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The Signal and the Noise – why local weather forecasters get it wrong, and what it means for those big market calls

I’ve finally got round to reading Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise. It’s a brilliant analysis of why forecasts are often so poor, from the man who called every state correctly in the 2012 US presidential election. In short, predictions are often poor because they are too precise (asserting an absolute outcome rather than assigning probabilities to outcomes); there’s often a bias to overweight qualitative information, gut feel and anecdote over data (these shouldn’t be ignored but must have a high hurdle to overrule the statistics); and there’s also a bias to ignore out of sample data (he suggests that the rating agencies mis-rated CDOs based on MBS because they assumed no correlation between housing defaults, which was indeed the case in the 25 or so years of US data that was used in the models. Japan’s property crisis statistics would have shown that in a downturn the degree of correlation in defaults becomes extremely high). I’d like to propose a deal though – we Brits agree never to use cricket statistics in any academic paper so long as Americans shut up about baseball. What the hell is hitting .300? How many rounders is that?

I liked these charts. The first shows just how good weather forecasting is nowadays. We can’t get the outcome right every time, but we can now call the probability of a weather event occurring right with the same probability of it happening. For example, when the US National Weather Service says that there is a 70% chance of rain, it rains 70% of the time. It snows 20% of the time when they say there is a 20% chance of snow.

Slide1

But when your local TV weatherman gets hold of this same information, he or she distorted that information such that the outcomes were far worse than those of the National Weather Service’s forecasts. The chart below shows that local TV weatherpeople over-predicted weather events consistently. For example, if they say that there is a 100% chance of rain, it rains just 67% of the time, compared with the National Weather Service which if it says there is 100% chance of rain, it always rains.

Slide2

Why? “Presentation takes precedence over accuracy”. In other words local TV news and weather people believe themselves to be entertainers as much as bearers of information. A firm prediction of a biblical rainstorm is more exciting that a range of probable outcomes, and a forecast for a scorching beach day more fun than assigning a 75% chance of sunny intervals. In other studies it was shown that political analysts on panel shows performed extremely badly, systematically predicting outcomes way out of line with statistical polling. The very act of being on TV reduces one’s forecasting ability. I think there is a likelihood that this is also true of economic and market forecasting, which is why market TV channels are full of people either calling for the Dow to soar another 200%, or for the global economy to collapse into a permanent ebola fuelled zombie apocalypse. There’s a danger that when we get phoned by journalists for comment we feel the need to be significantly away from the consensus, on payrolls, on the year end 10 year Treasury yield, on the chances of the Eurozone breaking up – and I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this too in the past. What’s more I’m sure that those who forecast extreme events end up being boxed into a corner where they feel they have to implement those views within portfolios, and end up with portfolios which point only in the direction of tail events and can’t perform in normal economic circumstances. I think this is a must read book for economists and fund managers to help us understand how good forecasts are made, and that the “loudest” forecasts get disproportionate airtime – and are often wrong. Silver has bowled a wicket maiden with this one.

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Win a place in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 bike ride!

We have two exclusive places available for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday 10 August 2014! Those of you who rode it in 2013 will know what an incredible day out it was. Starting in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, this is a tough 100 mile cycle on closed roads through London and out to the famous climbs of the Surrey Alps before returning to the capital and finishing on the Mall. Later in the day you’ll be able to watch the 150 professional riders sprint in after they have ridden the same route in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.

You can read all about the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 here.

Over 80,000 people registered for places so many cyclists were unlucky in the ballot. The good news is that our parent company Prudential has kindly given us the chance for readers of the Bond Vigilantes blog to win a place. We have two packages available which include:

  • Entry to the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100
  • Team Prudential cycling jersey and goodie bag
  • Access to the VIP start area

Whilst it’s a fun day out, don’t underestimate the challenge of riding 100 miles. You should ideally commit to at least 10 weeks of training leading up to the event, and be confident of finishing within 8 ½ hours (by which time the pro peleton will be hammering along the course at an average of 40 kph!). But it’s only March now, so you’ve plenty of time to train. A few of us from the M&G bond team will be taking part – I’ll be heading out to the Surrey Hills this weekend. Unless it rains.

So the question. Which double Olympic cycling champion is the ambassador for Prudential RideLondon, and won the inaugural Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix in 2013?

Please click here to enter, and here for terms and conditions.

If you aren’t lucky enough to win, you can still take part by joining up with one of the charities which still have guaranteed places (see here for a list) or by entering as part of a team through your local British Cycling club. Good luck!

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Japan hikes consumption tax in April – will retail sales spike in March, only to collapse afterwards?

Next month, Japan will raise its consumption tax from 5% to 8% as a step towards reducing the nation’s 200%+ debt to GDP ratio by moving towards a budget surplus in 2020.  This may be the first of two hikes in the sales tax, with a further rise to 10% planned for October 2015.  Prime Minister Abe has said that the second hike will be dependent on an economic recovery, rightly realising that only a significant increase in Japan’s growth rate will make any impact on the national debt.  He’s said that the data from July to September 2014 will determine whether or not the second VAT hike goes ahead.

We’ve looked at the impact of pre-announced sales tax hikes before when I wondered whether the UK’s rises from 15% to 17.5% (at the start of 2010), and then again from 17.5% to 20% (at the start of 2011) would impact retail sales.  History had shown us that when Japan raised consumption tax in 1997, and when Australia did the same in 2000, retailers saw a huge boost to sales in the month before the hike (12% year on year rises in both cases) but when the higher prices came in retail sales collapsed to near, or below zero.  Rational consumers front loaded consumption ahead of the known price rises.

I thought that we would see something similar in the UK, but there is little sign of it in the data – after the 2010 VAT hike, sales did turn negative, but in neither case did we see any of the “rational frontloading” that Japan and Australia saw.  Perhaps the very weak period of GDP growth (averaging below 1.5%, and at times as low as 0.5% year on year over 2010 and 2011), and the UK’s famous squeeze on real incomes through higher inflation than wage growth meant that there was no ability to frontload consumption.  Or perhaps we are not as rational as the Japanese and Australians.

What happens when you pre-announce a consumption tax hike?

So the implications for Japan in 2014 are not clear cut.  But I was surprised to see that Japanese retail sales growth is already running much higher than in any of the historical examples at the same stage of the VAT hiking cycle, with a 4.4% year on year increase.  Cars and machinery equipment led the way – the big ticket items that you might expect to make most sense for consumers to buy in advance of higher prices.  Economists have attributed this to front loading, but it is also worth exploring alternative explanations.  Today’s release of Japanese wage data showed the first rise in base pay for nearly two years, so perhaps the recent improvement in some economic data, and the psychological impact of Abenomics are producing a real increase in consumer sentiment.  But pay is still only growing at 0.1% on an annual basis, and including bonuses and overtime it is negative.  Also the recent exit from deflation is squeezing real incomes.  The Japanese economy, and consumer, remains fragile – Abe will be hoping that this doesn’t end up being a replay of 1997.

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2013 Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz – the answers and the winners

Thanks for all the entries to the 2013 quiz. The winner is Adam Weidner who gets to choose where we send a £200 charity donation, and a copy of Morrissey’s autobiography. We’ll be in touch, and tweet the charity name on @bondvigilantes. The five runners up who win a Moz book are Jonathan Moore, Mark Nelson, Adrian Coates, Joshua Giersch and Richard Milne. Have a great 2014.

1. “The band the Beatles could have been” was Wings, according to Alan Partridge. Here’s Band on the Run.

2. French Club Olympique de Marseille, winners of the Champions League in 1993, play in blue and white and took their colours from the Greek flag in honour of the ancient founders of the city of Marseille who came from Phocaea.

3. Duran Duran had three of their members with the surname Taylor (John, Roger, Andy). They were not related.

4. Noli timere – “do not be afraid” – was the final thing said (actually texted to his wife) by poet Seamus Heaney, who died this year.

5. If you swap the soda water for gin in an Americano, you end up with a Negroni.

6. Once 21 million bitcoins have been made, production automatically stops. We’re about halfway towards that total now.

7. “I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated”.

8. North Korea’s Kim Jong-il, according to his official biography, hit 11 holes in one at his first attempt at golf, and then retired from the sport.

9. Graced fair wound is an anagram of FORWARD GUIDANCE.

10. The KLF burnt a million quid on the Isle of Jura in 1994.

11. The best-selling vehicle in the US in 2013, was, as usual, be the F-Series pickup.

12. Incoming Fed chief Janet Yellen said that letting inflation rise could be a “wise and humane policy”.

13. George W. Bush wrote that note asking for a bathroom break.

14. Music video number 1 was Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean.

15. Music video number 2 was Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice.

16. Music video number 3 was Madonna’s Music.

17. I’m guessing there are many different estimates of the US government’s net P&L on the GM, AIG and Citibank positions that it took in the middle of the credit crisis. But by the power of Google I come up with a $10 billion loss on GM, a $22.7 billion profit on AIG, and a $15.5 billion profit on Citibank, making a net profit of $28.2 billion. But we accepted anything near that or with a sensible explanation, especially if you provided a spreadsheet and NPVed some cashflows.

18. This is the marker at the top of Mont Ventoux in Provence.  Are you bored yet with my tales about my awesome cycle up the tough route this year – ruined for me only by the news that someone else did the same climb on a Boris Bike recently?

19. Verizon issued $49 billion of corporate bonds this year, the biggest deal ever.

20. The national anthem of the Netherlands spells out the name of the founder of its royal house, Wilhemus, through the first letter of each stanza.

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M&G Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz 2013

It’s late this year. Sorry. Here’s the 7th annual Christmas Quiz. 20 questions, and the closing date for entries is midnight on Monday, 23 of December 2013. Please email your answers to us at bondvigilantes@mandg.co.uk.

The winner will get to choose a charity to which we will donate £200. He or she will also get a copy of Morrissey’s autobiography, as will 5 runners up. It’s laugh out loud, you’ll love it. Good luck! Conditions of entry are somewhere down near the bottom.

1. “The band the Beatles could have been”. Who?

2. Which European Champions League winning football team take their colours from those of the Greek flag?

3. Which massive 1980s pop band had 3 of its 5 members with the same surname without any of them being related?

4. Who texted “Noli timere” this year?

5. If you substitute soda water for gin in an Americano, what would you end up with?

6. Once 21 million of these have been made, production will stop. What?

7. What does it say under the English instructions?

Sign
8. Who hit 11 holes-in-one in his first ever round of golf, and then declared his retirement from the sport?

9. Graced fair wound (anag.).

10. Which band did some reverse QE in August 1994 and took exactly £1 million out of circulation?

11. What’s been the top selling vehicle range in the US for 28 consecutive years?

12. Who said that letting inflation rise could be a “wise and humane policy” if it increased output?

13. Who wrote this note?

note
14. Which music video? A man in a trenchcoat, hat and dark glasses lurks in a run down, graffiti covered alley. Later a man in pink shirt, bow tie and leather trousers walks down the street, lighting up the pavement as he goes. There’s also a stray cat, and a tiger in it.

15. Which music video? A middle aged man, played by a famous actor, slumps in a hotel lobby chair wearing a suit and tie. He hears music and dances around the hotel (escalators, baggage trollies) and ends up flying through the air in the atrium.

16. Which music video? A UK comedian chauffeurs a woman in a cowboy hat around as she sings and drinks champagne. There’s a cartoon sequence in it too.

17. What is the US government’s net P&L (to the nearest $1 billion) on the positions it took in GM, AIG and Citibank during the financial crisis?

18. Which climb?

climb

19. What is the biggest corporate bond deal of all time?

20. If you take the first letter of each stanza in its national anthem, you get the name of the founder of its royal house. Which country?

Terms and conditions

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Bond book competition winners: the UK Exchequer 12% 2017-13 is the highest coupon gilt still outstanding

Still outstanding, but probably not for long.  Although this gilt has a maturity date on 12th December 2017, there is a call option for the government at par (100) on 12th December this year (hence the 2017-13 date), and given the current price of the bond is well above par (108-ish) it will get redeemed, unless they forget.  This is what’s known as a “rump” stock.  Although it was once a £1 billion issue, most has been bought back over the years by the Bank of England or Debt Management Office, so there’s only £14.5 million left in the wild.

This gilt issue was announced in June 1978, when Rivers of Babylon by Boney M was number one in the UK music charts, and, most importantly Nottingham Forest FC had just won the football league.  Forest would go on to win the European Cup two years in a row.  And it was a proper competition in those days, not a stupid league like today.  Shilton, Anderson, Burns, Lloyd, Clark, McGovern, Needham, O’Neill, Bowyer, Robertson, Birtles.  And Clough and Taylor.  You can read a bit more about this great team here.

Inflation in 1978 was 8.4%, so 12% was a nice real yield, although inflation had averaged 15.8% over the past 5 years, so it wasn’t a no-brainer.  In fact your real return from gilts in 1978 was -20%, and -22.6% in 1979.  Ouch.  It wasn’t until 1982 that there was a positive real return, a lovely 29.2%.  The interesting feature about gilts at the time was that they were issued partly paid, with 15% of the purchase price payable on the 15th June, 30% on 27th June and the rest on 14th July.  We’re not really sure what the point of this was?  To allow gilt investors to gear?  To manage money market flows?  Any veterans care to let us know?

Anyway the 20 tweeters who came up with the correct answer were:

@RobinNGhosh
@RichardPhilbin
@peds52
@Invest_Advisory
@Yogi_Chan
@byronburghart
@JeremyBeckwith1
@SeanGConnery
@m1kee123
@Partegas
@adamgrimsley
@DanBland
@Dario_Gainnini
@krista_andria
@hellocanuhearme
@amirriz 1
@EdBagenal
@HarpRob
@ssaxim
@NickRilley

Please DM us with your address so we can send you a copy of Mark Glowrey’s The Sterling Bonds and Fixed Income Handbook.  Thanks for all of your entries.

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Competition: win one of 20 copies of The Sterling Bonds and Fixed Income Handbook

Mark Glowrey has written an excellent guide to the UK’s bond markets, covering everything from gilts, linkers, corporate bonds and high yield, to dealing, settlement, tax and covenants. There’s also some great bond market history and anecdote – I like the story of the two brothers who worked as bond brokers at the London Stock Exchange. Both had been awarded the Military Cross in World War 2, but the second brother had been awarded the Military Cross and bar. The nickname of the first brother was “The Coward”.

We have 20 copies of the book to give away. You can win one by tweeting us (we’re @bondvigilantes) the answer to this question. Add the hashtag #BVbook to help us find your entry in our inbox please.

What’s the highest coupon currently available on a UK gilt?

See here for terms and conditions. Tweet us your entries by midday on Friday 22nd March. The 20 winners will be contacted shortly afterwards.

Mark-Glowrey

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M&G Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz 2012: the winners and the answers!

It was a tough quiz this year – sorry. Here are the answers for you. The winner was Mike Haslam of Barclays Wealth who scored 20 out of 20. Congratulations – please let us know which charity you’d like to nominate for the £200 donation from us. The nine runners up, who like the winner receive a copy of Philip Coogan’s excellent book Paper Promises are:

Sam Morton, Mizuho International
Matthew Riley, Falcon Money Managment
Paul Amery, Index Universe
Mark Dufton, Charles Stanley & Co Ltd
Nick Tudball, BNP Paribas
Will Lewis, Hansa Capital
Adam Grimsley, Blackrock
Johnny Smith, Nomura
Andrew Woolston, Blackrock

 

  1. What was created especially for Winston Churchill in 1950 as a brandy-like celebration drink?
    Carlsberg Special Brew was created for Churchill’s visit to Copenhagen in 1950, and was originally called V-beer.
  2. “We’re just going to draw the raffle numbers now”. Who and when?
    Bradley Wiggins opened his Tour de France victory speech this year with these words, a nod back to the low budget, cash strapped days of UK bike racing where races were organised out of scout huts and village halls.
  3. What’s this called?
    This is Ampelmann, the East German pedestrian traffic light symbol.
  4. “Beam me up Scotty”. Why was it third time lucky this year?
    James Doohan, who played Scotty in Star Trek, had his ashes blasted into space on a rocket. It was third time lucky because the first two rockets his ashes were on both blew up after takeoff.
  5. How is James Gatz from North Dakota better known?
    He is the Great Gatsby from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel.
  6. Held in 1994, it is said to be the biggest rock or pop concert ever. Who and where?
    Although crowd numbers are difficult to judge when it gets this big, Rod Stewart’s MTV concert on Copacabana Beach probably had around 3.5 million attendees!
  7. Archaeologists recently discovered a mummy in the Valley of the Kings, covered in chocolate and nuts. Who is it believed to be?
    Pharaoh Roche.
  8. The winner of this 7.4km race gets a red coat with a silver badge. Which race?
    Doggett’s Coat and Badge, the world’s oldest rowing race (run since 1715), held on the River Thames.
  9. What do all the cover stars of this magazine have in common?
    This is iD, the style magazine. All of the front cover stars have an eye closed (usually winking).
  10. Which fairground ride’s name derives from a military training game seen by crusaders in Turkey in the 12th century?
    Carousel.
  11. The Nike swoosh, a cheap US hipster beer, and a prize for fast ships. What?
    The Blue Ribbon/Riband. Nike was originally called Blue Ribbon Sports, Pabst Blue Ribbon is a cheap, ironic hipster lager, and the Blue Riband was a prize for the fastest ship across the Atlantic.
  12. What were bulky, ungainly monstrosities more suitable for the wide open vistas of a Scandinavian airport?
    This is how London Mayor Boris Johnson described the bendy bus, replacing them with the new double deckers.
  13. It shows a hundred consecutive pulses from the pulsar CP 1919, but is best known as what?
    The image of those pulses was used as the cover of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album.
  14. Coppi was the first, Pantani the last. To do what?
    To win both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in the same year. Bradley next in 2013?
  15. Who famously finished the story of Bleak House, and was then sitting down to start Great Expectations that afternoon?
    Neville Chamberlain told the House of Commons in 1934 “we have finished the story of Bleak House, and are sitting down this afternoon to the story of Great Expectations”.
  16. Who’s stationary did this logo head up?
    This was Captain Robert Scott’s stationary from the doomed Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole in 1911-12.
  17. Following electromagnetic surveys, and eyewitness accounts from elderly locals, it’s hoped that a dig will uncover 36 of them in Burma. What?
    It’s hoped that the dig will turn up crates containing RAF Spitfires, buried in the jungle to keep them out of Japanese hands in WWII. They’d be worth many millions of pounds each and could be in virtually mint condition.
  18. Earlier this year, a hedge fund managed to seize an asset as part of its claim against Argentina following the latter’s sovereign bond default. What was it?
    Elliott Associates, a hedge fund and owner of Argentinian debt, seized an Argentinian naval ship, the Libertad, docked in Ghana earlier this year. However, it looks as if the government is about to release the ship.
  19. Who is this?
    It is Snufkin, from the Moomins.
  20. As he looked through a hole in a wall in 1922, someone asked him if he could see anything. He said “Yes, wonderful things”. Who?
    Howard Carter. The archaeologist was the first to peer into Tutankhamun’s tomb through a crack in a doorway. Lord Carnarvon asked him if he could see anything, and this was Carter’s reply.

Congratulations to all the winners. We’ll be in touch shortly. Happy Christmas everyone and thanks for reading the blog in 2012.

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M&G Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz 2012

For the sixth year in a row, we bring you the Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz. As always there are 20 questions, and the closing date for entries is midnight on Thursday 20th December 2012. Please email your answers to us at bondvigilantes@mandg.co.uk.

The prize is, once more, glory. But the winner will also get to choose a charity to which we will donate £200. He or she will also win a hardback copy of Philip Coggan’s excellent Paper Promises: Money, Debt and the New World Order. The nine runners up will get a paperback copy of the same. Conditions of entry are shown at the bottom of this post entry. Good luck!

  1. What was created especially for Winston Churchill in 1950 as a brandy-like celebration drink?
  2. “We’re just going to draw the raffle numbers now”. Who said this and when?
  3. What’s this called?
  4. “Beam me up Scotty”. Why was it third time lucky this year?
  5. How is James Gatz from North Dakota better known?
  6. Held in 1994, it is said to be the biggest rock or pop concert ever. Who performed and where?
  7. Archaeologists recently discovered a mummy in the Valley of the Kings, covered in chocolate and nuts. Who is it believed to be?
  8. The winner of this 7.4km race gets a red coat with a silver badge. Which race?
  9. What do all the cover stars of this magazine have in common?
  10. Which fairground ride’s name derives from a military training game seen by crusaders in Turkey in the 12th century?
  11. The Nike swoosh, a cheap US hipster beer, and a prize for fast ships. What?
  12. What were bulky, ungainly monstrosities more suitable for the wide open vistas of a Scandinavian airport?
  13. It shows a hundred consecutive pulses from the pulsar CP 1919, but is best known as what?
  14. Coppi was the first, Pantani the last. To do what?
  15. Who famously finished the story of Bleak House, and was then sitting down to start Great Expectations that afternoon?
  16. Whose stationery did this logo head up?
  17. Following electromagnetic surveys, and eyewitness accounts from elderly locals, it’s hoped that a dig will uncover 36 of them in Burma. What?
  18. Earlier this year, a hedge fund managed to seize an asset as part of its claim against Argentina following the latter’s sovereign bond default. What was it?
  19. Who is this?
  20. As he looked through a hole in a wall in 1922, someone asked him if he could see anything. He said “Yes, wonderful things”. Who was he?

To enter the competition, please click here and to view the T&Cs, please click here.

The information we collect from you is used solely to notify you should you win the competition

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Metroboom – Lessons from Britain’s Recovery in the 1930s by George Trefgarne. And win a copy!

In my last blog, about the many positive signals for US housing and the massive potential for that to drive US growth over the next couple of years (see here). I mentioned that I’d met recently with George Trefgarne, the author of a Centre for Policy Studies booklet called Metroboom. In it he pointed out how important housing construction had been in the UK’s recovery from the “slump” of the 1930s – I suggested that house building would be a very powerful way for the UK to get out of our current growth problem. As we’ve pointed out before, the UK’s growth performance from the credit crisis onwards is actually far worse than it had been in the 1930s in terms of lost GDP.

Metroboom is definitely worth a read. It certainly adds to the debate on the austerity vs fiscal stimulus debate, and (perhaps controversially) argues that it was a combination of spending cuts and tax cuts that helped to restore economic growth in the UK in the 1930s. The paper also argues that the view of the 1930s as universally gloomy in the UK is overstated. Areas that relied on shipbuilding and coal mining (the Special Areas) did remain depressed for much of the decade, and only re-armament ahead of the war stimulated growth again, but for much of the nation recovery came much earlier. Trefgarne claims that the UK was well ahead of most of the rest of the world in coming out of depression (only Germany grew faster), and that the period was one of industrial and technical innovation (and an obsession with world speed records!), an infrastructure and housing revolution, and improved leisure time (paid holidays, a cinema boom).

Perhaps one problem that we face today, that makes the UK’s 1930s solution difficult to implement today is that the tighter fiscal stance then could be offset with looser monetary policy – a policy tool that Trefgarne says was necessary to run alongside the austerity. As we approach the zero bound in interest rates around the western economies, and when the Bank of England hints that it finds diminishing returns from more and more Quantitative Easing, those monetary tools are unavailable. Olivier Blanchard, chief economist of the IMF, suggests that the reason for the negative fiscal multipliers being perhaps 3 times higher in this current downturn than they had expected them to be (1.5x versus 0.5x) is exactly this effect – monetary policy can no longer offset fiscal policy tightening. Additionally, when the UK came off the Gold Standard in 1931, the depreciation of sterling was very beneficial to UK exporters – I think that this currency depreciation was the most important factor in the UK’s eventually recovery. It’s also interesting to note that at the recent IMF/World Bank meetings in Tokyo (see my video here), Blanchard used the UK in the 1930s as an example of exactly why austerity failed, so the data from that period can be interpreted in very different ways!

I highly recommend you read Metroboom – it’s a short and concise economic history of the UK in that period with some great colour too (Neville Chamberlain at the time was regarded as a dynamic, media savvy “Man of the Year”, the Navy came close to mutiny following wage cuts, and 180 lidos were built in the decade). It’s interesting to have a different view to the commonly held one that the UK’s policies were disastrous whilst the New Deal Keynesian policies of the US proved to be the way to get out of Depression.

We have 20 copies of the Metroboom booklet to give away to the first names out of the hat with the correct answer to this question:

Which famous train broke the speed record between London and Edinburgh in 1938?

Terms and conditions hereEnter here or email us at bondvigilantes@mandg.co.uk

Congratulations to the 20 winners named below – we will be in touch to get your copy of Metroboom to you. My question turned out to be a little ambiguous. I was looking for The Mallard as the answer to the question, as it hit a record speed of 126 mph at one point between London and Edinburgh in 1938. However, the Flying Scotsman set the record time for the entire journey between London and Edinburgh. In light of the confusion I generated, both answers were accepted. Thanks to everybody who entered, and good luck if you are attempting the annual Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz!

William Blake, Quilter
Chris Summers, FAMC Ltd
John McLaughlin, Brewin Dolphin
Nigel Farmer, Charles Stanley
Rachel Revesz, Citywire
Harry Rogers, Bentley Reid & Co
Joanna McIntyre, Standard Life Investments
John Slater, Medicas
Chris Spink, Thomson Reuters
Chris Rule, Kingfisher Financial
Herman Bakker, VSB
Jacob Nelson, BIS
John Topalian, Topalian Associates
Neil McHaffie, KM Financial
Mateusz Malek, Killick & Co
Mark Jones, Brewin Dolphin
Debbie Behrens, Charles Stanley
Richard List, J O Hambro Investment Management
Ian King, The Times
Bill Crowley, Independent IFA

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