Beyond Bulls & Bears

Municipal markets continue to feel the pressure this year, yet fundamentals remain stable
Fixed Income

Municipal markets continue to feel the pressure this year, yet fundamentals remain stable

The municipal bond market has not been immune to bouts of volatility hitting the markets this year, but there are still pockets of opportunity, according to Franklin Templeton Fixed Income’s Director of Municipal Bonds, Ben Barber. He points to improving technical conditions, stable fundamentals and inexpensive valuations that make the asset class look compelling.

On my mind: Staying on message
Fixed Income

On my mind: Staying on message

The Fed delivered another 75 bps rate hike and reiterated its Jackson Hole message: reducing inflation is now its one and only priority. But the Fed's forecasts still seem too optimistic, and this could feed extended uncertainty and volatility in markets. Our Fixed Income CIO Sonal Desai shares her thoughts.

On my mind: The Fed—do you hear me now?
Fixed Income

On my mind: The Fed—do you hear me now?

Fed Chairman Powell delivered a forceful and unequivocal message today at Jackson Hole, pushing back against market expectations of an early pivot back to rate cuts. Restoring price stability will require tight monetary policy for some time, he said, and the Fed will not waver when the labor market starts feeling the pain. Markets have taken notice, but will test the Fed’s resolve again, making for a volatile adjustment process in asset prices. Our Fixed Income CIO Sonal Desai shares her thoughts:

Inflation hedges: Fact and fantasy
Multi-Asset

Inflation hedges: Fact and fantasy

Equity markets have clearly taken notice of rising inflation—and not in a good way. Here, Gene Podkaminer and Chris Ratkovsky of Franklin Templeton Investment Solutions explore how different investments have performed during various inflation scenarios, which strategies or asset classes might provide an inflation hedge, and whether a “soft landing” economic scenario is possible.

Meet the manager: Justin Ma
Perspectives

Meet the manager: Justin Ma

Landing in Franklin Templeton’s Floating Rate Debt Group prior to the global financial crisis, Justin Ma is no stranger to navigating market volatility and challenging environments. Today, he is excited about new applications of data science and quantitative methods to enhance his team’s portfolio management capabilities. Learn more about Justin.

On my mind: Are we there yet?
Fixed Income

On my mind: Are we there yet?

Are we there yet? Fed Chairman Jerome Powell hedged himself carefully at the July press conference; markets heard it as confirming expectations that we are closing in on the terminal rate and that the Fed will likely start cutting again as early as March of next year. Our Fixed Income CIO Sonal Desai is not so sure—here are her thoughts:

Boris Johnson resigns: What’s next for markets?
Fixed Income

Boris Johnson resigns: What’s next for markets?

Our Head of European Fixed Income, David Zahn, weighs in on the market implications of the resignation of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

On my mind: The Fed capitulates
Fixed Income

On my mind: The Fed capitulates

The Fed raised interest rates by 75 basis points in its June policy meeting, acknowledging continued upside surprises on inflation, inflation expectations and wage growth. It also de facto abandoned forward guidance. It was a reminder that economic data eventually rule the day, says Franklin Templeton Fixed Income CIO Sonal Desai. She argues this is a welcome but only partial move to a more realistic stance, and discusses why further hawkish surprises likely lie ahead.

Turbulence ahead
Perspectives

Turbulence ahead

The US Fed just made the biggest interest-rate increase since 1994. Should we be worried? Stephen Dover, Head of Franklin Templeton Institute, discusses the rising risk of a recession.

The future of food is technology
Perspectives

The future of food is technology

In our new piece from the Franklin Templeton Institute, we examine the challenge of feeding a growing global population in the midst of climate change, geopolitical shocks and uncertainty. Head of the Institute, Stephen Dover, looks at the future of food and the innovation and technology that will be needed to safely produce and distribute the food we need from the perspective of an investor.

ECB jumps on the bandwagon to start hiking rates
Fixed Income

ECB jumps on the bandwagon to start hiking rates

The European Central Bank held its June meeting this past week, and while it didn’t raise interest rates this time, it signaled rate hikes would begin in July. David Zahn, our Head of European Fixed Income, offers his take on the meeting, noting the central bank has turned more hawkish than many expected.

Making the case for municipal bonds despite recent volatility
Fixed Income

Making the case for municipal bonds despite recent volatility

The first half of the year has so far been challenging for investors in municipal bonds. Ben Barber, Director, Municipal Bonds, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income, shares his latest outlook and reasons for optimism.