U.S. consumers have taken a more cautious attitude toward debt and been more selective about using it for discretionary purchases. With consumers using credit cards less and using debit cards much more, the supports for higher discretionary spending are keyed off income and wages and also employment. With low debt use and income growth holding
Today’s low unemployment rate indicates modest slack in labor market, which implies earlier Fed rate hikes and/or more inflation risk. The decline in labor force participation in recent years now looks mostly structural. Investors should remain cautious around U.S. interest rate risk despite a solid first half of 2014. Excerpted from Zach Pandl’s newest whitepaper
IMCA Jeff Knight Interview The Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) interviewed Jeff Knight recently and he spoke about the three pillars of a resilient portfolio for today’s environment. Many investors are looking to preserve post-crisis gains and bolster the defensive dimension of their portfolios to better withstand volatility. In this video, Jeff Knight, Global Head
Long-maturity bond yields are determined at a global level. Abnormally low forward rates are not just a U.S. phenomenon: there’s been a similar shift in the relationship between rates and growth across developed markets. If global rates remain persistently low, financial conditions will eventually need to tighten in other ways to offset this unexpected stimulus.
The impact of Iraq’s turmoil on oil prices has been fairly muted, but any escalation of violence could pose a serious threat to the stability of global oil markets. With Iraq accounting for the majority of OPEC’s production growth, the market has started to rethink long term supply-demand dynamics and adjust commodity forecasts. Longer term
Evidence of data dependency at the June FOMC meeting suggests policy will respond to unemployment and inflation surprises. We are more confident the Fed’s reaction function is (nearly) done moving. We therefore remain cautious about exposure to U.S. interest rate risk, especially at the middle of the yield curve. The June FOMC meeting contained a
Key investment professionals review the first half of 2014 and share their insights into what may be ahead for the second half of the year. Interest rates Zach Pandl, Portfolio manager and strategist Review: Government bond yields declined in early 2014, both in the U.S. and in other developed market economies. This surprising change in