Displaying items by tag: yields
Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Jerome Powell spoke last week on a panel hosted by the ECB, and relayed his frustration about the ongoing inflation pressures in the US economy. Powell said the economy’s most important concern is getting people vaccinated and containing Covid’s delta variant. Powell said the key inflationary pressures remain supply chain bottlenecks in the US economy. These supply constraints have the U.S.’s key inflationary measure (core personal consumption expenditure) elevated to its highest level in 30 years. The FOMC has raised their expectation for inflation from 3% to 3.7%, and Powell said this could continue into 2022. Powell’s Analysis was backed up by both Japan and the ECB’s respective leaders.
FINSUM: The supply shock to the economy remains as chip shortages still persist. As long as supply chains remain disrupted the unemployment/GDP and inflationary goals of the Fed will remain in conflict.
Environmental, social, and governance investing is reaching a new market just about every month these days, but ESG blew past a huge one this week. Socially conscious investing capped a quarter of all new debt sales. Between corporations and countries, the ESG movement pushed out $391 billion in new debt this year. Companies like Enel SpA are leading the way in Italy, being pushed by the strong arm of European governments. The goal is to have Europe be a leader in climate change. However, investors are paying a premium to get ahold of the bonds. What many are calling ‘grenium’ is the excess being commanded by these socially conscious investments as practically everyone in the bond market is tracking ESG ratings.
FINSUM: Europe is a leader in the ESG movement, but its bond market might be a bit saturated. Look to the American or even emerging markets to get a piece of socially conscious bond investing.
The bond market seems to have lost all touch with reality. Yields are extremely low, and given the more relaxed inflation reading this month, seem likely to stay pinned. Now consider this: European corporate debt real yields just turned negative. Yes, you are paying for the privilege of holding corporate debt. The ICE BofA index of European high-yield bonds is now at 2.34%, well below inflation.
FINSUM: Is there were ever a sign of a peak, this is it. Bond yields have nowhere to go but up, as there is no defensible logic that they could sustainably move lower. Unfortunately, it seems as though bonds and equity could move hand in hand, as the catalyst for big losses would be the Fed, which would trigger both asset classes.
Income investors and many wealthy clients have struggled to find the outlet post-pandemic for relatively safe capital accumulation, but real estate investment trusts are that release valve. Reflation trade, stimulus-driven output in the economy, is driving a boom in commercial and residential properties. Reopening of the parts of the economy is driving REITs like EPR Properties, which hold movie theaters, ski resorts, water parks, indoor skydiving. It’s not limited to just adventure opportunities, data centers, cannabis cultivation, and crypto mining facilities are all burgeoning opportunities in REITs. David Auerbach of World Equity Group says that capital raising is ‘in vogue in the REIT sector because they proxy traditional capital appreciation vehicles. Ground leases in particular are one of the best investments in this sector. Along with additional measures that can be taken for a tax advantage, ground leases offer the upside of equity with maturity risks and capital structure to bonds.
FINSUM: The flight to safe assets is driving a groundswell of opportunities in REITs. With the economy reopening, and stimulus pumping through it, REITs are an opportunity to hit the safe return of bonds with the equity upside.
When you say bond legend, only one name likely comes to mind (let’s leave Gundlach out of this for a minute): Bill Gross. And old Bill always has an opinion, and this week it is a very strong one: “bonds are trash”. Bill says that bonds are now in the investment garbage can because Fed tapering in the first half of 2022 will likely cause a rise in Treasury yields from 1.3% now to 2% next year, causing an overall loss of around 3% over the next 12 months. According to Gross, “Cash has been trash for a long time but there are now new contenders for the investment garbage can. Intermediate to long-term bond funds are in that trash receptacle for sure”.
FINSUM: This is logically sound, but the timing is entirely dependent on the Fed.