Category Archives: Uncategorized

Book Bits: 16 October 2021

Trillions: How a Band of Wall Street Renegades Invented the Index Fund and Changed Finance Forever
Robin Wigglesworth
Interview with author and excerpt via
The finance industry has historically been adept at inventing new products that line its own pockets more than those of Main Street. The index fund is a rare exception to the rule. At a time when the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening everywhere, the positive impact that an initially much-maligned invention by a motley group of self-described finance industry renegades and heretics can have in the space of a few decades is inspirational. Nonetheless, new technologies — and that is essentially what the index fund is — always have side effects, and not all of them are positive. As index investing has grown, the initially snide comments have been replaced by concern, even fear. Over the past decade, it has become a crescendo. Paul Singer, a famous hedge fund manager, even argues that passive investing has grown into a “blob” that is now “in danger of devouring capitalism.”

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The ETF Portfolio Strategist: 15 Oct 2021

  • Nearly everything rebounded this week
  • Strong across-the-board rallies for all our portfolio benchmarks

Recovery: After six weeks of mostly weak performances, the bulls regained the narrative and drove nearly every slice of our global opportunity set of risk betas higher. The only loser in this week’s trading through today’s close (Friday, Oct. 15): foreign junk bonds (IHY). For details on all the strategies and metrics in the tables, see this summary.

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Macro Briefing: 15 October 2021

* President Biden signs bill to lift US debt ceiling through December
* Powell’s prospects for 2nd term at Fed dented but not derailed
* Brent oil futures top $85 a barrel for first time since October 2018
* Microsoft plans to close LinkedIn in China, citing onerous regulations
* United Auto Workers strike at John Deere, first time in 35 years
* US workers appear to be revolting against low pay and underpay
* State-run oil firms filling output gap left by lower production at Western firms
* SEC set to allow first US bitcoin futures fund to start trading
* Prices paid to US producers eased in September
* US jobless claims fell to a new pandemic low last week:

Macro Briefing: 14 October 2021

* Gas shortage expected to force power plants to switch to oil
* US home heating costs projected to rise sharply this winter, federal gov’t advises
* Fed minutes: ‘gradual tapering process’ could start as early as mid-November
* Flatter 30yr-5yr Treasury yield curve suggests recession risk is rising
* Foreclosures surging as Covid mortgage bailouts expire
* China’s factory-gate prices soared to a near-26-year high in September
* Chinese developers shut out of global debt markets after Evergrande crisis
* Turkish currency at record low after president fires central bankers
* US headline consumer inflation ticked up to 5.4% annual rate in September:

Macro Briefing: 13 October 2021

* House votes to raise the US borrowing limit through December
* IMF cuts US and global economic growth estimates for 2021
* Global supply chain bottlenecks could “get worse before they get better”
* US will open borders with Canada and Mexico to vaccinated travelers
* China’s export growth was surprisingly strong in September
* UK economy continued recovering in August
* Eurozone industrial output fell in August amid supply constraints, slower growth
* US small business sentiment ticked lower in Sep, well below recent peak
* US workers quit their jobs at record pace in August:

Macro Briefing: 12 October 2021

* House set to vote on US debt-limit increase approved by Senate last week
* Global tax deal in doubt in US over obscure legal issue
* JPMorgan’s Dimon predicts supply-chain issues for economy will ease soon
* China’s financial sector under increased scrutiny from government
* India faces rising risk of an energy crisis
* Iran reportedly hacked US and Israeli defense tech companies, says Microsoft
* South Korea’s central bank holds rates steady but signals hike in November
* Three US economists share Nobel prize in economics
* US oil price benchmark tops $80/barrel for the first time since 2018: