Charles-Henry Monchau

Chief Investment Officer

Chart #1 — 

The Fed keeps rates unchanged but still surprises the market

As expected, the US Federal Reserve voted unanimously to leave the benchmark rate unchanged in the target range of 5.25% - 5.5% for the fourth consecutive meeting.

Importantly, the Federal Open Market Committee removed language that indicated a willingness to continue raising interest rates until inflation has been brought under control and is on track to meet the Fed's 2% inflation target.

However, the statement was much more hawkish than expected, as the Fed aggressively countered the market's dovish stance: "The Committee does not believe that it will be appropriate to reduce the target range until it has gained greater confidence that inflation is approaching 2% on a sustainable basis".

The Fed did, however, leave the door open to reductions at some point: "The Committee believes that the risks to the achievement of its employment and inflation objectives are coming into balance."

Perhaps more importantly, the Fed removed the following sentence from the statement: "The US banking system is sound and resilient". This sentence has had a negative impact on investor sentiment as it comes at a time when a new US bank is experiencing difficulties. (see next point).


Source: Bloomberg, HolgerZ

Chart #2 — 

New York Community Bank stock tumbled

This is not the daily chart of a crypto or a speculative stock, but the share price performance of New York Community Bank during Wednesday's trading session: this regional bank acquired the assets of Signature Bank (which went bankrupt last year) in 2023. On Wednesday, the share price fell by nearly 36%.

The stock collapsed following the publication of very poor fourth-quarter results, which led to a substantial reduction in its dividend.

As Bloomberg reported, the bank reduced its quarterly payout to shareholders to 5 cents. Analysts had expected the dividend to remain at 17 cents. The deteriorating credit outlook contributed to this unexpected loss, as the company increased its loan loss provisions by more than expected.

The loss for the last three months of last year was $252 million, while analysts had forecast a profit of $206 million. Sales of $886 million fell short of expectations, which were for $932 million.

But the scale of the losses clearly shocked investors, who thought SVB was a one-off and that the Fed had solved the problem.



Source: Bloomberg 

Chart #3 — 

US banks continue to face very large unrealised losses

US banks are facing unrealised losses of around $685 billion (updated to the third quarter). This problem will not go away until the Federal Reserve starts cutting interest rates. As mentioned above, New York Community Bancorp could be the next victim.

Picture3-Feb-05-2024-01-35-21-9881-PMSource: Barchart

Chart #4 — 

European equities at all-time lows relative to US equities


The price/earnings ratio (forecast for the next 12 months) of the Europe Stoxx 600 index is at its lowest level ever compared with the S&P 500 index. European equities are trading at a 33% discount to their US counterparts, an all-time low.



Source: Win Smart, IBES

Chart #5 — 

Times are changing for UPS

Transport company UPS is to cut 12,000 jobs after its CEO described the year as "difficult and disappointing".

The company said it was looking to cut annual costs by $1 billion. UPS shares fell 6% after the announcement.

Over the past three months, redundancies have spread rapidly from technology companies to almost every sector. Shipping is the latest sector to suffer.

It should be noted that this announcement by UPS came 6 months after UPS committed to offering a salary package of $170,000 per year for a van driver. At the time, UPS was desperate to find new drivers amid a shortage of jobseekers. In the U.S, the tide can turn very quickly...


Source: The New York Times, The Kobeissi Letter

Chart #6 — 

The history of world exports over the last 150 years summarised in one chart

Historically, the world's largest economies are also those that dominate international trade abroad.

The visualisation below from Visual Capitalist uses data from the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) and the World Trade Organization to show how global export shares have changed over the last 150 years for some of the world's biggest powers.

In the 19th century, Britain was the richest and most advanced economy in the world. It was also the most industrialised economy, with a third of the population employed in manufacturing.

As a result, British finished goods were produced so efficiently and so cheaply that they were widely traded around the world and could easily be found in almost any other market.

The British Empire also benefited from its colonies, with India accounting for 42% of its exports by the end of the century. During this period, Great Britain dominated merchandise exports, followed by Germany.

After the Second World War, the United States overtook British and German exports. Unlike Europe and many other parts of the world which experienced the devastation and economic hardship of war, the United States emerged relatively unscathed in terms of physical destruction and with a greatly strengthened industrial base.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Japan experienced rapid export growth, driven by electronics products, and became one of the United States' main trading partners.

Today, China dominates the trade market, accounting for almost 15% of all goods. China's manufacturing industry has become a leader in the production of almost everything, from everyday household items to integral parts for car manufacturing.


Source: Visual Capitalist

Chart #7 — 

A few demographic facts…

Out of 1,000 newborns, what is the global breakdown? Asia takes the lion's share, with more than half of all births. Africa comes next. Europe is a long way behind and will have to cope with an ageing population.


pic 7-Feb-05-2024-01-40-20-0581-PM

Source: Amazing Maps


This marketing document has been issued by Bank Syz Ltd. It is not intended for distribution to, publication, provision or use by individuals or legal entities that are citizens of or reside in a state, country or jurisdiction in which applicable laws and regulations prohibit its distribution, publication, provision or use. It is not directed to any person or entity to whom it would be illegal to send such marketing material. This document is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer, solicitation or recommendation for the subscription, purchase, sale or safekeeping of any security or financial instrument or for the engagement in any other transaction, as the provision of any investment advice or service, or as a contractual document. Nothing in this document constitutes an investment, legal, tax or accounting advice or a representation that any investment or strategy is suitable or appropriate for an investor's particular and individual circumstances, nor does it constitute a personalized investment advice for any investor. This document reflects the information, opinions and comments of Bank Syz Ltd. as of the date of its publication, which are subject to change without notice. The opinions and comments of the authors in this document reflect their current views and may not coincide with those of other Syz Group entities or third parties, which may have reached different conclusions. The market valuations, terms and calculations contained herein are estimates only. The information provided comes from sources deemed reliable, but Bank Syz Ltd. does not guarantee its completeness, accuracy, reliability and actuality. Past performance gives no indication of nor guarantees current or future results. Bank Syz Ltd. accepts no liability for any loss arising from the use of this document.

Read More

Straight from the Desk

Syz the moment

Live feeds, charts, breaking stories, all day long.

Thinking out loud

Sign up for our weekly email highlighting the most popular posts.

Follow us

Thinking out loud

Investing with intelligence

Our latest research, commentary and market outlooks