Sage's Smith: Cool It, Bonds Will Be Fine

July 27, 2017

Secondly, those who drive that policy may not be in that chair for very long, because the new administration will have the ability to replace the Fed chairman and a significant number of votes on the Board of Federal Governors. So there's a lot of change that may come from a political perspective that will make its way into the consciousness of the market as we roll down through the year.

Clearly, what's going on with the ECB and with the Japanese central bank is also of concern. Recently we saw that [ECB Chairman] Mr. Draghi and ECB members want to consider reducing their commitment to quantitative easing. That will have a knock-on effect for what's going on here in the States as well.

And Mr. Abe in Japan politically is under some fire and duress with his policies, because they're not generating the type of economic snapback that everybody was anticipating. One has to wonder how much Japan is going to remain committed to that quantitative easing policy it has initiated and maintained for the better part of the last two years now.

So those are the things that bother us. A little bit of politics, a little bit of policy, a little bit of personnel change.

We want to be concerned about policy changes, but we think we're going to be in a range-bound market. That'll give us some degree of comfort to make very gradual changes in terms of durations and credit exposures and sector exposures without being jerked around too much.

The No. 1 enemy to the markets all the time is surprise and speed of action in the sense of things happening violently. Gradual change is actually quite a good thing in the fixed-income market, and really gives you a much more comfortable world risk. That's what we're hoping for.

 

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