The Next Big Futures Market May Be OUT OF THIS WORLD or in CHINA

In my post about globalizing futures, technology and logistics were highlighted as key factors to expand local commodities into a global commodities.  What I failed to mention is that these same keys may unlock potential futures markets growth beyond Earth.  That may seem extraordinary but the potential is real since according to this article on Read more […]

Wall Street’s Version Of Black Friday

It’s widely known that Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is the traditional kickoff for the Christmas shopping season. Much like retail shoppers, Wall Street is experiencing a similar event though it does not come with such a defined time period. Early indications of companies attempting to time corporate issuances came in September of this Read more […]

Bond Funds Unbound

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal offered a profile of fixed income investors who aim to “break [the] chains” by which they are supposedly confined by index benchmarks. As the bond market falters, investors are seeking shelter in funds that aren’t tied to indexes.  These bonds funds are known as “unconstrained,” “go-anywhere,” “absolute return” or “flexible” funds, Read more […]

Passively Active: A Passage to India

Globally, over 6 billion U.S. dollars are invested in India Equity ETFs, although less than 200 million via products listed in India.  It’s reasonable to suppose that Indian demand is reflected in the local figures, transferring wealth across Indian borders is both difficult and expensive.  Thus, on the face of it, these figures suggest general Read more […]

Irrational Exuberance and Robert Shiller

Robert Shiller, Yale economist and author of Irrational Exuberance, who warned of 2000 Tech bust and the housing bubble is warning that equities may be a bubble. Year to date, the S&P 500 is up 26.7% and the Dow Industrials are up 22.4%, both before dividend reinvestment.

Coming Soon to a Dictionary Near You

It may have been 30 years ago, in the early days of stock index futures, that the verb “equitize” (and its cognate noun, “equitization“) came into relatively common use.  The term, if Dr. Johnson will forgive me, meant “to provide equity returns without purchasing equity securities.”  Typically this was accomplished by buying S&P 500 futures — if I Read more […]

Sentimental Markets

The Fed’s QE policy is credited with, or blamed for, inflating prices of homes and stocks. The forces pushing prices up in these markets may be the same, but buyers’ perspectives are very different.  When the S&P/Case-Shiller home price numbers were released yesterday (November 26th) there were fears that bubbles were back, especially in San Read more […]

The (Exponential) Power of Interest Rates on Commodities

Literally – or at least mathematically – there are two equations that tell the tale of interest rate impacts on commodities. As my colleagues Fei Mei Chan and Craig Lazzara pointed out in a recent paper they authored, Much Ado About Interest Rates, “Since yields peaked in 1981, the three subsequent decades have witnessed a remarkable bull Read more […]

Dividends Matter

This morning’s Wall Street Journal brought word that the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which reached nominal all-times highs earlier this month, was in fact still 1% below “the record that counts,” which record is argued to be the all-time high in inflation-adjusted terms.  The analysis uses the price of the Dow Industrials (e.g., last Friday’s Read more […]

Blurred Lines: Institutional Adoption of Alternative Beta

Over the recent years, the traditional divide between passive and active management has become increasingly blurred. In particular, institutional investors have shown growing interests in so call “alternative beta” or “smart beta” strategies that aim to deliver better risk adjusted performance than the market by taking active bets on systematic risk factors, while retaining the Read more […]