Global CIO Commentary by Scott Minerd
Now is the time for strong action from the European Central Bank, as policymakers meet on Thursday to decide how to combat low inflation and muted credit growth. With euro zone inflation at just over one quarter of its target, the ECB is under pressure to act. My advice for Dr. Mario Draghi and his fellow policymakers is to use the big bazooka, to take a shock-and-awe approach, and promise more action if needed. Whether the ECB proposes negative deposit rates, a new Long Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) or another option; over the coming months, European monetary policy will likely help drive interest rates lower and the U.S. dollar higher.
European quantitative easing, whatever its form, will likely drive yields down, sending money elsewhere in search of yield and forcing the euro currency below its current level of 1.36 U.S. dollars. Of course, this will likely drive even more capital toward the United States. That could prompt a decline in U.S. Treasury yields over the summer, at a time when investors would otherwise expect interest rates to be rising because of an improving American economy and tentative signs of an uptick in U.S. inflation.
On balance, the U.S. economy continues to do well; with central bank liquidity flowing into global markets, the investment environment remains positive for bonds, equities, and credit. Last week, first-quarter U.S. GDP was revised lower to -1 percent, the first negative reading after three uninterrupted years of economic expansion. However, investors need not be alarmed. The GDP revision reflected the effect of the severe winter soft patch, which hit fixed investment and inventories particularly hard. Importantly, consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, grew at 3.1 percent and is a better reflection of the underlying strength of the American economy. Of course, we must be conscious that we may well be moving into the realm of markets overheating. It is important to remember that with careful market analysis, speculative markets are often the most rewarding.
Taylor Rule Suggests Further Euro Zone Monetary Accommodation
Most central banks in major advanced economies are running ultra-loose monetary policies, with the exception of the European Central Bank in the euro zone. According to the Taylor Rule, which measures optimal interest rates based on inflation and labor market conditions, the euro zone is the only advanced economy running at a higher policy rate than the rule suggests. To date, the huge divergence in economic fundamentals between core and periphery nations has prevented the ECB from conducting more monetary accommodation. With elevated unemployment and a rising risk of deflation however, ECB policymakers have gradually shifted toward an easing bias, which should be apparent at Thursday’s meeting.
CENTRAL BANK RATES IN MAJOR ADVANCED ECONOMIES VS. TAYLOR RULE SUGGESTED RATES*
Source: Bloomberg, Guggenheim Investments. Data as of 6/4/2014. *Note: We use the same coefficients in the baseline Taylor Rule model for all countries to make the comparison more useful.
Guggenheim Investments represents the investment management businesses of Guggenheim Partners, LLC ("Guggenheim").
Guggenheim Funds Distributors, LLC is an affiliate of Guggenheim.
Read a prospectus and summary prospectus (if available) carefully before investing. It contains the investment objective, risks charges, expenses and the other information, which should be considered carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus and summary prospectus (if available) click here or call 800.820.0888.
Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.
*Guggenheim Investments total asset figure is as of 12.31.2017. The assets include leverage of $12.1bn for assets under management and $0.4bn for assets for which we provide administrative services.
Guggenheim Investments represents the investment management businesses of Guggenheim Partners, LLC ("Guggenheim"), which includes Security Investors, LLC ("SI"), Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC, ("GFIA") and Guggenheim Partners Investment Management ("GPIM") the investment advisers to the referenced funds. Securities offered through Guggenheim Funds Distributors, LLC, an affiliate of Guggenheim, SI, GFIA and GPIM.
Guggenheim Investments. All rights reserved.
Research our firm with FINRA Broker Check.
• Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • May Lose Value
This website is directed to and intended for use by citizens or residents of the United States of America only. The material provided on this website is not intended as a recommendation or as investment advice of any kind, including in connection with rollovers, transfers, and distributions. Such material is not provided in a fiduciary capacity, may not be relied upon for or in connection with the making of investment decisions, and does not constitute a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell securities. All content has been provided for informational or educational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal or tax advice and/or a legal opinion. Always consult a financial, tax and/or legal professional regarding your specific situation. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.