Monthly Review - December 2023

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January 1, 2024

Our Perspective

Over the course of 2023 many investors misjudged the multiplier effects from fiscal policy and the benefits this brings from a liquidity perspective. The cherry on the cake was the long awaited and much anticipated Fed-Pivot as the global economy benefitted from disinflation, robust labour markets, and continued upside surprises to consumption.

This month we ask, are the benefits from fiscal and monetary policy sustainable?

The benefit from monetary policy is really the marginal change in interest rates - or more specifically: the cost-of-capital - relative to the absolute level, and the resulting benefits this has on credit creation. However, one needs to also consider the incremental Capital-OutputRatio which highlights the number of units of investment (think debt!) required to generate one unit of GDP growth. Chart 7 highlights the level for the U.S, China and South Korea. The point is, an enormous amount of debt is needed and the cost of this debt is paramount. At prevailing market rates, further credit creation is problematic at all levels: corporate, government and household debt.

From a fiscal perspective, monetary policy has knock on effects given the amount of debt in the system, the cost of debt and already large deficits. An even bigger concern is Net National Saving. Net Saving (different from savings_) comprises three elements: private saving (from households and businesses), foreign saving (inverse of the current account), and government saving (the inverse of government spending). Adequate saving is essential for the sustained growth of a country's capital stock. It is crucial for budget deficits to be reduced during economic expansions so that when bad times hit, we are able to fight back. Typically, when a downturn occurs, private saving declines whilst government dissaving increases due to a surge in spending and a drop in tax collections.

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LeifBridge Investment Services
Shard Capital Partners
Floor 2, 70 Mark Lane
London, EC3R 7NQ
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44(0)20 7186 9900


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LeifBridge is a trading name of Shard Capital Partners LLP. Shard Capital Partners LLP is a limited liability partnership, registered in England with registration number OC360394. Shard Capital Partners LLP Registered office:36-38 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3NG.. Shard Capital Partners LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, reference number 538762.

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