2017 Year In Review

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2017 may have lacked the once-in-a-generation macro events that came to define 2016, but it has been an interesting year for investors nonetheless. Here, we take a look back at some of the key events.

‘Twas the night of June 8th, as we waited to see

What the outcome of the UK’s election might be;

Investors were nervous of another surprise,

Last year duped first by Brexit, then Trump’s speedy rise;

But when first polls rolled in, we could sense déjà vu –

As the Tories lost strongholds from Cardiff to Crewe;

Labour edged closer, winning 32 more seats –

Despite Diane Abbott and her plans for the police.

Early next day – and 2 strong coffees later –

May swallowed her pride and picked up the paper;

“The Tories have blown it” read the morning headlines

“We want Jeremy Corbyn in these difficult times!”

Her mind made at once by a thought so obscene,

She picked up the phone and placed a call to Arlene;

Discussions were lengthy but at last they’d agree –

The government formed would be part DUP!

The result of the vote is being felt 6 months later;

As Brexit’s effects take their toll on the data;

With sterling so weak, there’s been a rise in inflation,

While poor retail sales provide cause for frustration;

And despite further progress in unemployment stats,

A lack of wage growth leaves the Phillips Curve flat.

With pay packets squeezed and savings depleted

The Tories might soon find themselves being unseated.

As political chaos left the pound all at sea,

We hoped for good news from the Bank’s MPC;

Rumours abounded of a change in their view;

A brighter forecast and a rate hike or two.

But the rise, when it came, was just a quarter percent,

While more would be “gradual” and to “limited extent;”

With the outlook for growth to be steady at best;

Easing continues until a deal is progressed.

If Brexit has led to disappointment on rates,

What about the story, ‘cross the pond, in the States?

Last year in November, as disenchantment grew,

Republican red outpolled Democrat blue;

And a man better known for reality drama

Claimed the title of POTUS from Barack Obama.

But 10 months removed from his inauguration date,

Has Trump any chance to make America great?

With the axing of staff and the tweets that he sends,

It’s fair to say Donald hasn’t made many friends,

And while some of the stories might well be “fake news”

He’s not one to shy from expressing his views –

Meryl Streep, Theresa May, and the whole NFL,

@realDonaldTrump has offended them all!

Pyongyang is another to receive online rebuke,

In attempts to dissuade them from launching a nuke.

Turning to growth, there was much speculation

Trump and his team would be good for reflation;

Healthcare was dropped but progress finally showed

With wholesale reform of the US tax code;

But while low corporate rates may well look good on paper;

The deficit grows as the Fed starts to taper;

And fears still remain for what will come after;

If plans are retained to withdraw from NAFTA.

As the fallout from Brexit and Trump now reveals,

There’s a protest against Anglo-Saxon ideals;

But Europe is different, and a win for Macron,

Had suggested the social revolt wouldn’t catch on;

Until in October, on the east coast of Spain,

Catalonia declared its independence again,

Albeit short lived once Madrid intervened;

It showed that the threat was more real than it seemed.

Sure enough, one month later, the German far right

Polled enough of the vote to give Merkel a fright.

And though first efforts failed, the Chancellor still tries

To broker a deal with her remaining allies.

Politics aside, there’s been good news in data

As growth has picked up and the ECB tapers

But with Italian elections called for next year,

The far right “Five Star” leaves us plenty to fear.

We’ve said that this market has reached a fifth set;

The ending is near but it’s not finished yet –

And though we still believe that analogy true;

It’s clear that this cycle is an “Isner – Mahut”

Investors are sanguine to fast-growing risks;

From politics to earnings to a big spike in VIX;

While prices keep rising we remain mostly long,

With downside protection lest it all should go wrong.

Now with five days ‘til Christmas, activity’s shrinking;

As investors turn focus to eating and drinking;

Data is fewer and even Trump’s latest tweets;

Show scenes of the White House all decked out in wreaths;

2018 shall be an interesting year,

With plenty to hope for but so much unclear;

Though for now all at Tcam were hoping we might

Wish Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

BY ROBIN KYLE, INVESTMENT MANAGER

With assistance from Douglas Kyle.

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