Beyond Bulls & Bears

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.

Meet the Manager: Sheila Amoroso
Fixed Income

Meet the Manager: Sheila Amoroso

Some people seem to have a career path in place from an early age, while others just sort of stumble into one. Sheila Amoroso, director of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s municipal bond department, is in the latter camp. You’d probably be hard-pressed to find many young women who aspire to be municipal bond managers—and Sheila was no exception. But, as she made her first foray into financial services, she found the work interesting, challenging and rewarding. And after more than 30 years with Franklin Templeton, that’s still the case.

Why European Investors Might Consider Fixed Maturity Investing
Fixed Income

Why European Investors Might Consider Fixed Maturity Investing

Against a background of sustained low interest rates, the search for yield is leading some investors to cast their nets a little wider. David Zahn, Head of European Fixed Income at Franklin Templeton, looks at one idea that seems to be sparking interest: fixed maturity investing.

On My Mind: The Fed Will Hike Again—Because It Can
Fixed Income

On My Mind: The Fed Will Hike Again—Because It Can

While the financial markets seem to be betting on a very extended pause in the US Federal Reserve’s multiyear tightening cycle, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group Chief Investment Officer Sonal Desai has another idea. Here, she makes the case that interest-rate hikes may still be on the table this year.

Reinventing Cars—Risks and Rewards on the Transportation Highway
Fixed Income

Reinventing Cars—Risks and Rewards on the Transportation Highway

Mobility technologies are reshaping how cars are powered, driven and used for years to come. In this excerpt from the latest edition of FT Thinks: "The Promise of Innovation," Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group outlines three mega-trends—electrification, autonomous mobility and ride-hailing services—upending the old world order. They offer perspective on where we think the auto industry is headed, and the credit qualities the team look for from companies in the rapidly shifting auto industry.

Slowdown Doesn’t Mean Stop. Our View on US Interest Rates, Inflation and China
Fixed Income

Slowdown Doesn’t Mean Stop. Our View on US Interest Rates, Inflation and China

While the US Federal Reserve (Fed) decided to leave interest rates unchanged at its January policy meeting, the market seems to be thinking the Fed may press pause for an extended period. A prolonged US government shutdown has heightened concerns the economy could be at a tipping point, but Sonal Desai, Chief Investment Officer, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, weighs in on why the notion the Fed won’t raise rates at all this year “is misguided.”