The Economist | Margin call(第三期早起训练营来啦)

一天一篇经济学人 2021-07-23 06:43
01 原文阅读 791words(不包括标题)

本文选自经济学人20210716Finance and economics版块

Margin call
 
Why investors are anxious about a profits squeeze in 2022
 
It is mid-july, so the football season in England will start soon. You probably hadn’t noticed it had ended. The earnings season, when listed companies in America reveal their quarterly results, comes round with similarly tedious frequency and also never seems to stop. The second-quarter season that kicks off this week ought to stand out, though. Public companies in aggregate are expected to reveal the largest increase in profits since the bounce-back from the Great Recession of 2008-09.
 
Optimism about earnings has driven share prices higher in the past year. But financial markets are relentlessly forward-looking. And with bumper earnings already in the bag, they now have less to look forward to. A rally in bond prices since March and a sell-off in some cyclical stocks point to concerns about slower gdp growth. A plausible case can be made that the earnings outlook might worsen as quickly as it improved.
 
Start with the bottom-up forecasts for profits by company analysts. They expect earnings per share for the msci world index of stocks to rise by 40% in 2021, according to FactSet, a data provider. That is a good deal higher than at the start of the year, when the forecast was around 25%. A slowdown to a growth rate of 10% is expected in 2022. Then again forecasts tend to start out at 10%, a nice round number, before being revised upwards (as in, say, 2017) or downwards (as in 2019) as news comes in.

Profits swing around a lot. For big businesses, a lot of costs are either fixed or do not vary much with production. Firms could in principle fire workers in a recession and hire them back in a boom so that costs go up and down with revenues. But this is not a great way to run a business. A consequence of a mostly stable cost base is that, when sales rise or fall, profits rise and fall by a lot more. This “operating leverage” is especially powerful for companies in cyclical businesses, such as oil, mining and heavy industry. Indeed, changes in earnings forecasts are largely driven by cyclical stocks.

If global gdp growth falls, then profits will fall faster. There is already some evidence of a slowdown. The output and orders readings in the global manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (pmi), a closely watched marker of activity, fell in June. Global retail sales surged in March, but have gone sideways since. The evident slowdown in China’s economy may be a portent, writes Michael Hartnett of Bank of America. China emerged from lockdown sooner; its pmi peaked earlier; and its bond yields started falling four months before Treasury yields did.
 
Slower economic growth is one part of a classic profit squeeze. The other is rising costs. A variety of bottlenecks have pushed up the prices of key inputs, such as semiconductors. Too much is made of this, says Robert Buckland of Citigroup, a bank. Input prices typically go up a lot in the early stages of a global recovery. Big listed companies usually absorb them without much damage to profits. Rapid sales growth trumps the input-cost effect. The real swing factor is wages, which are the bulk of firms’ costs. The recovery is barely a year old, but there is already evidence of a tight labour market.
  
In America the ratio of vacancies to new hires, a measure of the difficulty firms have in filling jobs, reached a record in May. Businesses that were forced to close during lockdowns have lost some workers to other industries. Others are dropping out of the labour force altogether. Thanks to the recent surge in the prices of assets, including homes, some people are choosing to retire early, says Michael Wilson of Morgan Stanley.
 
An obvious remedy for rising costs would be to raise prices. Though inflation is surging in America, that reflects price rises for a small number of items. Many businesses tend not to raise prices straight away. They are mindful of losing customers to rivals who don’t raise prices. And there are administrative costs to changing prices frequently. A study published in 2008 by Emi Nakamura and Jon Steinsson, two academics, found that the median duration of prices is between eight and 11 months. Prices of food and petrol change monthly but those of a lot of services only change once a year.
 
A profits squeeze is not certain. Any number of influences could give fresh impetus to global gdp growth: a bumper infrastructure bill in America; more policy stimulus in China; or some concrete signs that supply bottlenecks are easing. Still, while the earnings season now under way ought to be a sunny one, margins look vulnerable.
 

02 我们招人啦  
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请大家一定仔细阅读下推文  我们招人啦! 满足条件再加小编,设置严格的条件,只是希望能保证译文质量,对30w+读者负责!


03 第三期早起训练营  

【为什么要早起?】

可以看下推文:如此“优秀”的我为什么要早起且能早起?

【概述】0625开营以来,陆续开了第一期,第二期早期训练营,一直有小伙伴私信问我:第三期什么时候开?这不它来了,有兴趣的小伙伴不要再错过了,每期30天。

玩法】每人需要交费50元,其中70%放入奖池,最后完成全部打卡的小伙伴可以平分奖池,30%用于运营费用,小编会在群内几位招募小伙伴作为小助理,负责统计监督等工作,并付相应的费用。

【我要怎么做】:本次打卡营将采取腾讯会议开视频的模式,周一到周六早上5点半到6点半在线上会议室一起学习,镜头前学习,学习内容不限,学习完后需要在小程序里打卡,打卡内容:必须包括在线自习的截图(小助理后续也会统计)。

【打卡时间】5:30AM~7:30AM在小程序里打卡都有效(前提是5:30AM~6:30AM在镜头前自习了,小助理负责审核),周日休息,小程序内打卡;过时无效

【群内规则】不扯淡闲聊,不讨论政治,性,宗教以及敏感问题,不发广告,违者一律踢出

【活动周期】2021.07.26-2021.08.22

【试用范围】希望早起的小伙伴们,且下情况的小伙伴,不推荐参加早起打卡营:

1.心脏方面有过往病史
2.和上班时间冲突
3.不能接受活动规则的要求
4.网络不稳定频率高的(需要在腾讯会议中打开镜头保持最少50分钟)

【如何报名】扫码报名,付款后会跳出群二维码扫码加入

请各位仔细考虑后再报名,一旦交费,概不退款。

【往期评价】

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