The market returns this quarter might not set your heart afire, but that is no indication that we’ve had a boring three months in the global markets. On the contrary, it’s been anything but dull. We see a few themes bubbling up and challenging old ways of thinking. Inflation is here. The Social Security cost of living increase for 2022 is now officially set at 5.9%. That’s the biggest increase in four decades.
The other issue that’s pursuing all of us, hydra-headed, is the supply and demand imbalance in global markets. The pandemic was so disruptive to global commerce and changed so many patterns of behavior that supply chains haven’t been able to adapt. That’s created the “Everything Shortage” and it won’t be an easy fix. In the same vein, China’s massive oversupply of real estate has created a looming threat of collapse for a number of its largest companies. Imagine a whole host of butterflies flapping their wings and creating tornadoes across the globe – that’s the kind of chaos we’re seeing now. There are so many things out of balance that it will take a while before we are back to the harmony in global supply and demand that we took for granted a few short years ago.