Libby Cantrill, Head of Public Policy: PIMCO
Alpha ExchangeApril 21, 2023
00:50:4134.88 MB

Libby Cantrill, Head of Public Policy: PIMCO

What has experience taught us about consequential market risk events? First, volatility in asset prices can materialize when a strongly held consensus view is shattered. Presented with “new news” – about defaults, about inflation, about earnings – investors may be forced to shed exposures, right-sizing their risk allocations to this new state of the world. Market vol episodes can be especially protracted when the attendant uncertainties do not fit neatly into an Excel spreadsheet.

Here, the US debt ceiling checks the boxes. And against the backdrop of an emerging standoff, it was a pleasure to welcome Libby Cantrill, the Head of Public Policy at PIMCO, to the Alpha Exchange. Our discussion explores the sometimes chaotic intersection of politics and markets and the way in which her work is utilized by risk takers at PIMCO. We spend the bulk of our conversation on the debt ceiling and here Libby lays out how the 2023 version has important differences from the 2011 version, specifically in the degree of leverage that the Republicans had then versus now. While of the view that a default is avoided, she sees it as a last minute agreement almost by necessity and with that some market disruption may occur.

We finish with a discussion on where 150 million Americans are spending their time, TikTok. Libby helps frame this out in the broader context of the intensifying geostrategic rivalry between the US and China. Noting that “tough on China” has become a bipartisan view, and with the recent spy balloon incident in mind, she sees more catalysts for decoupling on the way, further tension and the potential spillover into the market.

I hope you enjoy this episode of the Alpha Exchange, my conversation with Libby Cantrill.