The Fed Did Nothing—but Bond Investors Can Act Now

The US Federal Reserve surprised the market on September 18 when it announced that it wouldn’t “taper” its monthly US$85 billion asset purchase program until the economy strengthens. Many investors saw this as a reprieve. We see it as a chance to position bond portfolios for rising rates.

read more

Illinois and California: Similar Challenges, Different Approaches

Joe Rosenblum (pictured), Neene Jenkins and John Ceffalio Every state faces challenges when it comes to balancing the books, but not every state is equally effective at tackling them. The responses of California and Illinois to post-2008 difficulties show how different the approaches can be—and how much is at stake.

read more

Companies Can Do More to Unlock Shareholder Value

As the global recession and financial crisis move further back in the rearview mirror, companies have been more proactive about using their balance sheets in ways that enhance shareholder value. But we think they can do a lot more.

read more

Expect Business as Usual After the German Election

Many pundits believe the German federal election on September 22 will prove a turning point in the sovereign debt-crisis. We are less convinced.

read more

Time to Bench the Equity Benchmark Too?

While fixed-income investors are growing increasingly aware of the risks of benchmark-oriented bond portfolios in a period of rising rates, equity investors have recently also started to question the wisdom of cap-weighted indices. We would go even further and argue that the performance of a cap-weighted benchmark may be irrelevant for the long-term goals of [...]

read more

The Party’s Over. Why Own Commodities?

Jon Ruff (pictured) and Seth J. Masters Commodity prices soared during the first decade of this century. But now the party’s over: new sources of supply are coming on line just as demand from China is slowing, leading to expectations of price declines. So should investors shun commodity-related investments?

read more

GSE Reform Lumbers Up to the Starting Gate

Momentum is finally building to do something with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The bipartisan Corker-Warner proposal, now making the rounds on Capitol Hill, aims to dissolve the GSEs and start fresh. Meanwhile, Fannie and Freddie are testing innovative mortgage-security structures that transfer the risk of borrower defaults to the private sector.

read more

Is China Past Its Manufacturing Prime?

China has been an incredible export engine of manufactured goods over the past decade and the central player of the BRICs era. But mounting competition from other countries is gradually pulling production away from China. How should investors proceed?

read more

Archives by Month:

Archives by Subject: