Pictures speak of inflation desire

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I find it increasing frustrating that we seems to have gigabytes of data, and yet we increasingly never look at this data or interpret it to its full potential. An example would be photographs, how many of us now have thousands of pictures taken on phones, many out of focus, upside down or just plain useless? And yet we import all and store these images along with the truly precious moments. The gems, hidden amongst the masses.

One could argue that this was always the case, it is just that this storage is no longer in libraries, but now on laptops or the ‘cloud’ and that now access is easier. I would counter that this ease of access does make access any more likely, and given my own family’s experience, in fact seriously less likely.

My problem is not with the technology, which is amazing, it is in the use of that technology which seems suboptimal, in that we are becoming lazy. Obesity of the mind will be our downfall. Be honest – how many of you actually filter your photographs in the same way as when you collected the actual prints?

After the effervescence of recent weeks, this week in the markets saw fixed income dropping 0.3% though equities kept on giving, adding 3%, though most of that coming late on Friday on US data and a Greek “solution”. The week was preoccupied with Greece and Ukraine and the potential for the geopolitical to derail optimism. As always, the EU found a “solution” at 11.59 that gives Greece 4 months and in Ukraine a ceasefire was agreed, though this looks a porous one at best, I feel another round of sanctions will be coming.

Against this top down macro, we had US initial jobless claims coming in low, again below 300k and had continuing claims not move much. The initial claims numbers is now down at historical lows (see graph below) and very much a sign that the US is not laying off, but holding onto talent.

Both are positive equity signals, though on the negative side we had US housing permits and starts a little weaker, and then to top all that off we had Fed minutes be very dovish on rate rises. This should continue to signal a good environment for US equities. Though the continued strength of the US dollar may mean future earnings do not quite grow at recent levels, as FX losses on overseas earnings start to bite.

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