Extremely low interest rates in 2009 provided the impetus for a massive wave of refinancings both at the consumer and corporate level that has given many entities time to live and fight another day in an overall overleveraged economy. With 2010 being a year of likely higher interest rates in my opinion, the best balance sheets will win and that goes for sovereign debt too. With unprecedented monetary stimulus around the world in ’09, particularly in the US, any reversal, partial or otherwise, will thus be without precedent. So, toss out those year end 2010 targets based on typical post WWII recoveries (this ain’t one of ’em) as no one making them has an historical play book on what will unfold. Let’s take this year month by month, quarter by quarter. While most stocks are higher on the 1st trading day of the yr, China closed down 1%, notwithstanding another gain in their manufacturing data, on concerns they are taking more steps to cool their economy.
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