Beyond Bulls & Bears

Four-Dimensional Chess
Fixed Income

Four-Dimensional Chess

Data science has brought investors powerful new tools to help generate returns, so is there still need for a human touch? Franklin Templeton Fixed Income CIO Sonal Desai weighs in on the role of quantitative science within the active-passive investment debate.

Brexit: Not the Beginning of the End, But the End of the Beginning?
Fixed Income

Brexit: Not the Beginning of the End, But the End of the Beginning?

Against the odds, Boris Johnson’s UK government appears to have agreed to a deal in principle with the European Union (EU) which could see the United Kingdom leave the EU on October 31 in an orderly way. But David Zahn, our Head of European Fixed Income, cautions against popping the champagne corks too prematurely. There’s still a lot of work to be done, and financial market volatility is likely to remain heightened, he says.

European Political Developments: A Lesson in Unexpected Consequences
Fixed Income

European Political Developments: A Lesson in Unexpected Consequences

Even the most dedicated news-junkie may struggle to keep up with the pace of political shenanigans in Europe in recent weeks. Two countries in which the news has been especially fast-moving are Italy and the United Kingdom. Our Head of European Fixed Income David Zahn notes some peculiar similarities in the way events have unfolded.

Why European Fixed Income Can Still Have Value Even with Negative Yield
Fixed Income

Why European Fixed Income Can Still Have Value Even with Negative Yield

“We believe that with the combination of an expected ECB rate cut in September and a positively shaped yield curve, European bonds could still remain attractive in global terms.” - John Beck, Director Fixed Income, London, Franklin Templeton

Food Security Through an ESG Lens
Fixed Income

Food Security Through an ESG Lens

“Given the already tight supply and demand balance and the expectation for further demand growth, the prices for meat-based proteins in general and pork are expected to continue to increase.” - S. James McGiveran III, Research Analyst, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group.

ECB Acts to Reassert Its Inflation-Targeting Role
Fixed Income

ECB Acts to Reassert Its Inflation-Targeting Role

Many observers had low expectations ahead of this week’s European Central Bank (ECB) governing council meeting. But as David Zahn, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s Head of European Fixed Income, explains, the decisions made at the meeting have some intriguing implications and show the extent of the bank’s determination to achieve its inflation target.

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.

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.

Can the EU’s Extension Offer Really Break the Brexit Deadlock?
Fixed Income

Can the EU’s Extension Offer Really Break the Brexit Deadlock?

After a nail-biting few hours, European Union leaders have agreed to the UK government’s request to delay Brexit, albeit the extension is less than Theresa May had requested. But our Head of European Fixed Income David Zahn believes the decision does little more than reset the clock and he warns there is still a strong chance that the United Kingdom could still crash out without a deal.

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.

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
Alternatives

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.