Beyond Bulls & Bears

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Fixed Income

Who Said the Rules of the Game Could Change Because LIBOR’s Going Away?

There’s been a lot of discussion in the fixed income world about the end of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and what might replace it. But what hasn’t been as widely discussed is an important consequence for investors in this space: changes to LIBOR language in new-issue and amended credit agreements—particularly how these changes are implemented. Mark Boyadjian, director of our Floating Rate Debt Group, and Reema Agarwal, vice president and director of research, explain.

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Fixed Income

Fed Remains in Tightening Mode in March

The US Federal Reserve remained in tightening mode at its March monetary policy meeting, raising its benchmark interest rate for the sixth time since December 2015. Chris Molumphy, chief investment officer, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, offers his take on the market implications—and why he feels it’s more important for investors to focus on the US economy’s (healthy) fundamentals rather than the exact number of rate increases this year.

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Fixed Income

Italian Election Result: Political Uncertainty is Business as Usual for Italy

No outright winner emerged from the Italian general election, but as David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s head of European Fixed Income, explains that situation is normal for Italy. He expects a muted response from European bond markets but cautions there may be consequences down the road if the authorities fail to take the need for reform seriously.

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Fixed Income

1-on-1 With Michael Hasenstab: Market Changes and Challenges

Take an around-the-world market tour with Templeton Global Macro CIO Michael Hasenstab in our latest “Talking Markets” podcast. Hasenstab shares his thoughts on navigating today’s market challenges. He covers recent market volatility, inflationary threats in the United States, upcoming elections in Latin America, potential “fault lines” in Europe and credit risk in China.

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Fixed Income

The Underappreciated Story: How Brexit Threatens to Shift the Balance of Power in the EU

For fixed income investors eyeing opportunities in Europe, 2018 should be the year economic fundamentals reassert their worth, according to David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s head of European Fixed Income. Nonetheless, Zahn believes many investors are underappreciating the long-term implications for Europe of the biggest political uncertainty for the region—Brexit.

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Fixed Income

Will US Tax Reform Alter the Muni Landscape?

With a new US tax law now upon us, many investors are questioning what the potential impacts may be on their portfolios—and on their potential investment selections going forward. Rafael Costas and Sheila Amoroso, co-directors of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s Municipal Bond Department, address the major areas of potential impact the new legislation could have on muni bonds, and offer their thoughts around each of these areas.

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Perspectives

Global Investment Outlook 2018: Reflections on Growing Economies and Fading Stimulus

As markets shift away from the recovery era of monetary accommodation amid synchronized global growth, some investors may be wondering where potential opportunities can be found. We present a summary outlook for the year ahead from Franklin Templeton’s global macro, fixed income, equity and multi-asset investment teams.

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Fixed Income

Fed Delivers Another December Rate Hike

“It’s important to note that the United States is still historically in a very low interest-rate environment, and frankly, keeping rates close to zero for a prolonged period really isn’t healthy. In our view, this tightening cycle actually represents a normalizing of rates.” - Christopher Molumphy, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group

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Fixed Income

Why Australia May Not Join the Rate-Tightening Party

“We don’t think the RBA is likely to raise rates in the next 12-18 months. There is a heavy load on the shoulders of Australian households. Australia’s economy is benefiting from global growth, particularly in China, but that growth would have to be quite significant to reduce household debt or improve wage growth. If these issues don’t improve in the next year or so, we believe the RBA’s next course of action could be a rate cut.” – Chris Siniakov and Andrew Canobi, Australia Fixed Income team

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Fixed Income

The Fed’s Long Unwinding Road

“The multi-year massive expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet has had a recognized powerful effect on asset markets—lowering yields and flattening the yield curve. Yet investors now seem to expect that the reverse process will have little impact, if any. We disagree.” - Michael Hasenstab, Templeton Global Macro

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Multi-Asset

A Selective Look at Corporate Credit

“In line with a positive assessment of economic fundamentals, we view credit conditions as favorable. Interest rates remain low, corporate balance sheets generally remain strong and debt-service costs appear manageable. Markets still appear receptive to debt offerings.” – Ed Perks, Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions

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Fixed Income

The Fed’s Balancing (Sheet) Act

The Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting played out largely as expected, as US monetary policymakers left the central bank’s benchmark short-term interest rate unchanged. The Fed did clarify when it would begin to unwind its hefty balance sheet, and updated its economic forecasts and interest-rate projections. Chris Molumphy, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group CIO, says the communication from the latest Fed meeting should not rattle the markets much, and that the next interest-rate hike now seems most likely to come in December.