Witnessing a former great fall from grace is never pleasant viewing. When it is an ex-bond market darling, and you are watching its credit rating fall away from top-notch AAA to the opposite end of the investment-grade scale, it makes very painful viewing for bondholders. This has been the fate of General Electric (GE), the largest company by market capitalisation earlier this century, and its bondholders in 2018.
Rising life expectancy, decreasing home ownership, unfunded government spending, lower investment returns and inadequate private saving are making it less and less likely that younger generations will retire when their parents did.
Concerns about a worldwide slowdown in growth have made for a rotten time in markets over the past six weeks or so.
Global stock markets have been unsettled by political and economic uncertainty recently, and swung significantly between gains and losses in the final weeks of 2018. President Trump’s criticism of the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate rise added to concerns that US consumer demand may be cooling. Meanwhile, trade tensions between America and China continue despite a temporary truce.
Our latest article in the Too Poor To Retire series explains what’s making younger generations less well off than their parents
Empires rise and fall, and so do companies. As America’s biggest technology businesses continue to reach astonishing new heights, what threats must they guard against?