Beyond Bulls & Bears

European Elections: Big Changes, or Business as Usual?
Fixed Income

European Elections: Big Changes, or Business as Usual?

Many observers are predicting that European elections later this month will usher a wave of populist representatives into the European Parliament. David Zahn, Head of European Fixed Income, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, believes there may be a shift in political balance, but suggests the ability of extremists at either end of the political spectrum to dramatically alter the direction of the European Union is likely to be limited.

Changing Dynamics and New Opportunities in Municipal Bonds
Fixed Income

Changing Dynamics and New Opportunities in Municipal Bonds

Many investors flock to municipal bonds because of potential tax advantages. While this year’s taxes are probably already done and dusted, Franklin Templeton’s municipal bond team felt it was an appropriate time to revisit the opportunities and risks that recent US tax reform poses for the space. Sheila Amoroso and Christopher Sperry discuss how constrained supply is impacting the market.

On My Mind: Trade Wars—The Dog That Didn’t Bark
Fixed Income

On My Mind: Trade Wars—The Dog That Didn’t Bark

The prospect of a “trade war” between the United States and China has caused some investor trepidation over the past year. But are the fears of economic fallout from this “war” warranted? And, was there ever really a war at all? Franklin Templeton Fixed Income CIO Sonal Desai weighs in.

Steady Fed Maintains Dovish Stance
Fixed Income

Steady Fed Maintains Dovish Stance

The US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates steady at its March meeting came as little surprise, but its updated “dot plot” projections were interpreted by markets as sending a decidedly more dovish signal than expected. Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group CIO Sonal Desai offers her take on the meeting, and why she feels markets shouldn’t read too much into the dots.

Do Teachers’ Strikes Have Us Picketing California School District Bonds?
Fixed Income

Do Teachers’ Strikes Have Us Picketing California School District Bonds?

Two large teacher’s strikes in California have made headlines this year, one in Los Angeles and another in Oakland. Neither was prolonged, but both highlight funding concerns in these and other communities. Jennifer Johnston of our Municipal Bond department explains the role investors play in funding public education through municipal bonds.

MPs Say No to No Deal, but an Accidental Hard Brexit Remains a Possibility
Fixed Income

MPs Say No to No Deal, but an Accidental Hard Brexit Remains a Possibility

UK members of parliament have voted to reject a situation in which the United Kingdom crashes out of the European Union without a deal. But with only days until the official leave date, the options for a tidy resolution are limited. David Zahn explains why he expects the UK government now to seek an extension to the Brexit negotiations.

On My Mind: Modern Magical Thinking
Fixed Income

On My Mind: Modern Magical Thinking

In economic (and political) circles, “Modern Monetary Theory” has gotten some buzz of late. What does it mean—and does it have any merit? Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Chief Investment Officer Sonal Desai thinks it’s not only potentially dangerous, but offers intellectual fuel for populism.

Meet the Manager: Sheila Amoroso
Fixed Income

Meet the Manager: Sheila Amoroso

Some people seem to have a career path in place from an early age, while others just sort of stumble into one. Sheila Amoroso, director of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s municipal bond department, is in the latter camp. You’d probably be hard-pressed to find many young women who aspire to be municipal bond managers—and Sheila was no exception. But, as she made her first foray into financial services, she found the work interesting, challenging and rewarding. And after more than 30 years with Franklin Templeton, that’s still the case.

On My Mind: The Fed Will Hike Again—Because It Can
Fixed Income

On My Mind: The Fed Will Hike Again—Because It Can

While the financial markets seem to be betting on a very extended pause in the US Federal Reserve’s multiyear tightening cycle, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group Chief Investment Officer Sonal Desai has another idea. Here, she makes the case that interest-rate hikes may still be on the table this year.

Reinventing Cars—Risks and Rewards on the Transportation Highway
Fixed Income

Reinventing Cars—Risks and Rewards on the Transportation Highway

New mobility technologies are reshaping how cars are powered, driven and used for years to come. In this excerpt from the latest edition of FT Thinks: “The Promise of Innovation,” Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group outlines three mega-trends—electrification, autonomous mobility and ride-hailing services—upending the old world order. They offer perspective on where we think the auto industry is headed, and the credit qualities the team look for from companies in the rapidly shifting auto industry.

PODCAST: US Housing Market: Are There Cracks in the Foundation?
Fixed Income

PODCAST: US Housing Market: Are There Cracks in the Foundation?

The US housing market is starting to cool off a bit, but the big question is whether there are cracks in its foundation. Paul Varunok, head of Securitized Assets with Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, shares his view on our latest Talking Markets podcast. He discusses the state of the US housing market today and why he doesn’t see a repeat of the housing crisis that hit the US market a decade ago. He also shares some thoughts on where he’s finding opportunities as an investor in the space.

Slowdown Doesn’t Mean Stop. Our View on US Interest Rates, Inflation and China
Fixed Income

Slowdown Doesn’t Mean Stop. Our View on US Interest Rates, Inflation and China

While the US Federal Reserve (Fed) decided to leave interest rates unchanged at its January policy meeting, the market seems to be thinking the Fed may press pause for an extended period. A prolonged US government shutdown has heightened concerns the economy could be at a tipping point, but Sonal Desai, Chief Investment Officer, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, weighs in on why the notion the Fed won’t raise rates at all this year “is misguided.”