UBS Intellectual Capital

@UBSIC | UBS Global Wealth Management cuts through the economic and political news that drives financial markets and discusses how they affect your investment decisions.

Supreme Court Sides with States on Sales Tax

This week the US Supreme Court decided that state governments can compel retailers to collect and remit applicable sales taxes, regardless of whether …

Online Life

Ten Percent of the World Lacks Electricity – Here's How That's About to Change

<b>By Nicole Decker, James Dobson, Rudolf Leemann, and Giovanni Staunovo</b><p>The outlook for global electricity appears bright. We believe it is no …

Renewable Energy

Welcome to an Electric Revolution

<b>By Nicole Decker, James Dobson, Rudolf Leemann, and Giovanni Staunovo</b><p>A vision for a modern energy future is driving government-sponsored economic …

Renewable Energy

Artificial Intelligence Crosses a New Frontier

In 1997, an IBM's Big Blue computer beat Gary Kasparov, a chess grandmaster and world champion, in a six game match. In 2011, IBM's Watson beat two …

Artificial Intelligence

Uncertainty Over Trade War Could Drag On Growth

<b>By Dirk Effenberger, Luca Henzen, Jason Draho, and Brian Rose</b><p>The first round of bilateral tariffs is around the corner. On Friday 15 June, the US …

Economy

Full Global Trade War Still Appears Unlikely

<b>By Dirk Effenberger, Luca Henzen, Jason Draho, and Brian Rose</b><p>The relevance of rising protectionism to a global portfolio depends on the economic …

Globalization

What China Trade Woes Mean for Markets

President Donald Trump’s threat to ratchet up US import tariffs on Chinese goods has led to renewed investor turbulence this week, sparking the worst …

Stock Markets

US Public Finances Are Unsustainable

The outlook for US public finances, unhealthy to begin with, has been made significantly worse by recent policy changes. The tax reform legislation …

Retirement

Strong Dollar and Rising Interest Rates Could Pressure Gold

In general, rising interest rates are negative for the price of gold. Since gold and other metals pay no interest, the cost of holding them is …

Economics

Autos Need More Palladium To Convert Emissions

The price of the precious metal palladium tends to move more in sync with base metals than its precious peers, which has been the case this year. As …

Automotive Industry

What's in Store at This Week's OPEC Meeting

The top item at the OPEC meeting starting this Friday will be production policy and the fate of the production cut agreement which OPEC put in place …

Oil

Central Banks Are Emptying the Punchbowl, Not Removing It

Last week – as widely anticipated - the European Central Bank announced that by the end of the year it will end its quantitative easing program, …

Economics

Here's What Argentina's Political Chess Games Mean for Markets

Argentina and the International Monetary Fund announced on 8 June the terms of a three-year financial aid agreement amounting to $50 billion. After a …

Central Banks

Technology Breakthroughs Take Time To Impact Productivity

Technological disruption, demographic trends, and rising inequality have affected the US economy over the past decade. Quantifying that impact is …

Economics

As Baby Boomers Retire, Economic Growth Prospects Sink

Estimating the variables that define an economy isn’t easy, so all estimates should be viewed with some circumspection. Potential growth is at least …

Economics

You Can’t See These Economic Concepts, But They’re There

Equilibrium is a fundamental concept in economic analysis. The equilibrium price in a competitive market is set where supply equals demand. If demand …

Economics

Some Hints for Reading the Business Cycle Tea Leaves

Figuring out where we are in the US business cycle is essential for asset allocation. First, we need to gauge if the economy is overheating or if …

Interest Rates

The Flaw of Averages

In the 1950s, the US Air Force tasked a team of engineers with redesigning its cockpits. To help determine the dimensions for the cockpit (windshield …

Financial Markets

Silver Will Likely Outshine Gold (and Other Precious Metals)

Silver prices are nearly flat for the year, but we still expect the white metal to outperform other precious metals. Following a weak first quarter …

Precious Metals

Headless in Seattle: City Just Decapitated A Contentious Tax

Just several weeks after approving the so-called 'Head Tax' the Seattle City Council voted 7-2 this week to repeal it. The timing is interesting, in …

City Politics

The Downside of Higher Wages

The title of this article is the counterintuitive punchline of a recent study by Derek Tharp and Michael Kitces, which found that the "safe savings …

Retirement

House Prices in London Are Starting To Stabilize

London home prices have underperformed the United Kingdom during only one year in the last decade, but growth in London average prices has lagged for …

Housing

UK Housing Should See Modest Growth In the Coming Years

One of the significant characteristics of the UK house-building industry since the financial crisis has been the demise of the small builder. In …

Housing

The World Cup Offers a Respite from Politics

Starting Thursday, much of the world will have a chance to tune itself out of the political noise that has engulfed headlines and shaken financial …

Economy

Here's What's in Store for UK Mortgages

UK mortgage rates may not have increased substantially, but a decline is unlikely. The Bank of England increased base rates, used for calculating …

Property (UK)

Home Price Rises in London Lag UK Average

The consensus outlook for UK house price growth in 2018 and 2019 is about 2-3% per annum. We believe this is achievable given the current economic …

Investing

How to Find Real Risks Amid Market Noise

Market-moving news has been abundant of late: oil prices rose following the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal; the US-North Korea summit was …

Iran Nuclear Deal

Trade War Tensions With China May Last for Years

A slowdown is still in the cards for China, and we see more headwinds to come in the second half of 2018. Trade tensions eased tentatively after the …

Economy

Why You Should Keep an Eye on Financial and Energy Stocks

Like many investors, we keep an eye on how so-called value stocks perform compared with growth stocks. The former represent companies that appear …

Investing

The Cars of the Future are Here

Nothing screams "the future" quite like flying cars. After generations of science fiction have promised us that "where we're going, we don't need …

Administrative Law