- US President Trump’s trial begins today in the Senate. Markets are unlikely to be especially interested, as there is no direct policy implication. While the trial does consume that most valuable of Washington commodities, time, it is unlikely to meaningfully affect the timing of fiscal stimulus.
- The announcement that a car company will use Bitcoin as a payment method (without pricing cars in Bitcoin, or necessarily keeping hold of Bitcoin received) moved the price. The ability of a single individual to move the spending power of Bitcoin has killed off any pretence that crypto could be a currency with a stable store of value. Events have highlighted a clash with the growth of sustainable investment. Crypto does significant environmental damage without creating any improvement in living standards. Can sustainability investors consider owning companies associated with crypto?
- The UK BRC total retail sales fell 1.3% y/y in January. So small a drop, when non-essential stores are closed by pandemic restrictions, again highlights the ability of consumers to adapt in the face of a crisis.
- German trade data has been released—imports for the previous month were revised stronger (of course), indicating stronger domestic demand than initially reported (of course). ECB Chief Economist Lane is due to speak today.