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The Year of Living Divergently

by Mark Stockley, Managing Director and Head of International Cash Sales, BlackRock

Cash, like all other asset classes, is bound to the health of the wider economic environment in which it exists. In recent years, during which we have seen prolonged periods of broad market instability and heightened risk aversion even at the ‘risk-free’ end of the investing spectrum, cash on corporations’ balance sheets has risen to record levels and the emphasis for treasury departments has remained firmly on capital preservation and liquidity. Will this environment remain the status quo for some time to come as global economies slowly grind out economic recovery or could it be that recovery is just around the corner?

Whether recovery comes sooner or later, we thought it provoking to highlight what senior investment leaders across asset classes at BlackRock considered to be the main themes for this year. Will 2012 be a re-run of 2011 or will we experience something quite different?

In the extract below from BlackRock’s Investment Institute report The Year of Living Divergently, senior portfolio managers and leaders at the firm step back and consider the likely macro-economic and investment themes for 2012.