The Municipal Bonds Channel

The Biggest Global Tax Break Ever Bubbles Up from Texas Oil Industry

Oil prices continue to remain low, however, thanks in large part to the ingenuity of Texas fracking companies. As I told Liz, this has served as a multibillion-dollar “peace dividend” that has mostly helped net importing markets, including “Chindia”—China and India combined, where 40 percent of the world’s population lives—Japan and the European Union.

The Tipping Point for Central Banks

In the financial arena, investors often blame unfortunate outcomes on officials within the world’s central banks.

Global Economic Perspective: September

The issues that have dominated news cycles in recent weeks should not obscure the robust underlying fundamentals of the US economy, in our view. Though some short-term weather-related disruption is possible, the economy seems to be maintaining its path of moderately strong growth, aided by healthy contributions from consumer spending and business investment.

The Impossible Math of the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve officially signaled the beginning of its balance sheet run-off. At this point, that’s old news. But, today the Fed released the Z.1 Flow of Funds, which adds to the intrigue of the balance sheet run-off. Why?

A Case for Multi-Asset Investing: The Low-Return Imperative

The data suggests that future market returns are likely to be lower than in the past. Can a multi-asset investing approach help make up the difference?

The Fed’s Balancing (Sheet) Act

The Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting played out largely as expected, as US monetary policymakers left the central bank’s benchmark short-term interest rate unchanged. The Fed did clarify when it would begin to unwind its hefty balance sheet, and updated its economic forecasts and interest-rate projections.

High Yield Market Update

The U.S. high yield bond market has grown substantially to around $1.3 trillion today. At the same time, the global high yield market has become more geographically diverse. North America’s share of the market has fallen from 87.1% in 2005 to 62.6% in 2016.

Myths and Misconceptions

History shows, and investment strategists tout, that small cap stocks are the best performing asset class. While small caps outperformed the runner-up, large cap stocks, over the last nearly 100 years, research has shown that the outperformance hasn’t persisted over all multi-year time periods and that the outperformance is concentrated in microcap stocks.

How to Trade in Today’s Placid Bond Markets

Today’s low bond market volatility won’t last forever. But knowing whether a correction will come next week or next year isn’t so important. Having an efficient trading strategy that can execute in both tranquil and turbulent markets is.

How the German Election Could Dictate Europe’s Future Direction

As Germany prepares to go to the polls in its general election, David Zahn, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s head of European fixed income, considers what the result could mean for Europe, the European Union and the eurozone.

The German Election and Markets

What might the German election mean for markets?

U.S. Debt Tops $20 Trillion - Stocks Soar To Record Highs

We touch on several bases in today’s letter that are not entirely related. We begin with the 800-pound gorilla in the room – the fact that the US national debt topped $20 trillion last week.

Are Diversifying Assets Up Next in the Return-Seeking Cycle?

After a sustained period of return leadership by U.S. stocks, a number of diversifying assets now appear poised for outperformance.

Time to Take a (Measured) Risk?

Astute investors know that buying when others are fearful can be a good strategy. Despite remarkably low market volatility, investors continue to avoid risk. This month, we examine previous periods of risk and investor behavior, when investors discarded normal valuation measures, threw caution to the wind, and suffered the consequences.

Worried About Rising Rates? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Be

Should tighter monetary policy on both sides of the Atlantic worry bond investors? We don’t think so. Bonds have historically delivered positive returns when interest rates rise—particularly when they rise gradually.