Monthly Archives:

November 2012

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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The fiscal cliff is bad news, but is likely to be resolved – so don’t ignore the extremely positive developments in the US housing market

There are some big risks to the US economy, but the potential for the US housing market to surprise on the upside, and deliver massive gains to US employment might well be the bigger story for 2013.

The real damage that the fiscal cliff is causing is mainly psychological at the moment, discouraging both capital investment and hiring. I’m not allowed to use the phrase that involves metal food co…

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Stress in the Eurozone – Day of action, years of reaction

Today in Europe we have a day of action. The day of action means in reality a day of inaction, as the active protesting on the streets is outweighed by the inactive sectors such as transportation hit by the strike. Why are workers and, increasingly importantly, non workers undertaking such protests?

Firstly let’s look at the evidence. Below is a chart of unemployment in the Eurozone split by co…

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South Africa should be rated junk, and that really matters if you’re an EM debt investor

The worrying developments in South Africa in the past few months have caught the attention of the ratings agencies and the markets (see first chart).  South Africa is one of very few emerging market countries whose credit rating is deteriorating; it’s still officially rated investment grade, but we think it should already carry a junk credit rating and the market is not pricing this in.  And co…

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Arizona research trip: US high yield in times of the fiscal cliff

James recently returned from a research trip to the US. He attended the Deutsche Bank Leveraged Finance Conference in Arizona, gaining insights into US market sentiment ahead of the presidential elections and the arising fiscal cliff. Following his latest research trip to Chicago, James had further meetings with a considerable number of US high yield issuers and discussed their outlook for 2013…

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US income inequalities: Buffett rules

In August last year, I picked up on Warren Buffett’s call for a higher burden share for America’s rich in a New York Times Op-Ed and alluded to the heated debate around income taxation and wealth distribution. Since then the US Senate has seen the Democrats proposing and the Republicans opposing the ‘Fair Share tax’, also called ‘Buffett rule’, which would require those with incomes over $1m to…

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Don’t call us we’ll call you

We have opined on many occasions about the call features on bank debt and have long argued that investors and issuers should price these securities on economic rather than emotional grounds (for more detail, see Jim’s blog on Deutsche Bank being the first not to call a Lower Tier 2 bond in 2008).

However, even we were surprised late last week when Intesa SanPaolo decided to amend the terms of s…

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