This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but public trust in the federal government is eroding. Sixty years ago, 75 percent of Americans expressed faith in the government to do the right thing “most of the time” or “just about always.” Seventy-five percent! You can’t get 75 percent of people to agree on anything now, as the recent “Laurel or Yanny” video proved.
The 10-year Treasury yield has been the topic of conversation lately among fixed-income investors. Earlier this month, the T-note closed above 3 percent for the first time since July 2011, prompting some market watchers to call time on the three-decade Treasury bull market. (Bond prices fall as yields rise, and vice versa.) For other investors, these concerns might extend into the $3.8 trillion municipal bond market.
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.
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.
Effective May 14, 2018, new regulations will be adopted aimed at increasing the transparency of bond pricing. The new rules require dealers of corporate, municipal and agency bonds to clearly disclose bond markups and provide retail investors with relevant price comparisons.
This week I had the opportunity to sit down with Marco Streng, the wunderkind bitcoin visionary behind Genesis Mining. Genesis, as many of you reading this might know, is the world’s largest cloud bitcoin mining company, with over 2 million customers worldwide. It calls Iceland home, whose cool climate and affordable green energy are ideal for mining newly minted virgin cryptocurrencies. Last year, Genesis helped connect the blockchain sector and traditional capital markets by partnering with HIVE Blockchain Technologies, the first publicly traded digital currency mining firm.
The Northern Trust economics team explores the risks of overstretched state and local governments, dramatic actions in Argentina and Turkey, and the recent difficulty of the carry trade.
Global growth has been accelerating, but there are a few potential headwinds that could cause it to stall. Three of our senior investment leaders—Ed Perks, Chris Molumphy and Stephen Dover—recently participated in a panel discussion on the potential impact of trade tensions, inflation and other issues on their radar.
A review of last month’s market-moving events across countries and asset classes.
On May 14, new MSRB regulations will require the disclosure of the often dramatic markups that retail investors are subject to when buying individual municipal bonds. Will this accelerate the shift into active municipal bond management?