Archive

European Central Bank has one item left in its toolkit: dual rates

A version of this article originally appeared in the Financial Times last week.

There is a widespread assumption that the European Central Bank — like other major central banks — has reached the limits of monetary policy, and that the best we can hope for with Christine Lagarde’s reign is political astuteness in cajoling reluctant politicians to embrace a fiscal stimulus.

This is n…

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EM Debt: 2019 review and 2020 outlook

2019 proved to be a spectacular year for returns in most asset classes and emerging market debt was no exception. Returns were driven by a combination of cheaper valuations to begin with and also helped by the market-wide U-turn in going from pricing in Fed hikes to cuts and by the subsequent US rate rally. Some key risks were also priced out as the year moved on, including the US-China trade…

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The 2020 geopolitical risks that matter for emerging markets

Last year was very eventful in emerging markets with its share of US tariffs/sanctions, regime changes in many countries, mass protests across the board and Carlos Ghosn escaping Japan to soon-to-default Lebanon on the very last day of the year! 2020 promises many geopolitical risks. We have compiled some of the key risks below for developing economies, including “the biggest crisis no one is …

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Elizabeth Warren has a plan: US investors pay attention

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has big plans. She dislikes the path the United States is on and wants to make fundamental changes to the economy. These plans include much tougher regulation of banks, a breakup of large ‘monopolies’ — her first sight is on technology companies — and also a healthcare system based on a single payer principle. Just under a year from the US President…

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The fall of the Berlin Wall – a lesson for history or markets?

Earlier this month, Germany celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a pivotal moment in recent history that left the Soviet-led communist bloc on the brink of collapse. Whether the Hoff was single-handedly responsible or not, the reunification of communist East Germany with capitalist West Germany was a unique economic shock with a number of potential lessons. Changing …

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2020 Vision: Bond Market Outlook

Let me start with two predictions. Firstly that the title “2020 Vision” will be irresistible to all year-ahead outlooks, no matter what publication or industry you work in. This is why I trademarked the idea many months ago, and now expect to retire on the proceeds of all the copyright breaches. My second prediction is that in my industry, bond fortune telling, virtually all of those 2020 outl…

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2020 Vision

Let me start with two predictions.  Firstly that the title “2020 Vision” will be irresistible to all year-ahead outlooks, no matter what publication or industry you work in.  This is why I trademarked the idea many months ago, and now expect to retire on the proceeds of all the copyright breaches.  My second prediction is that in my industry, bond fortune telling, virtually all of those 2020 …

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Is the ECB pricing investors out of the primary market?

Christmas has come early for Europe, with Mario Draghi’s goodbye present to the market of further quantitative easing (“QE”). The ECB has kicked off its latest round of asset purchases. While this will undoubtedly be supportive for European credit, I feel much of the impact is already priced in to the secondary market. With a large book to fill, a significant part of the ECB’s ammunition is…

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Six scary charts to spook investors this Halloween

Financial markets can be a scary place for investors. The US economy is now in its longest expansion on record, the world is seeing record level of total debt and now even some corporate bonds have negative yields.

If you’ve carved a pumpkin, got your Halloween costume and been to see the latest scary movie, there’s only one thing left to do: take a look at the Bond Vigilantes team’s 2019…

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It wasn’t perfect, but it was the best we had

No doubt the main thing that Mario Draghi will be remembered for is his famous “whatever it takes”. He told financial markets that the Eurozone was not about to collapse and made it clear that the ECB would save the banks and peripheral sovereign nations of Europe.

More interestingly, however, is to think about how Draghi found himself in the position to be able to QE and to undertake othe…

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