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To the readers, and potential readers, of Grant’s: This anthology of recent articles, our annual Christmastide e-issue, is for you. Please pass it along, with our compliments, to any and all prospective members of the greater Grant’s family. We resume publication with the issue dated Jan. 15 (don’t miss it!).
Ultra-low rates push and they pull. They push business failure out into the future. They pull consumption forward into the present. Here with a grand tour of the credit horizon. In the background: auto sales and corporate M&A. In the foreground: a booming regional bank and a credit-dependent time-share vendor.
The super-rich continue to accumulate high-end residences far from their principal toothbrush. They are the smart money—are they also the wise money? A short review of the bumps in the road of a certain great city's real-estate market. Too few moguls for the burgeoning supply of mogul-appropriate housing.
Like a celebrity in flight from the paparazzi, the Swiss Confederation demands protection from its pesky admirers. To beat back the unwanted appreciation of the Swissie, the central bank is—once again—vowing to move heaven and earth. How to profit from it?
Markets are just as efficient as the people who operate in them. They are just as cool, calm and calculating as the humans who will buy high and will sell low. Still, they are devilishly hard to beat. Credit, restaurant chains and platform companies are among the topics under discussion.
Like New York City taxi medallions, bonds started appreciating at around the time of the birth of Beyoncé. So consistently have they performed that serious people have come to judge them, bonds and medallions alike, as intrinsically safe. Not the best idea on which to build a leveraged portfolio.
With April housing starts leaping by 20.2% and April existing-home sales declining by 3.3%, the American residential real estate market last week was alternatively reported to be thriving and dwindling. We herein proceed to clear up the confusion. Bullish on terra firma—at a price.
Fidelity & Guaranty Life is the firm that “helps middle-income Americans prepare for retirement,” or so claim its copywriters. If so, the life insurer’s investment department, with its RadioShack trifecta, itself needs help. Certainly, it’s getting none from the world’s central banks—or from the post-1981 interest-rate zeitgeist.
Average Iowa farmland prices tumbled by 8.9% last year, the first and only meaningful decline since 1986. The nearly three decade-long bull market in tillable American real estate is over, as the city-dwelling editors of Grant’s weigh the evidence. Grain prices, land prices, weather, inflation and deflation are the topics under discussion.
On Tuesday, as the FOMC sat down to weigh a decision to raise the funds rate for very nearly the first time in modern memory, the New York Times produced a story to showcase the argument for a much higher inflation target. Paging Prof. Slichter, 1950s-era father of the “new inflation.”
On July 15, 2014, on the ceremonial stage of her second Humphrey-Hawkins testimony, Janet Yellen singled out biotech (and social media) stocks for their "substantially stretched" valuations. Since that ex cathedra pronouncement, the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index has rallied by a cool 39%. And now?
You’ve decided to vacation on the French Riviera with family, in-laws, cousins. You could book six or eight hotel rooms—or a single villa in Saint-Tropez. This being the 21st century, you can, and you do, book the villa. Now unfolding is a bearish story on the company that helped you secure it.
Two thirds of investors just surveyed by Citigroup said "action from central banks in Europe and the U.S. would be the principal force driving credit market spreads" in 2015. The principal force? More than even the myriad events that the central banks don't control and can't anticipate?