Five guidelines for European high yield peripheral investing

2012 was a very good year for the European high yield market, total return coming in at 27.2% . Whilst we do not expect to see the same magnitude of performance in 2013, there are still some interesting pockets of value in the market. One of these is the “peripheral” region of Europe. In line with JFK’s sentiment above, we think it’s very important to engage pragmatically with Spanish, Italian…

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Should the people of Middle Earth have done Quantitative Easing to mitigate against Smaug’s tight monetary policy?

Any blog that begins with the words “Smaug the dragon is typically viewed as a fiscal phenomenon…” has immediately got my attention. Please read The Macroeconomics of Middle Earth by Frances Woolley. Woolley compares the size of the dragon’s hoard with a picture of the gold reserves at the Bank of England – although it is likely that Smaug is the beneficial owner of his gold, rather than a cust…

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Another year over – 2012 returns in fixed income markets

It’s been another massive year for the global economy. Europe saw LTROs, Greece got a haircut, sovereign downgrades and record high unemployment rates. The peripheral European nations attempted to implement austerity measures with limited success. The US re-elected President Obama and the focus quickly shifted to the upcoming fiscal cliff. In the UK, an Olympics induced bounce in growth was the…

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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 R…

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Jim’s outlook for 2013. Eurozone volatility, poor emerging market debt valuations and a sterling collapse. Merry Christmas!

It may not have felt like it, but 2012 has actually been a pretty good year for investors. Bond holders in particular have had a decent 12 months: the government bond bull run has continued and investment grade and high yield corporate debt appears on track to deliver some excellent returns. Major equity markets also look likely to end the year in the black.

These broad-based gains on global st…

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Central Bank Regime Change: an update following the Fed last night, and Carney the day before

Last night’s move by the Federal Reserve to change its approach to US monetary policy to effectively reduce the focus on the inflation target was just the latest step in an accelerating project by the world’s monetary authorities.   In a world where unemployment rates are well above pretty much anyone’s estimate of the natural rate, and in many geographies well above 10%, the need for growth is…

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Singapore research trip: monetary policy, bond markets and two chickens

Anthony recently returned from a research trip to Singapore where he spoke to a number of investors. During his time in the Asian city-state, he took his Bond Vigilantes camera to share with all of us what he’s learnt about Singapore, its economy, and fixed interest markets.

Despite its small geographic size, the Singaporean economy is one of most prosperous in the world, fuelled by a strong in…

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Corporate bond market liquidity – flush or flushed?

It has been a great few months for corporate bond issuance, as illustrated in the chart below. This huge flush of new transactions where buyer (investor) meets seller (issuer), shows that the primary market is in a historically healthy state, with buckets of liquidity. However, since the credit crunch there has been a great deal of discussion re the corporate bond market becoming less liquid, a…

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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

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…

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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 19…

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