How hot is the inflation pot? Strategies to protect portfolios from inflation risk

Wednesday 31 March 2021

As the global economy emerges from its worst slump since the 1930s, we envisage plenty of inflation fertilisers at stake, especially in the United States. Inflationary trends could emerge due to a combination of factors, including the cyclical recovery as countries try to get the pandemic under control and gradually lift mitigation measures. This will come at the same time as a super-sized US fiscal stimulus, thanks to the recently-passed $1.9tn fiscal package, which includes $1,400 direct payments to US citizens earning $75,000 a year or less, which will be disbursed quickly. The cheques could result in a big boost to consumer spending as early as April and could equate to the unfolding of huge pockets of pent-up demand in those sectors which have been hit the most by lockdowns. These trends – which are expected to unfold over the next twelve months – will join forces with more structural trends and a likely regime shift towards higher inflation as a way out of the crisis....

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Vignette - temperature scores
13/04/2021

Temperature scores: an innovative tool for ESG fundamental investors

2021 will be a pivotal year to curb climate change. Although global CO2 emissions dropped 7% in 2020 due to the effects of Covid-19-related lockdowns, stronger action will be needed at the upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP) 26 to keep temperature increases below 2°C and towards 1.5°C.1 Achieving the 1.5°C goal will require net zero global emissions by 2050. Today, the financial sector has new tools to measure the alignment of investment portfolios with the goal of net zero global emissions by 2050. Among these are temperature scores. To compute the temperature of company x, one compares the future emissions trajectory of that company with the corresponding trajectory of its sector, as deemed by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in alignment with a world where the temperature rise is limited to 1.5°C. So far, these scores have been adopted by only a handful of investors. A significant amount of work is still needed for investors to efficiently use such scores in their strategies.