Monthly Archives:

December 2014

Duration, duration, duration – a review of bond market returns in 2014

This time last year many thought that duration management was going to be the key to success in 2014. Yields were expected to rise as the Fed weaned the market off QE and began to normalise rates. As a result, only the very brave would have been positioned long duration heading into 2014. To be positioned as such would presumably have taken some explaining, particularly when set against what se…

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The 2014 Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz – the answers and this year’s champion

Thanks for another huge haul of entries to the Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz.  Three people got full marks (20 points plus the bonus half mark for spotting the Goldhawk Road rail bridge), but the first out of the hat was Marton Huebler of Fidelity Worldwide Investment.  Congratulations – we’ll be in touch to find out where you’d like us to make the charitable donation to.  You’ll also get the …

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The M&G YouGov Inflation Expectations Survey – Q4 2014

Today we launch the next edition of M&G YouGov Inflation Expectations Survey which polled over 8,200 consumers across the UK, Europe and Asia.

The Q4 report reveals that consumers’ short-term inflation expectations continue to moderate across most regions, although they remain well above current inflation levels. Long-term expectations remain resilient despite this year’s low inflation environm…

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Either longer dated index linked gilts are very vulnerable, or the UK economy is

If at the beginning of 2014 you had made a list of what you thought would be the best performing fixed income asset classes globally for the coming year, it’s very unlikely you’d have put UK index-linked gilts at the top. It’s probably even less likely that you’d have put Argentina’s (hard currency) bond market in second place, especially if you had been told that Argentina would default in 201…

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Bretton Woods competition winners: 15 signed copies of Ed Conway’s The Summit go to…

The following 15 people correctly answered that President Richard Nixon effectively ended the Bretton Woods era in 1971 by suspending the convertibility of the US dollar into gold.  Thanks everyone for entering – we will contact the winners by email to arrange delivery of the book.  If you didn’t win, why not try the Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz

  1. Frank Markey – Wells Fargo
  2. Doug Brodie – Maste…

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Conservative QE and the zero bound.

It has been a while since we talked about QE, but we covered this substantially in the past (see for example ‘Sub Zero?’,  ‘QE – quite extraordinary‘ and ‘Quantitative easing – walking on custard‘). It now appears, at least for the time being, to be a part of monetary history in the UK, and more recently the US. However, it is being reapplied in Japan and about to do a grand tour of Europe. Our…

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Panoramic Outlook: Jim Leaviss’ view of the year ahead in bond markets

Oscar Wilde supposedly once said that ‘everything popular is wrong’. Well, the overwhelming consensus at the start of 2014 that bond markets were not a great place to be invested turned out to be very wrong indeed. The relentless march lower in bond yields, and thus strong performance from government bonds and investment grade (for example, sterling IG has returned more than 10% so far this yea…

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M&G Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz 2014

Here is the 8th annual Christmas Quiz. 20 questions, and the closing date for entries is midday on Tuesday 23rd December. Please email your answers to us at bondvigilantes@mandg.co.uk. The winner will get to choose a charity to which we will donate £200. He or she will also get a copy of “Anger is an Energy”, John Lydon’s new autobiography. Four runners up will also get a copy of the book. Good…

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The Chinese corporate bond market – a video

I was in Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago to find out more about the Chinese corporate bond market. To start with it’s huge, and growing rapidly. But it comes with some well-known challenges – the large weighting towards property debt, the lack of information about issuers (ratings tend to be done only by the domestic ratings agency), and perhaps most worryingly the issue of structural subordina…

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War Loan called. Yay. Quick thoughts…

It has finally happened: the DMO has elected to call and refinance the 3 ½% War Loan, which at almost £2bn in size is by far the largest perpetual gilt outstanding. We’ve been banging on about this for years (see comment from 2011 here), and Jim is worried he hasn’t got anything to write about anymore. Jim typed up a few thoughts after the much smaller 4% Consol was called in October, here are …

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