Monthly Archives:

July 2020

Why corporate QE is now conventional monetary policy

One common theme in market commentary of late has been the unprecedented use of the word unprecedented! One thing that used to be unprecedented and is now commonplace is central banks buying corporate bonds. Now this seems to have become conventional monetary policy, it is worth asking “why?” and “is this appropriate?”.

We first wrote about corporate bond purchases in 2009. Bac…

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QE goes global: the case of Indonesia

The COVID-19-induced slowdown of the past few months has been different from past crises for a number of reasons. One of the most significant differences has been the greater ability of emerging market central banks to provide support to their economies, as we wrote about a few weeks ago. An interesting example is that of Indonesia. Last week, Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia – “BI”) c…

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High yield case study: McLaren – a car crash averted

Covid-19 has taken lives, dramatically reshaped the way we live and work, and challenged our view of a safe and stable world. Those of us who work in investment management, especially high yield fund managers like myself, have seen the pandemic put many businesses under severe financial stress. British high-end sports car maker McLaren was one of them. The company’s activities have been badly …

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The new Taper Tantrum – H2 outlook 2020

The first half of this year saw one of the fastest and most aggressive market corrections in history, as Covid-19 spread around the globe.  Just as unprecedented was the speed and extent of the subsequent recovery, thanks above all to governments and central banks having sent in the cavalry to boost liquidity and plug the consumer confidence gap.  Combining fiscal and monetary stimulus, the g…

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Eastward Ho! The euro area’s push into the Balkans

The inclusion of the Bulgarian lev and the Croatian kuna in the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II), which was announced last Friday, marks a crucial step for both countries to becoming the 20th and 21st members of the euro area. Bulgaria and Croatia won’t imminently join the currency union, though. As stipulated in the Maastricht Treaty, prospective members are expected first to demonstrate a…

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Sustainable investors, it’s time to talk about Transition bonds

The EU has embarked on a mission to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050. Rather unnoticed amongst COVID-19 headlines, the EU parliament approved the unified EU Green Classification System, also known as the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities, on the 18th of June and turned it into law. A core pillar of the new regulation is to outline whether an economic activity quali…

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QE goes global

Historically, one of the defining characteristics of emerging market (EM) economies has been that they generally have not been able to use monetary policy to stimulate their economies during crises in the way developed markets (DM) have. Usually, they have had to hike rates to limit capital outflows and defend their currencies, in doing so making economic recovery more difficult.

This …

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“Angrynomics” by Eric Lonergan and Mark Blyth: interview with the authors

This new book by Eric (an M&G multi-asset fund manager) and Mark (an economics professor at Brown University in the US) is getting a lot of attention at the moment: Martin Wolf put it on his list of “must read” books for FT readers over the summer, and the book’s ideas are very much answering the big questions of today.  Why are we all so angry?  Where did these culture wars come from?  Why ha…

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