Alberto Gallo, Partner and Portfolio Manager, Algebris Investments

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Earning his chops as a macro economist on the sell-side, Alberto Gallo has seen the pendulum of risk swing from extreme fear to euphoria. During his tenure at Goldman Sachs and then at RBS where he ran the Global Macro Credit Research product, Alberto provided buy-side clients with key insights on seminal volatility events like the Global Financial Crisis and the Eurozone Sovereign debt crisis. Now, as a Partner at Algebris Investments, Alberto leads the firm’s Macro Strategy effort, a credit-oriented portfolio designed to navigate the ever tricky terrain of present-day markets. Our conversation considers portfolio construction in a world starved of yield, of low cross-asset risk premia, and one in which the potential for more drastic policy response may be on the horizon. Alberto’s views on today’s regime of monetary policy point to the side effects that result from negative rates, as the banking system suffers, and investors are deprived of income. On the changing nature of volatility in markets, Alberto provides thoughtful insights. He points to the increasing degree of forward guidance employed by the world’s large Central Banks, a factor that has depressed volatility and led to more days of sun for market participants. But since there’s no free lunch, days of rain, while fewer, have become more substantial storms. Alberto details the increased frequency of flash crashes and sharp risk-offs during the post-crisis period, perhaps the result of investors being forced to embrace carry at skinny margins for error.
On inflation, Alberto points to a bottoming of CPI in the US even as structural drivers of low inflation, like demographics and technology, are likely to remain going forward. As the view that monetary policy has lost some of its punch and may be responsible for increasing income inequality, Alberto considers the trend towards lower Central Bank independence and greater cooperation with governments on the fiscal front. Will this work? In Alberto’s rendering, it might, but it’s all about how a more unified version of fiscal and monetary policy is deployed. I hope you enjoy this episode of the Alpha Exchange, my discussion with Alberto Gallo.

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