Zach Pandl is a portfolio manager and strategist for Columbia Management, based in Minneapolis. Mr. Pandl focuses on research relating to the macroeconomy and government policy and their implications for interest rate markets. He chairs the Columbia Management Interest Rate Committee, which is responsible for formulating and articulating the firm’s view on interest rates in the U.S. and other developed markets. Mr. Pandl joined the firm in 2012 and has been a member of the investment community since 2006.
Prior to joining Columbia Management, Mr. Pandl was senior economist at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York. There he was responsible for original research on the U.S. economy and interest rates and the development of proprietary analytical tools. Previously, he held positions at Nomura Securities and Lehman Brothers.
Mr. Pandl earned his B.S. in economics from the University of St. Thomas and his Masters in economics from New York University.
Markets are starting to make understandable inference that Fed officials see a fixed timeline for rate hikes. Implied volatility is low because perceived policy uncertainty is low. We remain focused on modest slack and sturdy growth. Recent Fed communication brings to mind Goodhart’s Law: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a
The idea of low neutral funds rate has surprising currency, but could erode with more evidence of solid growth. We believe incoming information suggests the neutral funds rate would be moving higher, not lower. We see neutral funds rate at 3.75-4.00%, which implies an overvalued Treasury market. The hottest topic in the bond market at
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
Dovish comments by Fed officials lead us to believe that normalization in interest rates could take a more circuitous route. While the steady economic recovery makes higher yields inevitable, the path we take to get there is dependent on the Yellen Fed’s policy approach. We remain underweight duration, but are now less sure 3-5yr yields
In searching for explanations for the steep decline in the U.S. labor force participation rate analysts have rightly stressed the importance of retiring baby boomers. Increase in disability share accounts for 20-25% of the drop in the labor force participation rate since 2007 (vs ~45% for retirements). We expect this shift to be essentially permanent,
Compared to the market consensus, our views have been more negative on three key duration fundamentals. Following recent remarks by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, we are now less confident about how to read Yellen’s policy strategy. We are still expecting higher rates; however, we now have less conviction that 3-5yr Treasuries will continue to underperform on
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
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