Normality Reasserts Itself
Monetary policy distorted the mechanics of risk and return
The huge monetary interventions during the pandemic in the US and other countries were designed to protect equities from a surge in economic and financial risk. They succeeded, but at the cost of distorting the normal relationship between risk and return: specifically, the excess volatility vs the excess return of equities vs bonds. This is now reverting back to normal. As the volatility of equities rises relative to the volatility of bonds – and this figure is well below its long-run average, let alone its potential peak – their return relative to bonds must decline. The only developed market which may escape the worst of this adjustment is Switzerland.