Morgan Stanley IM: An Inconvenient Trinity: Financial Stability, Policy and Politics

Morgan Stanley IM: An Inconvenient Trinity: Financial Stability, Policy and Politics
Fixed Income

Jim Caron, Co-Lead Global Portfolio Manager and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Global Balanced Risk Control Team, shares his macro thematic views on key market drivers.

22.03.2023 | 06:05 Uhr

Jim Caron-Podcast

  • During times of crisis, measures to contain market volatility intersect with the need for financial stability, Fed policy actions and politics.
  • Ideally the three should work in unison, but there are times when they are in conflict. Now is one of those times.
  • Liquidity facilities have been established to stem the crisis. This has increased the Fed balance sheet by about $300 billion, making many question if this is QE - and if it’s inflationary.
  • Regardless, it may conflict with the Fed's monetary policy goals to stem inflation, and while the Fed would like to separate decisions about financial stability and monetary policy, they are unfortunately intertwined.
  • Politics are always present. For the Biden administration, the Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP) lending facility bears all the hallmarks of another “bailout” for banks.
  • Given the optics of the BTFP, which is big and powerful, it may not be publicized as clearly as it should be, possibly detrimental to restoring confidence in the banking system.
  • All in all investors need to adjust their probabilities upward for recession risk. What is happening now is not a non-event and will certainly have credit implications for the real economy.

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Risk Considerations

Diversification does not eliminate the risk of loss. There is no assurance that the Strategy will achieve its investment objective. Portfolios are subject to market risk, which is the possibility that the market values of securities owned by the portfolio will decline and that the value of portfolio shares may therefore be less than what you paid for them. Market values can change daily due to economic and other events (e.g. natural disasters, health crises, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) that affect markets, countries, companies or governments. It is difficult to predict the timing, duration, and potential adverse effects (e.g. portfolio liquidity) of events. Accordingly, you can lose money investing in this portfolio. Please be aware that this strategy may be subject to certain additional risks. There is the risk that the Adviser’s asset allocation methodology and assumptions regarding the Underlying Portfolios may be incorrect in light of actual market conditions and the Portfolio may not achieve its investment objective. Share prices also tend to be volatile and there is a significant possibility of loss. The portfolio’s investments in commodity-linked notes involve substantial risks, including risk of loss of a significant portion of their principal value. In addition to commodity risk, they may be subject to additional special risks, such as risk of loss of interest and principal, lack of secondary market and risk of greater volatility, that do not affect traditional equity and debt securities. Currency fluctuations could erase investment gains or add to investment losses. Fixed-income securities are subject to the ability of an issuer to make timely principal and interest payments (credit risk), changes in interest rates (interest-rate risk), the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity (market risk). In a rising interest-rate environment, bond prices may fall and may result in periods of volatility and increased portfolio redemptions. In a declining interest-rate environment, the portfolio may generate less income. Longer-term securities may be more sensitive to interest rate changes. Equity and foreign securities are generally more volatile than fixed income securities and are subject to currency, political, economic and market risks. Equity values fluctuate in response to activities specific to a company. Stocks of small-capitalization companies carry special risks, such as limited product lines, markets and financial resources, and greater market volatility than securities of larger, more established companies. The risks of investing in emerging market countries are greater than risks associated with investments in foreign developed markets. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) shares have many of the same risks as direct investments in common stocks or bonds and their market value will fluctuate as the value of the underlying index does. By investing in exchange traded funds ETFs and other Investment Funds, the portfolio absorbs both its own expenses and those of the ETFs and Investment Funds it invests in. Supply and demand for ETFs and Investment Funds may not be correlated to that of the underlying securities. Derivative instruments can be illiquid, may disproportionately increase losses and may have a potentially large negative impact on the portfolio’s performance. A currency forward is a hedging tool that does not involve any upfront payment. The use of leverage may increase volatility in the Portfolio.

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