Beyond Bulls & Bears

High Yield Bonds in View: Energy
Fixed Income

High Yield Bonds in View: Energy

Much has changed since the oil-market collapse in the early pandemic days of 2020, when prices actually turned negative. Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Research Analyst/Portfolio Manager Bryant Dieffenbacher looks back at industry developments since then, and outlines opportunities he sees in the high-yield energy bond market today.

Quick Thoughts: Why Our Managers Disagree on Inflation, Rates, and Growth
Perspectives

Quick Thoughts: Why Our Managers Disagree on Inflation, Rates, and Growth

Multiple leadership and diverse views steer how we invest in our global economy. Our recent macroeconomic investment roundtable with three of our autonomous investment managers found commonalities and disagreements on the path for global economic growth. All agreed that global growth will be significant this year, but there is some disagreement as to how persistent it will be. Our Chief Market Strategist Stephen Dover believes when thinking about fixed income investing, it is important to think beyond rising interest rates and focus on the many ways to obtain total return.

On My Mind: A Tale of Two Recoveries
Fixed Income

On My Mind: A Tale of Two Recoveries

While a global recovery has now become the base case for financial markets, differences between countries and regions on the path toward normalcy are significant and seem set to widen. In the latest edition of our Fixed Income CIO Sonal Desai’s “On My Mind” series, she evaluates the differences in policy decisions, both on the fiscal front as well as in vaccination campaigns, and how the resulting differing paths will shape the map of investment opportunities.

State and Local Governments Get Shot of Stimulus
Fixed Income

State and Local Governments Get Shot of Stimulus

Another round of stimulus totaling $1.9 trillion is making its way through the US economy, with hopes it will trigger a sharp rebound from the ravages of COVID-19. The relief package includes funds for individual state and local governments, which should help shore up some lost tax revenues and close budget gaps. Jennifer Johnston discusses the implications for municipal bond investors, noting that where these entities direct the funds will be crucial.

High Yield in View: Automobiles and Semiconductors
Fixed Income

High Yield in View: Automobiles and Semiconductors

COVID-19 caused ripple effects throughout many industries and sectors, including automobiles. An already-challenging lockdown environment that forced vehicle production shutdowns also saw shortages of parts—namely semiconductors—which continue to linger. Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Analyst Aleck Beach outlines the implications for investors.

Asia at the Forefront: The World’s Uneven Emergence from COVID-19
Fixed Income

Asia at the Forefront: The World’s Uneven Emergence from COVID-19

There is significant variation in how countries have handled the pandemic, managed fiscal and monetary policy, and supported their economies, according to Templeton Global Macro. While the euro area and the US contend with deepening fiscal deficits and excessive monetary accommodation, areas of Asia are in stronger fiscal shape, with greater growth potential, robust trade dynamics and current account surpluses.

Coming Out of COVID-19: A Look at Interest Rates and Inflation in Europe
Fixed Income

Coming Out of COVID-19: A Look at Interest Rates and Inflation in Europe

There is hope that economies will see a more sustainable and robust recovery this year, given unprecedented levels of monetary and fiscal stimulus and as more individuals are vaccinated against COVID-19. But one question for investors is what happens next—will inflation and higher interest rates be a consequence? Our Head of European Fixed Income David Zahn shares his views.

On My Mind – Inflation: The Devil We Knew
Fixed Income

On My Mind – Inflation: The Devil We Knew

Our Fixed Income CIO Sonal Desai has been ahead of the curve in flagging the risks of inflation and rising rates that have now entered the mainstream debate. In this article, she assesses the coming together of an unprecedented fiscal stimulus, a very accommodative US Federal Reserve, and an economy poised to rebound as vaccination campaigns pave the way for reopening businesses. She cautions that central bankers might be underestimating how difficult it will be to deal with the “devil they knew”—inflation—especially if inflation expectations become unmoored; and, she highlights the key fixed income investment implications.

PODCAST: Putting Inflation Concerns in Perspective
Perspectives

PODCAST: Putting Inflation Concerns in Perspective

In our latest "Talking Markets" podcast, Franklin Templeton’s Chief Market Strategist, Stephen Dover, speaks with our Gene Podkaminer, Western Asset’s Mark Lindbloom, and ClearBridge Investments’ Michael Clarfeld about interest rates, deficits, inflation concerns, commodity prices, rising US Treasury yields, and the global rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID 19 Disrupts Municipalities—Will Taxing Millionaires Accelerate Outmigration?
Fixed Income

COVID 19 Disrupts Municipalities—Will Taxing Millionaires Accelerate Outmigration?

Apart from some high-profile downgrades, the muni credit markets finished 2020 buoyed by breakthrough vaccines and signs that state and local tax collections were better than anticipated. That said, many governors still face tough choices when it comes to budget shortfalls: they must either raise revenues, cut spending, or both. Our Director of Municipal Bonds, Ben Barber, and Director of Municipal Bond Research, Jennifer Johnston, explain why tax revenues have rallied unexpectedly for California, and explore if working remotely will accelerate outmigration from New York City.

On My Mind: Investment Strategies for a Booster-Shot Recovery
Fixed Income

On My Mind: Investment Strategies for a Booster-Shot Recovery

Our Fixed Income CIO Sonal Desai shares her investment views and strategies for the post-pandemic recovery. She explains why inflation looks likely to gain steam, and how the balance of fundamentals and valuations become especially crucial today when looking for attractive returns in fixed income. The Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Study supports her bullish view for the global economy, and highlights how policymakers need to intensify their efforts to boost vaccine acceptance.

Meet the Manager: Jennifer Johnston
Fixed Income

Meet the Manager: Jennifer Johnston

As a child, Jennifer Johnston didn’t have visions of working in the financial field, but after 27 years in the industry, she hasn’t looked back. Being a woman in a male-dominated field has presented some challenges, but she has had an attitude of embracing every opportunity that presents itself. Here, we get to know more about Jennifer, director of our municipal bond research team.