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      • Finding Value Across the Capital Structure

        31 October 2019   |  

        One of my fundamental beliefs about investing in credit markets is it’s possible to find the best risk-adjusted return opportunities through fundamental credit analysis and value identification across the capital structure—flexing between high yield bonds and bank loans. I take a value investor’s approach to the below-investment grade market to look for opportunities tied to dislocation and mispricing.

      • In the News

        16 October 2019   |  

        Earnings season kicks off as usual with the big financials, while the UK and EU seem to be making progress. 

      • Interest-Rate Limbo—How Low Can You Go?

        15 October 2019   |  

        Interest rates

        Just when it seems like monetary policy has gotten as abnormal as possible, a monetary authority says, “Hold my beer.” Among the more extraordinary examples is and has been Japan, where the Bank of Japan is considering ways to force already negative interest rates further negative.

        This is the painting of oneself into a corner. On one hand, Japan is carrying a tremendous government debt load—well over 200% of GDP at last count. On the other, all that government spending seems not to be generating the anticipated economic activity. Rather, growth is stagnant, as is inflation, while the population is declining—a deadly combo. Meanwhile, the government’s hyper-focus on keeping exports up requires it to maintain an artificially undervalued yen.

      • Greece's Dramatic Decade

        11 October 2019   |  

        What a difference a decade makes: Greece, which not long ago was bailed out not once, but twice, and whose interest rates seemed headed for triple digits, has issued negative-yielding debt. Exhibit 1 shows generic Greek 10-year yields since 2010—and their dramatic fall. 

      • In the News

        10 October 2019   |  

        A busy day with ample interesting headlines.

      • In the News

        08 October 2019   |  

        A smattering of global headlines.

        Investors Should Fear More Competition Among Ratings Companies
        Does competition among ratings agencies tend to lower the bar or raise it? The evidence presented here would suggest it lowers the bar. Perhaps the way to address the ratings agencies is to fundamentally restructure the business model—for example, if potential buyers paid for ratings, instead of the issuers, agencies would have an incentive to provide an accurate rating to the buyer, rather than satisfy the issuer they were looking sufficiently favorably on their business. Just one idea (with its own flaws—no solution is perfect). 

      • In the News

        04 October 2019   |  

        Softer economic data continue rolling in—prompting rather unsurprising reactions from both equity and bond markets. Plus, we have a new head of the IMF along with a deep dive into the Mexican oil industry to round out the week.

      • In the News

        02 October 2019   |  

        Just one day into the quarter, markets are off to a rough start—likely resurfacing memories of Q4 2018 and raising questions about whether we’re in for a redux. Time will tell, of course, and in the meantime, here are some of today’s interesting headlines.

      • Brazil Welcomes Trade, Ricardo Cheers

        24 September 2019   |  

        Flags of world nations

        President Jair Bolsonaro’s young tenure as Brazil’s leader has been tumultuous since he was sworn in on January 1, 2019. But from purely an economic standpoint, one clear positive has been his leadership on trade. Since the EU and Mercosur (the South American trade bloc) inked a deal to create a new trade bloc in June, Bolsonaro has taken steps aimed at holding up Brazil’s end—the most recent: lifting tariffs on some 2,300 imported products (no doubt raising a posthumous cheer from David Ricardo).

      • About That Irish Backstop …

        20 September 2019   |  

        A key hold-up in Brexit negotiations is the so-called Irish backstop—which has to do with the fact that the only physical border between the UK and an EU country is that between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. This introduces questions about how trade between the two will be conducted once the UK (and Northern Ireland with it) is no longer in the EU, but Ireland remains part of the common market. 

        In one sense, these tensions go back centuries, resurrecting questions that have long-plagued the island about its proper place—as a country, in relation to the UK, and in relation to the rest of Europe. And then there is the age-old religious divide between Catholics and Protestants.