Posted inFSA Spy

The FSA Spy market buzz – 20 January 2023

Warm Lunar New Year wishes, musings on water rabbits, Virtus Investment Partners hires, US yield curve woes, Elon Musk vs World Economic Forum and much more.

Spy wishes all of Fund Selector Asia’s loyal readers a very happy and prosperous Lunar New Year. The one message Spy has heard over and over again in the past few weeks from colleagues, friends and industry participants is how much they are looking forward to seeing family after such a long period of forced separation. It has been an overwhelming sense of relief that families can, at last, celebrate this auspicious time with their loved ones.

As we enter the Year of the Rabbit and a water rabbit at that, Spy has been musing on the traditional characteristics associated with water rabbit babies: vigilance, wit, quick-mindedness and, finally, a touch of ingeniousness. Perhaps Spy should make a small disclosure, in the spirit of transparency: he was also born in a water rabbit year. Whether any of those supposed character traits have proven to be true, Spy’s long suffering domestic commander-in-chief may have strong alternative views.

News reaches Spy that Virtus Investment Partners has pinched Ming Wong from Matthews Asia. Ming was head of Asia distribution and the CEO of Matthews Asia’s Singapore unit for four years and previously had stints at Janus Henderson and DWS. Virtus is headquartered in Hartford in the United States and works an affiliate model. Some of the brands in their stable include Newfleet Asset Management, Duff & Phelps and Ceredex Value Advisors. Spy has no information on who is replacing Ming at Matthews Asia.

For people hoping for some good news to support the rather bullish atmosphere in January, Spy suggests you look away now. Charlie Bilello reports, “The American yield curve has inverted rather badly. The 3-Month Treasury bill yield of 4.69% is now 1.32% higher than the 10-Year Treasury bond yield (3.37%). With data going back to 1962, only March 1980 (recession: Feb-Jul 1980) had a more inverted yield curve than today.” Ouch!

Spy has not spent the week in Davos at the World Economic Forum hobnobbing with the rich, famous and highly egotistical pretending to make the world a better place while stacking the deck in their favour. Somehow his ticket was lost in the post. It seems that Elon Musk, of Tesla, Space X and Twitter fame, thinks the WEF should have a little less power, too. He asked millions of his Twitter followers this week if the WEF should run the world. No, in a very loud voice, it seems. And as an aside, Microsoft in Davos got ageing global super rocker Sting to perform at its big party and then promptly announced 10,000 staff lay-offs the next morning. Tone deaf Spy might say, or as Sting himself might have put it, “Every breath you take, and every move you make, Every bond you break, Every step you take, I’ll be watching you.”

Have a brilliant Lunar New Year break and come back safely if you are travelling.

Until next week…

Part of the Mark Allen Group.