Albert Edwards Ice Age Thesis

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With unfailing regularity he is ranked number one in his category in surveys of global investors. But his talent for imagining the worst is valuable.

If you have a vague anxiety, Albert will give it form. Like a lot of non-conformist preachers, Mr Edwards started out in the lower clergy, or the finance profession’s version of it—as a researcher at the Bank of England.

He's always thinking the market is going to blow up, and that major indexes like the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are heading far, far lower. He's also playing a much longer game than most investors, many of whom consider a few months long term.

Sometimes he's right, and sometimes he's wrong, but he's definitely consistent. And the market shows few signs of stress today: The S&P 500 has ticked up 0.1% to 2752.03 at a.m.

and Europe, now confronted with a Japanese-style bust (even if we won't except it yet), has caused voter anger to boil over. This goes beyond steel and aluminum tariffs, Edwards says. "Expect President Trump to soon turn his protectionist fire on both Germany and the EU," Edwards writes. "A trade war and competitive currency devaluation was always going to be the end game in our Ice Age thesis as a global deflationary bust destroyed wealth, profits and jobs," Edwards writes.

president, Donald Trump, who is willing to take an "America first" attitude, one that has the potential to upend the traditional economic order. is investigating whether China is stealing its intellectual property, but Edwards contends that Trump's wrath will turn to Germany as well due to its enormous trade surplus.

In at least one sense Mr Edwards is already vindicated.

His pet themes of disinflation, the dangers of debt, the vices of central bankers and the perils of complacency are now also found in the Power Point packs of rival strategists.

He has scarcely had a good word since for the established church of central banking.

In the early noughties, when a callow Buttonwood was a colleague, he charged Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman, with near-criminal negligence for his easy-money policy.


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