Finance Monthly - February 2022

s I write this we are already well into the new year and it’s becoming clear 2022 has a very different outlook from last year when the “everything rally” was fuelled by easy money, ongoing COVID recovery and mitigation spending programmes, the market’s belief central banks would act to avoid any market instability from derailing sentiment, and COVID uncertainty. This year has opened with a much clearer perspective on how quickly central banks will act to address inflation, normalise rates and unwind the quantitative easing programmes that juiced markets with liquidity over the last decade. Welcome back to grown-up markets! The critical uncertainties are how destabilisation rising/normalising rates become, how inflation – “transitory” or “persistent” – develops (and the danger it morphs into stagflation), and how quickly the global economy puts COVID-19 behind it to start growing again. That leaves geopolitical tensions over Ukraine and with China as the other known unknowns. In short, investors are going to have to think hard about what this market is telling them through Finance Monthly. Inve s tmen t 17

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