With the European Central Bank (ECB) purchasing €1.7bn of covered bonds last week, the Eurozone’s “QE-lite” programme has well and truly begun. Although the focus to date has been on covered and asset backed bonds, an article from Reuters last week spurred the market, due to a rumour that the ECB would soon be considering an extension to include secondary market corporate bond purchases. Althou…Read the article
The ECB is finally joining the Quantitative Easing (QE) party. Un-sterilised asset purchases have been a major policy tool in most of the developed world over the past few years but next month (as the Fed ends theirs, incidentally) the ECB will make its first foray into QE proper by embarking on an asset backed security (ABS) purchase programme.
Through this programme, focused on “simple, trans…Read the article
Richard recently wrote about the exceptional times in bond markets. Despite bond yields at multi-century lows and central banks across the developed world undertaking massive balance sheet expansions the global recovery remains uneven.
Whilst the macro data in the US and UK continues to point to a decent if unspectacular recovery, the same cannot be said for the Eurozone. Indeed finding data to…Read the article
Many of us have become accustomed to a world of ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing (QE). Taking into account inflation, real short-term interest rates are negative in most of the developed world. Of course, these historically low interest rates were a central bank response –co-ordinated on some occasions – to the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. Whilst we are still waiting for the …Read the article
The FOMC took markets and economists by surprise in September this year when the committee members decided to hold off from tapering and maintain its bond-buying programme at $85bn per month. Three months down the road and the consensus for the December meeting outcome is that the Fed will not reduce the pace of MBS or treasury purchases. Consensus has been wrong before; will it be wrong again …Read the article
Last night the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) delivered a massive surprise by deciding to not taper QE. For us, this isn’t a huge deal. Since May, the market has placed way too much emphasis and concern over tapering and lost focus on the fundamental economic situation that the US has now found itself in – an economy where unemployment has fallen to 7.3% (helped by a falling participation…Read the article
Just when you thought the Fed had well and truly killed the carry trade, a surprisingly dovish Mario Draghi reminded markets yesterday that Europe remains a very different place from the US. Having previously argued that the ECB never pre commits to forward guidance, yesterday marks something of a volte-face. ‘The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at present or lowe…Read the article
I spent a couple of days in New York last week seeing economists and academics. The US Treasury market had just seen a significant sell-off, with 10 year yields rising from 1.63% at the start of May, to over 2.2%, with much of the damage done by Bernanke’s surprise talk of QE tapering during the Q&A following his address to Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. US 30 year mortgage rates sold off…Read the article
The punch bowl of easy money that the US Federal Reserve has offered the market has been significant over the last 5 years: from low rates, to quantitative easing and benign regulation. The purpose of the party was to keep animal spirits high and prevent the gloomy cycle of recession from turning into depression. This generosity has been mirrored around the world in different guises, and so far…Read the article
Last week Jim took part in an Asset.tv masterclass. The panel discussion was hosted by the BBC’s economics editor Stephanie Flanders with the main theme tackling one of the big conundrums of the past few years – whether we’re heading into an era of deflation or inflation and indeed whether central bankers really care about inflation anymore. The video also covers a range of related topics, such…Read the article