Perspectives Blog

How bad is China’s credit crisis?

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

…continue the financial market liberalization reform. However, it seems like the central government took that safest near-term route by avoiding any contagion risk and significantly reducing potential losses, particularly for public investors. In the absence of a comprehensive framework for the treatment of inevitable further losses in these vehicles, that path seems prudent. Will there be a financial meltdown in China? There are some important r…

Obamacare’s insurance exchanges

Columbia Management, Investment Team | December 9, 2013

…tial targets. The federal government is running the insurance exchanges for many Republican-led states that have declined to build their own exchanges; there are 17 state exchanges. Not surprisingly, initial enrollment on all public exchanges has skewed heavily toward Medicaid and the less healthy. Underrepresented are young, healthy individuals needed to fill risk pools forecast by government actuaries. A number of states are rolling beneficiari…

Biotech’s beneficiaries: How outsourcing is improving the sector and spreading the wealth

Aaron Reames, Senior Equity Analyst | February 24, 2014

Conditions favor biotech outperformance of broader markets for at least a few more quarters. Outsourcing offers biotech firms varied advantages, from cost reduction to enhancing credibility. The sector’s success and the outsourcing trend is fueling ancillary businesses, notably specialty REITs, CROs and research tools companies. As biotech indices continue to surpass all-time highs, one must contemplate if there is additional room to run. We c…

Navigating rising rates

Columbia Management, Investment Team | June 11, 2013

e greater risk of default or price volatility from changes in credit quality of individual issuers. It is not possible to invest directly in any of the unmanaged indices listed below. The Barclays U.S. Treasury Index includes public obligations of the U.S. Treasury that have remaining maturities of more than one year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500 Index) is an unmanaged list of common stocks that includes 500 large companies. T…

Municipal market ghosts of past, present and yet to come

James Dearborn, Head of Municipal Bonds | December 9, 2013

December 3, 2013 — a seminal day in muni pension discussion. Ghost of Christmas Past – good times were had by all. Ghost of Christmas Present – sobering reality as negotiations continue to go nowhere. Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come – rising above the Detroit debacle. In the annals of public finance history, December 3, 2013, will likely be remembered as a seminal day in which the nature and direction of debate about large unfunded pensio…

Are municipal bond rating agencies shifting the goalposts (again)?

Columbia Management Municipal Investment Team, | September 30, 2013

In 2010, public ratings agencies upgraded en masse, or “recalibrated,” tens of thousands of municipal bonds without without a formal review of each obligor’s underlying credit characteristics. Recently, Moody’s and S&P announced new revisions to their General Obligation (GO) rating methodologies. S&P’s revision is anticipated to result in an upward migration of their local GO ratings (60% unchanged, 30% upgraded, 10% downgraded), while…

Retail sector outlook – It’s a share game

Mari Shor, Senior Equity Analyst | March 17, 2014

…share. Recent data points across the consumer space have been mixed, and retailers and investors are struggling to sort through the noise to determine underlying demand. To recap 2013, apparel retailers underperformed other sectors within consumer discretionary from a sales and stock perspective given payroll tax headwinds and lack of fashion newness. December and January sales were worse than expected for many companies due in part to disrupti…