Perspectives Blog

The U.S. labor market — Show me the money

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | November 17, 2014

…ns with some scarcity of qualified labor have seen some wage pressures, such as transportation, construction and mining. However, the gains look more one-time, with advances in 2013 now slowing in both mining and transportation. Leisure/hospitality continued wage gains are likely related to higher minimum wages recently enacted in some states (and less to increasing demand for these workers). This sector has the most meager level of wages in the…

Credit alternatives in government-backed debt

Columbia Management, Investment Team | June 23, 2014

One way investors may boost yields without taking on undue credit risk is through U.S. government agency debt. While many investors associate U.S. agency debt with very low yields, other types of agency debt can offer significant spreads to Treasuries with a modest decline in liquidity. We have been increasing our allocation to the agency market in core portfolios as a way to reduce credit risk while maintaining competitive yields. By Carl W….

Harvesting a New Moderation in Asia

Soo Nam Ng, Head of Asian Equities | June 23, 2014

Companies with competitive strengths still intact should have positive profit growth once adaptive change gets underway. The ability to control cost is essential to surviving the growth slowdown in Asia Pacific ex Japan. We do not just need companies to be adapted; we also need them to be positioned for adapting. A New Moderation in Asia In my previous article, I argued that conditions are in place for the slowdown in Asia to evolve into a sus…

Finding the sweet spots in corporate spending

Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research | February 24, 2014

Investors could find opportunity in capital expenditures. Strategic positioning in these areas is key to opportunity. Shale gas and automation are leading the charge in innovation. Cash balances at U.S. non-financials corporations have exploded in the post-crisis era, up 75% since the end of 2007. This is despite a rising return of cash to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases. However, capital expenditures and reinvestme…

How bad is China’s credit crisis?

Weili Jasmine Huang, Senior Portfolio Manager | February 3, 2014

We look at the scope and impact of China’s credit crisis We believe the possibility of a financial meltdown is low We discuss how resolution of the crisis may unfold News of a trust product on the brink of default has deepened the concerns of increasing instability of China’s financial system. The risk of defaults on trust and wealth management products will likely continue to impact markets. We believe that the shadow banking issue will…