The ESG and SRI Channel

The Message of the Bond Market

At the beginning of the year, most market strategists were in agreement that interest rates were going to rise in 2017. The reasons varied: some saw inflation climbing, pushing yields higher; others worried about bigger budget deficits; a few blamed the Federal Reserve, which was thought to be planning to raise short-term interest rates two or three times and shrink its balance sheet. Whatever the reason, interest rates were expected to head higher, so seeing the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield here at 2.3% is a surprise.

Fiscal Policy and the Muni Market: Five Areas to Watch

We examine the potential effects of Trump’s tax and infrastructure proposals on the muni market.

Amid Global Uncertainty, Pay Attention to this Manufacturing Index

Fresh purchasing manager’s index (PMI) readings for the month of March were also released, showing continued manufacturing sector expansion in the world’s largest economies, including the U.S., China and the eurozone. All of Zurich was under construction, it seemed, with cranes filling the skyline in every direction. And when I flew back into San Antonio, sections of the international airport were also under heavy construction. This all reflects strong local and national economic growth in Switzerland and the U.S.

Although the Recent Weakness in Bank Credit Growth May Not Be a Concern to Others, It Is to Me

If history is any guide, this weakening in bank credit growth excluding C&I loans is cause for concern with regard to the pace of economic activity.

Can Trump Dig Coal out of Its Slump?

Flanked by coal workers, President Donald Trump signed the American Energy Independence Executive Order this week, directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the Clean Power Plan, former President Barack Obama’s signature environmental policy. Unveiled in August 2015, the plan is intended to reduce carbon dioxide emitted from U.S. power plants 32 percent by 2030.

Why Things Aren’t What They Used to Be in Emerging Markets

The prospect of stabilizing commodity prices and improving corporate earnings has helped rebuild investor interest in emerging markets over the past year. But returning investors may find the constituents of today’s emerging markets are very different from those of the past.

Four Approaches to Responsible Investing

Responsible investing means different things to different people. There are pros and cons to each method of incorporating environmental, social and governance factors into investment portfolios.

"Blue Skies" Thinking in China

The Chinese leadership is now promising “to make our skies blue again” in a popular move to address an issue that has given rise to public protests across China against the industrial smog that blights so many cities. The solution to a pressing economic problem is now linked to an emotive popular issue.

Middle-Class Wage Stagnation Is a First-World Problem – The World is Getting Richer

A common lament during the presidential campaign was over middle-class income stagnation and the wealth of the top 1%. But are most people getting poorer while the rich get richer? In a sparkling – and delightfully short – new contribution to the econo-optimist genre, Johan Norberg, author of Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future, emphatically answers “no.”

America’s New Emphasis on Fiscal Policy

Investor exuberance is being supported by proposed fiscal policy such as lower corporate taxes, deregulation and historically large budget cuts to help finance the rebuilding of the nation’s infrastructure and military.

The Current State of the US Utilities Sector

US equities have generally been supercharged in the wake of the presidential election, but the utilities sector’s relative performance has dimmed instead.

Emerging Markets Can Trump US Policy Rhetoric

We believe the consensus view of a Trump presidency translating into a blanket “stay clear of ” investing in emerging markets is overly simplistic. Our analysis of President Trump’s proposed policy of trade protectionism suggests that the impact on emerging markets is more nuanced – the vulnerability of these markets is significantly lower today than it was five years ago...

As China's Bond Markets Open, Investor Interest Grows

Regulators and policymakers in China have been enticing foreign investors with easier access to its bond markets – and David Tan, Asia-Pacific fixed-income CIO with Allianz Global Investors, says it’s working. Of particular interest are green bonds: China has become the third-largest issuer and we expect continued growth in this area.

Can Trump's Economic Plan Jump-Start GDP Growth?

President Trump promises that his economic plan, if enacted, will result in 3-4% annual GDP growth. Yet I get the feeling most Americans don’t understand Trump’s economic plan. Maybe that’s because the mainstream media has criticized it at every turn, even though similar plans have jump-started the economy in the past – think Ronald Reagan.

This Natural Gas Opportunity Is Years in the Making

This week I was in beautiful Argentina with a diverse team of investors and mining executives. Together we toured various natural gas and crude oil mining projects in Tierra del Fuego, Mendoza and Santa Cruz, where we had the opportunity to speak with Governor Alicia Kirchner, elder sister to former Argentinian president Néstor Kirchner.