Financial markets are now questioning the time limit on an infinite QE policy and what lies beyond its expiration. While volatility and corrections are unpleasant, they can motivate investors to focus on fundamental issues such as capital investment and labor productivity. The transition from our focus on extraordinary monetary policy may be painful, but it
In a highly indebted economy, there is no fixed cap on the level of interest rates. Any increase in interest rates must be consistent with tolerable debt service ratios, the existing stock of debt and private sector savings. It’s in this context where Fed officials’ delicate approach to the exit process looks most understandable. The
Corporate profit margins can come under pronounced pressure from various forms of disruption. Firms need to invest in technology and distribution systems to support customer preferences and stay competitive. The key question is whether a company has adequately invested in next generation products, distribution or true advances in productivity. A mainstay of stock market appreciation
Recent market performance, particularly in September, has been negative across a widespread array of asset classes as we have seen the U.S. dollar exchange rate rise with increasing intensity in recent months. The worst returns, not coincidentally, were delivered by the very assets that have shown historically high sensitivity to dollar strength. This disruption to
Current sentiment indicators do not suggest that Europe is heading back towards recession, though GDP growth will remain subdued. If Q3 sees a rebound, full QE may be unlikely this year, but any further weakness will increase the pressure on the ECB to act. In a less certain growth environment, we believe stocks that are
For the right sized asset manager, disruptions in the fixed income market can create short-term opportunities. Liquidity has deteriorated in recent years and can escalate when a mega manager needs to sell a large position. The case for exercising caution around interest rates is strong, but investors shouldn’t paint all bonds with the same brush.
In Japan, there is general optimism for a steady economic recovery, with a prevailing sense of confidence in reasonable valuations and a low bar for incremental improvement. Companies that can take advantage of global business opportunities look far more attractive than those simply waiting for a rising national tide to lift their boats. A re-allocation