European Union Launches Social Bonds
The coronavirus pandemic has created many challenges for individuals, businesses and governments around the world. In Europe, there’s a new vehicle to help finance the economic recovery there—social bonds. David Zahn, our Head of European Fixed Income, discusses this exciting new bond issuance, earmarked for funding employment initiatives.
Brexit Saga Meets Trade Roadblocks
The United Kingdom officially left the European Union in January of this year, but issues remain in the Brexit saga, namely trade relations. David Zahn, our Head of European Fixed Income, weighs in on the odds no deal will be reached by year-end—and the market implications.
US Election: Implications Across the Pond
This November’s US presidential election pits Donald Trump against Democratic nominee Joe Biden, a longtime politician who represents a more progressive policy approach. Our Head of European Fixed Income David Zahn breaks down the implications of the US election for Europe, and why many of Biden’s policies line up more closely with European views.
EU Delivers Comprehensive Fiscal Rescue Package
The European Commission has unveiled a sweeping new €750 billion coronavirus fiscal rescue package, including the issuance of new bonds. David Zahn, our Head of European Fixed Income, calls it groundbreaking.
European Fixed Income: Coming Out of Crisis
As European economies slowly start to come out of coronavirus lockdowns, it could be some time before growth returns to pre-crisis levels, according to David Zahn, our Head of European Fixed Income. He says the crisis has been another test for the European Union...
UK Budget Ease Follows Coordinated BOE Rate Cut
Newly appointed UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak tore up the fiscal rulebook and unveiled a spend-heavy UK budget, announced just after the Bank of England delivered an emergency interest-rate cut.
What’s Next for European Monetary Policy?
As European Central Bank (ECB) policymakers adjust the budget to reflect lighter eurozone economic activity, moderate economic growth and the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (EU), David Zahn, our Head of European Fixed Income, shares his macroeconomic outlook for the region. He weighs in on why the ECB could remain accommodative.
The UK Has Left the EU. What’s Next Post-Brexit?
It’s been 3-1/2 years since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, and the process known as Brexit has been far from smooth. Now that the deadline to leave has passed, what’s next for the United Kingdom, and for Europe?
Brexit: Not the Beginning of the End, But the End of the Beginning?
Against the odds, Boris Johnson’s UK government appears to have agreed to a deal in principle with the European Union (EU) which could see the United Kingdom leave the EU on October 31 in an orderly way.
What We Think Could Drive European Markets in the Coming Months
As European investors and market practitioners return from their summer vacations and prepare for the final third of 2019, our Head of European Fixed Income David Zahn highlights the issues he thinks will drive markets in the coming months.
New UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Faces Challenges at Home and Abroad
Boris Johnson, one of the most enthusiastic supporters of Brexit, is the United Kingdom’s new prime minister. David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s Head of European Fixed Income, doubts Johnson will have much of a honeymoon period in the new role as he faces stiff challenges domestically and internationally, with global markets scouring his every move.
May Confirms Departure Date, but What Could It Mean for Investors?
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has finally confirmed the date she intends to resign, after enduring growing criticism from members of her own party. According to David Zahn, our Head of European Fixed Income, this development significantly increases the chances of the United Kingdom crashing out of the European Union (EU) without a deal. He expects a likely negative market response, but argues there may be opportunities for shrewd active managers.
Eurozone Debt Disputes Make an Unhappy Union
Once upon a time, bonds backed by a government’s full faith and credit pledge were generally considered less risky than corporate bonds. Times have changed. In today’s political climate, not all governments inspire us with the same confidence.
Still No Roadmap to a Brexit Resolution as EU Offers Another Extension
Brexit may have been delayed again. The European Union has offered to allow the United Kingdom more time to decide how it wants to leave. While the measure may prevent a no-deal Brexit in the short term, our Head of European Fixed Income David Zahn thinks it may simply be saving up problems for the future.
Can the EU’s Extension Offer Really Break the Brexit Deadlock?
After a nail-biting few hours, European Union leaders have agreed to the UK government’s request to delay Brexit, albeit the extension is less than Theresa May had requested. But our Head of European Fixed Income David Zahn believes the decision does little more than reset the clock and he warns there is still a strong chance that the United Kingdom could still crash out without a deal.
MPs Say No to No Deal, but an Accidental Hard Brexit Remains a Possibility
Some commentators have described March 13 as the most important day in the Brexit saga since the June 2016 referendum. UK members of parliament have voted to reject a situation in which the United Kingdom crashes out of the European Union without a deal.
Theresa May’s Brexit Steeplechase Has Only Just Begun: an Investor’s Perspective
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has cleared the first hurdle in her bid to secure a soft Brexit. Her Cabinet has backed the withdrawal deal UK and European Union negotiators have agreed to. But David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s head of European Fixed Income, warns her most difficult challenge lies ahead.
As Public Attitudes Toward the Environment Change, So Should the Investment Approach
In the 16 years since the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) were first unveiled there’s been a sea change in awareness and concern for the environment among the general public. But that hasn’t necessarily been reflected in the asset management world.
Three Developments in Europe You May Have Missed over the Summer-and One You Didn't
The months of July and August are traditionally a little quieter for markets in Europe as participants take a summer break. But things don't stop completely. As the wheels get back up to speed, David Zahn, Franklin Templeton's Head of European Fixed Income, considers a few developments in Europe over the summer months that might have slipped under the radar.
ECB Meeting: Fresh Clarity, But Let’s Not Get Ahead of Ourselves
The European Central Bank’s June meeting has offered some long-hoped-for clarity on the future direction of monetary policy in the eurozone. However, it hasn’t provided all the answers, and much remains open to interpretation. David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s head of European Fixed Income, considers what might happen next and explains why he’s still not expecting a eurozone interest-rate hike before 2020.
ECB Preview: Will Recent Italian Developments Influence Europe’s Tapering Timeline?
The future of the European Central Bank’s three-year-old quantitative easing program lies in the balance. Will the bank’s governing council use its scheduled June meeting to extend the program or confirm that asset purchases will end in September? David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s head of European Fixed Income, believes recent European economic data and political developments in Italy point towards an extension. And he argues that means eurozone interest-rate hikes are unlikely before 2020.
Global Economic Perspective: May
In this month's Global Economic Perspective, our Fixed Income Group opines on rising energy prices, US Treasury yields, emerging-market currency pressures and global economic growth.
An Unconventional New Government in Italy
Two months after the Italian election, the country is on the verge of a new government led by the right-wing La Lega and left-wing Five Star movement. While markets take some time to digest the full implications of this unusual tie-up, David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s head of European Fixed Income, offers his analysis of the political situation.
Italian Election Result: Political Uncertainty is Business as Usual for Italy
No outright winner emerged from the Italian general election, but as David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s head of European Fixed Income, explains, that situation is normal for Italy. He expects a muted response from European bond markets but cautions there may be consequences down the road if the authorities fail to take the need for reform seriously.
Italian Election Outlook and Why We Don’t See an ECB Rate Hike Before 2020
The upcoming Italian election is not attracting the same sort of attention among investors as votes last year in France and Germany. For that very reason, David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s head of European Fixed Income, believes an unexpected result might provoke an outsized market reaction.
The Underappreciated Story: How Brexit Threatens to Shift the Balance of Power in the EU
For fixed income investors eyeing opportunities in Europe, 2018 should be the year economic fundamentals reassert their worth, according to David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s head of European Fixed Income. Nonetheless, Zahn believes many investors are underappreciating the long-term implications for Europe of the biggest political uncertainty for the region—Brexit.
What’s Next For Europe as Merkel Is Re-elected
Angela Merkel’s re-election as German Chancellor was very much expected, but the implications of her victory are harder to predict. Here three of our portfolio managers with a particular interest in Europe share their views on what Merkel’s victory could mean for the region.
How the German Election Could Dictate Europe’s Future Direction
As Germany prepares to go to the polls in its general election, David Zahn, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s head of European fixed income, considers what the result could mean for Europe, the European Union and the eurozone.
Why ECB Tapering Could Prompt a Change in Bond-Market Philosophy
Speculation had been rife that the European Central Bank might have used its September Governing Council meeting to signal the start of tapering for its quantitative easing program. That confirmation didn’t come, switching attention to the October 26 meeting.
The End of the Eurozone’s QE Era?
As the traditional summer lull in market activity draws to a close, investor attention turns to key monetary policy meetings across the globe, kicking off with the European Central Bank meeting on September 7, which some commentators believe could see the announcement of a change in monetary policy approach.
Global Economic Perspective: July
In this month’s Global Economic Perspective, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group dives into diverging central bank policy and weighs in on whether the European Central Bank is likely to be less accommodative—and what its timing might look like.
Theresa May's Shock Defeat Threatens Further Volatility
In the sort of unexpected twist that observers have come to expect from elections recently, UK voters have dealt a bitter blow to Prime Minister Theresa May, robbing her of her narrow parliamentary majority. With further financial market volatility on the horizon, David Zahn, head of European Fixed Income, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, offers his view of the situation.
French Election Result: Macron Wins, But Can He Deliver?
There were no surprises as French voters elected Emmanuel Macron as their new president after the second round of voting. Franklin Templeton’s investment professionals share their thoughts on the prospects of a Macron presidency and suggest it might not be plain sailing for the self-styled political outsider.
French Election Result: It’s Not Yet a Done Deal
There's some clear blue water between the two candidates contesting the final round of the French presidential elections on May 7: Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. Here, David Zahn, head of European Fixed Income, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, shares some thoughts on the potential market implications of the race.
An Investor’s View of the French Presidential Election
As far as most commentators are concerned, the first round of the French presidential elections, due to take place on April 23, will be a race to see who faces the far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen in the run-off in May.
European Bond Market: What Lies Beyond the Politics?
Although continued political uncertainty looks set to dominate the investment agenda for 2017, much as it did in 2016, David Zahn, head of European Fixed Income, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, feels investors need to take heed of other themes that may be bubbling under the surface in the year ahead.
Finding the Positives from a Tumultuous Week in Europe
Developments in Europe, including the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the shock decision of the European Central Bank to reduce the amount of its monthly bond-buying program next year, have contributed to a tumultuous week for investors.
Why Markets are More Cautious About the Next Potential Political Pitfall
Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election means that markets have been caught off guard by unpredicted outcomes in two-way political races twice already this year. As we enter the final weeks of campaigning ahead of the Italian constitutional referendum, David Zahn, head of European fixed income, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, explains that markets appear to be taking a more cautious approach to the next wave of potential political pitfalls, including next year’s general elections in Austria, the Netherlands, France and Germany.