periods. The embedded loss from rolling contracts in contango ensures futures’ funds fall more during setbacks and rally less during rallies. That guarantees they will underperform their benchmark over the medium term.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 27 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

U.S. 5-Year Auction Short Stop Is Among Biggest of Past Decade

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:  

Wednesday’s $61b Treasury 5-year auction was among the strongest on record gauging by its yield relative to where it was trading at the bidding deadline. The auction yield of 1.157% was 2.5bp lower than the approximate pre-auction level of 1.182%, a sign that dealers underestimated investor demand for the notes. Consistent with that, the share awarded to primary dealers was among the lowest on record.

While the difference between an auction yield and the pre-auction level is always an estimate, as dealers may quote the issue differently, the last time a 5-year note auction stopped short by more than that was in November 2009; a $42 billion auction that month was awarded at 2.175%, 3.6bp below where it had been quoted moments before

Wednesday’s 17.9% primary dealer award was the third lowest on record in data since 2004, reflecting above-average shares for indirect and direct bidders

Eoin Treacy's view -

Longer-dated bonds rallied in a number of countries today. That suggests investors are still willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the view that inflationary pressures are going to moderate or at the very least that yields have run away from the publicly stated intentions of central banks.  



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 26 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for October 26th 2021

Eoin Treacy's view -

A link to today's video commentary is posted in the Subscriber's Area. 

Some of the topics discussed include: Wall Street short-term overbought, bonds steady, gold steadies from intraday lows, oil remains firm, governance questions in China and US focusing on companies and who is liable in a default, India, Vietnam, Mexico firm. 



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 26 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

S&P's Best Earnings Run Since 1999 Meets Rebalance

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

The S&P 500 has advanced 5% since JPMorgan Chase & Co. kicked off the earnings season nine days ago, in the best start to a reporting cycle since the dot-com mayhem 88 quarters ago. Along the way, the index slipped only once, with a 0.1% drop on Friday doing little to derail the benchmark from its best month since the election.

Now institutional investors with large stock and bond holdings will need to balance out their positions, buying dips on losers and taking profits on winners. How big will the impact be? A regression analysis done by strategists at BNP Paribas SA shows that the outflow needed to compensate for a divergence between this month’s drop in the bond market and rally in stocks could translate into a 2.6% decline in the S&P 500 when the rebalancing takes place.

Eoin Treacy's view -

End of month reweighting of portfolios is a predictable event and represents a solid rationale for the recent bounce in Treasury futures. It’s unlikely to contribute to more than temporary strength because none of the underlying factors have changed.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 26 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Smashing Atoms: The History of Uranium and Nuclear Power

This infographic from Sprott focusing on uranium may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Although uranium mining is a global activity, only a handful of companies account for the majority of production.

The top 10 uranium mining companies accounted for 85% of global production in 2020.

The demand for this uranium come from nuclear reactors around the world.

Eoin Treacy's view -

There is no groundswell of support for a new massive round of reactor building. At least, not yet. The anti-nuclear lobby has been incredibly successful in pushing their agenda, over the last sixty years, and not least because of the Cold War and the threat of mutually assured destruction.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 26 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

China Urges Evergrande's Hui to Pay Debt With His Own Wealth

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Chinese authorities told billionaire Hui Ka Yan to use his personal wealth to alleviate China Evergrande
Group’s deepening debt crisis, according to people familiar with the matter.

Beijing’s directive to the Evergrande founder came after his company missed an initial Sept. 23 deadline for a coupon payment on a dollar bond, said the people, asking not to be identified discussing a private matter. Local governments across China are monitoring Evergrande’s bank accounts to ensure company cash is used to complete unfinished housing projects and not diverted to pay creditors, the people said.

The demand that Hui tap his own fortune to pay Evergrande’s debt adds to signs that Beijing is reluctant to orchestrate a government rescue, even as the property giant’s crisis spreads to other developers and sours sentiment in the real estate market. Chinese President Xi Jinping has been cracking down on the billionaire class as part of his “common prosperity” campaign to reduce the country’s yawning wealth gap.

It’s unclear whether Hui’s fortune is big and liquid enough to make a sizable dent in Evergrande’s liabilities, which swelled to more than $300 billion as of June. The developer’s dollar bonds are trading at deep discounts to par value as investors brace for what could be one of China’s largest-ever
debt restructurings.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Bailing out troubled lenders during the credit crisis and letting their senior management walk away with golden handshakes helped to seed a populist backlash against the status quo in the USA. That was exacerbated by a foreclosure crisis that saw millions of people kicked out of their homes. China appears to have learned from that mistake and Hui Ka Yan is unlikely to escape Evergrande’s dissolution unscathed.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 26 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Robusta Coffee Prices Hit Highest Since 2011 on Supply Woes

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here it is in full:

Robusta coffee futures rallied to the highest in more than a decade driven by dwindling stockpiles for the beans favored for instant-coffee brands such as Nestle SA’s Nescafe. 

January futures in London jumped as much as 3.8% to $2,278 a ton, the highest for a most-active contract since September 2011. Arabica coffee also rose in New York. 

Both varieties have climbed more than 60% this year after drought and frosts damaged the arabica crop in Brazil, the No. 1 coffee producer, boosting demand for the cheaper robustas. The January-March spread in London surged to record premium. 

At the same time, soaring shipping costs are hindering a draw down of hefty stockpiles in robusta giant Vietnam. Exchange-monitored stockpiles for both varieties have continued to slide as roasters tap stored reserves.  

Technical-trading indicators are “very positive” and that attracted more buying, plus “there’s concern that flows have been paralyzed out of Vietnam because of the lack of container and elevated freights,” said Hernando de la Roche, senior vice president at StoneX Financial in Miami.

Eoin Treacy's view -

The Baltic Dry Index is currently unwinding a short-term overbought condition so that will take some of the pressure off of exporters of just about everything. Nevertheless, it will be quite some time before the port bottlenecks are eliminated.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 25 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for October 25th 2021

October 25 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Gold Extends Gain as Inflation Risks and Virus Concerns Persist

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

“Gold and silver’s recent strong run of gains received a temporary setback on Friday in response to a sudden bout of taper tantrum following comments by Fed Chair Powell,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, said in a note. “At the same time, however, he talked down the risk of raising interest rates while also expressing concern over persistently elevated inflation.” 

Eoin Treacy's view -

Around the world, central banks are raising interest rates in response to inflationary pressures that are both more persistent and intense than many anticipated. Some countries will benefit from this turn of events. They have positive balance of payments, booming exports and their currencies are appreciating. That group is concentrated among the commodity exporters.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 25 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Email of the day on gold miners

Thank you for your great service. I was most interested in your comments in the video on the weekend about gold. Sometime in the last 6 months you provided a link to an article about interesting junior gold stocks. It included Kirkland Gold and Sabina Gold & Silver amongst others. I can’t locate this. Would it be possible to provide the link again? Thank you!

Eoin Treacy's view -

Thank you for this question which may be of interest to the Collective. I’m afraid I don’t recall exactly which report you are referring to and not least because I have written a great deal about gold since 2018, when it looked like it was about to complete its base formation.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 25 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Hertz Orders 100,000 Teslas in Rental-Market Shake-Up

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

The cars will be delivered over the next 14 months, and Tesla’s Model 3 sedans will be available to rent at Hertz locations in major U.S. markets and parts of Europe starting in early November, the rental company said in a statement. Customers will have access to Tesla’s network of superchargers, and Hertz is also building its own charging infrastructure.

It’s the single-largest purchase ever for electric vehicles, or EVs, and represents about $4.2 billion of revenue for Tesla, according to people familiar with the matter who declined to be identified because the information is private. While car-rental companies typically demand big discounts from automakers, the size of the order implies that Hertz is paying close to list prices.

“How do we democratize access to electric vehicles? That’s a very important part of our strategy,” Mark Fields, who joined Hertz as interim chief executive officer earlier this month, said in an interview. “Tesla is the only manufacturer that can produce EVs at scale.”

The electrification plan, which eventually will encompass almost all of Hertz’s half-million cars and trucks worldwide, is the company’s first big initiative since emerging from bankruptcy in June. And it signals that Hertz’s new owners, Knighthead Capital Management and Certares Management, are intent on shaking up an industry dominated by a handful of large players who are typically slow to change.

Eoin Treacy's view -

This is a win/win situation for Hertz and Tesla. Anyone wishing to rent a vehicle will take a look at Hertz if only for novelty value. For Tesla, it represents a strong try before you buy marketing campaign, they don’t have to pay for. I had both Toyota and Hyundai SUVs when I was house-hunting in Dallas earlier this year and my opinion of both brands was much improved following the experience. For many consumers looking at a minimum of five months wait time for a new Tesla, the chance to drive one on a temporary basis will be a tempting prospect.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 25 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Brazil Analysts Jack Up Inflation, Rate Forecasts as Woes Grow

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Brazil analysts expect a higher interest rate both this year and next after the government said it would
circumvent the public spending cap to increase spending on the poor.

The central bank will lift the Selic to 8.75% at the end of this year and 9.5% in 2022, up from prior projections of 8.25% and 8.75% respectively, according to a survey published on Monday. Analysts also lifted their year-end inflation forecasts to 8.96% this year and 4.40% in 2022, both above target. 

President Jair Bolsonaro announced last week plans for cash transfers to the poorest that would be financed either by a waiver or changes to the spending cap rule. The increased spending, coupled with a fresh plunge in the currency, are boosting bets that policy makers will have to raise borrowing
costs faster. The central bank will meet over rates Tuesday and Wednesday.

With annual inflation running above 10%, policy makers led by Roberto Campos Neto had promised their third consecutive rate hike of a full percentage point this week. But now analysts at major Wall Street firms expect them to deliver an increase of at least 125 basis points. 
 

Eoin Treacy's view -

It’s hard to imagine that 8.5% in short-term rates still represent negative real interest rates for Brazil. Inflation running at 10% is a major challenge for any government but especially during a time when a restive population is agitating for more spending and better conditions.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 22 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

October 22 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Powell Says Fed on Track to Taper, Inflation Will Come Down

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

“We are on track to begin a taper of our asset purchases that, if the economy evolves broadly as expected, will be completed by the middle of next year,” Powell said Friday during a panel discussion at a virtual event hosted by the South African Reserve Bank. “I do think it is time to taper and I don’t think it is time to raise rates.”

 

Eoin Treacy's view -

The sudden success of former President Trump’s SPAC, up 1225% in 48 hours, is enough to convince anyone there is froth in the market and we are past time to begin tapering. That’s seems to be the conclusion of Chairman Powell since until today he has been circumspect about the Fed’s intentions. Nevertheless, he remains cautious about raising rates and not least because the 5-year continues to trend higher which takes a toll on government debt servicing costs.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 22 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

China Vows to Keep Property Curbs, Evergrande Risk Seen Limited

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

The property controls have achieved good results and the government will refrain from using the real estate sector as a short-term economic stimulus measure, Liu Zhongrui, an official at the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said at a briefing in Beijing on Thursday. Evergrande is an “individual” case and won’t hurt the overall credibility of Chinese firms, which is backed by the country’s economic stability, he said.

Property controls to stamp out speculation in the housing market have weighed on the country’s indebted developers, which are now seeing sales plunge and home prices snapping a years-long streak of increases. While officials have told banks to speed up mortgage lending again, the central bank has indicated that contagion risks from Evergrande are “controllable” and unlikely to spread.

Property lending growth at Chinese banks slowed to 8.6% this year through September, Wang Zhaodi, a spokesman at the CBIRC, said. That’s down from 12% in the first quarter, which was the slowest pace in eight years.

New-home prices in 70 cities fell 0.08% in September, the first drop in six years, official data showed this week, posing a potentially big blow for an economy that counts on property-related industries for almost a quarter of its output.

Eoin Treacy's view -

China Evergrande was ordered not to default on its US Dollar debt, so it has made a last-minute payment to avoid that outcome this weekend. It has late payment deadlines on two additional bonds due before the end of the month. Since it has so far failed to reach agreements on asset sales, it begs the question how long more can this go on for?



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 22 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Russia sharply raises key rate as prices soar

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers.

Russia's central bank aggressively raised its interest rate for the sixth time in a row Friday in an
effort to slow soaring food prices, and did not rule out further hikes.

Rising prices, falling incomes and a lack of tangible government support during the pandemic have been eroding popular support for President Vladimir Putin's two-decade rule, and authorities are under pressure to ease inflation.

At a meeting on Friday, the Bank of Russia increased its key rate by 0.75 percentage points to 7.50 percent, surprising many analysts who had expected a smaller hike.

The bank said that more hikes could follow and revised up inflation predictions.

"Inflation is developing substantially above the Bank of Russia's forecast and is expected to be within the range of 7.4-7.9 percent at the end of 2021," the bank said.

The Bank of Russia said that as of October 18, inflation stood at 7.8 percent but was expected to return to 4.0-4.5 percent next year.

"The central bank continues to act decisively and proactively," Dmitry Polevoy, head of investment at Locko Invest, said in a note to clients.

After months of historically low inflation, consumer prices began to climb in March 2020, driven by a drop in the ruble's value in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

The central bank started raising its historically low rate the same month. Its next rate review meeting is scheduled for December 17. In September, the bank raised its interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 6.75 percent.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Russia is a major grain producer but is also reliant on imports for many additional food stuffs. That offers a graphic representation of how everyone is susceptible to the fragility of the global supply chain. Shutting the whole world down eighteen months ago had a dire effect on the ability of producers to manage their operations. The ensuing volatility has taken much longer than anyone thought to iron out and it is not over yet.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 21 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for October 21st 2021

Eoin Treacy's view -

A link to today's video commentary is posted in the Subscriber's Area. 

Some of the topics discussed include: stocks remain firm despite rising yields and are supported by earnings, SPACs pick on Donald Trumps entrance to the market, bitcoin pulls back with futures-based ETF predictably underperforming, China walks back property tax talk. 



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 21 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Guedes Cites 'Waiver' for Fiscal Cap Bolsonaro Pledged to Uphold

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Guedes, who spoke shortly before markets closed, said the government also mulls bringing forward a spending cap revision scheduled for 2026.  

“We want to be a popular, not a populist government,” he said, adding that the country must remain committed to fiscal responsibility.

Brazilian assets tumbled the most in the world on Tuesday on reports the government would breach the country’s spending cap rule, in place since 2017, to finance the new social program. 

The cap is seen by economists and investors as one of the key pillars of Brazil’s fiscal policy, keeping public finances from derailing by limiting spending growth to the inflation rate of the previous year. The government bypassed the rule in 2020 and 2021, getting one-time exemptions approved in congress to accommodate pandemic-related expenses.

Eoin Treacy's view -

One of the central themes of democracy is the loser of an election leaves office peacefully and handovers to new governments are reasonably smooth. When that pattern does not go according to plan, as in the US earlier this year, the strength of a nation’s institutions is tested. The USA passed that test, even though no one ever considered it would ever need to be tested.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 21 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

West Coast ports to stay open 24/7 under U.S. plan to relieve supply chain issues

This article from Reuters may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

The White House plan has the cooperation of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, whose leaders and port officials were expected to meet with Biden's top officials on Wednesday. The ILWU says its members are willing to work extra shifts to ease the crisis.

Six companies are part of the plan -- Walmart, FedEx, UPS, Target, Home Depot and Samsung.

"Across these six companies over 3,500 additional containers per week will move at night through the end of the year," the White House said in a statement.

The administration said it's also trying to assist in a truck driver shortage by supporting state motor vehicle departments.

"In 2021, an average of 50,000 commercial drivers licenses and learner's permits have been issued each month, 60% higher than the 2020 numbers," a senior administration official said. "The supply chain is essentially in the hands of the private sector, so we need the private sector to up to help solve problems."

Eoin Treacy's view -

To say that the supply chain is in the hands of the private sector is a gross misrepresentation of the power unions hold over how speedily goods move through the most significant ports in the USA.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 21 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Email of the day on recycled gold

How will the recycling of gold, silver and other raw materials from mobile phones affect the markets for these metals. [Times article]

Eoin Treacy's view -

Thank you for this question which may be of interest to other subscribers. The World Gold Council estimated that about 10% of recycled gold comes from electronics at present. The method discussed in the above article suggests Excir is using both extreme heat and chemical deposition to extract precious metals from phones since they claim it can be done in seconds. There is no discussion of how dependent the process is on high prices.  



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 20 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for October 20th 2021

Eoin Treacy's view -

A link to today's video commentary is posted in the Subscriber's Area. 

Some of the topics discussed include: bitcoin breaks out and the S&P500 makes a new closing high, gold remains firm, China rebounds, Indian rupee firms and saps demand for stocks, OEM manufacturing coming to the auto sector, copper & oil firm, 



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 20 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Did Bitcoin Kill Gold's Monetary Utility?

Thanks to a subscriber for this article by Cullen Roche for Pragmatic Capitalism. Here is a section:

One of the corollaries between cryptocurrencies and gold is that, as forms of money, they’re both grounded in the same decentralized concepts that make them useful alternatives to fiat. Gold has obvious impediments to its monetary utility in a modern economy – mainly the fact that it’s difficult to transport. Bitcoin and crypto fixes that. Personally, I find the long-term inflation hedging benefits of crypto to be somewhat less beneficial than many proponents believe. After all, all crypto is endogenous in the sense that it is literally created from nothing and can be borrowed into existence in exactly the same way that modern banks create synthetic “dollars” from nothing when they make loans. A “fractionally reserved” Bitcoin system with endogenous lending could be every bit as inflationary as the current fiat system with the main difference being that there isn’t a government there to pump trillions into the system on a whim. And that’s where the last 18 months and this “faith put” in gold is pretty interesting….

A strange thing happened during COVID. The US government spent $6T to fight off the pandemic. As expected, the huge fiscal stimulus led to a somewhat uncomfortable level of inflation. But here’s where things get interesting – since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 the price of gold is up 6.5%. The price of Bitcoin, on the other hand, is up almost 10X. It’s not just a small difference. It’s an astounding difference. It’s the kind of difference that makes you wonder if people even believe that gold is an inflation hedge.

Eoin Treacy's view -

The Permanent Portfolio with 25% in stocks, 25% in bonds, 25% in cash and 25% in gold has stood the test of time. It is logical to question whether the introduction of new assets should alter the composition of the portfolio. What I find particularly interesting today is there is a simultaneous questioning of the merits of the 60/40 portfolio which is much more popular than the permanent portfolio.  Meanwhile Paul Tudor Jones is touting bitcoin’s status as an inflation hedge. 



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 20 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

China's Falling Home Prices Cast Another Shadow Over Economy

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section

There are “individual problems” in the real estate market, but the risks are controllable overall, Vice Premier Liu He said at the same event, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Reasonable funding needs in the sector are being met, Liu was quoted as saying.

Some analysts expect the current real estate slump to be less harsh than previous ones because inventories remain relatively small. Developers have been more rational about building projects in coastal cities where demand is higher, said Chen Long, a partner at Beijing-based consultancy Plenum.

“The relatively low stock of unsold housing limits the risk of a major downturn,” Oxford Economics said in a note on Wednesday. “We think the most likely scenario is a contained short-term downturn.”

Still, any recovery will be difficult until home values resume rising. 

“If property prices stop growing, we won’t buy,” said Jack, a tech worker in Shenzhen who didn’t want to be identified by his surname for fear of reprisals from his company. “Right now, I’ll sit and watch.”

Eoin Treacy's view -

The Federal Reserve is sensitive to equity prices because it is the most favoured asset class of US citizens. For the same reason the ECB is more concerned with bond prices than other asset classes. In China the vast majority of savers have some exposure to property prices so it is reasonable to ask how much pain can the government tolerate before they bend to market pressure?



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 20 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Apple's iPhone Partner Foxconn Unveils First Electric Vehicles

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Foxconn is among the technology companies targeting EVs as a source of growth beyond low-margin electronics assembly. The Ohio deal is a boon for Foxconn, giving it assembly capacity, equipment and talent, Citigroup analyst Carrie Liu wrote in a recent note. The company is close to deciding the location for a car plant in Europe, Liu said.

The Apple car would be the ultimate prize for every aspiring EV manufacturer. Working in Foxconn’s favor is its strong relationship with the U.S. consumer-electronics giant. The years-long partnership has expanded as Apple has added product categories, and the company now accounts for about 50% of Foxconn’s annual sales.

Any Apple automobile is still years away and the company has suffered setbacks including the recent departure of the head of its car project to Ford Motor Co. An Apple car has for years been somewhat of a paradox -- it’s one of its most hotly anticipated products yet the company has publicly said almost nothing about it.

Foxconn has yet to start sales of any vehicle following the debut of its EV platform last year. It plans to start mass production of Lordstown’s Endurance electric pickup in Ohio in April, according to a person familiar with its schedule.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Even if Apple is not going to produce a car, we are in a new era for the automotive sector. The evolution of the battery drive fuel cycle has lowered the barrier to entry and enables third manufacturing business models.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 19 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for October 19th 2021

Eoin Treacy's view -

A link to today's video commentary is posted in the Subscriber's Area. 

Some of the topics discussed include: Nasdaq continues to rebound, Facebook finds support on the metaverse, Chinese tech extends rebound, commodity currencies extend rebound, Indonesia and Mexico lead emerging markets higher, gold eases back from intraday peak, oil firm, natural gas weak. 



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 19 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Grayscale Files to Turn Biggest Bitcoin Fund Into an ETF

This article for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

“We are of the firm belief that because the futures and the spot pricing for Bitcoin are inextricably tied, that we have the willingness to allow or clear the way for a Bitcoin futures ETF in the market, and also clear the way for a spot ETF,”

Sonnenshein said in an interview. GBTC currently holds roughly 3.4% of the world’s supply of Bitcoin, according to Grayscale.  The conversion would likely solve a persistent problem for Grayscale: the trust’s discount to net asset value. The product’s price has traded below its underlying Bitcoin holdings for a prolonged period because shares in the vehicle can’t be destroyed in the same way as they can in an ETF. But it could also be seen as a way to sidestep obsolescence, with the advent of Bitcoin ETFs threatening to draw assets away from a product that investors have tolerated due to the lack of an alternative.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Commodity investors are more than familiar with the difficulties presented by investing in futures over the long term. The predictable roll schedule of the US Oil fund, and the trading environment that embedded a contango more often than not, ensured the fund seldom delivered on its promise to track the oil price.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 19 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Disruptive Innovations VIII

Thanks to a subscriber for this report from Citi which may be of interest. Here is a section on the metaverse:

Eoin Treacy's view -

A link to the full report is posted in the Subscriber's Area. 

The metaverse has become the new buzz word for the tech sector so it is worth considering what it in fact means for commerce and social interactions. The lure of the sector is it creates a middle ground where the world of the physical interacts with the online world. Therefore, you can have a digital avatar like one would have in a game but you can also make purchases of both physical and digital items.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 19 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Quarterly Global Outlook 4Q 2021

Thanks to a subscriber for this report from UOB which may be of interest. Here is a section:

Eoin Treacy's view -

A link to the full report is posted in the Subscriber's Area. 

Every country had to break the piggy bank to deal with the pandemic. That helped to boost economic activity and demand for just about everything over the last 18 months. Going back to less profligate ways will be a challenge everywhere, but emerging markets have the benefit of growth to ease the challenge. They also have more recent experience of doing what is necessary to combat inflation which should be a useful skillset going forwards.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 18 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for October 18th 2021

Eoin Treacy's view -

A link to today's video commentary is posted in the Subscriber's Area. 

Some of the topics covered include: inflationary pressures pushing up interest rates, that puts pressure on floating rate mortgages, bitcoin futures in contango will weigh on futures fund, oil remains in backwardation, natural gas pulls back, gold steady, 



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 18 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

New Zealand Inflation Surges to Fastest Pace in 10 Years

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), which seeks to keep inflation around the midpoint of a 1 per cent to 3 per cent target band, raised its official cash rate on Oct 6 and signalled more increases are coming. That is despite a coronavirus outbreak that has kept largest city Auckland in lockdown for two months, curbing economic growth.

"We can now see annual CPI (consumer price index) inflation exceeding 5 per cent by the end of this year," said Mr Mark Smith, senior economist at ASB Bank in Auckland. "The widespread nature of price increases seen today was not a comforting sign. If it were not for the Delta variant outbreak, the pace of OCR (official cash rate) hikes being implemented by the RBNZ would potentially be quicker than 25 basis point increments."

Investors ratcheted up bets on further RBNZ rate hikes. Another increase is now fully priced in for the Nov 24 policy decision and there is a chance the bank will deliver a 50-point move, swaps data shows.

Eoin Treacy's view -

- I received this account from a New Zealand-based subscriber last week which may be of interest:

I hope life is going well for you and your family in your new abode.

Life is very good on a personal level although we are sad at our present inability to visit our son and his family in Portugal. They moved from the UK to the Algarve in early 2019 just before Covid hit. Luckily, we have a daughter and her family here and we are helping them to build a new house next door to ours.

Auckland is struggling with an outbreak of Delta but, so far, the rest of the country is Covid-free, as we have been all the way through.  There is a big race to get 90%+ of the nation fully vaccinated before Christmas. That looks achievable and we all hope we won't stumble at the last hurdle. NZ has coped with the pandemic very well to date but Delta is a tricky challenge.

The economy has surprised everyone with its strength, even through lockdown periods.  Our government debt levels were low by world standards going into the pandemic (thanks to years of sound economic management by successive administrations) and even with the generous support measures over the past 18 months, net Government debt is still only around 30% of GDP.  Apart from tourism and some parts of hospitality, businesses are thriving, with the recent tax- take far above expectations.

As in many countries, Covid has highlighted the wealth disparities in our society, exacerbated by the recent house price boom.  The disadvantaged communities (Maori and Pacific Islanders in our case) are at greatest risk of severe Covid with unlucky genetics, poor housing and little financial flexibility.  Lockdowns have shown the absurdity that most of the truly essential workers in societies are often also the lowest paid and least appreciated.  The social fabric is a precious, fragile thing and history shows that prolonged injustice and disparity will sooner or later cause it to rend. 

As the fortunate son of Estonian WW2 refugees from totalitarianism, it troubles me that surveys all over the Western world show younger people losing faith in democracy and market economies and, unfortunately, it's not hard to see why in many places today.

I want to thank you for the great job you are doing in taking over from the late, great David.  As a long-time subscriber (and Chart Seminar attendee), I can't think of a year where your service hasn't helped me make up my subscription several times over.

Thank you for this generous email. New Zealand has fared better than most during the pandemic and not least because demand for its primary exports has sustained the economy despite the challenges of losing tourist revenue.

I totally agree on the challenge of young people losing faith in free markets and democracy. Unfortunately, they have grown up in an environment where markets have not been free and where democracy has been overridden by special interest groups (both public and private) and much of what passes for legislation is the product of focus groups.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 18 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Email of the day on UK renewable energy listings

It seems difficult to buy many of the ETFs you mention in the UK. For instance, FAN and TAN. Is there a copper mines ETF that a UK investor can buy?

Eoin Treacy's view -

Thank you for this email which may be of interest to the Collective. The UK equivalent of the Invesco Solar ETF (TAN) is the Invesco Solar UCITS ETF (ISUN). Unfortunately, it is illiquid with only $2.25 million under management.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 18 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Radiant aims to replace diesel generators with small nuclear reactors

This article from NewAtlas may be of interest. Here is a section:

Radiant says its fuel "does not melt down, and withstands higher temperatures when compared to traditional nuclear fuels." Using helium as the coolant "greatly reduces corrosion, boiling and contamination risks," and the company says it's received provisional patents for ideas it's developed around refueling the reactors and efficiently transporting heat out of the reactor core.

Radiant joins a number of companies now working on compact nuclear reactors, and a smaller number focusing specifically on portable units, which would include the floating barges proposed for mass-manufacture by Seaborg. It'll be a while before we see one up and running, but a clean, convenient, low-cost, long-life alternative to diesel generators would be very welcome.

Eoin Treacy's view -

The evolution of small modular reactors and the increasing volume of space traffic point towards secular growth trends for helium. The terminal decline of helium supply from North America’s major source of production in Amarillo Texas was highlighted in 2018 as a major supply bottleneck. It had the potential to be a major supply inelasticity trend, as new sources of demand emerged. With so much enthusiasm about nuclear reactors in the market today, I thought it might be worth revisiting.  



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 15 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

October 15 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

China Breaks Silence on Evergrande, Says Risks Controllable

This article for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Zou also said:

China’s government has insisted that property not be used as a short-term stimulus for the economy
Cities have seen an excessive surge in property prices, which mortgage restrictions helped to curtail
Property investment has slumped recently after some developers faced credit problems, but this is a normal market phenomenon
Some banks have misunderstood macroprudential policies regarding the property sector.

“This is the strongest signal yet that authorities won’t come to the rescue of creditors of Evergrande and other developers,” said Travis Lundy, a special situations analyst who publishes on Smartkarma. They are sticking to the stance that there won’t be any property-boosting measures, aside from small steps such as faster home-loan processing and efforts to alleviate mortgage limits at banks, he added. 

Financial regulators have told some major banks to accelerate approval of mortgages in the last quarter, Bloomberg reported earlier Friday. Lenders were also permitted to apply to sell securities backed by residential mortgages to free up loan quotas, easing a ban imposed early this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Eoin Treacy's view -

It’s ironic that when China talks about market principles it means they are no longer willing to bailout failed ventures but are more than willing to curtail growth in successful ones; that do not gel with policy. The number of defaults has been trending higher since they were allowed a few years ago, and will surge this year.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 15 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Rising Rents Are Fueling Inflation, Posing Trouble for the Fed

This article from the New York Times may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

“Many participants pointed out that the owners’ equivalent rent component of price indexes should be monitored carefully, as rising home prices could lead to upward pressure on rents,” minutes from the Fed’s September meeting, released Wednesday, said.

Rent is less critical to the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the one it officially targets when it shoots for 2 percent annual inflation on average, than it is to the C.P.I. But it is a big part of people’s experience with prices, so it could help shape their expectations about future cost increases.

Those expectations matter a lot to the Fed. If consumers come to anticipate faster inflation, they may begin to demand higher wages to cover their rising expenses. As businesses lift prices to cover rising costs, they could set off an upward spiral. Already, some key measures of inflation outlooks — notably the New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations — have jumped higher.

The Fed is already preparing to start slowing the large bond purchases it has been making during the pandemic to keep longer-term interest rates low and money flowing around the economy. If inflation stays high, the Fed may also come under pressure to raise its policy interest rate, its more traditional and more powerful tool. That might slow mortgage lending, cool the housing market and weigh down inflation.

But doing that would come at a big cost, slowing the labor market when there are 5 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic. So for now, Fed officials are getting themselves into a position where they can be nimble without signaling that they’re poised to raise rates.

Eoin Treacy's view -

David Ricardo’s Iron Law of Wages dictates that the prevailing base rate will be enough for people to scrape by.  Since the cost of everyday items people spend money on to survive keeps rising, there is only one way for wages to go.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 15 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Fertilizer Woes Paint Bleak Outlook for the Pantry

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Fertilizer plant shutdowns in the U.K. highlighted how critical the situation is, because it cut off supplies of carbon dioxide, a byproduct that’s needed for everything from slaughtering animals to packaging food. A deal was struck this week to maintain output in the coming months, averting more chaos for the sector.

The risk is that it’s just a quick fix. The owner of the British plants, CF Industries, said that CO2 users need to look for new sources of supply. An industry group also warned that temporary fertilizer-plant closures in Europe could become permanent.

It’s a worrying sign for future harvests a time when global food prices are at a 10-year high. There are concerns that farmers in France, the European Union’s top wheat grower, may find it hard to source fertilizers next spring, regardless of the price.

In Brazil, where a lot of farmers haven’t secured their fertilizer needs or locked in prices yet, worries of non-delivery are increasing. President Jair Bolsonaro has said the nation faces the risk of fertilizer shortfalls next year due to falling Chinese output in the wake of high energy costs.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Substituting coal for natural gas is the most common-sense solution to reduces carbon emissions. Unfortunately, that is not nearly ambitious enough to satisfy the demands of carbon fanatics. The result is there is resistance to increases supply from any and all sources. That’s putting pressure on fertiliser, carbon dioxide, heating and transportation costs.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 14 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for October 14th 2021

Eoin Treacy's view -

A link to today's video commentary is posted in the Subscriber's Area. 

Some of the topics discussed include: bonds unwind short-term oversold condition; spurring a return to risk-on, oil, gold, silver, copper firm, stock markets rebound, emerging asia rebounds except China, India leading, hydrogen plays rebound



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 14 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Modi Says India Can't Afford to Go Slow on New Infrastructure

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

“Every department makes its own plans and typically the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing,” Modi said, citing the example of how new roads were laid only to be dug up later by the water pipes or the telecom department. “These silos result in wastage of budgetary resources and India can no longer afford these bottlenecks,” he said.

The initiative comes as India targets spending $1.5 trillion in roads, railways, ports and gas pipelines, which are key for attracting investments and creating jobs in Asia’s third-largest economy as it recovers from a pandemic-induced downturn.

The master plan aims to nearly double the network of highways to over 200,000 kilometers and the number of airports to 220 by March 2025, and double the length of gas pipelines to 34,500 km, among others, during that period.

The International Monetary Fund sees India’s gross domestic product expanding 9.5% in the year to March after contracting 7.3% last year. While the forecast is for the economy to grow 8.5% next year, the outlook depends on the nation’s ability to create jobs and boost consumption, which accounts for some 60% of GDP. For that, India needs investments and infrastructure to attract businesses.

Eoin Treacy's view -

More than any other factor, investors have been demanding India build more infrastructure. That was true twenty years ago and it is still true today. The difference now is that the administration has a demographic imperative pushing for reform. The only way India will grow in a cohesive manner is to deliver better standards of living for its hundreds of millions of young people.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 14 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

BOE Says Crypto Now Bigger Than Subprime Debt That Led to Crash

This article by Reed Landberg for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:  

The crypto-currency market is double the size of the sub-prime debt in the U.S. on the eve of the financial crisis and poses a threat unless urgently regulated, the Bank of England said.

Crypto assets are now worth $2.3 trillion, about 200% more than at the start of the year. While that’s still a small part of the $250 trillion global financial system, it’s about twice the size of the $1.2 trillion sub-prime real estate debt market in 2008.

“You don’t have to account for a large proportion of the financial sector to trigger financial stability problems,” BOE Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe said in a speech on Wednesday.

“When something in the financial system is growing very fast, and growing in largely unregulated space, financial stability authorities have to sit up and take notice.”

And

About 2.3 million adults in the U.K. alone hold crypto assets, a survey by the Financial Conduct Authority showed. Cunliffe said more people see those assets as an alternative to mainstream investments instead of a gamble, and about half intend to invest more. 

Eoin Treacy's view -

The vast majority of crypto wallets are open for investment/ trading purposes. Buying one crypto to enable trading in others does not contribute to the proliferation of real-world applications. Volume based on that activity is largely irrelevant to the wider world. On the other hand, borrowing against crypto holdings, leveraging up on investments based off crypto holdings and securitising physical assets using cryptos do have real-world applications.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 14 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Musings from the Oil Patch October 12th

Thanks to a subscriber for this report from Allen Brooks at PPHB which may be of interest. Here is a section on wind patterns:

The authors of the paper drew this key conclusion from their research.
The downward trend observed in the windiness indices for the period 1990 to 2005 is also reflected in the North Atlantic Oscillation, Grosswetterlagen and Jenkinson Lamb data. However, these proxies for wind speed indicate that there was an upward ‘blip’ in wind speeds centered on the early 1990s, which suggests that this recent downward trend in mean annual wind speed may represent a return to the longer-term mean. It is therefore concluded that a continued ramp down of future wind speeds should not be assumed. This is also supported by the increase in annual wind speeds in recent years as displayed in Figure 1 (our Exhibit 18, page 20).

It is important to note that this paper was published at a time when there were concerns about a continuation of the declining wind performance, especially as European governments were pushing utilities to embark on a massive buildout of wind generating capacity. The authors offer the conclusion that the post-2003 wind performance was a return to the long-term average wind speed and an end to the relentless decline of prior years. The conclusion we draw, however, is that even if Europe’s wind speed returns to its long-term average, the continent may experience future periods of wind speed resembling the 1990-2003 span when it was in a broad downward trend. That potential, something we have not heard discussed during the wind generation buildout in recent years, suggests wind energy dependency may put utilities at greater risk of stillness than considered in their planning.
 
The more that European countries come to depend on wind power for running their economies, the possibility of extended wind speed declines and increases in lulls means utilities will be scrambling more often to find backup power. Will they rely on huge batteries, or more fossil-fuel plants? Does this potential stillness risk increase the pressure on governments to allow utilities to keep their nuclear power plants operating, or even to begin building new ones? These are questions politicians and the public need to consider and answer, so energy planners can move forward. We have yet to see discussion of stillness as a potential long-term cyclical challenge for wind power, and in turn, Europe’s electricity grid. Maybe it is time for that discussion to begin.

Eoin Treacy's view -

One would think that the question of wind variability would be central to planning for the making significant investments in renewable energy infrastructure along most of the European and North American coastlines. Regrettably, there is not enough long-term data to make such predictions and the recent experience highlights the difficulty in predicting patterns with partial data at best.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 13 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for October 13th 2021

October 13 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

SepQ'21 preview & price deck update

Thanks to a subscriber for this report from Canaccord Genuity focusing on Australian gold miners. Here is a section:

October 13 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

This Company is Reinventing the Wheel and Ditching the Rubber Tire

This press release may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

While GACW is initially targeting the OTR sector, which includes mining, the global tire market is much bigger, and the company has plans to enter that too. That said, the initial focus on mining could raise in excess of $20 million in revenue per mine site given the significant numbers of vehicles involved in each mining project.

And while the company may have competitors in the mid-sized market, it does not have any competitors in the global OTR sector.

In addition to this market, the ASW technology can be applied to all vehicles currently using traditional rubber tires, a $322 billion estimated value in 2022.

So far, the company has raised $3 million and has 4 patents with 13 others pending. It is also currently testing its ASW products with mining partners with an evaluation period of between 6 and 12 months. From 2022, it intends to ramp up its production of the ASW product with full commercialization expected in 2023.

“At this point, our plan is to expand our distribution network and really start taking the tire industry by storm,” the company said.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Mining costs are heavily dependent on energy and transportation prices and the cost of complying with increasingly stringent environmental regulations. As those costs rise, the incentive for companies to find alternatives where possible becomes progressively more urgent. Finding a cheaper alternative for a major cost centre, while also mitigating environmental liability represents an attractive sales pitch; if it works. Here is a link to Global Air Cylinder Wheels’ website. 



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 13 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Uranium ETFs Roaring Back After $1 Billion Influx on Nuclear Bet

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

That view has been buttressed by some recent announcements. On Tuesday, the French government said it will help a state-controlled utility company develop so-called small modular nuclear reactors by 2030, a move President Emmanuel Macron signaled as key to reducing global carbon emissions. Japan’s new prime minister said that the nation should replace aging nuclear power plants with such module reactors. 

Eoin Treacy's view -

This graphic, from the 1960s, depicting German expectations for how nuclear would become the dominant supplier of electricity is particularly noteworthy. It helps to highlights how wrong expectations for the future can be, particularly when linear extrapolations are relied on. It also highlights uranium has had plenty of false dawns over the decades.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 12 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

October 12 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

The Death and Birth of Technological Revolutions

This article from Ben Thompson for his Stratechery blog may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

That seems awfully descriptive of the current era, no? Products that break through reach saturation in record time (see TikTok reaching a billion users in three years, or DTC companies that seem to max out in only a couple of years), while the future of established companies seems to be quagmire in legislators and the courts, even as profits continue to pile up without obvious places to invest. And if the government’s response to the revolution has been disappointing, that also may be because of the revolution itself.

Moreover, to the extent the dystopian picture above is correct — that the real synergy has been between centralized governments and centralized tech companies, to the alarm of both those abroad and in the U.S. — the greater the motivation there is to make the speculative investments that drive the next paradigm, especially if that paradigm operates in direct opposition to the current one. To be sure this framework does imply that crypto is full of scams and on its way to inflating a spectacular bubble, the aftermath of which will be painful for many, but that is both expected and increasingly borne out by the facts as well. What will matter for the future is how much infrastructure — particularly wallet installation — can be built-out in the meantime.

For what it’s worth my suspicion is that the current Installation period for crypto — if that is indeed where we are — has a long ways to run, which is another way of saying most of the economy will remain in the current paradigm for a while longer. The time from the Intel microprocessor to the Dotcom Bubble bursting was 30 years (and, it should be noted, there were a lot of smaller, more localized bubbles along the way); Satoshi Nakamoto only published his paper in 2008. Thirteen years after 1971 was 1984, the year the Mac was introduced; the browser was another 9 years away. It’s one thing to see the future coming; it’s something else entirely to know the timing. On that Perez and I can certainly agree.

Eoin Treacy's view -

Technology is a constantly moving feast so there is always some portion of the market maturing and another portion evolving. Arguably we are close to the peak of social media proliferation since just about anyone who wants an account has one and the number of legal, regulatory and competitive challenges is only increasing.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 12 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Soaring Costs Squeeze Japan Inc. as Firms Hold Their Prices Flat

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

Costs that Japanese businesses pay for supplies surged last month at the fastest pace in 13 years.
Meanwhile, the prices that consumers pay are basically flat, a recipe for pinched profit margins and corporate pain. 

A Bank of Japan report on Tuesday showed the country’s producer prices rose in September 6.3% from a year earlier, with the gap between those costs and the prices consumers pay at its widest since 1980.

Even as profit margins fall, Japanese businesses have been reluctant to pass their costs on to the country’s shoppers, who are known for being extremely sensitive to price increases after years of deflation and stagnant wages. 

Forecasts from the BOJ, showing consumer price gains rising no higher than 1% next year, suggest businesses aren’t likely to get very aggressive in pricing even if they get stressed by
added cost pressure. 

That bind shows one reason why Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is so keen to get businesses to raise pay, a mostly unmet goal held by the two premiers before him including Shinzo Abe, who also made it a major policy plank.

Japan’s Kishida Vows Progress Where Abenomics Fell Short:

On Pay
Without bigger paychecks in consumers’ pockets, Japan’s policy makers have found it difficult to stoke inflation, which is not forecast to reach the BOJ’s 2% target for years. The bank is seen keeping its easing program for the foreseeable future, even as global peers unwind stimulus.
 

Eoin Treacy's view -

Japan’s economy has been locked in deflation for so long that businesses are unaccustomed to raising rates and have tended instead to try and be more efficient. The promise of automation has been one of the primary avenues Japan has taken to become more efficient but that’s not helping with supply bottlenecks and rising commodity prices. Ultimately, prices will have to rise. That will force wages higher.  



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 12 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Gloves Come Off in EU Clash With Rogue Members Over Rule of Law

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Separately on Tuesday, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said his government “fully supports the new conditionality mechanism.”

Member nations “cannot take advantage of EU financial aid on the one hand, and disrespect the European values that unite us on the other. We cannot and will not accept this,” he said. “This is even truer in the context of a recent decision in Poland.”

Testing the Limit
The verdict questioning the supremacy of EU law, announced last week in Warsaw, marked a major escalation in Poland’s already fraught relations with the bloc and triggered street protests. In a joint statement just days later, France and Germany said Poland has a legal and moral obligation to abide by
EU rules.

Poland’s opposition, led by former European Council President Donald Tusk, accused the government of trying to force the country out of the EU. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who triggered the ruling by the Polish court, has dismissed that accusation as “fake news”
Still, his government ushered the ruling into law by publishing it in the official gazette on Tuesday, putting put to rest any doubt it may be seeking a way to compromise. “The government has decided to put itself on the collision course with the EU,” said Piotr Buras, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations in Warsaw. “They’re trying to test the limits of how far they can go.”

Eoin Treacy's view -

The big question for everyone in Europe is where does the state end and the superstate begin. That’s a question which is currently being tested on the eastern frontier of the bloc. Many policy setters in the Eurozone tend to socially and fiscally liberal (France, Spain, Italy, Belgium), while many in the governments in former eastern bloc countries tend to be both socially and fiscally conservative. That’s true even if they are some of the biggest beneficiaries from structural funds.



This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top
October 11 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Video commentary for October 11th 2021