Here Are 10 Macro Risks Keeping Morgan Stanley WM Awake at Night
(Bloomberg) -- They’re not so much black or gray swans as they are huge, hulking condors.
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management has released a list of 10 geopolitical risks looming for markets in 2019 that’s keeping its team awake at night. Call it a fear gauge for the globe.
While some scenarios are seen as “frightening but unlikely,” many of the themes will be familiar to investors stumbling to the end of the current, bruising year.
Here’s the full list, from most to least likely:
1. Trade Escalation Weighs on Margins
2. New Hawkish ECB Chair
3. Middle East and Lower for Longer Oil
4. Forget Populism, Anti-Establishment and Inclusion
5. Perfect Western Democratic Storm
6. Tighter Liquidity and EM Crisis
7. Hard Brexit or Continuing Resolution
8. Forget Soft Landing, China Political Implosion
9. Cyber Attack on Critical Infrastructure
10. WMD Attack
“Markets have an uncanny way of looking past geopolitical risk in the face of strong economic and corporate fundamentals,” the team including Scott Helfstein wrote in a research note on Tuesday. “Geopolitics does occasionally matter, especially in the face of deteriorating fundamentals.”
Sure, some of these look a little far-fetched. But many of them will hit close to home in the current tumultuous markets, where trade stress, seemingly hawkish central bankers and tighter liquidity have all likely played a role.
Helfstein and his colleagues say decelerating global growth means “investors may find themselves facing markets more vulnerable to geopolitical turbulence than those of 2018.”
It’s not all bad news, though. Included in the note is a recap on the 10 risks they saw for this year -- and only four went on to weigh on markets.
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