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Consensus among market prognosticators is that the Federal Reserve (“Fed”) will raise interest rates this year. However, there is less agreement about when rates will start to rise, as well as how the shape of the yield curve will shift as rates start to ascend. To gain a better sense of when the rate hike can be expected to begin as well as how the shape of the yield curve is expected to change, we surveyed 41 fixed income investment management firms, large and small, for their best estimates based on the current market environment. In addition, we collected responses on when to expect a major credit spread widening, i.e., when we should expect major defaults from corporate bond issuers given the re-leveraging that has taken place over the last eight quarters. We also obtained from the respondents their expectation as to which region of the world might provide the best fixed income returns in 2015.
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