Confluence Investment Management – ValueWalk Premium

War With Iran? Investment Implications

Over the past year, U.S. relations with Iran have deteriorated. In May 2018, President Trump announced he would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a multinational treaty that was designed to slow, but not eliminate, Iran’s nuclear development. As part of exiting the JCPOA, the U.S....

Rare Earths: A Primer

(NB: To improve readability, we are now linking references to media reports and articles directly in the text via hyperlinks. Footnoting will be reserved for documents to which we can’t link or to provide additional clarity on a topic.) Q1 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc Since early May, the trade...

Modern Monetary Theory: Part IV

In Part III, we examined the role of economic paradigms in the equality/efficiency cycle. This week, we conclude this four-part series with a discussion on the flaws of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and market ramifications. Q4 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc The Flaws of MMT All of the major economic paradigms...

Modern Monetary Theory: Part II

In Part I of this four-part series, we introduced this report and discussed the origin narratives of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). This week, we will examine the principles and consequences of the theory. Q4 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc Principles of MMT MMT begins its analysis with a focus on macroeconomic...

The Dollar Problem: Part II

Last week, we introduced the characteristics of a reserve currency, including a discussion of the costs and benefits of providing the reserve currency. This week, we will conclude the report with a short explanation of the S.W.I.F.T. network and its importance to international finance. From there, we will discuss...

The Dollar Problem: Part I

In May, the Trump administration exited the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal.1 In conjunction with its exit, the U.S. implemented new sanctions and the goal of U.S. policy is to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero barrels by November. Get Our Icahn...

The Venezuelan Migration Crisis: Part II

Last week, we discussed Venezuela’s economic and political situations. Part II begins with a discussion on migration with a focus on emigrant flows. We include an analysis of the problems caused by migration followed by an examination of the possible end to this crisis and the broader geopolitical issues....

The Venezuelan Migration Crisis: Part I

Venezuela has gone from “bad to worse” in recent years. In 1999, Hugo Chavez was elected president and took the country on a journey into Cuba-style socialism. Persistent government intrusion into the economy reduced private sector involvement. Although the oil sector was able to generate enough revenue to allow Chavez...

The Turkey Crisis: Part I

Over the past few months, Turkey has become a major topic of interest. Recep Erdogan won re-election to the presidency in June 2018. This event was important because a referendum on a new constitution in 2017 gave the office of the president sweeping powers; the previous constitution was based...

The Return Of AMLO

On July 1, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO for short, became Mexico’s first leftist president in over three decades,1 running on anti-establishment and anti-corruption platforms. The 64-year-old activist won with over 53% of the vote, the most since Mexico moved to a multi-party system. For the first time...

China’s Foreign Reserves: Part III

This week, we will conclude our study on China’s foreign reserves. In Part I, we discussed the evolution of foreign reserves from gold to the dollar, with a historical focus. In Part II, we used the macroeconomic saving identity to analyze the economic relationship between China and the U.S....

China’s Foreign Reserves Explained

We often get questions about China’s foreign reserves. The fear is that China’s massive “pile” of foreign exchange reserves is a risk factor for U.S. markets. In the first part of this report, we will discuss the evolution of foreign reserves from gold to the dollar, with a historical...

Reflections On Cyberwar

(Due to the Memorial Day holiday, our next report will be published on June 4.) On Saturday, May 11, the New York Times ran an article on the threat of Iranian cyberattacks.1 Although the report didn’t necessarily break any new ground, cyberwar does pose some interesting issues for American hegemony....

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