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Jim Reid

Analysis and studies from Jim Reid

6 Documents
June 6, 2018
About 250 years on from the first industrial revolution, we appear to be on the brink of a new age of automation, one dominated by complex robots and artificial intelligence. In this issue, we examine the impact of the next generation of automation on workers, industry, and society at large. Evidence from history, economics, and our industry analysts suggest that robots are more likely to complement us than replace us. [more]
May 30, 2018
In our 7th annual DB survey of global prices and living standards, we rank 50 cities that are relevant to global financial markets. We consider Quality of Life, Salaries, Rents and Disposable After-Rent Income, and our Weekend Getaway, Cheap Date and Bad Habits indices. We then look at the individual series of the prices of goods and services. Our survey highlights relative prices around the globe and how they have changed over time. [more]
April 19, 2018
When will the next major default cycle occur? We assess lead indicators of previous default cycles in an attempt to predict the timing of the next one. Most indicators with a relatively short lead time suggest no imminent concerns of rising defaults through 2018. But some longer-term lead time indicators are starting to issue warning signs. Much can change over the next 12-24 months to shift the outlook, but H1 2020 looks a realistic start of the next major default cycle based on our analysis at this stage. [more]
March 1, 2018
In the fourth part of our series on the impact of rising yields, we discuss the rising incidence of zombie firms in recent years. Bottom-up data of some 3,000 companies in the FTSE All World index show that the percentage of zombie firms has more than tripled to 2.0% of firms in 2016 from 0.6% in 1996. Such firms are defined as those with an interest coverage ratio under 1x for 2 consecutive years and a price to sales ratio under 3x. That matters because zombie firms are linked to fading business dynamism and because years of low interest rates should have led to fewer such firms, not more. There are early signs we are at a turning point, however. The numbers for 2017, with two-thirds of firms reporting, suggest that zombie firm incidence declined sharply last year. If this proves to be a real trend, it may give central banks confidence that continuing to raise rates and pull away from unconventional monetary policy will have some advantages. [more]
January 15, 2018
Against expectations, economies and markets powered ahead in 2017. Many predict more records to be broken in 2018. Yet, in many sectors, things are more complicated and 2018 may be the year of tipping points that augur unexpected change – both positive and negative. In this issue, we probe these tipping points and analyse the effects on economies and industries that investors may have ignored. [more]