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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Investors were nervous about a recession before Wednesday's selloff, with a third of fund managers polled in the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey saying a recession is likely to happen in the next 12 months.

Why it matters: It's the highest recession probability since October 2011. However, a large majority of surveyed fund managers, 64%, says a recession is unlikely.

What's happening: Trade war concerns (51%) were the top risk cited by fund managers surveyed, followed by "monetary policy impotence," which remained in the second spot at 15%. A China slowdown and a bond market bubble round out the top 4, each at 9%.

  • Investors are certainly trading as if a recession is coming. U.S. Treasuries (32%) remained at the most crowded trade identified by fund managers, ahead of U.S. tech (19%), growth stocks (15%) and investment grade corporate bonds (12%).
  • “Investors are the most bullish on rates since 2008 as trade war concerns send recession risk to an 8-year high,” said Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist. “With global policy stimuli at a 2.5-year low, the onus is on the Fed, ECB and PBoC to restore animal spirits.”

Methodology: Bank of America Merrill Lynch's surveyors spoke with 224 fund managers, who are collectively in charge of $553 billion worth of assets from Aug. 2 to Aug. 8.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists — National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
  5. Cities: Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. World: London police arrest dozens during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
9 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.