The Banking and Strategy Initiative

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US Economy: The Berkshire Hathaway annual meet and what’s with Hollande?

First ones first, Warren Buffet’s annual dog and pony show for the Berkshire Hathaway annual meet in Omaha, NE /Iowa ( meet up with CNBC) and more than $30k in furniture sales at Buffet’s local furniture store meant that Berkshire is still happy that markets will continue down as it adds up big stakes in Coke ( up to 9%) and IBM. Also the sage of Omaha is still looking for a couple of $20 bln deals  including M&A and Asia. Conoco Phillips is out and P&G is still in. McDonalds?

Services Indices fell in US and India last week but China’s Services PMI rose on the weekend to record levels HSBC nodding to a 53.3 figure meaning a good year ahead for US Exports to China in the very least. It also means that Secretary Hillary Clinton’s trip to China and Asia will remain useful to the US engine with key ignorance from US likely to become totally fractional for the fragile US economy even as ties with China, India and even Indonesia which managed a 6.3% growth this year likely to mean better US trade terms. India alone has $100 bln of trade with the USA.

Though UBS is still busy in Asia, Goldman Sachs leads the deal tables year to date with $5.5 bln in Equities and HSBC $9 bln in Debt. Deutsche Bank coming in 9th in both rankings. Asian specialist StanChart came in at no. 3  in Debt $5.5 bln

But then Asia has been seeing outflows from Emerging markets ETFs this time led by India even as governments backtrack on policy issues to encourage FDI. Meanwhile May being exceptionally hard on US markets, Fixed income markets have been ramping up with the 10 year yields down more than 10% in a month to below 2%. That has not changed the Treasury program to issue 4 week, 3 month and 6 month bills in amounts of $30 bln each every week

In a message that there could be more across the pond who do not understand the Euro currency system (from within), France and Greece chose Socialist and Anti Austerity governments with Francois Hollande’s regime meaning higher taxes for the Wealthy and a distance from Euro’s central management and the German government for France. However even as businesses and “rich people” pony up more taxes in France, US may get a Buffet Tax yet look on without much attachment as the Euro is unlikely to get weaker or lose any serious currency from the changes. However, now you know the topics for discussion when you swim across the pond for a Summer Holiday as US businesses try to make merry in the European chaos with increased market shares in banking and retail businesses. Caterpillar unfortunately, and other capex rich bulwarks of a recovery are still stymied by the flailing economies of mining and manufacturing economies of China and Europe as well.

The Consumer Credit report for March is released later in the afternoon.

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