Entries by Zane Brown

    Will We See a Bolder Fed in 2017?

    December 14, 2016 3:20 PM by Zane Brown

    U.S. policymakers hiked rates as expected on December 14 and signaled the possibility of a more aggressive pace of policy tightening in 2017. 

    Another December, another rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed). As expected, the Fed’s policy-setting arm, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), raised its target policy rate 25 basis points at the conclusion of its two-day meeting on December 14 to a range of 0.50% to 0.75%.  (The last Fed rate hike occurred on December 15, 2015.)  

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    An Early Look Ahead to 2017

    October 21, 2016 12:15 PM by Zane Brown

    Here’s an advance look at macroeconomic and investment trends to watch next year.

    Even though it’s not yet Halloween, we already have started receiving requests for our views on prospects for various asset classes in the coming calendar year.

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    Reassuring Words from the Fed and the Bank of Japan

    September 21, 2016 4:45 PM by Zane Brown

    After the European Central Bank spooked investors earlier in the month, policymakers in the United States and Japan emphasized “lower for longer” rate expectations on September 21. 

    After the European Central Bank (ECB) disappointed investors two weeks ago by deciding not to step up its bond-buying program, subsequently spurring a rise in yields across the globe, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) and the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) offered more market-friendly policy statements on September 21. 

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    Yellen Tilts Toward Fed Action in December

    August 26, 2016 2:19 PM by Zane Brown

    In her closely watched speech at the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Fed chair signaled a higher likelihood of a rate hike in December. 

    Media coverage and memories of former U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) chairman Ben Bernanke’s surprise signaling of the second phase of quantitative easing (QE2) at the 2010 event of the Fed’s annual late-summer symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, kept investors’ attention focused on the opening speech from the current Fed chair, Janet Yellen, for the 2016 gathering. 

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    The Fed Thinks Global

    March 16, 2016 4:45 PM by Zane Brown

    The central bank's concern for developments overseas may have informed its decision, on March 16, to scale back rate-hike projections.

    The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) has made a point of emphasizing that it will be “data dependent” in formulating any future policy moves. However, the Fed threw markets a curve on March 16 by citing recent turmoil in global markets, as it held the fed funds target rate steady at 0.25–0.50%—and scaled back projections for additional rate hikes in 2016 and beyond.

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    ECB: Draghi Drops the Big One

    March 10, 2016 2:52 PM by Zane Brown

    Here’s a look at the investment implications of the European Central Bank’s massive new stimulus effort.

    European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi has said he would do “whatever it takes” to boost a stagnant eurozone economy. On March 10, global investors learned that in this context, “whatever” means “more than you can imagine.”

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    The Fed Faces a Changed World

    January 27, 2016 4:48 PM by Zane Brown

    The U.S. Federal Reserve’s January policy statement acknowledged global market turmoil and implied a less aggressive pace of rate hikes.

    What a difference a month makes. The world in which the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) conducted its two-day policy meeting on January 27 is quite a different place than the one that characterized its previous meeting in mid-December. 

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    U.S. Stocks: Keep Calm and Don't Sweat the Yuan

    January 7, 2016 5:40 PM by Zane Brown

    Investors may be overreacting to economic and currency developments in China. Sound familiar?

    The new year certainly has been less than happy thus far for U.S. equity markets, but it appears that just as investors did in August 2015, they may have overreacted to recent developments in China.

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    How Could ECB-Fed Divergence Affect LIBOR?

    December 28, 2015 11:45 AM by Zane Brown

    Here’s a look at how the benchmark lending rate might respond to the differing policy paths of U.S. and European central banks.

    How can we expect LIBOR—more formally, the London Interbank Offered Rate—to react if the European Central bank (ECB) is aggressively easing its monetary policy while the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) does the opposite?

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    The Fed Awakens

    December 16, 2015 4:13 PM by Zane Brown

    The long-awaited interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve is now a reality. Perhaps more important to investors, policymakers indicated that they may not be in a rush to tighten further. 

    As the NASA hands at Mission Control might say, “We have liftoff.” The U.S. Federal Reserve’s (Fed) policy-setting arm, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), delivered its long-promised 25 basis-point increase in the fed funds rate at the conclusion of its meeting on December 15–16. The Fed’s last rate hike was in June 2006.

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