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A roundup of what The Globe and Mail’s market strategist Scott Barlow is reading today on the Web

Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has apparently escaped Japan and turned up in Lebanon, despite leaving his passport with his lawyers.

There are entertaining rumours around that Mr. Ghosn was transported in a crate, like Tyrion Lannister in season five of Game of Thrones.

“Ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn says he fled Japan for Lebanon over ‘rigged’ justice system” – Report on Business

“Carlos Ghosn, Fallen Nissan Boss, Flees Japan to Escape ‘Political Persecution’” – New York Times

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The Melbourne Mercer Global Pensions Index was updated this week.

This benchmark “uses 40 metrics to assess whether a system leads to improved financial outcomes for retirees, whether it is sustainable and whether it has the trust and confidence of the community.”

The Netherlands and Denmark took the top two spots and Canada snuck in to the top ten, just ahead of Chile, at No. 9.

The U.S. ranked 16th and the U.K. came in 14th. Japan has some issues – its pension arrangement ranked 31st.

“These are the best (and worst) pension systems in the world” – Bloomberg

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Citi chief U.S. equity strategist Tobias Levkovich sees a lot of nervousness among his company’s portfolio manager clients but believes their concerns are misplaced,

“Investors seem worried that a January selloff could occur as profit-taking occurs post the calendar year end given that capital gains taxes would be deferred… [but] When studying January performance over time, the S&P 500 climbs 60%+ of the time, and the numbers edge higher after healthy returns in December. Indeed, the win rate hits 70%+ with better average and median returns. In this context, investors should not assume that 2020 starts off with a bust… One would think that the Street would be more excited after a near 30% rebound for equities, but the data just does not show it.”

“@SBarlow_ROB C's Levkovich thinks investor fears of a January sell-off are misplaced” – (research excerpt) Twitter

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With a similar sentiment, Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius published a research report arguing that a U.S. recession is not imminent,

“A review of the last century of US recessions highlights five major causes: industrial shocks and inventory imbalances; oil shocks; inflationary overheating that leads to aggressive rate hikes; financial imbalances and asset price crashes; and fiscal tightening. The first three causes of recession have become structurally less threatening, in our view… the changes underlying the Great Moderation appear intact, and we see the economy as structurally less recession-prone today. While new risks could emerge, none of the main sources of recent recessions—oil shocks, inflationary overheating, and financial imbalances—seem too concerning for now”

“@SBarlow_ROB GS: usual causes of U.S. recessions not apparent” – (research excerpt) Twitter

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Diversion: “The Decade in Which Everything Was Great But Felt Terrible” – The Atlantic

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