Daily Management Review

2024 Is The Year That Investors Shift To A New Economic Order


2024 Is The Year That Investors Shift To A New Economic Order
Investors seem to be convinced that the main Western central banks are about to make the long-awaited shift from raising to lowering interest rates. As a result, markets rose, but as the globe gets used to an economic system where money is not easily obtained, 2024 may surprise us.
In recent weeks, global markets rose and the yield on the benchmark government bond decreased, even as central bankers advised against making pivotal wagers. For instance, investors in the US are currently well-positioned for the Federal Reserve to steer the economy towards a successful landing by lowering inflation without starting a recession.
The market's belief follows the surprise of the resilient U.S. economy.
That was partially mitigated by the epidemic savings of consumers and the allure of America as a safe haven for investors in a globe growing more unstable. They might be correct; earlier this year, a renowned economist and former Fed official contended that the Fed has handled soft landings more frequently than is usually thought.
However, a lot of executives and investors believe the likelihood is low. Storm clouds are brewing and the savings from the epidemic era are running low, especially in light of the likely bitter U.S. elections.
Investors anticipate that by the end of 2024, the Fed may reduce interest rates by as much as 1.5%; nevertheless, even in that scenario, policy rates would remain over 4%, where they have stood for the most of the previous 20 years.
As it would be above the so-called neutral rate, which is the point at which the economy neither grows nor contracts, monetary policy will still be a growth inhibitor at that level.
In addition, there are a number of other threats to the forecast for 2024, including two significant conflicts, increased geopolitical tensions that have firmly reversed globalisation, and elections in many nations that have the potential to drastically and unexpectedly alter the global order.
Everything is based on interest rates, including economic growth, the cost of borrowing to purchase a home or automobile, and the price of financial assets.
Riskier assets, like technology stocks and cryptocurrencies, become less appealing with higher rates since investors may still earn a respectable return without taking on a lot of risk.
Less money means riskier investments might go wrong and bubbles can burst, which can result in catastrophes like the regional banking crisis that hit the US last March. Businesses cut back when they are struggling. Jobs are disappearing and becoming harder to find.
The world has not yet fully made the shift from an era in which money was free to one in which it is no longer, even though the Fed and other banks have been hiking rates for well over a year. It is anticipated that the repercussions of such shift will become more apparent in 2024.
As a result, businesses may need to restructure their financial obligations because they are unable to continue making interest payments. In certain situations, this may involve entire nations.
A portion of that is already apparent in the debt discussions in emerging markets and the increase in corporate bankruptcies. Corporate bankruptcy filings in the US reached a record level since 2020. There will probably be more to come.
There will be greater suffering in the economy in areas like commercial real estate, where certain office markets have been severely impacted by post-pandemic changes in work practices. More landlords will probably have to reassess their holdings and surrender building keys, which will result in losses that will be passed on to banks and investors, just as it is already with the bankrupt European real estate corporation Signa.
Although savings would produce more for consumers, they would need to adjust to rising borrowing costs. For example, many adults in the United States have only ever had cheap interest rates on their 30-year mortgages.
They would have to accept rates that are more than twice as high and figure out how to make it fit into their spending plans.
In conclusion, as everyone will need to find out how to live with higher interest rates, investors' convictions will probably be put to the test.