Games People Play

Monthly Investment Outlook from Bill Gross :

Good players know that it is critical to move quickly around the board, make acquisitions and then develop the properties by creating hotels. Three hotels on each property are desirable and of course as every Monopoly pro knows, it’s not Boardwalk or Park Place that are the key holdings but the Oranges and the Reds. Same thing in reality’s markets, I would suggest. Which companies and which investments to overweight and how much leverage to use usually point to the eventual winners. But an ample amount of cash is important as well as you land on other owners’ properties. You need liquidity to pay rent or service debt – otherwise you sell assets at a discounted price and are swiftly out of the game. That reminds me of Lehman Brothers and its aftermath. Early in Monopoly, property is king but later in the game, cash becomes king and those without cash and the ability to get it go bankrupt.

→ Janus Capital

Is Greece In Default Again ?

My feeling is that the answer is no. You can make the argument that this is a coercive distressed exchange, and that coercive distressed exchanges are one way of defaulting. But default is a fraught word, and I don’t think it should be used lightly. In this case, when the exchange is genuinely voluntary for all but the Greek banks, it seems weird to call it a default. Especially when the bonds are trading at their all-time highs.

→ Felix Salmon

Getting to Normal

The de facto default by Greece early this year ended investors’ complacency. The government bonds of peripheral eurozone countries thus became toxic. Given the unprecedented nature of the Greek default, the market valuation of peripheral debt has been fluctuating widely, still searching for “fundamentals,” such as deficit or debt levels, that could explain the evolution of risk premia over time.

→ Project Syndicate