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Macro Wrap-Up

A Black Zero Sum Game

Black zero may sound like a bad diet cola, but it is the literal translation of Germany’s Schwarze Null zero deficit policy. While many other developed countries have been running up government debt, Germany has been a model of fiscal discipline. This has led to calls for reform…in Germany. This week, we look at why Germany is so German and what a change in policy would mean for markets.


Bonds Are Frickin' Expensive

When something as important as the U.S. bond yield hits historical extremes, it’s worth at least a discussion. Cliff examines the long-term relationships between real bond yields, real T-bill yields, the slope of the yield curve, and economic conditions.

Macro Wrap-Up

Phone A Friend

Unexpected market moves have been around as long as Who wants to be a Millionaire? Whenever they occur, we get almost as many questions as a contestant on that show. As always we appreciate your input – unlike some contestants we won’t walk away from any questions. We sometimes change the exact text of the questions, but we try to capture their tone.

Macro Wrap-Up

No Quick Fix for FX

Currency intervention has all but disappeared as a tool for U.S. policymakers. This week, we look at why it remains a popular topic of discussion for macro investors, even though officials claim they’ve ruled it out. It’s quite the trilemma for investors.

Macro Wrap-Up

The Fed is Signaling a Cut. But Why Though?

There is a strong consensus among market participants that the Fed will cut rates at its next meeting. There is an almost equally strong consensus that they don’t understand why the Fed will cut rates. This week we look at the confusing, contradictory logic which is driving the Fed’s convoluted communication. We hope it will seem a little more clear.

Macro Wrap-Up

Feels So Good Being Bad

Charging fees for ATM usage. Closing early on Saturdays. Making customers say "representative" ten times before getting a real person for customer service. These are all things bad banks do. That is not what we’re covering this week. Instead we’re looking at the use of so called "bad banks" as a tool for restructuring and maintaining financial stability. In this case bad banks may be a good thing.


Quant Cassandra

If all of us, as investors, can persevere, we believe the long-term benefits are great. But even knowing all this in advance doesn’t make it easy. Hopefully, this reminder of what we all knew sixteen long months ago is helpful.

Working Paper

Factor Premia and Factor Timing: A Century of Evidence

We examine four prominent factor premia – value, momentum, carry, and defensive – over a century from six asset classes. The results offer support for time-varying risk premia models with important implications for theory seeking to explain the sources of factor returns.


AQR Announces Winners of 2019 Insight Award

This year, first prize was awarded to “Can the Market Multiply and Divide? Non-Proportional Thinking in Financial Markets” by authors Kelly Shue, of Yale University and NBER, and Richard R. Townsend of University of California San Diego. The paper was awarded a $50,000 prize.

Working Paper

Looking Under the Hood of Active Credit Managers

We find that credit long/short managers tend to have high passive exposure to the credit risk premium. In contrast, we find that high-yield-focused long-only managers provide less exposure to the credit risk premium than their respective benchmarks.