Perspectives Blog

Fed outlook over the short and longer run

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | October 23, 2013

Heightened uncertainty around quantitative easing is mostly a short run problem. We see roughly flat odds of 20% for tapering at each of the next four meetings—December, January, March and April—and an additional 20% chance that the current QE pace continues beyond that. We have turned modestly more cautious about interest rate risk in our portfolios. One of the ironies of Ben Bernanke’s tenure is that he set out with a goal to improve Fed com…

What investors should know about Fed forward guidance

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | March 24, 2014

The Fed’s communication for 2014 looks like the strongest type of forward guidance, one that clarifies the existing policy approach and backs up its statements. Current statements for 2015 and beyond are closer to the weakest type of forward guidance, which means they should be considered less credible. Look for the market’s heavy reliance on Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) forecasts to fade over time. Last week, at Janet Yellen’s first…

The Yellen Fed

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | October 9, 2013

President Obama to nominate Janet Yellen for Fed Chair. Yellen has strongly supported the Fed’s unconventional easing measures in recent years, and we expect that her nomination will therefore be interpreted as favorable to duration and carry trades. Yellen has described an “optimal control” framework, which could indicate a coming revision to the current structure of the FOMC’s forward guidance. According to press reports, Preside…

U.S. rates – Waiting for the sound

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | May 5, 2014

Latest data showing faster growth and shrinking gaps. Normalizing economy creates asymmetry in monetary policy outlook. Fed officials might need to make a sound before interest rates move higher in more meaningful way. By now it is widely appreciated that gross domestic product (GDP) is a deeply flawed tool for tracking economic growth. But the contrast between the Q1 GDP report and other available data on the economy was nonetheless remarkabl…

The Fed’s decision tree

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | October 8, 2013

The outlook for quantitative easing remains difficult to gauge. We see decent odds that tapering begins in the not-too-distant future—primarily because we expect firm growth. If Fed officials were to revise their views on the costs and/or efficacy of QE, they may attempt to lean harder on the forward guidance tool. Last week the debate about quantitative easing (QE) was quickly overshadowed by the fiscal circus in Washington. The economic impa…

Could tapering be good for stocks?

Fred Copper, Senior Portfolio Manager | December 16, 2013

…of QE is cut (tapered), the market may actually be cheered by the end of what has always been perceived as a temporary and extreme form of life support. Few issues currently cause as much investor angst as the timing of the Fed’s eventual reduction in the pace of quantitative easing, aka tapering. In May, when the Fed first spoke concretely about slowing the rate at which they are buying government and mortgage securities, interest rates around…

U.S. rates – An intriguing six point three

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | June 9, 2014

Fed and consensus unemployment forecasts are likely to come down after last week’s jobs report. It is not obvious what lower unemployment rate forecasts mean for U.S. monetary policy. June FOMC meeting should shed light on Fed’s worldview—in particular, whether the U3 unemployment rate still matters. The latest jobs report may look pretty bland on the surface, but I can assure you that it will generate plenty of intrigue among close observers…