Tag Archives: bonds

Should Bond Benchmarks Shift from Traditional to GDP-Weighted Indices?

Some prominent institutional bond investors are shifting their focus away from traditional benchmark indices that weight countries’ debt issues by market capitalization, toward GDP-weighted indices.   PIMCO (Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC, the world’s largest fixed-income investment firm) and the Government Pension Fund of Norway (one of the world’s largest Sovereign Wealth Funds), have both recently made moves in this direction.  

There is a danger that some investors will lose sight of the purpose of a benchmark index.   The benchmark exists to represent the views of the median investor dollar.  For many investors, going with the benchmark is a good guideline – especially those who recognize themselves to be relatively unsophisticated and also those who think they are sophisticated but really aren’t.   This is the implication of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis (EMH), for example.  

read more

Barrels, Bushels & Bonds: How Commodity-Exporters Can Hedge Volatility

 

The prices of minerals, hydrocarbons, and agricultural commodities have been on a veritable roller coaster. Although commodity prices are always more variable than those for manufactured goods and services, commodity markets over the last five years have seen extraordinary volatility.

 

Countries that specialize in the export of oil, copper, iron ore, wheat, coffee, or other commodities have boomed.  But they are highly vulnerable. Dollar commodity prices could plunge at any time, as a result of a new global recession, a hard landing in China, an increase in real interest rates in the United States, fluctuations in climate, or random sector-specific factors.

read more