Commentaries

Timely market commentaries from leading investment firms

At Least We Can Be Thankful for the 11 "Fair" Traders

Most of the rest of the world is so unfair to us (U.S.) when it comes to trade. If it were not for this unfairness, perhaps the U.S would rank higher than ninth in the world in per capita GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), according to the World Bank.

Things We Are Thankful For

We’re thankful for this year’s economic growth in the U.S., which has exceeded most expectations. A soft first quarter has been followed by two quarters in which real activity expanded at an annual pace exceeding 3%.

Where Might Credit Risks Exist? Follow the Supply

In 2017, corporate credit, including high yield, saw a resurgence in interest within a longer-term trend of increasing supply. In recent weeks, however, it has shown some cracks.

The Upside of Unintended Consequences

There could always be an exogenous event like military conflict with North Korea, strife in the Middle East that cuts off oil flow or Russian aggression in the Baltics that unsettles markets. The market is assuming none of that will happen, and if the market is right, we have at least one to two years to go before we get into serious trouble. My overall conclusion is that there are significant investment opportunities outside the United States and many portfolio managers are under-weighted globally.

Taking Tally of the Global Rally

As we look ahead to 2018, it’s important to first recognize how significant 2017 has been for international markets. This is the eighth year of a global bull market, but prior to 2017, international markets had trailed the US for four consecutive years — and for six of the last seven years.

Household Debt Rises to New Record of $13 Trillion

A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last week found that US household debt hit another record high in the 3Q of almost $13 trillion. The largest increases came in student loans, auto debt and credit cards. I’ll share the details with you just below.

Who Could Win? The Impact of Tax Reform on Financial and Real Estate Stocks

The US House of Representatives passed a tax reform bill on November 16. How could it affect financial and real estate stocks?

Is a New Crisis Brewing in Germany and Europe?

Many of us were under the assumption that we could go into the holiday season with Europe pretty much checked off the risk list. The economic news is good and getting better, and the major elections that have caused so much angst have passed. Not so fast, bub.

The Risk of Taking Risks

In the concluding piece of our three-part series on principles of the low-return imperative, we discuss why we believe investors can no longer take on risks they don't expect to get paid for—and identify two key risks we see as unrewarded.

The “Twin” Deficits

Nothing causes more anger, confusion, and bewilderment than the trade deficit – that is, except for the federal budget deficit. In past decades, these were often called “the twin deficits.” They are not identical, but they are related.

Striving for a Better World

Giving Day, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is fast approaching and with it the year-end charitable-giving season kicks off in earnest. In light of that, here is the response to one of the most common refrains we hear as we work with clients to structure their giving programs: “How can I ensure that my gifts truly make an impact?”

Chinese Corporate Credit: Five Themes for 2018

Growth in China’s offshore corporate bond market seems likely to continue in 2018, driven by the financing needs of investment grade state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and private sector...

Eastern Europe and the Polish Surprise

My recent travels took me to Eastern Europe, where I had the opportunity to meet with colleagues and discuss the latest developments in the region. I thought I’d invite Greg Konieczny, who is based in Romania, to share some of his insights.

Green Grass and High Tides: Earnings Stellar But Not Without Risk

The book is closing on third quarter earnings, which were stellar; but is it time to worry about a bar set too high in 2018?

Merrill Memo

Charles Merrill issued the aforementioned memo to clients on March 31, 1928. At the end of the first quarter in 1928 the D-J Industrial Average was around 240. It subsequently rose to a September 3, 1929 peak of 381.17, which was the price peak for the Industrials that would not be surpassed until 1954, not that we are predicting anything like that here.