LDI - A Statistical and Qualitative Review of Q1 2016 & Outlook for 2016

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LDI - Q1 2016 Review & Outlook

Andrew Catalan, CFA

Andrew Catalan, CFA - Managing Director & Senior Portfolio Manager of the Liability Driven Investing group

Background

We believe things are not as they should be. As we show later in Chart 4, $7 trillion of locally issued sovereign debt is trading with yields below zero. Who would have imagined that they would get paid to borrow money or pay to invest just a few years ago? These are not necessarily the proverbial “risk-free” sovereigns but also countries like Spain and Italy who are not out of the Eurozone woods, and smaller ones like Latvia, and Slovenia. These are the times in which we find ourselves. The correlation between oil prices and equities/spreads has increased substantially, driving greater volatility. While the extra bucks saved at the pump should stimulate the economy, lower oil prices have had a more dramatic impact on countries and companies dependent on the commodity. And so the year commenced with a massive sell-off across risky assets as investors feared the worst. Talk of recession was rampant and, although not justified in the short run, quite feasible in the medium term. We have modestly reduced our expectations for U.S. growth this year and the Fed’s dovish comments and actions support this forecast.

 

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