Daily Brief – US Jobs

Humphrey Percy
Chairman and Founder
Mon 17 Jun 2024

US Jobs

With Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell stating that the US jobs market is now back to where it was 5 years ago ie prior to the Pandemic, it is all too easy to accept his word for it; except while there are 1.2 job openings for every 1 job seeker which is the same ratio as in 2019, the fact remains that employers in the USA are now slower to hire due to high interest rates and slower to fire due to the competition for good staff. Unclear what that means in the immediate future for the rest of the world but worth noting that the USA traditional home of hire and fire is less quick to do both.

USD/JPY 157.30.

French Bonds

It started off as a French wobble after last weekend’s European elections and then by the end of the week there were fears that the uncertainty of the outcome of the snap French election called by President Macron might blow up into a full debt crisis. The reason for that is that as we have written before France has a very high level of indebtedness (110% of GDP) only behind Greece and Italy in the EU and pretty much the same as Spain, Portugal and Belgium. Germany has the best level of 60% of GDP. The upshot is that the yields on French bonds are now higher than those of Spain and on a par with Portugal. While analysts do not expect a full crisis, the market is on watch as France cannot expect a bailout from the EU and will have to fix it alone.

EUR/USD 1.0705.

Chinese EVs

A further twist on the 38% import tariffs that the EU plans to introduce on Chinese electric vehicles. It is France that is leading the charge for those punitive tariffs but Germany is anti. Why? BMW, VW and Mercedes all have significant manufacturing plants in China and they believe that it is only a matter of time before Beijing retaliate by slapping their own tariffs on larger engined models which will be a disaster for German auto manufacturers.

GBP/USD 1.2680.

Chilli Hot Danes

No not a weapon of mass destruction from the axis of evil but maybe almost as bad and insidious at least according to the fun loving Danish authorities. Denmark’s National Food Institute has recalled three types of Korean Samyang noodles on the grounds that they contain too much capsaicin which is an active component of chilli peppers. So what? Well it turns out that the amount of capsaicin in those Korean noodles popular in Denmark is sufficient not only to poison but to kill consumers. Plenty of fun poked at the Danes as a result along the lines of Korean noodles too hot to handle for delicate Danes etc.

GBP/EUR 1.1845.

Screaming Lord Sutch by numbers

It was 25 years ago today that  self styled rock star and enthusiastic but never successful politician Screaming Lord Sutch aged 58 left this world. Having released 8 albums, 11 singles and contested 40 elections between 1963 and 1997. Screaming Lord Sutch decided to end things by hanging himself at his London home. Unfortunately as can be imagined from the lyrics below, this, his best known number was understandably hardly a commercial success.

Ah-ha-ha, aaah!
(The Ripper, Jack the Ripper)
(The Ripper, Jack the Ripper)
There’s a man who walks the streets of London late at night
(The Ripper, Jack the Ripper)
With a little black bag that’s oh-so tight
(The Ripper, Jack the Ripper)
He’s got a big black cloak hangin’ down his back
(The Ripper, Jack the Ripper)
Well, that’s one big cat I just hate to fight
(The Ripper, Jack the Ripper)
When he walks down the streets
Every girl he meets he says; is you name Mary Blood?
(The Ripper, Jack the Ripper)
(The Ripper, Jack the Ripper)

When she walks down the streets, he’s never far behind
(The Ripper, Jack the Ripper)
With his little black bag and his one track mind
(The Ripper, Jack the Ripper)
Well, he really catches up when the lights go down…………

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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