While You Were Working - Day Two at INSITE 2017

INSITE panel ponders bull, bear or bunny state of the markets

A rather entertaining panel here at Pershing’s INSITE 2017 conference weighed whether we are in a bull, bear or bunny market. For those who might have never heard the phrase, a bunny market is the term John Paulsen of Wells Capital uses to describe a market that hops back and forth. Karyn Cavanaugh from Voya Investment Management weighed in with the opinion that markets are still in bull territory and will be there for quite some time. Darrell Reilly from T. Rowe Price was a bit more cautious, suggesting markets are a bull on life-support.

Just a day after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, Reilly also took aim at the notion that monetary policy could be relied upon to cure whatever ails the economy.

“To fix the economy, we need to stop trying to apply cyclical fixes to structural problems,” Reilly explained.

The panel agreed that while central bankers might have worked miracles in the past, it is time for other policymakers to step up and fix various disconnects that are happening in the markets and the overall economy.

Pershing launches no-transaction-fee ETF platform

Also here at INSITE, Pershing announced the roll out of a no-transaction-fee ETF platform. The launch makes sense considering the explosive growth ETFs have experienced.

“This new offering reaffirms our commitment to expanding the suite of low-cost investment solutions available to our clients as they continue to implement ETFs more frequently within portfolios in an effort to more efficiently meet investor financial goals,” explained Justin Fay, Pershing’s Director of Financial Solutions.

Pershing already has a no-transaction-fee platform for mutual funds called FundVest.

Future for coal looks bleak and natural gas isn’t much brighter

Despite any kind of nostalgia or policy moves from the White House, coal is not going carve out increased market share in the energy markets of the future, according to Bloomberg’s New Energy Outlook 2017. The report finds that nearly three-quarters of the $10.2 trillion the world will invest in new power generating technology until 2040 will be spent on renewables. Solar is already beating coal on price alone in countries like the US, Germany and Spain. The report also found renewables will provide as much power as natural gas by 2040.

Hands off the OFR

This passionate plea to save the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research from nefarious changes is worth a read. When it comes to in-depth research, the OFR is the tiny little engine that could. Policymakers should either increase its budget or leave it alone and let it keep doing what it has been doing: non-political research.

Ghost Fleet redux

Every time I see stories about the risks posed to the US by imported items such as planes, software and military gear, I think of the book Ghost Fleet by P.W. Singer and August Cole. If you haven’t read it, do so.

WYWW Appetizers