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Digital Subscriptions > The Hedge Fund Journal > Issue 111 - February 2016 > A Gloomy Start to 2016 for Markets

A Gloomy Start to 2016 for Markets

Economies worldwide find themselves in a tough structural spot


Many of the best known hedge fund managers are grimly bearish, and Davos certainly amplified the gloom. It seems increasingly arduous to take the bullish side of the debate.

We believe any sense of optimism is made much more difficult by at least three factors:

• The number of independent drivers (including China, oil, central bank policy and politics);

• The obscurity that shrouds them;

• The lack of an historical precedent to which we can turn for help.

For a century or more, political stability and progress in the west has been premised on the hope that economic growth solves everything. Population growth, rising economic participation, increasing productivity and expanding levels of debt have sustained this approach until the global financial crisis erupted in 2008. But now, suddenly, we seem to have to worry about each of these factors. This year it has started to feel like we can no longer postpone the question as to how it will all end. We feel the sense of urgency is manifest in three main worries over central bank strategy:

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