Commonfund Forum 2022 featured an expert panel representing diverse perspectives to probe beyond the headline-grabbing news that has been driving financial markets in recent months. The accompanying video provides a front row seat for this vibrant exchange, while the summary below provides a glimpse into the lively and insightful discussion and the timely topics the panelists took on.
The panel was moderated by veteran CNBC reporter and analyst Sue Herera, currently the network’s anchor-at-large. The panelists were Mark Anson, CEO and CIO of Commonfund; Julia Coronado, founder and president, MacroPolicy Perspectives; and Vikram Mansharamani, global trend-watcher, Harvard University lecturer, author and investor.
Key Highlights follow.
“The Fed has a tougher needle to thread … but despite the Ukrainian uncertainties and geopolitical headwinds they have no choice but to remain hawkish and tighten.” (Coronado)
“No one is really watching the potential Iran nuclear deal … the concern is that there will be a negotiated settlement that opens the path to a nuclear bomb … that will be unacceptable to the Saudis and the Israelis. And suddenly it’s an ‘uh-oh.’” (Mansharamani)
“We face three headwinds: higher risk premia, higher inflation and lower growth.” (Anson)
“Horizon matters a lot in capital allocation. Europe is in for a tough year. The U.S. is a relative safe haven near term. But in the medium term it’s still a global economy.” (Coronado)
“The Fed can’t control energy prices.” (Anson)
“This latest wave is a classic supply shock tied to the war … it’s the kind that taxes consumers and businesses.” (Coronado)
“Consumers are liquid, balance sheets are strong and loan delinquencies are down … but surveys show they are both depressed and happy at the same time.” (Coronado)
“For businesses, PPI exceeding CPI equals margin compression.” (Mansharamani)
“Overnight we’ve gone from 40-plus years of just-in-time inventory management to just-in-case inventory management.” (Mansharamani)
“Some say we’re entering a period of deglobalization, but it’s more complicated than that … we’re not going into a world in which we re-shore everything into little national units … there will be more trading blocs as companies search for more supply chain resiliency.” (Coronado)
“The ESG trend is real … but maybe we’ve gone too far? The U.S. stops a pipeline but asks the Saudis to pump more oil … It’s actually better for the U.S. to pump more because we capture methane better.” (Mansharamani)
“Two points: 1) Climate change is real; 2) Who will pay for the drive to innovation? We should look to universities and independent labs for more progress.” (Anson)
“Essentially, bitcoin is the same as my United Airlines frequent flyer miles … it’s a digital currency, there is no physical format, its value is tracked by computer algorithms, since there’s no physical format it’s tied to my digital wallet through something called a frequent flyer number, it’s not the currency of the U.S. or any sovereign nation and yet I can trade it in for valuable goods and services.” (Anson)
“Bitcoin is a classic example of a bubble.” (Coronado)