Barret School of Banking

Kicking The Can: Congress and the Fed are on a spending spree.

If you ultra-busy community bankers have been able to catch some of our policymakers commenting on the waves of fiscal and monetary stimulus rushing toward the U.S. consumer, what you heard essentially translated into an elaborate game of Kick the Can. Please note that I said “elaborate” and not “elegant.” Here are some popular sound …

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Not all bonds are created equal: Fierce rally highlights different risk/reward profiles

Attention bond portfolio managers: Raise your hand if you were expecting a 100+ basis-point bond rally accompanied by a corollary rate cut by the Fed in about a two-week period. Just as I suspected—none of you. You can, for the record, count your correspondent among the crowd.   But, since it’s happened, let’s use this …

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Mortgage bonds keep gaining fans: Community banks add weighting to loan surrogates

If your community bank’s bond portfolio looks like the rest of the industry’s, you own more mortgage-backed securities (MBS) than ever. There are a bunch of reasons for this, most of which you’re aware of, but some you may not be. The MBS that community banks tend to own are a small piece of the …

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Rock (and roll) into a new decade: A look into a previous era can help today’s portfolio managers

It was 20 years ago today More precisely, it was 20 years ago this year that community banks, and their investment portfolios in particular, were enduring a period of extremes. Many of the readers of this column were in charge of their bond portfolios then, and were, proverbially, “Riders on the Storm”, which involved:  …

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3Q 2019 Update on different industries you may be banking…

As you may/may not know, we offer quarterly online Roundtables covering topics in Digital Marketing, Compliance, and Senior Lending.  This week, we had our Senior Lender Roundtable facilitated by Richard Hamm and he had some great information on the industries that many community banks serve.  I thought it would make a good free webinar for …

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Why Bonds Are Riddles, enigmas and other investment mysteries

A best-selling book from the 1990s, “Why Things Are,” took a humorous look at curiosities originating from everyday existence, with the modest goal of answering “every essential question in life.” This column has a more ambitious purpose: to clarify a few of the phenomena surrounding your investment in bonds. So, put on your seat belts …

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