M&A Outlook for 2023 (Part Two)

Any attempt to predict what the future investing climate will be is bound to be an iffy proposition. This point was driven home to us as we reviewed past candidates for Lead Left Quotes of the Week that didn’t make the cut for one reason or another.

For instance, back in May 2021 one CIO of a large private wealth manager predicted:

“Inflation will be higher. At a dangerous level? No.” Another fixed income head at a top global asset manager wasn’t so sure. “There is so much dislocation in the economy…that it will take at least six to 12 months before we get a clear view of the underlying inflation trend.”

Prescient too was Mohamed El-Erian of Allianz. “The last few years have been great for investors because everything went up,” he said back then. “You gained on your equities and bonds. Now you risk losing money on both sides.” Indeed.

The biggest challenge today is predicting Fed behavior. It seems predicated less on inflation data and more on a determination to send a signal to markets (see our Chart of the Week) that its battle against systemically higher prices is serious enough to likely end in a recession. Sustained higher rates lasting into 2024 might have a lasting impact on deal making activity.