WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN?

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By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

I think most do not realize how different the world is today from yesterday. Globalism is on life support, the result of Brexit and Trump’s election emphasizing economic nationalism versus multipolarity.

I think the globalist environment could potentially die in the next 60 days. Depending upon which poll one utilizes, the leading candidate in both Italy and France’s national elections are anti-EU. Even if pro-establishment candidates win, the closeness suggests great discord about the current macroeconomic and geopolitical environment.

What does this have to do with markets? Everything.

Since 2008, the vast majority of funds have gravitated to ETFs… ETFs which are primarily capitalization weighted structures where the big get bigger and the small get smaller. Mega capitalized growth issues, which in itself is an oxymoronic term, have greatly outperformed most other asset classes. In my view, this outperformance is a direct result of the globalist environment that grew exponentially under the Obama and current EU administration.

I rhetorically and conjecturally ask if the pathway to outperformance was only this simple by passively investing into some index… As inferred above, passive index investing has outperformed active stock managers since 2008. Some could make the case since 2005.

Yesterday, a WSJ headline stated Blackrock, is that the world’s largest asset manager with $5.1 trillion under management is reducing their exposure to active management in favor of passive ETFs.

What I found interesting, according to the article, active managed funds at Blackrock was only $317.3 billion three years ago and today stand at $275.1 billion, a relative rounding error as compared to their total assets under management of $5.1 trillion.

What happens to the passive investment strategy if globalism does implode? As I opined above, I believe the globalist environment has directly contributed to the capitalization driven mantra, where the mega capitalized growth issues greatly outperformed.

Is this about change? If economic nationalism again becomes the primary global geopolitical and macroeconomic catalyst, yes.

On a lighter note, the Who’s Roger Daltry is supporting both Brexit and bad-mouthed Hillary Clinton. When I read the headline, the lyrics from Won’t Get Fooled Again were loudly echoing:

There’s nothing in the streets
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again, no no

Yeaaah!
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

To remind all, Peter Townshend penned these words in 1971 in the midst of the social upheaval of that era and the new breed of politicians that all had erroneously thought had come around.

[Note: The 5/26/2006 issue of the National Review declared Won’t get Fooled Again as one of the 50 greatest conservative rock songs.]

Enough of the classic rock history lesson, equities edged insignificantly higher as data indicated crude inventories were not as great as anticipated. There was little reaction to the UK’s formal triggering of Brexit. Treasuries ended nominally lower in yield.

Last night the foreign markets were down. London was down 0.32%, Paris was down 0.11% and Frankfurt was up 0.01%. China was down 0.96%, Japan was down 0.80% and Hang Sang was down 0.37%.

The Dow should open little changed. The 10-year is flat at 2.38%.

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