Monthly Archives:

December 2009

The Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz – the answers and the winners

Thank you for all the entries – we had twice as many as last year’s bumper haul, and the average mark is creeping up too.  The answers are shown below.  Here are the winners – there’s an extra runners-up prize so everybody who scored 18 or better gets something.

First prize:  Tom Lees with the only full house, 20/20
Runners-up: Lisa Taylor of ICAP (19), Nick Tudball of BNP Paribas (19), Mike Sc…

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British Airways, strikes, and a final Christmas competition reminder

As BA goes to court to try to stop the 12 Days of Christmas strike by its UNITE cabin crew members, I dug out the paper mentioned in the Times yesterday about the impact of striking on workers’ pay.  The paper is called Do strikes pay? by Metcalf, Wadsworth and Ingram, and you can read it here (scroll down to section 9 on page 179).  Having done a comprehensive analysis of strikes in the UK in …

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Gilt supply update: back to a world of issuance exceeding buybacks

In last week’s Pre-Budget report, UK Chancellor Alistair Darling announced that gilt issuance for the current financial year would total £225.1bn – a shocking and record figure, although not far off the £220bn that was originally planned in this year’s Budget. But while on one side we’ve had this huge volume of supply from the DMO, we’ve also had the unusual situation of the BoE busily mopping …

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Doom for UK retailers in 2010? VAT hike implies collapse in retail sales.

In under a month’s time, the UK’s emergency VAT reduction from 17.5% to 15% will be reversed.  This will not only cause a blip upwards in inflation rates (most of the CPI basket apart from food attracts the tax) but might also derail the recovery of the UK economy.  Because this VAT hike is pre-announced, is it possible that we will see lots of frontloading of consumption in December, and a big…

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The Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz

Here is this year’s Christmas Quiz. Please email us your entries by 5pm on Friday 18 December.  First prize is £100 of Amazon vouchers and there are 4 copies of “Too Big To Fail” by Andrew Ross Sorkin (in which Hank Paulson accuses Alistair Darling of doing something too rude to repeat in this blog) for runners-up.  As usual the competition is open to all of our readers, clients or not, and as …

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What’s driving the US Dollar?

The behaviour of the US Dollar over the past few days has left investors a bit stumped, and the FT have been asking the same question in today’s Short View column.   Friday of last week saw the biggest rally in the US Dollar since January as an unexpected drop in the unemployment rate led to speculation that the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates by the middle of next year.  Yesterday the…

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Let’s sit down and discuss your performance Mervyn…

Six years ago this month, Gordon Brown, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, set the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) an inflation target of 2.0% for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). Additionally, if the inflation target is missed by more than 1 percentage point on either side – in other words, if the annual rate of CPI is more than 3.0% or less than 1.0% – the Governor of the Bank, …

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