Knowledge Center

Drawing from 35 years of in-depth research, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer offers you free access to selected articles via our Knowledge Center. Browse our topics and select an article to enjoy and share.


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Feature Article

Gyro Gearloose redux .

The arc of monetary evolution is the subject at hand. A question for the dollar-holding subscribers of Grant’s: What’s really in your wallet?

Topics

Please click on a topic below to read individual stories

Articles of Interest:

Gold

"The road to confetti "

April 15 comes and goes but the federal debt stays and grows. The secrets of its life force are the topics at hand...

APR 22, 2016

Gold

"Monetary action agenda"

With respect to the radicalization of monetary policy, investors en masse resemble the sleepy frog in the warming saucepan. They don’t jump out while the jumping’s good.

NOV 14, 2014

Gold

"Let's bury the gold"

A friend proposes to strike it rich in gold by giving the public what it wants. What the public wants is mining stock. We know that by the stupendous valuations accorded mining companies at a time of stable gold prices. People want mines -- so let's give them mines, our friend proposes. Let's buy some gold, bury it, dig it up and sell it.

SEP 21, 1987

Financial History / Cycles

"Gyro Gearloose redux ."

The arc of monetary evolution is the subject at hand. A question for the dollar-holding subscribers of Grant’s: What’s really in your wallet?

FEB 26, 2016

Financial History / Cycles

"Inside ACE Securities’ HEL Trust, Series 2005-HE5"

The nation is running out of magazine covers on which to announce the coming collapse of house prices. From which fact it could be inferred that . . .

SEP 8, 2006

Financial History / Cycles

"The slowest asset"

In Houston, office rents are falling again, fully a decade after the Texas energy business stopped inflating and began deflating. Rents continue to fall in New York, too...

APR 24, 1992

Global Macro Stories

"The balance sheet that ate Switzerland"

Like a celebrity in flight from the paparazzi, the Swiss Confederation demands protection from its pesky admirers.

SEP 19, 2014

Global Macro Stories

"Beijing to Sydney"

Herewith an update on China (sinking), Australia (sympathetically sinking), and a handful of Grant's short-sale names (also sinking, except for the one that soared).

JUN 14, 2013

Global Macro Stories

"Nikkei put warrants"

The wonderful Herbert Stein remark about patience--"If something can't go on forever, it won't"--has been as good a motto as any to lose money by in this epic bull market.

JUL 7, 1989

Equity Longs

"The thrifts are coming! The thrifts are coming!"

A discussion of newly converted thrifts coming to the market.

OCT 29, 2010

Equity Longs

"Certifiably formerly toxic "

A discussion of the transformation of Innospec.

SEP 17, 2010

Equity Longs

"Pariahs’ club "

The stock market is, by our lights, absurd, but it is becoming slightly more symmetrically absurd. There is a growing list of cheap valuations to complement a considerably larger number of extravagant ones.

FEB 4, 2000

Equity Shorts

"Anticipating Mr. Friedman "

history, a man so driven as the chief curator of Restoration Hardware might have led a revolution. As it is, he seeks to revolutionize the high end of furniture and décor trades.

DEC 11, 2015

Equity Shorts

"Generation ZIRP"

Lenders and borrowers may be reasonable people, but they periodically miscalculate. There is feast, then there is famine, world without end. It’s the credit-related business models that come and go.

JAN 23, 2015

Equity Shorts

"Drug dealer"

A financialized age has at last produced a financialized pharmaceutical company. Herewith, a long look at an enterprise that does its compound-hunting not in the laboratory but in the stock market.

MAR 7, 2014

Fixed Income Longs

"For the un-meek"

If something can’t go on forever, it won’t. Now under way is a bullish speculation on a bearish set of circumstances. Anticipating the joyous relief imparted by the lifting of bankruptcy fears.

MAR 11, 2016

Fixed Income Longs

"Introducing the Grant’s Supermodel Credit Portfolio"

Credit is what we are bullish on--cast-off residential mortgage-backed securities, senior bank loans, convertible bonds and corporate...

DEC 12, 2008

Fixed Income Longs

"Klarman baits a hook"

Seth A. Klarman, an investor of private capital in Cambridge, Mass., is now, and has been for some weeks, buying junk bonds--a few issues--with conviction.

FEB 16, 1990

Fixed Income Shorts

"Yield to worst"

"The food is terrible," to quote the famously ambivalent restaurant review--"and the portions are so small." Much the same can be said of today's junk-bond market.

APR 4, 2014

Fixed Income Shorts

"Napoleon advances on Moscow"

Although opulent, the 1987 Campeau Corp. annual report is dated. On April 1, two months after the close of the Campeau fiscal year, Federated Department Stores entered the corporate fold...

JUN 24, 1988

Fixed Income Shorts

"Junk debunked"

In the bond market, this is a day of high hopes and low interest-coverage ratios. It is a day of the near extinction of the triple-A corporate credit and the rise to investment respectability of the sub-Baa credit...

SEP 24, 1984

Alternative Assets

"Soil erosion"

Farmland values climbed with rising corn prices and tumbling interest rates. Now the cycle turns. We write for urbanites, suburbanites, exurbanites and agriculturalists alike.

AUG 8, 2014

Alternative Assets

"Zero-coupon trees"

While Wall Street has disavowed extreme leverage since the crisis of 2008, foresters practice it as a matter of course. Dig a hole, plant a seedling and wait 25 or 30 years.

JUL 13, 2012

Alternative Assets

"Trump for the bid"

A coincidence in the latest Playboy: Donald J. Trump, the subject of the Playboy interview, and Miss March, Deborah Driggs, share the same basic philosophy of life.

FEB 2, 1990

Grant's Archive

Subscribers may download whatever they wish. Non-subscribers may search the archives and download past issues at the cost of $115 per issue.

To license individual articles for reprint, please email us at reprints@grantspub.com

April 19, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 08

In the words of Paul Krugman

Propounded by the economist Abba Lerner, modern monetary theory is an old thing made new. A close and lucid reasoner was Lerner, but his disciples? Not a model, rather an “attitude.”

Lifting the veil

Half of the moon is dark, but 85% of the leveraged-loan market is shrouded. Shedding a new bright light on the credit profile of that $1.1 trillion accident-waiting-to-happen.

‘It is not a cycle’

“China will elect to float the renminbi,” speculated Russell Napier, leadoff speaker at the Spring 2019 Grant’s Conference, “and a jarring deflationary shock will quickly give way to rip-roaring global inflation.”

The power of ideas

“If you pay a price expecting an incremental reinvestment of 14% and it’s on its way to 7%, it can be an expensive lesson.”

Outside the lines

“I’m looking forward to having my Warhol Campbell’s Soup painting arrive at my doorstep in an Amazon van.”

FOMO headed here

“You will get new highs on all of the averages,” observed Wall Street’s best stock-market technician.

Muse to central bankers

On money and banking and the duty of a central bank to clean up after a boom: Thoughts from the Greatest Victorian prove especially timely.

In the Age of Trump

“I like the market here, but I don’t like the direction we’re going.”

Deflation on the brain

“You don’t need much of an increase in inflation to change the market tone of TIPS, because expectations right now are a deflationary kind of thing.”

A retiring country

“In Mexico, people retire when they are 72 years old, in Brazil at 59, so this is an impossible system.”

Interest-rate overview

Seated with your editor onstage at the Plaza, the financial market historian Richard Sylla came prepared with a multi-millennia view.

‘It just ain’t so’

“You can have no certainty that stocks will beat bonds over multi-decade intervals,” our speaker informed the Grant’s audience, “and I would not assume that you can get 6.6% real in stocks.”

Melting to the upside

Volatility takes a cat nap.

April 5, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 07

To the gnomes of Zurich

On April 4, the editor of Grant’s addressed the wealth-management forum of the Swiss publication Finanz und Wirtschaft. Opportunities abound from central bank manipulation.

Class of 1929

You have money to invest, but stocks are trading near all-time highs and investment-grade bonds, half of which are rated a single notch away from junk, yield a measly 3.7%. A trio of closed-end funds, trading at deep discounts to NAV, offer the value-minded, bubble-phobic investor a fighting chance.

Standing on a box

A little-known fact about unicorns is that they feed on interest rates. They like low, little rates – the tinier, the better. What do unicorns, the humans of private equity and the bulls of Wall Street all have in common?

Cost of low rates

In the post-2008 bull markets, think of the “everything bubble” as the moon overhead. We see but one side, the assets. It’s the obverse, the liabilities, that cry out for attention.

Snowflakes of leverage

Is a 3% interest rate an economy-killer?

March 22, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 06

Larry Summers sings the blues

“Secular stagnation” is upon us – watch out, or we’ll become Japan.

What everyone needs

A trio of ideas for the income-famished investor.

Monetary pain points

A speculation on the investment consequences of the central bankers’ big ideas.

Don't look down

All about a business strategically situated at the intersection of ingenuity, credit, price control and bull-market psychology.

Lights out

The not so little statistical white lies of the People’s Republic start to add up.

March 8, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 05

The ‘Post’ rates New York

“Strong budgetary management” is not what you think of first when you gaze upon City Hall.

Can’t stand 1%

Corporate rivets begin to pop when the real rate of interest approaches even 100 humble basis points.

Not so ‘cheep’

On perhaps the greatest retail stock of the 21st century, we make bold to be bearish.

Eyes unblinkered

If the pulse on which Grant’s has its finger is indeed the pulse of investor sentiment, credulity is a short sale. A speculation on a turn in the Wall Street zeitgeist

Dollars take flight

Russia’s central bank goes to cash.

February 22, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 04

The great non sequitur

The trouble with investing in the 21st century is that you become blasé about the quirks of the age. Before you know it, you start to think, well, negative-yielding debt isn’t so bad. Someone’s buying it.

All ahead full

You can have low prices and bad news or high prices and good news, but you can’t have low prices and good news. A survey of the opportunities in ocean-going shipping.

Dim the lights

Safety is inherent in no investment. And not in the securities of many a putatively safe and secure American electric utility. A demonstration of how little utilities in general, and one utility in particular, answer the description of port in a storm.

Dueling prices

We continue to identify Masayoshi Son’s corporate creation as one of the top contenders for the unwanted cyclical crown of Least Likely to Succeed.

How to stop a bear market

January was one for the record books with RMB 4.6 trillion ($687 billion) in new credit issued to Chinese borrowers. What ever happened to Xi Jinping’s deleveraging drive?

February 8, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 03

An open letter to Bill Dudley

What I was writing to tell you is that the Fed is technically insolvent.

Political risk in America

Even if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez winds up losing the 2020 presidential election, one tax-related shock looms unavoidable. A survey of deeply discounted opportunities in a bond market not exactly overflowing with bargains.

Fast food take out

You could almost say – we’ll say it – that the tribulations of the American restaurant industry are a mirror to the 2019 state of the Union. A parable of ultra-low interest rates and put-upon franchisees.

Out with the old

If all goes according to plan, the post-Libor transition will be the money market’s own version of the anticlimactic, year-2000 computer-clock changeover, Y2K.

Growth? Not much

After opening up the taps to businesses in December, bankers are having second thoughts.

January 25, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 02

A 500-year bull market shows its age

It’s nobody’s idea of breaking news that interest rates have tended to rise and fall in generation-length intervals. More striking is a young scholar’s contention that these decades-long undulations are only the wavelets of a half-millennium decline, a trend that will carry to still lower lows in the next recession.

RIP, John C. Bogle

Jack insisted he has enough money. His fans may doubt he received enough thanks.

Peak superhero

Creative destruction costs money, as the holders of low-yielding debt in heavily encumbered businesses may presently be reminded.

Waldo's the name

A new/old method of regulatory arbitrage.

Hospitalized biotech stocks

Illiquid, unfollowed, undesired and battered, micro-cap biotech stocks tick nearly every contrarian’s boxes.

They ask so little

This may be a problem for newly invigorated bond buyers.

January 11, 2019, Vol. 37, No. 01

On returning to life as the stock market

The man who could topple the Commander-in-Chief is himself constrained by a greater power.

No waiting required

Netflix, Inc. was the best-performing stock in 2018, with a total return of 39%. It is also the only FAANG to generate negative free cash flow. Herewith a connection between these facts and a collection of stocks that just might excel in 2019.

Lottery Tickets, Inc.

The rolling-up of the red carpet of liquidity makes for winners and losers alike. Within this varied grouping, a trio of investment candidates, of which the reader will confront the daunting vocabulary that redirected many a would-be doctor to

Sacrificial securities

Suspense remains the order of the day for the Old Continent’s banks and their black-and-blue shareholders.

Dancing in the dark

This poses a conundrum for the Federal Reserve: Our money mandarins are “data dependent,” or so they tell us, but on what data can they rely?

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