The 30-year view

For those with a penchant for jarring juxtapositions, a then-and-now comparison of current versus mid 1980s macro-economic data makes for interesting reading.

A time traveller from three decades ago might have expected to find flying cars, self-lacing running shoes and other mainstays of science fiction. What they would not have expected was a global economy dominated and distorted by QE, ZIRPs and NIRPs.

In our analysis, October 2015 is characterised by a loss of momentum in economic activity around the world – even amid persistently low interest rates in leading economies, and despite the fact that the main central banks either remain engaged in QE programmes or have yet to sell any of the assets acquired under them previously.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but we believe future investors looking back will question why the current crop of central bank policies were ever thought to be reasonable.

James Harries – Newton, a BNY Mellon company

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