Hilliard’s Weekend Notebook

Thoughts, views and opinions as current events unfold: With topics taken from current market events and my latest book — When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash (Dundurn: March 2015)  and my first book Investment Traps and How to Avoid Them (1999) — this short piece will give you unique and valuable insights filtered by my thirty-six years’ experience as an investment professional.

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The Fed talks tough as the inflation fighter

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Sep 23, 2022

The Federal Reserve jumped its policy interest rate to 3 percent this week, from 2.25 percent. The Fed reiterated its commitment to getting inflation back to the target level of 2 percent, from its current pace of around 8 percent. The Fed is talking... Read more
CPI shocks the financial markets

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Sep 16, 2022

The U.S. CPI for August shocked the markets this week, leading to an almost 4 percent decline in stock markets. The CPI showed a small decline, but the “core” CPI increased. Will inflation persist at these high levels? The market was expecting a moderation... Read more
The Bank of Canada says full speed ahead

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Sep 09, 2022

The Bank of Canada increased its policy rate by 75 basis points on Wednesday. It also stated that the fight to contain inflation is likely to last for some time. You could imagine them saying, “damn the torpedoes, full speed, go ahead.” How much pain... Read more
Junk bond prices have collapsed

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Sep 02, 2022

Junk bond prices have collapsed, losing more than 15 percent of their value this year. But the push to higher rates by central banks and the possibility of a deep recession point to a much deeper adjustment during 2023. This will create some great opportunities... Read more
Warren Buffett loses his magic touch

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Aug 19, 2022

The massive conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, run by the famed investor Warren Buffett, reported a large loss in the second quarter. Berkshire lost money because of accounting rules that require that losses on securities that are held must be recorded... Read more
The Bank of England is on the hot seat

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Aug 12, 2022

The Bank of England ignited a firestorm by calling for much higher rates and predicting inflation of 13.3 percent by the end of 2022. Is the Governor of the BOE overreacting? Source: Bloomberg The governor, Andrew Bailey, has put himself and the BOE under... Read more
The official recession label will come much too late to be useful

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Aug 05, 2022

The probability of recession in the U.S. is high. The popular definition of recession — two consecutive quarters of negative growth — has already occurred. But there is no official declaration of recession, yet. Why the delay in calling a recession? Some... Read more
The Chinese residential property market crisis deepens

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jul 22, 2022

The Chinese residential property market is in deep crisis. Thousands of apartment buyers have stopped paying their mortgages because they are upset that the unit they bought has not yet been built. Will this crisis affect China’s stability? Starting about... Read more