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Q&A: The Bull and Bear Case for Ethereum

 

Question: What is a digital currency actually backed with as there are no assets within a digital currency? 

 

Answer: Cryptoassets are—to quote a recent Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS’) consultative document on the topic—“private digital assets that depend primarily on cryptography and distributed ledger or similar technology.” So the world’s central bankers agree they are assets. 

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Benefit Bonds: What You Should Consider

The issue of funding an increasing pension liability is a lingering concern for many trustees and state officials. As employee contribution rates continue to increase, discount rates are declining, and municipal contributions are under pressure due to competing priorities, many plans struggle to properly manage and continue to provide benefits to employees.

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Board Diversity: The Time for Change is Now, Will Shareholders Step Up?

Much ink has been spilled, much breath expended, and many hands have been wrung over the last decade on the lack of diversity in corporate boardrooms. That chorus only intensified over the last year as protests over racial inequity poured out into the streets of cities across the country.

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A JOLT of Inflation From the Labor Market?

Recent economic reports have prompted fears that prices in the U.S. are about to take off. Concerns that pandemic-related supply bottlenecks, combined with increased consumer demand due to unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, would lead to an undesirable jump in inflation seem to be, at least preliminarily, materializing. While increasing costs have been widespread, the greatest opportunity for sustained price increases lies in the labor market and the possibility of a wage-price spiral.

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The Unbearable Lightness of Low Rates

  • In this report we examine the impact of low rates on banks and what can they do about it. We also plan to follow up this publication with examining impact of low rates on insurance and asset management.

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Real Estate's Relationship to Inflation

With material inflation returning for the first time in years, investors are tasked with defending their portfolios against its erosive effects. Often, this has been done via investment in real estate, long touted as an effective hedging strategy in periods of rising prices, though why this has persisted as part of the investing canon bears repeating given the current environment.

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Inflation—Joining the Dots: Shifting Priorities Open the Door to Higher Inflation

What You Need to Know

As the world starts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, a range of factors are converging to create a new inflationary era. Crucially, the policy regime is changing, driven by the need to respond to emerging social and environmental challenges and help manage record peacetime debt levels. These developments reinforce longer-term structural changes that are ending the long period of disinflation that the developed world enjoyed from 1980 to 2020. Such secular trends include the reversal of positive demographics and the start of de-globalization. How did we get to this juncture? What can we learn from previous inflationary episodes? And what are the chances of a different outcome this time?

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Long View on China

The rise of China’s digital champions has been an engine of innovation and growth and a compelling investment opportunity over the past years.

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Virtual Public Forum to Preview Updates to Congressional Website

Part of the job of administrators and trustees of public employee retirement systems is to keep up with legislation that could impact the benefits of their fund's active and retired members. The Library of Congress will hold a public forum next month to update the public on the latest improvements to Congress.gov, the official source for federal legislative information. 

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Learn Why the Asset Class is Often Overlooked

Often an overlooked asset class, we believe that CLO equity deserves strong consideration as a strategic allocation given its attractive historical return profile, time-tested proven structure, and potential diversification benefits the asset class can provide a broader portfolio.

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A Complementary Source for Additional Yield

  • Although institutional investors’ allocation to publicly traded investment grade (IG) bonds is essential for liquidity and stability, yields today are historically low. The typical corporate pension fund, for example, with a fixed income allocation of close to 50%1 and long-term performance goals averaging 6.5%,1 faces a wide return gap to be filled.2

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Should EM Investors be Worried About Tapering?

Although the Fed looks likely to tighten policy sooner than previously expected, the 2013 “taper tantrum” should be avoided. But tapering will still have a variety of implications for emerging markets.

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Exploring Consumer Trends: Whitepaper

Emerging markets offer attractive investment opportunities, supported by favorable economic fundamentals and a rapidly expanding middle class. But classic consumption patterns appear to be evolving, and this could have implications for emerging markets investors.

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European Bank Valuations are at a 33-year Low

With European bank valuations at a 33-year low, let's examine why this may be this best time to invest with the right strategy.

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How Investors are Reevaluating Their Traditional Allocations so They are Aligned with Current Investment Opportunities

The impact of COVID-19, which surfaced in the U.S. over a year ago, continues to shape the global economic backdrop. As a result, many investors have started to reassess their traditional allocations to better align with the opportunity set going forward.  For many credit investors, downside protection, capturing incremental yield premium and the threat of rising rates have become top of mind. To meet these goals, many have turned to the private credit asset class, specifically middle-market direct lending, which, in addition to offering these characteristics, has continued to benefit from on-going secular trends.  

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3 Indexing Best Practices

We recently worked with a client as it was evaluating a passive investment in large cap U.S. equity. After a discussion about the two most common indices used to represent the large cap U.S. equity market and what would be most appropriate for this investor, a committee member made a very interesting observation:

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China's Transition to Greener Economy to Create Diverse New Investment Opportunities

China’s 2060 carbon-neutral framework not only addresses climate change, but also discreetly reveals how Beijing envisions the country’s economic future. As efforts to generate more sustainable growth progress, the transition to a greener economy will create diverse new investment opportunities. 

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What Investors Should Know About the Sustainability Revolution

The world is aggressively seeking sustainability. While the topic has been around for perhaps a decade, the “awakening” really hit the public consciousness in 2020 and has now become a mega-theme. It’s transitioning into a revolution and shepherding an era of conscious capitalism that’s playing out across the investment landscape. This is not the traditional socially responsible movement that has historically involved divestment from tobacco, weapons and other so-called ‘sin’ stocks. This is about driving returns first, while providing social and environmental benefits.

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2020 Developments in Securities Litigation Outside the US

While the world may have been on lockdown for most of 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, there were significant developments in non-U.S. securities litigation.

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Will Work-from-home Change the Future of Office Space?

With vaccines rolling out across the globe, many see a light at the end of the tunnel for the COVID-19 pandemic. But government-imposed lockdowns and social distancing restrictions in response to the pandemic have had major effects on the working lives of office-based employees. For much of 2020, many employees worked from home (WFH), and survey-based data show that the appetite has grown for more permanent flexible working arrangements. Many employers appear to be acknowledging this desire for more hybrid remote work as they assess longer term office space requirements. What are the potential impacts on office space, commercial real estate, and urban centers from this kind of shift?

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