man riding surfboard in wavy ocean

Risk Update – April 2022

In her novel “The March of Folly”, historian Barbara Tuchman attributes as a quote in reference to Philip II of Spain this absolute gem – “no experience of the failure of his policy could shake his belief in its essential excellence.” It is hard to imagine a more appropriate tagline for today’s central bankers and their mad clinging to their extraordinary monetary easing largesse. We could lay the above quote clearly on each and every modern-day central banker, but none more so than Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda. We discussed in last month’s Update https://convex-strategies.com/2022/04/26/risk-update-march-2022/ the unique and…

mt fuji

Risk Update – March 2022

When thinking about real world “tail risks” few are more frightening than food shortages and famine. Aside from the obvious direct implications, they tend to be the catalysts behind most socio-political uprisings throughout history. It is not oversimplifying to state that “price stability” or “inflation targeting”, as the core premise of central banking, boils down to this basic issue. If only they could keep that in their sights. Figure 1: UN Food and Agriculture World Price Index Source: Bloomberg The implications of the long manipulation of the global economic sandpile and its inevitable transition towards its critical state, could rightly…

grayscale photography of three wise monkey figurines

Risk Update – February 2022

“We are ready to accept almost any explanation of the present crisis of our civilization except one: that the present state of the world may be the result of genuine error on our own part and that the pursuit of some of our most cherished ideals has apparently produced results utterly different from those which we expected.”                       Friedrich A. von Hayek, “The Road to Serfdom” We have used the above quote previously to describe the behaviour and rhetoric of central bankers. For any that have read Hayek’s magnum opus, you will know that he was using it much more broadly to…

unrecognizable male athlete climbing tightrope under cloudy sky

Risk Update – January 2022

Back in our May 2021 Update https://convex-strategies.com/2021/06/17/risk-update-may-2021/, we noted that past historical spikes in CPI, similar to what we were seeing then, had indeed all generally been transitory in nature. They had also all aligned with Federal Reserve tightening regimes and subsequent equity/asset market sell-offs. We went out on a limb and opined “that ‘tightening’ is, as of now, not currently a factor, in fact quite the opposite and particularly if one includes the Fed’s balance sheet in the analysis; still growing at $120bn per month. Far be it from us to use the old catch phrase that maybe ‘this…

brown dessert

Risk Update – December 2021

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Benjamin Franklin, circa 1736. For those in the more advanced metric world, there are 16 ounces in a pound, or adjusted that would be “28.35 grams of prevention is worth 453.59 grams of cure.” Turns out the esteemed Mr. Franklin, like ourselves, was an advocate of convexity and compounding. His math may not be exact but, to put it in our F1 Race Car terms, he is trying to measure the contribution of the brakes. Sadly, there has been scarce advancement on this quantification over time. As Nassim Taleb puts…