Global Investing

Good-bye babyboomers, good-buy Generation Y?

London’s premier department store Selfridges has already opened a Christmas shop with festive decorations and accessories (Christmas comes 141 days early), so it is no surprise that some fund managers are already looking ahead for next year onwards.

David Miller, head of alternative investment at Cheviot Asset Management, thinks investment in the period 2010-2012 will be driven by the impact of demographic trends, such as Generation Y — those born since 1978, all of whom grew up with the Internet.

However, as far as investment markets are concerned Baby Boomers (1946-1964) are still in the driving seat both as spenders and savers.

“Their priorities will continue to drive markets for a few more years yet,” he says.

Miller thinks the risk-free rate of return will remain close to zero while governments will underwrite corporate risk for as long as they can afford to and will do nothing to disturb the recovery, which would keep interest rates low for years rather than months.

Exit Santa Claus, Enter the Grinch

Nomura Chief Economist David Resler has made it an annual tradition to write his year-end review and outlook set to the rhythm and rhyme of classic poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”.

Better known by its first line “T’was the Night Before Christmas”, the 19th century poem is largely responsible for the popular conception of Santa Claus as a jolly, rotund, white-bearded man on a reindeer-pulled sleigh.

In keeping with the prevalent mood, Resler has this year substituted the merry figure of St. Nick with Dr Seuss’ Christmas-ruining, green-skinned Grinch who goes about “brewing up trouble” in the “housing price bubble” by posing as a
home mortgage lender:

Prudence and judgment the Grinch deemed simply passé
Neither income nor job would stand in his loans’ way.
For a Grinch-loan nothing had to be verified.
‘Cause in MBS bundles these risks would he hide.