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The Intelligence Report – 12 February 2019

Global views and trends

Guy WILLIAMS
 

Markets doubt the US Federal Reserve’s inflation objective is symmetrical, so we explore possible remedial changes to the framework for monetary policy. This issue also questions the value of the yield curve in predicting recessions, explains the phenomenon of ‘superstar’ companies and observes how markets are currently torn between fears about growth and the knowledge that a helping hand is near.

The Federal Reserve’s evolving policy strategy framework

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Struggling for some time now to hit its inflation goal sustainably, the Fed may move to average inflation targeting, or even temporary price level targeting, in its upcoming strategy review; such a shift would have market implications.

The yield curve – a predicator of recession?

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What predictive information does the yield curve usefully yield? An assessment of its credentials suggests it is a flawed mirror: investors seeking to understand where the economy is heading may be better off concentrating on the fundamentals.

Superstar firms and the concentration of corporate power – getting out of hand?

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The forces driving the surging growth of superstar firms look set to persist. If these firms’ wings aren’t clipped by regulatory or consumer reaction, their increasing market dominance could exacerbate already mounting societal divisions.

Between growth fears and policy support

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With the structural direction of equities unclear, we prefer to be neutral in the medium to long term. We are structurally underweight in fixed income as we foresee gradually rising inflation and further monetary policy normalisation.

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The Intelligence Report appears roughly every two weeks and offers investors insights into the topics that we believe matter to them from around BNP Paribas Asset Management. Contact your local representative for  more information.

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