2 Aug 2017

The End of LIBOR

LIBOR’s reign as “The World’s Most Important Number” is almost over and the banking world is in for a period of transition as a result. The problem isn’t because of dwindling usage, but because of issues in the way it has been calculated and manipulated over time. While LIBOR is used as a reference rate in a wide range of lending products, it is actually calculated from a survey of… Read More

2 Mar 2017

What About The Bonds?

Almost all of the focus on the Federal Reserve lately has been concentrated on the future path for the fed funds target rate. After the false start in December of 2015, the FOMC hiked rates again in December of last year and now stands poised to actually turn things into a steady campaign of rate hikes. However, the other piece of their emergency level of monetary policy accommodation – the… Read More

30 Nov 2016

Inflation On The Horizon

Interest rates are higher and once again it has a lot of investors paying attention to the interest rate risk in their portfolio. Since the Ten-year yield dropped to 2% at the depth of the financial crisis we have had multiple periods of volatility in the bond market when rates rose only to fall back down or in some cases go even lower. Each time the reason was a little… Read More

30 Sep 2016

Liquidity When You Need It

This month’s ALM Insights is a return to one of my favorite topics, bond market liquidity. In the September 2013 issue I wrote Liquidity as a Risk Factor – which highlighted the impact that liquidity can have on expected return. I wrote on liquidity again in the June 2015 issue in Is Bond Market Liquidity Gone? – where I looked into how market liquidity can change over time. Well the… Read More

22 Jun 2016

A Cloud on the Horizon

“Businesses are Falling Behind on Their Loans Like it’s 2008.”   This is a headline that popped up on my Bloomberg TOP news screen recently.  Since the financial crisis, every bank I have talked to has been focused on increasing C&I lending.  After being snake bit by real estate, banks have all chased after commercial loans.  That makes a headline like this particularly alarming and a situation worth further investigation. Looking… Read More

19 May 2016

Yield Curve Swiftly Shifting

When looking at the shape of the yield curve it’s easy to see that a lot has changed. Low yields overall have certainly pinched bond investors and made them look elsewhere for returns, but not all investors are so flexible. For banks who are restricted in terms of the investments that they are allowed to hold, the decision of where in the bond market to invest is an important one… Read More

15 Apr 2016

Want to Make a Bet?

Spring has finally arrived, which means baseball is back. Here in St Louis, conversations always tends to lead back to our beloved Cardinals and speculation about how they will perform this year. Any discussion about the Cardinals these days also involves speculation about our friendly rivals up north, the Chicago Cubs. Despite a history of futility, fans of the small bears are always optimistic this time of year, and that… Read More

19 Mar 2016

Does The Fed Control Interest Rates?

We at Acropolis spend a lot of time writing about what is going on inside the Federal Open Market Committee (the FOMC is the group within the Federal Reserve in charge of setting monetary policy for the central bank). Considering the amount of attention given to the FOMC in the media and investment industry, one might think the impact of the committee on financial markets is enormous. The committee meets… Read More

11 Jan 2016

ALM Insights – January 2016

ALM Insights is focused on banks and other institutions that use their portfolio to manage risk on both sides of their balance sheet. It takes an in-depth look at securities investment strategies, balance sheet and asset/liability strategies, regulatory topics and general economic information. To view this issue, click the image below. In This Issue: We Have Liftoff! But I Thought Rates Went Up? Is The Canary Still Singing?  

23 Sep 2015

ALM Insights – September 2015

ALM Insights is focused on banks and other institutions that use their portfolio to manage risk on both sides of their balance sheet. It takes an in-depth look at securities investment strategies, balance sheet and asset/liability strategies, regulatory topics and general economic information. To view this issue, click the image below. In This Issue: Janet Blinked What if You Called Them Market Perfectly? Part II Another Debt Crisis?