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Not long ago, investment commentators used to talk regularly about a “flight to quality.” This happened at times of stress when investors moved out of riskier assets—emerging market equities, perhaps, or “junk” (high-yield) bonds—and headed for more solid terrain such as bluechip stocks or AAA-rated sovereign debt. In extremis, they might even opt for the Swiss franc as a refuge in turbulent times.

You don’t read so much about flights to quality these days. That’s not because investors have given up flying—quite the opposite. It’s because they are no longer so sure where quality lies. The risks have grown so…

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