Bonds

When market indices get political

illustration of Greek pillars
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The most powerful actors in the financial world might well be the index providers. They essentially compel all passive investors when it comes to their asset allocation. They also create the benchmarks against which nearly all active investors are measured.

The state of play: When indices change, billions of dollars of money can end up moving as a result. When it comes to emerging markets, the two giants of the indexing world are the MSCI for stocks and the EMBI for bonds. When those indices are altered, all emerging-market fund managers, be they active or passive, will feel the consequences.

The European money printing press returns

A copy machine spitting out Monopoly money
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Analysts at Goldman Sachs say they expect the European Central Bank to announce it is restarting a long-term financing stimulus program as soon as March, despite having just called off its bond-buying program in December.

The backdrop: Renewed stimulus for the faltering euro zone economy, which has looked weaker with each new data release, has been expected, but Goldman's incorporation of fresh ECB stimulus as part of its market outlook could mark a watershed moment for central banks and the global economy.

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