Featured Post

Should the Bank of England start buying sterling corporate bonds again?

When the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee meets next week, the market expects that they will cut rates, especially now that even outgoing hawk, Martin Weale (who has been at the Bank for 71 meetings so far, and voted to hike 12 times, and to hold 59 times) says that he will support a reduction.  A resumption of the Funding for Lending (FLS) scheme is also a possibility (many economis…

Read the article

Featured Post

The Bank of England could be about to unveil a bumper monetary policy package

Despite keeping interest rates on hold at the 4th July meeting, the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee indicated that “most members expect an easing in August” (even long-time hawk Martin Weale has shifted to a dovish stance). Subsequently, markets are pricing in a staggering 98.3% probability of a rate cut at the next meeting in 8 days’ time. With UK data expected to deteriorate over the…

Read the article

Featured Post

Four years of the ECB doing “whatever it takes”

Transport yourself back to July 26, 2012. Borrowing costs for the “peripheral” European nations are uncomfortably high. Ireland, Portugal and Greece were in the process of applying for bailouts, while the Spanish banking system was dangerously close to falling over. It wasn’t a question of when an EU member would leave the single currency bloc, but who? Step forward ECB President Mario Draghi, …

Read the article
which-corporate-bonds-ecb1

Which corporate bonds has the ECB been buying?

Having recently blogged about the potentially eligible universe of the Corporate Sector Purchase Programme (CSPP), we were naturally eager to find out which corporate bonds the European Central Bank (ECB) has actually been buying. On Monday, the ECB eventually published the highly-anticipated list of their bond holdings.

Except that’s not what happened. Instead of the ECB releasing a neat conso…

Read the article

Richard Woolnough’s views on the U.S. economy and bond markets. A video.

In the second part of the video from our recent New York research trip, M&G’s Richard Woolnough takes a look at three more topics. Firstly, the U.S. labour market is strong and inflationary pressures are building. The Federal Reserve is currently on hold due to external events, but maybe not for long. Secondly, while the lower oil price by and large is beneficial for Western economies, bond val…

Read the article
brazil-bond-market

The perpetual bond market in Brazil is misrated

In developed markets, the vast majority of perpetual bonds are contractually subordinated, i.e. it is stated in the bond documentation that they are junior to any senior secured or unsecured debt, and as a result they tend to have lower bond ratings than senior bonds in the same capital structure because they have a lower expected recovery value. In emerging markets, however, it is not uncommon…

Read the article
superforecasting-small

What makes a good forecaster? Superforecasting – a book review

I spent a significant chunk of the weekend with my head buried in a great book; Superforecasting: the Art and Science of Prediction. In this book, Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner tell the story of Tetlock’s experiments in harnessing the wisdom of crowds to predict the direction of geopolitical and economic events. Tetlock, a renowned social scientist, and his global band of volunteer forecasters…

Read the article
Brexit-Score-Blog1

Brexit: The winners and losers in sterling high yield

Much has been written about the impact that the referendum result has had on gilts, the pound and equity markets. In sterling high yield bond markets, we have seen some repricing with the market 2% lower in price terms since the vote. In my opinion, this has been a fairly benign reaction if you consider that the FTSE 250 is around 10% lower over the same time period. One explanation for the mut…

Read the article

Didn’t make it to the FT Festival of Finance? We interviewed Pettis, Keen, White and Leaviss for their views.

A few of the M&G bond team recently attended the FT’s Festival of Finance. Known as the Glastonbury of the Financial World, M&G’s Anthony Doyle brought a camera crew along and interviewed a number of speakers on the day, including Michael Pettis (China expert), Steve Keen (of “Debunking Economics” fame), Alex White (political pundit from The Economist) and our own Jim Leaviss. Watch the upcomin…

Read the article

M&G Panoramic Outlook: The growing opportunity in corporate bond markets, by Richard Woolnough

Last year proved a tough year for investment grade corporate bonds, with credit spreads moving wider. Fast forward six months to today and the decision of the UK referendum to leave the EU is continuing to shake markets, with European credit spreads now even further elevated. It is nevertheless important to recognise that these bouts of volatility can however present buying opportunities as cor…

Read the article