Once a month the Investment Committee of Erste Asset Management convenes in order to discuss the medium-term market outlook. We are going to start a new blog, where we will report on what drives our investment professionals and what risks they see.
I have recently read an interesting research report by one of our independent research partners, Gavekal Research. Gavekal Research is based in Hong Kong, and one of its strengths is its deep knowledge of the Asian market. The piece titled “Good Governance, Poor Performance” discusses good corporate governance. This is a central pillar of traditional as well as sustainable investment.
Making sense of it all
I will be upfront about it: to me, the Taylor rule is still a helpful tool to assess the future monetary policy of the US central bank. However, it should not be used as blueprint without thinking it through. Instead, it should be seen as heuristic tool that helps structure one’s analysis.
Taylor Rule – precise formula, vague Inputs
Since 2008, the key-lending rates in the USA seem to have been significantly too low as measured by the Taylor rule. With some economists blaming Alan Greenspan’s loose monetary policy as partially responsible for the financial crisis of 2008, the question is whether we are in for a déjà-vu.
The US central bank has embarked on a cycle of interest rate hikes. The question is: by how much will the interest rates increase still, and at what point will it reach a level detrimental to the economy, where equities should be regrouped into asset classes less sensitive to the economic cycle?
It is almost impossible to speak with fund managers and not address the economy or monetary policy. Why is that so? This blog entry will try to answer the question on the basis of data from the US equity market from 1950 onwards.
The IFO business climate index calculated by the Munich-based IFO Institute is regarded as the most important German economic indicator. At 115.1, the value released for June last week was the highest since the launch in January 1991. It was also clearly above the value that had been expected by the financial analysts on average. The signs for substantial economic growth in Germany seem favourable.
Imagine a fairy that grants you three wishes. What would you wish for? The answer would be very easy for me. I would just like to know if the economy is caught up in a recession of has embarked on an expansionary phase a year from now. And whether the central bank will be pursuing an expansive or restrictive policy. If I got these two wishes granted, I would even forego the third one. Or, as a good fund manager, I might engage in risk management and save up for bad times. Growth and monetary policy are of significant relevance to the return of almost all asset classes.
The rate of inflation has been quite substantial most recently, in comparison with the recent past and surprisingly so for many market participants. The harmonised consumer price index for the Eurozone was 2% higher on a year-on-year basis in February, which was also the highest value since 2013.
In our annual press conference I have presented the most relevant topics for the investment year 2017. The most relevant ones are: stronger expected global growth, an increase in inflation and elevated event risks due to political reasons.