Episode 71 – Profiles in Credit – James Grant
June 17, 2021

Episode 71 – Profiles in Credit – James Grant

Geoff Castle chats with James Grant, editor of the iconic Wall Street newsletter, Grants Interest Rate Observer.

Subtitle: Three big anniversaries and days of high drama

In this episode Geoff Castle, Fixed Income Portfolio Manager, chats with James Grant, editor of the iconic Wall Street newsletter, Grants Interest Rate Observer. They discuss James’ early years in Long Island, his start in journalism at the Baltimore Sun, his tenure at Barron’s, where he first gained national recognition and how his interest in credit markets and capital markets formulated there. In particular they talk about the three big anniversaries rolling around for the American economy in 2021, as well as where James sees the market heading in the next decade.

Key Takeaways

[02:34]James talks about growing up in Long Island and his interest in playing the French horn.
[04:30]He is asked about his foray into journalism at the Baltimore Sun and the circumstances that led to a position at the financial desk.
[07:00]James revisits his days at Barron’s and talks about the Bretton-Woods agreement.
[08:15]He remembers the Paul Volcker Era, rising interest rates and inflation.
[12:00]James discusses starting Grant’s Interest Rate Observer and the difficulties and hardships he faced in the beginning.
[14:20]The catalyst that helped Grant’s reach a broader appeal.
[16:20]The first of the three big anniversaries, James and Geoff discuss the forgotten depression, analyze some of the history and talk about James book on this subject.
[21:40]James and Geoff talk about the second anniversary, the end of the Bretton-Woods framework and the impact it had on global markets.
[29:25]They discuss the third anniversary, the start of the 40-year bull market in credit and James reflects on observations he made in the past.
[32:50]James talks about the volume of securities that yield less than nothing in nominal terms.
[35:30]James and Geoff discuss some of the opportunities that Grant’s has been talking about lately.
[38:40]They touch on Japanese corporate society and whether James believes there is a shift in thinking there.
[43:52]Geoff asks James about his thoughts on cryptocurrencies and 30-year bonds.
[47:15]Geoff asks James about the book he is working on right now.