What was going on in the world fifteen years ago? It is hard for me to remember what happened last week, but here are some reminders about the spring of 2000. Your personal computer was operating at a speed of one GHz. Putin was elected President of Russia. George Bush had just entered the White House for the first of two terms. Shania Twain was the big winner at the American Music awards. More locally, Ray Lewis, the professional football player, got involved in an incident in Atlanta that almost ended his career.
It has been a slow start to the year for the U.S. equity markets. The S&P 500 was up less than 0.5% in the first quarter, while developed international equities and emerging market equities were up 5.0% and 2.0% respectively. The Barclay’s Capital Bond Composite was up 1.75% in the first quarter. This slow start is in our opinion attributable to several key global themes.