Through most of the years since the global financial crisis of 2008-09 the key issues have been economic in nature – the deleveraging of household and corporate balance sheets after a period of excessive indebtedness, gradual economic recovery and more recently the start of the restoration of normality to monetary policy in the US.
However, since the start of 2018 economic and monetary issues have been taking second place to political events. First there has been President Trump’s intensifying trade war with China, but also with NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) partners Mexico and Canada, and with the EU.
In addition, the EU has been grappling with Spanish separatism, the Italian crisis following the March election which resulted in two populist parties forming a coalition, and a European-wide debate over immigration which threatened to become critical for German Chancellor Merkel.
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Where John Greenwood has expressed opinions, they are based on current market conditions, may differ from those of other investment professionals and are subject to change without notice.