A Market in Full (Second of a Series)

News reached us recently of a young walrus that had wandered south from his Arctic range in search of ice floes. Landing in Ireland, Wally began boarding luxury yachts. The property damage turned the whiskered wayfarer from “visiting celebrity to public enemy number one.”

It all worked out, though, when a marine biologist enticed the walrus onto a pontoon, which was hauled out of the harbor. Wally was last seen frolicking off the coast of Iceland. “He avoided sinking any boats while he was there,” one rescuer happily reported.

In the world of ultra-low interest rates, credit investors are similarly tempted off their usual hunting grounds. In part this is due to unusual economic conditions. On the one hand, consumers are still spending at higher levels than a year ago. But supply chain disruptions are acting to hold back real growth in many sectors.

Markets are similarly bifurcated. As Nuveen’s Brian Nick highlighted recently there is a “lack of clear and consistent signals about the trajectory of the global economy and public policy.” One day public equities are buoyant with growth prospects, the next, sinking on inflation and growth concerns.