Posterity is watching carefully as Shinzo Abe goes ahead with a sales-tax increase aimed at getting a handle on Japan’s huge debt burden, the world’s largest. Unfortunately history may judge him no better than Ryutaro Hashimoto, the last Japanese prime minister to kill an economic recovery with ill-timed fiscal tightening.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron underscored the dangers stemming from the first partial U.S. government shutdown in 17 years as Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel told allies the U.S. would fulfill its overseas duties.
UBS AG Chief Investment Officer Alexander Friedman recommends investors refrain from adding risk to their portfolios before the U.S. reaches agreement to avert more than $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to begin on Jan. 1.
UBS AG, the second-biggest manager of money for the wealthy, added overweight ratings on Japanese equities, the U.S. dollar and the Canadian dollar, according to the latest monthly letter from Chief Investment Officer Alexander Friedman.