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Ian Pollick
Managing Director & Head, FICC Strategy, Global Markets
Podcast Series
Curve Your Enthusiasm

Shakedown street

This past week demonstrated the largest amount of macro divergence over the past several years, with one major central bank hiking rates while another cut, at the same time the Fed straddles a dovish and hawkish message. This week, Ian is joined by Ali Jaffery in CIBC Economics, and the duo begin the episode by discussing these events. Ali makes the case that the macro story across developed markets is still linear, and monetary policy is moving to an easing cycle. But how deep that easing cycle will be is the ultimate question, and what it means for the bond market is what Ian tries to unravel. Ian discusses his view on the yield curve, suggesting that a lack of tradeoff between inflation and growth leads to higher longer-term yields for any given level of the overnight rate. Ian goes as far as to call the time of death of the flattener, noting we have firmly moved into a trend steepening cycle. The duo discuss the recent BoC speech on balance sheet normalization, and end the episode opining on the recent BoC Survey of Deliberations and what that means for the timing of the first cut.
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Podcast Series
Curve Your Enthusiasm

The policy forwards are too skinny

Ian is joined by Andrew Grantham this week, and the show begins by discussing why the Canadian economy appears to be growing much faster in Q4 compared to BoC expectations. The impact of previous supply-side restrictions, like the tragic wildfires in 2023 and the port strikes, are starting to filter through the data. This means Canada is seeing low-hanging fruit on the supply side of the economy, which should not have a big impact on inflation. The duo also discuss recent labour market trends in North America, and why conditions look to be less strong under-the-hood. Ian gives an update on CORRA and the eventual QT cessation announcement, focusing on the recent announcement that the Bank will discuss balance sheet normalization at an upcoming speech. The pair tie everything together and discuss the policy path priced by the market, and why it feels too ‘light’ given all the risks in the economy.
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Podcast Series
Curve Your Enthusiasm

Is the BoC mispriced enough?

Ian is joined by Jeremy Saunders and the duo begin the show discussing recent central bank decisions. With four major central banks abandoning their tightening bias, the data has undermined the market reaction by showing a stronger underlying economy. Jeremy talks about the problem with short-end pricing in Canada versus the United States, while Ian shows why US and Canadian inflation is more comparable than meets the eye. Jeremy provides his view on the latest Treasury refunding announcement and the implications on QT, while Ian discusses why recent BoC measures to bring CORRA back to target won’t work. The duo spend some time opining on the path of swap spreads, and have a friendly disagreement on whether the belly is cheap or rich in Canada.
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Podcast Series
Curve Your Enthusiasm

The Rates vs Credit Intergalactic Royal Rumble

Ian is joined this week by Josh Kay, and the show begins with a lookback at the Bank of Canada rate decision this week. Ian walks through the material differences between the statement and the updated forecasts, painting a more dovish outright picture. After talking through the most likely paths for the BoC, the duo discuss which asset class is likely to provide better total returns in 2024, rates versus credit. Josh discusses why credit is turning into a defensive asset class and why it is attractive at current levels, while Ian discusses the relative supply outlook to government bonds. The show finishes with both talking about their favorite trade ideas for the next few weeks.
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Curve Your Enthusiasm

The Silence of the Longs

Ian is joined by Craig Bell this week, and the duo begin the episode discussing the recent cheapening of the cash market relative to swaps. Craig discusses the specific factors in the cash market impacting relative valuations, while Ian provides an update on the fair-value estimates from his swap spread modeling work. The elephant in the room is the Canadian long-end, and the richness of 10s30s and cross market. Ian and Craig spend time discussing how we got here and, what needs to happen for this richness to be remediated. Craig and Ian discuss the upcoming Bank of Canada rate decision, and get into a friendly disagreement about the proximate trigger of rate cuts in 2024.
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Podcast Series
Curve Your Enthusiasm

Make duration great again

Ian is joined this week by Mike Larson, and the duo kick off the episode by discussing the elephant in the room – the level of interest rates. Ian discusses the mechanics behind the ungluing of global long-end interest rates, while Mike gives his view on swap spreads. The pair talk about why the level of swap spreads should continue to decline, especially given how much 10yr Canadian rates have underperformed the United States recently. Ian gives his view on the absurdity of trading the ‘higher for longer’ and the ‘soft landing’ narrative at the same time. The show finishes with Ian and Mike outlining their favorite trades and which positions are the most crowded.
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Curve Your Enthusiasm

An Economist and Strategist walk into a bar...

Ian is joined this week by Avery Shenfeld, Chief Economist at CIBC. The duo begin the episode discussing the most recent North American jobs reports, with Avery highlighting why the Fed hasn’t yet done enough to cool the hot jobs market. Ian outlines the reasons not to get too wrapped-up in Canada’s recent wage gains, while Avery provides his view on the recent increase in the Unemployment Rate. The pair spend some time discussing the outlook for monetary policy, concluding that September is still very much in play for the Bank of Canada despite a string of weaker-than-expected activity data. The show finishes with Ian discussing the recent volatility in global long-bonds.
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Curve Your Enthusiasm

This selloff has a deeper meaning

Ian is joined by Jeremy Saunders this week, and the duo begin the episode discussing the recent bond market selloff. They reach an interesting conclusion early in the episode, highlighting that the ‘way’ in which the market is repricing has not been seen in all of 2023. Ian believes the market is pricing-in more inflation and lower growth in longer-dated yields, which Jeremy suggests is a function of where we are in the cycle. Jeremy discusses his view on the upcoming Bank of Canada meeting, while discussing the ‘big’ global macro themes and what they mean to the bond market and swap spreads. Ian finishes the episode by opining on recent data from the labour market, and highlights his favorite trades for the week ahead.
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Curve Your Enthusiasm

Someone is making a mistake...

Ian is joined by Andrew Grantham, and the duo begin the episode discussing the FOMC rate decision. Andrew lays out the logic behind his forecast for a July and September hike, while Ian walks through the implications for the Bank of Canada. Ian introduces his new bond forecasts and talks about why current market pricing for the Bank and the Fed looks so strange compared to prior cycles. Andrew talks about his economic outlook for 2024 and highlights the upcoming weighting changes for CPI next week.
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Curve Your Enthusiasm

‘Go with’ or go the other way?

The big news in Canada is the unexpected heat in the latest batch of CPI numbers. The reacceleration of Canadian prices may see the Bank of Canada respond with an interest rate hike later this summer. In this episode of Curve Your Enthusiasm, Ian is joined by Jonathan Guilford, and the duo begin the episode by taking stock of what happened over the past week. John opines on the ‘why’ and the ‘how’, while Ian discusses the risks surrounding ongoing repricing to continue. Ian discusses how a single hike from the BoC will not prevent a bond market rally later in the year, while John discusses why the curve is most likely to steepen after the summer. The duo end the episode discussing their favorite trades, and why Jonathan sees continued weakness in the 5yr sector of the curve regardless if the BoC hikes or not.
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Curve Your Enthusiasm

The way of the dodo?

The most recent Debt Management Strategy (DMS) raised the possibility that the Canada Mortgage Bond (CMB) program may be terminated, and folded into the GoC market. This is an extremely important development to the Canadian fixed income market, and to speak on the potential implications, Ian is joined this week by Gianluca Gargano, Managing Director and Head of Government Credit at CIBC Capital Markets. The show begins with Gianluca framing the conversation outlined in the DMS, and discussing what just happened and why. Ian speaks on other contours of the DMS, in particular what government issuance looks like and how this announcement increases the impact on the belly of the curve. Gianluca spends the balance of the show talking about competing assets to CMBs, and how they may trade given the shocking announcement.
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Podcast Series
Curve Your Enthusiasm

Under the table & dreaming

The extreme volatility this week warrants some serious discussion, and Ian is joined by Craig Bell for this episode. The duo begin discussing the rapid series of events that culminated in one of the most volatile days for interest rates since the 1980s. Craig provides his view on what this all means for monetary policy, while Ian introduces two potential shoes left to drop that suggest the coast is not entirely clear yet. The co-hosts spend some time discussing how Canadian interest rate derivatives are handing the benchmark transition towards CORRA, and finish the episode discussing their favorite trades in the weeks ahead.
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