John Tierney

Macro Hive Author

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SPECIALITY: Credit, Global Macro,

Over a 30-year career as a sell side analyst, John covered the structured finance and credit markets before serving as a corporate market strategist. In recent years, he has moved into a global strategist role.


In: Hive Exclusives | ESG & Climate Change

EU Faces Uphill Struggle to Fight Climate Change

July 23, 2021

Summary Europe advanced the climate change fight by proposing to cut emissions 55% by 2030, but any new policy could take two…

In: Hive Exclusives | ESG & Climate Change

Why Society Is Not Ready to Fight Climate Change in Earnest

July 16, 2021

Summary Scientists can confidently project how rising emissions will affect global temperatures in coming decades unless curbed. But they are frustratingly vague…

In: Hive Exclusives | ESG & Climate Change

Global Warming Thresholds Are Fast Approaching

July 05, 2021

Summary In the second instalment on climate change, we discuss two key parameters for understanding climate change policy: net zero emissions and…

In: Hive Exclusives | Economic Growth ESG & Climate Change

The Real Facts About Global Warming

June 28, 2021

Summary This is the first instalment in a series on global warming and climate change. We review basic facts about how the…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities

The Retail Sales Bubble Is About to Pop

June 21, 2021

Summary May’s weak retail sales are likely only the beginning. The retail sector has outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 300%…

In: Hive Exclusives | Credit Equities

We Still Like Our (Underwater) Positions!

June 10, 2021

Summary We review the performance of recent investment positions and update our views. In recent months, equities have traded in a narrow…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities

Rate-Sensitive Equities Nervously Await the Next Treasury Yield Move

June 04, 2021

Summary Equities and bond markets have been range-bound and quiescent for weeks now. But investors may not fully appreciate how much interest…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities Growth & Labour Market

Homebuilders Are in A Sweet Spot

June 03, 2021

Summary The latest housing data shows homebuilders struggling to build houses fast enough – and consequently home prices are soaring. Demand comes…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities

Time to Fade That Great Bank Rally

May 28, 2021

Summary Financials, and banks particularly, soared after the US election, gaining a whopping 75% versus 47% for the S&P 500. Gains have…

In: Hive Exclusives | Bonds Economic Growth Equities Monetary Policy & Inflation

Markets at a Crossroad (as Always!)

May 20, 2021

Summary Equity markets fear inflation, while bond markets seem nonchalant. Prominent economists either criticize or praise the Fed. Everyone is unmoored, with…

In: Hive Exclusives | ESG & Climate Change

If ESG Investing Feels Good…Do It!

May 14, 2021

Summary ESG investing is the hot new concept in asset management. But there is little convincing evidence that it makes a difference.…

In: Hive Exclusives | Bonds

High Yield Floating On Declining VIX And Low Defaults

April 29, 2021

Summary The VIX volatility index is finally dropping into the teens, signalling potentially more tightening of high yield spreads from already decade-long…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities

Why Growth Stocks Are Looking Good Again

April 26, 2021

Summary In equity markets, the 2021 storylines have been large caps versus smaller caps and growth versus value. After enjoying mega-rallies, growth…

In: Hive Exclusives | Fiscal Policy & Inequality Politics & Geopolitics US

Worrying About Biden’s Capital Gains Tax Headline? Don’t!

April 23, 2021

Summary Based on the headline, well under 1% of taxpayers could be subject to a higher capital gains tax. The super wealthy…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities

Infrastructure Is a Patient Trade

April 15, 2021

Summary Clean energy and electric vehicle ETFs took a big hit in February and March when rising rates sparked a rotation out…

In: Hive Exclusives | Credit

Rate Risk: An Issue for Investment Grade but Not High Yield

April 09, 2021

Summary With many investors worried about the prospect of rising rates, we review the historical relationship between Treasury returns and investment-grade and…

In: Hive Exclusives | Credit

High-Yield Credit Is Still a Buy

April 01, 2021

Summary High-yield spreads were surprisingly muted during the past month’s volatility. We see this indicating the underlying strong fundamentals and look for…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities

Housing Equities: A Better Trading Vehicle Than Buy-and-Hold Investment

March 25, 2021

Summary Home sales dropped sharply in February largely due to weather, but we think there is more to it. Housing sales are…

In: Hive Exclusives | Economic Growth Equities

Window Opens to Reset Russell 2000 Positions

March 24, 2021

After Tuesday’s selloff the Russell 2000 (RTY) has given up much of its year-to-date gains over the S&P 500 (Chart 1). In…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities

The Russell 2000 is a Momentum Trade Now

March 19, 2021

Summary We expected the Russell 2000 rally would slow in 2021, but instead it has outrun the S&P 500 by nearly 10%…

In: Hive Exclusives | Labour Market & Inequality

Labour Market Still on Hold

March 08, 2021

Summary Markets responded enthusiastically to the February labour market report. But on closer inspection, it was a bit short on substance. Most…

In: Hive Exclusives | Real Estate

Can Housing Withstand Higher Rates?

March 04, 2021

Summary Rising rates have sparked alarm over inflation and the possible Fed response. But so far, few have wondered how the broader…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities

Stop Buying Stuff, Plan to Splurge on Fun Activities Instead

February 25, 2021

Summary Goods-oriented consumption has soared over the past year and spurred a strong rally in the retail XRT ETF, especially since the…

In: Hive Exclusives | Commodities COVID Equities ESG & Climate Change Fiscal Policy & Inequality Labour Market & Inequality Politics & Geopolitics US

Biden’s Big Infrastructure Plan: What’s in it for Investors?

February 18, 2021

Summary President Biden aims for a large-scale infrastructure program with his upcoming four-year $1.9tn plan. But it is unlikely to be enacted…

In: Hive Exclusives | Bonds COVID Economic Growth Equities Fiscal Policy & Inequality Labour Market & Inequality US

Where Will the Economy Find 10 million Lost Jobs?

February 08, 2021

Summary Another month, another downbeat labour market report. Yet recovery need not be distant. Most of the pain was focused in the…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities Monetary Policy & Inflation Real Estate US

Don’t Fight the Fed on Housing

February 04, 2021

Summary Fed Chair Powell recently suggested that the surging housing market of 2H 2020 is due to people adjusting to the Covid-19…

In: Hive Exclusives | Credit Equities US

High Yield Credit Spreads Poised to Keep Tightening

January 28, 2021

Summary Credit spreads are approaching decade tights. But history shows there is still some upside – especially in high yield – if…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities US

The Recovery Trade Still Has Legs

January 22, 2021

Summary The retail sales print portrayed a back-sliding economy. But most of the pain was in the food service sector (i.e., restaurants…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities US

The Small Caps/Russell 2000 Hot Streak Is About to Fade

January 12, 2021

Summary The Russell 2000 index has been on a hot streak since the election, far outperforming the SPX and NASDAQ 100 indices.…

In: Hive Exclusives | Economic Growth Labour Market & Inequality US

The US Labour Market Is Sprouting Green Shoots

January 12, 2021

Summary Underlying trends in the US labour market are promising. Outside of the leisure and food service sectors, the private sector is…

In: Hive Exclusives | Bonds Credit US

Credit Market Outlook: It’s All About Carry Now

January 07, 2021

Summary The corporate bond market outlook is sanguine. Credit spreads are near the past decade’s tights and likely to remain in a…

In: Hive Exclusives | Politics & Geopolitics US

2021 Grey Swan #3: Biden Gets A Clean Sweep

December 08, 2020

It goes without saying: the trajectory of the Biden presidency depends critically on whether Democrats gain control of the Senate in Georgia’s…

In: Hive Exclusives | Economic Growth Labour Market & Inequality US

Dismal Labour Market Report Highlights Need for More Stimulus

December 07, 2020

Summary The November US labour report was dismal, portraying an economy verging on a double-dip recession. Every key metric worsened or came…

In: Hive Exclusives | Economic Growth Labour Market & Inequality US

Labour Market Report Likely to Disappoint

December 03, 2020

Summary Early indications: November labour market report could either come in weaker than consensus forecasts or, if on the mark, already be…

In: Hive Exclusives | COVID Fiscal Policy & Inequality Labour Market & Inequality US

Watch For A Rise In Mortgage Foreclosures

November 19, 2020

Summary Bankruptcy activity has been remarkably low in 2020 thanks to loan forbearance programs in the CARES legislation. Absent further action by…

In: Hive Exclusives | Credit US

High Yield Still A Hold Despite Big Rally

November 12, 2020

Summary High yield credit spreads gapped 80 bp tighter to 422 bp following the election, reaching a target we set in late…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities Labour Market & Inequality US

Three New Tailwinds For Small Caps/Russell 2000

November 10, 2020

Anyone watching equity markets yesterday surely noticed the Russell 2000 Index (+3.6%) robustly outperform the S&P 500 (+2.3%) and NASDAQ (-1.9%). Joe…

In: Hive Exclusives | Labour Market & Inequality Politics & Geopolitics US

It’s Still A Two-Tier US Labour Market

November 09, 2020

Summary The latest labour market report shows encouraging reduction in temporary unemployment but little improvement in structural unemployment. Exit polling suggests Republicans…

In: Hive Exclusives | Politics & Geopolitics US

When Will We Know Who Won the US Election?

October 29, 2020

Summary Results should become clear late on election night (Tuesday) or the next morning. Mail-in voting shouldn’t cause significant delays in counting…

In: Hive Exclusives | COVID Credit Equities US

Loan Credit Quality Holding Up Well, But Banks Face Other Challenges

October 15, 2020

Summary Bank 3Q earnings reports show realized credit losses have yet to rise above pre-Covid levels. Bankruptcy data shows similar pattern. Credit…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities Labour Market & Inequality US

US Labour Market Report Points To Growing Downside Risks

October 05, 2020

Summary The latest US labour market report shows some modest gains but most of the underlying detail was uniformly negative. Payroll employment…

In: Hive Exclusives | COVID Credit Equities US

High Yield Is Worth A Look

September 24, 2020

With high yield credit spreads near 540bp, is high yield a buy? Moody’s default rate outlook suggests it is, and that it…

Employment Report

In: Hive Exclusives | Labour Market & Inequality US

Will Good News In The August Labour Report Lead To More Bad News?

September 07, 2020

Last Friday’s August labour market report had elements of both glass-half-full and glass-half-empty news. On balance, the half-empty glass still looks bigger…

Us Labour Market

In: Hive Exclusives | Economic Growth Labour Market & Inequality US

Labour Market Still Labouring: Will It Get The Support It Needs?

July 06, 2020

Last week’s employment report offered several positive indicators for a nascent recovery. Payroll employment jumped by 4.8 million or 3.6%. The official…

In: Hive Exclusives | Labour Market & Inequality US

Latest Jobless Claims Report Points to Soft June Employment Report

June 25, 2020

The latest employment insurance claims report, released on Thursday morning, bodes poorly for next week’s June employment report…

Us Labour Market

In: Hive Exclusives | Economic Growth Labour Market & Inequality US

Mr. Market Gets The US Labour Data Right

June 08, 2020

So, let’s get this straight. The Bureau of Labor Statistics somehow misclassified a bunch of people as employed when they should have been reported…

US Unemployment (1)

In: Hive Exclusives | COVID Economic Growth Labour Market & Inequality US

When Temporary Unemployment Turns Permanent

June 04, 2020

The recoveries that followed the recessions of 1992, 2001 and 2008-09 have often been called ‘jobless recoveries’. This was a term coined during…

Tech Firms Stock

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities

The Tech Aristocracy – Too Good To Be True?

May 21, 2020

Willie Sutton was a famous bank robber during the 1930s. When asked why he robbed banks he reportedly replied, “Because that’s where the money…

US Unemployment Report

In: Hive Exclusives | Economic Growth Labour Market & Inequality US

The US Employment Report Was Bad, But Not For The Reason You Think

May 14, 2020

There was plenty for everyone in last Friday’s US employment report. Bears (and most media) jumped on the massive increase in the unemployment…

Earnings Expectations

In: Deep Dives | COVID Economic Growth Equities Labour Market & Inequality

Earnings Expectations In The COVID Crisis

May 06, 2020

The coronavirus crisis may seem to have dragged on for an age, but the reality is that the initial shock hit markets and most economies less than 2½…

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities US

What If Equity Markets Don’t Get That V-Shaped Recovery?

April 30, 2020

US equities’ steady upward march even as economic and company data worsens by the day has left many investment pros scratching their heads…

Credit Market Bust

In: Hive Exclusives | Bonds Credit US

Are Credit Spreads Signaling Another Credit Market Bust?

April 16, 2020

The economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis becomes more apparent by the day. Yet equity markets have rallied impressively off March lows,…

Share Buybacks

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities

Buybacks: A Tempting Target But An Empty Piñata

April 02, 2020

The $2.2 trillion stimulus package signed into law last week (aka the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security Act, or CARES) has prompted an outcry…

Super Tuesday Polls

In: Hive Exclusives | Politics & Geopolitics US

Undecided Voters To Determine Super Tuesday Outcomes

March 03, 2020

Latest polls indicate a two-man race with Sanders to win many states and Biden coming in second. How these delegates are apportioned will come…

Bloomberg Presedential Race

In: Hive Exclusives | Politics & Geopolitics US

Don’t Rule Out Bloomberg Just Yet

February 21, 2020

Is Michael Bloomberg done? As in, is he out of the presidential race for all practical purposes, or is he simply biding his time?…

Recent Mergers

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities US

We Need A Telecom Oligopoly – And A New Anti-Trust Framework

February 13, 2020

Much to Mr. Market’s surprise and delight, a federal judge signed off on T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint’s merger plans on Tuesday. Sprint’s stock price…

January Wrap Up

In: Hive Exclusives | Asia COVID EM Equities Monetary Policy & Inflation Politics & Geopolitics UK US

From Iran Tensions To Coronavirus: Event Risks Dominate In January

February 06, 2020

January was something of a bifurcated market. Equities generally tried to remain sanguine amid unsettling geopolitical developments, and US bond…

Sprint Store

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities US

Is US Anti-Trust Making A Comeback?

January 30, 2020

Will the $26bn T-Mobile/Sprint deal actually happen? The decision will be made in the next few weeks. Back in August it looked like a sure thing…

Housing Market

In: Hive Exclusives | Economic Growth Equities Labour Market & Inequality Real Estate US

Goldilocks Beckons: Bullish Homebuilder Sector

November 19, 2019

Pop quiz time: when was the stock bubble of our lifetime? If you said homebuilders during 2005-6 (Chart 1), congratulations!

Problems & Solutions

In: Hive Exclusives | Bonds Monetary Policy & Inflation US

Houston, We Still Have A Repo Problem…

November 14, 2019

As most readers know, the repo market crashed on 17 September. Ever since then speculation has swirled as to exactly what set it off…

In: Hive Exclusives | Economic Growth Equities Labour Market & Inequality Monetary Policy & Inflation Politics & Geopolitics UK US

What Investors Learned In October

November 05, 2019

Equity markets rode a rollercoaster during the first week of October. First there were several negative data surprises, but then they marched…

In: Hive Exclusives | Bonds Credit US

Falling Yields Are The Risk For Credit

October 24, 2019

The warning flags are being hoisted. One blog cautions us about a coming blowout in the government and corporate bond markets when…

In: Hive Exclusives | Politics & Geopolitics US

The Democrat Biden Problem – Who Can Replace Him?

October 17, 2019

Knowing what we do today, the person who emerges with the Democratic nomination nine months from now will almost certainly be a…

In: Hive Exclusives | Bonds Monetary Policy & Inflation

Repo Market Re-Think: What About That New Benchmark?

October 03, 2019

The repo market flash crash certainly raised awareness of the fragile nature of money markets and market plumbing. Yet curiously no one…

In: Hive Exclusives | Commodities Economic Growth Labour Market & Inequality UK US

What Investors Are Thinking: The September Scan

October 03, 2019

Looking at month-to-month changes, you’d be forgiven for thinking that markets simply took a breather in September after the selloff in August.…

In: Hive Exclusives | China Politics & Geopolitics US

Corporate America: The Clear Loser in Trump’s Trade War

September 12, 2019

There’s little debating the cause of the US/China trade war. There is a bellicose Donald Trump determined to vanquish trade deficits…

US Flag

In: Hive Exclusives | Economic Growth

The Times They Are A-Changin’…

August 22, 2019

The summer of 1969. It was one of those special moments in American history. In July, man first walked on the moon…


In: Hive Exclusives | Monetary Policy & Inflation

Why QE Doesn’t Really Work

August 15, 2019

The ECB is signalling that it may resume Quantitative Easing (QE) via bond purchases. And there is growing speculation that…

Thinking about future finances

In: Hive Exclusives | Economic Growth

Recent Recession Forecasts Are Crying Wolf

August 08, 2019

It’s a sure way to attract media coverage: publish a report calling for recession in the next year…

Confused Businessman

In: Hive Exclusives | Monetary Policy & Inflation

Do Negative Interest Rates Work?

July 25, 2019

For most of us, including those trained in finance and the more practical side of economics, negative interest rates are anything but intuitive…

Top Tech Companies

In: Hive Exclusives | Equities

Big Tech Fraud Alert

July 10, 2019

When it comes to Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google, and Microsoft – or the FAANG+M complex – most of us love (or at least can’t live without) their products…

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