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(2010-09-13 15:58:45)



A New World Since Lehman's Fall

Two years after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed into bankruptcy, the impact of the financial crisis can be seen on almost every market around the globe.
The preference of investors for reliable income streams from bonds of all types has led to big rallies in both safe-haven U.S. Treasurys and risky 'junk' bonds, even amid a chorus of warnings about a 'bond bubble.'
But many stock markets, most notably in the U.S., haven't reclaimed losses suffered since Lehman filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 15, 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Average remains more than 900 points below its pre-Lehman level.
U.S. financial stocks, at the epicenter of the crisis, remain nearly a third lower than where they were two years ago. And, since August 2008, investors around the world have pulled $203 billion out of developed-market stock funds, according to EPFR Global. That is 8.5% of the $2.4 trillion in developed-market stock funds at the time.
Instead, investors are gravitating toward emerging markets. That isn't because they want to take on risk. Those economies, with lower debt levels and strong outlooks, are now seen as having taken on the role of driving global economic growth from the developed economies.
At the same time, investors have bid up gold prices by 64% as they seek out insurance against another financial crisis and protection against the potential long-term inflationary impact of big budget deficits and super-low interest rates put in place to revive battered economies.
Whether it is because of the sheer magnitude of the financial crisis, a lost decade for stock investors or the significant level of government intervention in the economy and financial markets, investors -- who usually have short memories -- continue to see Lehman's shadow.
'The failure of Lehman Brothers is still very much present,' says Jason DeSena Trennert, chief investment strategist at Strategas Research Partners. When it comes to investor psychology, he says, 'it's hard to overestimate its importance.'
The stock market's current malaise contrasts with the aftermath of other crises. Two years after the 1987 market crash, the Dow was 400 points higher than it had been on the Friday before Black Monday, a gain of 20%.
Recently, there have been hints that investors are less enamored of bonds and tiptoeing back into stocks. The Dow has gained 4.5% this month to 10462.77, as a string of better-than-expected economic data has eased fears about a double-dip recession. The 10-year Treasury note has tumbled, pushing its yield up from 2.477% to 2.795%.
Given huge government efforts to prop up the economy following the financial crisis, it is harder than usual for investors to get a read on the economic outlook, says Erin Browne, global macro equity trader at Citigroup. That was evident in the collapse of U.S. home sales during June following the expiration of the homebuyers' tax credit.
Usually the markets move in anticipation of the economy's ups and downs, but with the tremendous influence of economic- and monetary-policy stimulus, 'people are unwilling to buy [stocks] ahead of the data,' Ms. Browne says. Instead, 'they're in a 'prove it to me' state.'
The intervention efforts by governments and central banks to prop up economies crippled by the financial crisis have also had a direct impact on markets.
This can be seen in the U.S. mortgage-backed-securities and Treasury-debt markets, where the Federal Reserve has mopped up some $1.55 trillion of debt since March 2009. The Fed's purchases haven't only lifted prices of those bonds but also have driven traditional investors into other markets, helping fuel the rally in corporate bonds.
The Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate bond index, formerly the Lehman Aggregate Bond Index, has returned 15.8% since just before Lehman's fall. Treasury debt has returned 12.4% during that time, U.S. investment-grade bonds have returned 24.4%, and junk bonds have returned 31.1%, according to other Barclays credit indexes.
In one largely unexpected effect of the crisis, investors have developed a taste for emerging-market debt. While usually seen as more risky, and thus not intuitively a go-to investment for jittery investors, emerging markets have been sought after for their promise of robust economic growth relative the U.S., Japan and Europe.

雷曼破产两周年 危机阴影难退

雷曼兄弟(Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.)陷入破产保护的两年后,这场金融危机的影响在全球各地的每个市场几乎随处可见。


处于这场危机中心点的美国金融股依然较其两年前的水平低近三分之一。据追踪基金业的EPFR Global,自2008年8月以来,全球投资者从发达市场的股票基金中撤出了2030亿美元。这相当于发达市场当时2.4万亿美元股市市值的8.5%。


市场研究机构Strategas Research Partners首席投资策略师特瑞纳特(Jason DeSena Trennert)说,雷曼倒闭的影响当前依然存在。在对投资者心理的影响方面,他说,它的重要性怎么说都不为过。
花旗集团(Citigroup)全球宏观股市交易员布朗尼(Erin Browne)说,鉴于政府在金融危机后大力刺激经济的举措,投资者现在要预测经济前景,难度就比平时要大了。这从购房者的税收抵免到期后美国住房销售在6月份大幅下滑这一事例便可看出。
这一点从美国抵押贷款支持证券和国债市场中可以看出,自2009年3月以来美联储(Federal Reserve)已经在这里“消化”了大约1.55万亿美元的债务。美联储购买债务的举动不仅仅提高了这些债券的价格,还将传统投资者引向其他市场,在一定程度上推高了公司债。


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