The flattening of the yield curve is carefully watched by investors as it is traditionally a good indicator of an economic slowdown. However, we always need to question conventional wisdom, and one thing we can say about the great financial crisis, and the great financial recovery, is that the actions central banks have taken to meet their mandates has been quite different this time.
The Fed ha… Read the article
Jim recently updated an old chart from 2007 showing the relationship between a flattening yield curve and credit spread levels. Back then, this classic leading indicator of recessions correctly predicted a big sell-off in corporate bonds. The rest, as they say, is history.
More than 10 years later, Jim joined me this morning on BVTV to discuss if recent US flattening means we really could be he… Watch the video
As the U.S. yield curve flattened to just 45 bps (2s-10s) last week, we dug out something I wrote back in 2007, in the early days of this blog. A chart that accompanied the blog showed that a) U.S. BBB credit spreads had hit their tightest level for nearly 3 decades and b) that the yield curve had flattened substantially (and in fact inverted). If you pushed the yield curve shape chart 18 mon… Read the article
It is fair to say that markets have become more lively of late. One sector in particular has been the epicentre of revived market volatility – Technology.
In the US high yield market, the US tech sector has weakened relative to the broader US high yield market. Given higher leveraged balance sheets, high yield bonds tend to be more sensitive to sector specific headwinds.
The chart below shows t… Read the article
On this week’s BVTV I am joined in the studio by fund manager Dr Wolfgang Bauer and we will be focusing on the recent escalation in geopolitical tensions after the US imposed further tough sanctions against Russia. What does all this mean for bond investors and should we be now thinking about de-risking our portfolios? As ever, the picture is more nuanced than it would first appear. While Russi… Watch the video
The current Conservative Government has pledged to meet its 2015 manifesto commitment to deliver one million homes by the end of 2020 and to “deliver half a million more by the end of 2022“. For this to be met, completions would need to rise to levels not seen since the late 1970s.
Unfortunately for the UK Government, increasing the housing supply has long been a difficult challenge. There has… Read the article
Bouts of market volatility have characterised the year so far as investors try to correctly price in news coming from the US. Is investor reaction truly reflecting the fundamental picture? Christophe Machu, investment specialist in the Multi Asset team, takes a look. Watch the video
This week on BVTV, I have a look at past US interest rate cycles. With new Fed Chair Jerome Powell now in the hot seat, bond investors are keen to understand whether he will be more hawkish than his predecessor, Janet Yellen. Turning to the UK, the market is now pricing in a high probability that the Monetary Policy Committee hikes interest rates in May, but the flattening of the gilt curve may… Watch the video
Toys “R” Us announced last week that it has so far failed to find a buyer or reach a debt restructuring deal, raising the prospect of widespread store closures and job losses. While a rescue package could yet emerge, the future is looking far from rosy for the toy store. M&G fund manager and deputy head of retail fixed interest Stefan Isaacs joined me this morning to discuss prospects for the f… Watch the video
Creating a Eurozone-wide safe asset and thus diversifying sovereign risk within the currency union without the need for sovereign debt mutualisation – sounds like having your cake and eating it, doesn’t it? Well, according to the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS) might do the trick. SBBS are merely an idea, discussed in ESRB working papers, feasibility… Read the article