IMPACT INVESTING 2022/Q2 - Page 9

March 2022: The Fog of War

 

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” - Willa Sibert Cather

Russia’s attack on Ukraine has injected material uncertainty into the capital markets. Risk appetites

have disappeared, and financial conditions have tightened, driven primarily by the spike in commodity

prices. The world has settled into an uncomfortable war of attrition, with investors pondering the

circumstances and timing of de-escalation or worsening global economic drag. Encouragingly, the

invasion and corresponding market correction are happening against a backdrop of strong economic

growth and record corporate profitability. 

June 2022: Finding Equilibrium

The present is the ever-moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope. - Frank Lloyd Wright

 

Markets are trying to strike a fragile balance between hope that inflation is peaking and fear of a recession. Growth is slowing just as financial conditions tighten, but we suspect prolonged recessionary conditions can be avoided. Volatility has remained elevated, and investors are sure to remain on edge as the path to a soft landing is narrow. 

May 2022: The Narrow Runway

“The trium can't be had without the struggle - Wilma Rudolph

 

Interest rates around the world continue to move higher. Central banks are intently raising borrowing rates to help curb inflation, while geopolitical volatility and stubborn lockdowns are pressuring economic growth. Investors should keep their seat belt on as policy tightening into a slowing economy is tricky business; an anxious investor base is watching closely to see if they can stick the landing.

April 2022: Braking, Not Breaking

 

“You’ll never find a rainbow if you are looking down.” - Charlie Chaplin

Financial conditions are tightening, spearheaded by the Fed’s desire to slow growth and keep inflation in check. Bond yields have surged higher, and commodities have spiked as the volatile geopolitical backdrop adds to an already anxious investor base. Encouragingly, the developments are happening at a time of strong employment and record corporate profitability that should blunt the sting of a more restrictive policy. We see the economy braking, but not breaking.

Previously in the Market

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July 2022: Feeling the Heat

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.” - Leonardo Da Vinci

 

A tricky summer for the markets is underway. “Peak inflation” continues to be elusive, growth is slowing and macro ambiguities abound. While asset prices and depressed investor sentiment reflect the uncertainty, the ever-changing narratives and whipsaw patterns are playing with investors’ nerves.