TAG Could Be Tagged in Fiscal-Cliff Negotiations

Doug Peebles, Jon Denfeld and Ed Dombrowski

Caught up in the wrangling over the US fiscal cliff is a little-publicized program that could have big implications for short-term investors and bond yields if the program expires on December 31. If the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program ends, huge sums of money may start looking for a new home. (more…)


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Fees Matter a Lot, but They’re Not All That Matters

The US Department of Labor’s new fee-disclosure rules for defined contribution (DC) plans will provide participants with much more information on plan and investment-option fees. That’s good. But there’s a real risk that it may unintentionally drive participants toward making poor investment decisions, as my colleagues Mark Fortier and Daniel Notto explain below.

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“Bad Bank” Unlikely to Solve Spain’s Banking Problems

As Spain slips back into recession, the Spanish government has begun talks on ring-fencing the country’s bad property loans in one or more separate entities. While this may help, we doubt whether the move will be enough on its own to solve Spain’s problems, as our European banking analyst, Victoria Norman, discusses below. 

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US Housing Finance: Our Vision for a Privately Led System

There’s a growing consensus today that the US government’s huge footprint in the $10.5 trillion mortgage market needs to shrink, with the private sector taking the lead. But there is less agreement on how the transition to a new system should take place. Here’s our perspective as investors in the mortgage market on what is needed to get the ball rolling. (more…)


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US Housing Finance: Let’s Put Quality Before Quantity

The US government’s housing finance policies in recent decades can be summarized by one simple phrase: quantity over quality. The implicit goal was to increase the quantity of housing finance by keeping mortgage rates low and promoting wider home ownership. For several decades, the system worked. But if we view the long-term stability of home prices as one measure of the quality of housing finance, those policies now don’t look so successful. (more…)


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