The trope of the "stock market vigilante" is a tale told by an exhausted stock market, full of hope and yearning, signifying nothing.

bantam inc jack duval manhattan new york MFO UHNW OCIO family office - guardian angels image

These guys are back to protect your stock portfolio.

Rarely does the market ring a bell to signal a selling opportunity, but it did yesterday.  Fed Chair Jerome Powell announced the Fed would stop its interest rate hikes and consider slowing its balance sheet reductions. Equity investors, trained over the past 10 years to buy on Fed easing, gorged

on any and all equities, sending the S&P 500 Index up 1.58 percent.  They won’t taste as good coming back up. Bond investors, a less flamboyant type with a sensitive ear for risk, quietly gathered their things and left the party, which they know is over.  They bought bonds across…

Small changes at the axis can cause enormous changes in layers further out.

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Is this the future of investment philosophy?

I have written extensively about the rising threat of environmental risks for investors.  Now The Wall Street Journal has caught up, calling the PG&E bankruptcy "the first climate-change bankruptcy", and positing that it won't be the last.  I wrote about PG&E back in November in a post about environmentally resilient portfolios. I believe

the PG&E bankruptcy is small potatoes compared to the systemic environmental costs that are coming. In this post, I want to introduce a new way of thinking about investments that utilizes a framework for time and change called “Pace Layering”.  This framework enables the easy visualization of…

There’s no way the biggest and longest credit expansion in the history of the world ends in a credit whimper.

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Artist's rendering of debtnado.

As I have written about here, the corporate bond market has become toxic due to increased leverage levels, the record issuance of low-quality bonds, and leveraged loans (this cycle’s poster boy for excess).  All of this has been made possible by the synchronized global central bank policy of lowering interest

rates to zero (or below zero) after the Global Financial Crisis. Chart 1: Ratio of U.S. Corporate Debt to GDP[1] Chart 2: BBB Share of Corporate Debt Outstanding[2] The Coming Credit Event It seems highy likely that such excess will culminate in a credit event that will mark the end…

Throughout human history, the economy and the environment have been inexorably linked.

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Photo: Brazdil and Kotyza, 1995

Hunger Stones In Central Europe, people beginning in the 1100's have marked droughts by carving warnings and dates on rocks in the Rhine, Elba, and other major rivers.  These rocks are known as “hunger stones”.  Like ghosts from the past, these stones and their warnings are being revealed as a

record European drought combined with record heat reduces water levels to all-time recorded lows.[1] Some of the hunger stones’ messages include: “If you see me, weep”; “If you will again see this stone, so you will weep, so shallow the water was in the year 1417”; “Who once saw me,…

Now is the time for quality investments, especially in fixed income.

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There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. (MOVE US Treasury volatility index is set to rise from decade lows.)

Many investors are unaware that 49 percent of all outstanding investment grade corporate bonds are BBB rated (one notch above junk status), up from 34 percent 10 years ago.  This is a 44 percent increase in a decade, something unprecedented. Chart 1: BBB Bonds as Percent of

Investment Grade Index[1] In fact, the entire corporate bond market (not just investment grade) has become something of a toxic wasteland of junk bonds, leveraged loans (for those firms not strong enough to issue any more junk bonds), and BBB (on-the-cusp-of-junk) rated bonds. Chart 2:  The Corporate Bond Market[2] This shifting of corporate…