Commentaries

Timely market commentaries from leading investment firms

Train Crash Preview

Today we will summarize something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Exactly how will we get from the credit crisis, which I think is coming in the next 12–18 months, to what I call the Great Reset, when the global debt will be “rationalized” via some form of nonpayment. Whatever you want to call it, I think a worldwide debt default is likely in the next 10–12 years.

Anticipating the Next Recession

In this issue, the Economics team looks at current recession risks in the U.S. and eurozone, and explores how rising oil prices will affect U.S. consumers.

Blockchain Will Completely Revolutionize How We Mine Gold and Precious Metals

This week I had the pleasure to attend Consensus 2018 in New York, the premiere gathering for the who’s who in blockchain, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Attendance doubled from last year to an estimated 8,500 people, all of them packed in a Hilton built for only 3,000. Ticket sales alone pulled in a whopping $17 million, while event booths—the largest of which belonged to Microsoft and IBM—generated untold millions more.

Are You Prepared for Rising Interest Rates?

Interest rates continue their upward trend. In March, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) hiked the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a target range of 1.5% to 1.75%, citing strength in the US labor market, a low unemployment rate and moderate economic growth.

Fixed-Income Outlook: Positioned for Choppier Waters

After several quarters of low volatility, tight spreads, and abundant liquidity, financial conditions are shifting.

Country Updates

Market updates from across the region.

Treasuries Signaling Full-On Inflationary Boom in the US

Ten-year US treasury rates broke out this week on the back of news that looks unequivocally like an inflationary boom. Earlier in the week the Atlanta wage tracker ticked back up to 3.3% year over year. Wages moving higher, check. Oil prices broke above $71/barrel. Commodity prices higher, check.

Outlook May 2018

Market signals have been decidedly mixed thus far into the year. By this time a year ago, the S&P 500 had already returned 5%. Today, in early May, the S&P 500 is down fractionally, while volatility and bond yields are up.

Where Can We Beat the Market?

We closed yesterday’s post on whether markets are efficient with the conclusion that it could be possible to beat the market. But, to do so, we would need either better information or to view things differently—specifically referencing time horizons as one way to do that. Let’s start with a couple of areas where better information is a real possibility. Then, we’ll take a deeper look at the second idea, which is both more subtle and more interesting.

A Strong Defense Can Win Championships: Actively Managing Your Cash and Short‑Term Investments

We are positioning our ultra-short and short-term bond portfolios with the goal of not only navigating rising rates but also ultimately benefiting from them.

Markets Unfazed by Rising Risk of Populism in Italy…for Now

While Italy’s bond yields have risen, investors have so far reacted relatively calmly to the rising probability of a populist Italian government. Based on the fundamentals, the potential downside scenario looms larger than markets seem willing to consider.

Fund Managers' Current Asset Allocation

In the past 9 months, US equities have outperformed Europe by 6% and the rest the world by 5%. Despite this, fund managers remain underweight the US. US equities should continue to outperform their global peers on a relative basis. Fund managers' inflation expectations are near a 14 year high...

EM Country Rotation Based On A Stock Factor Model

With the rapid development of single country ETFs, capturing factor alpha at the country level may prove to be an efficient, practical alternative to individual stock selection. In this study, we look at how effectively our internally-developed EM stock selection model can guide country overweights/underweights. Back testing shows that stock-level factor alpha can indeed be captured at the country level.

The Known Unknowns of US Sanctions Against Iran

The sanctions against Iran reinstated by US President Donald Trump raise two all-important questions that have no convincing answers. But they also raise a third question, about which financial markets are likely to be wrong.

This Oil Rally Could Have Much Further to Go

For more than a week now, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has been trading north of $70 per barrel, a level we haven’t seen since November 2014. Gas prices are likewise trending up, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.