Author profile

Jim Leaviss

Years in the bond markets: 21

Specialist subjects: Macro economics and fixed interest asset allocation

Likes: Cycling, factory records, dim sum

Heroes: Brian Clough, Morrissey, Neil Armstrong

Is it wrong to invest on space hardware? Will satellites put the ONS out of a job?

Two things last week that made me go “hmmm”.  Firstly: having written a blog on the impact of El Nino on global inflation (here), Anthony was contacted by a company who then came in to see us to discuss their business.  Using data from NASA and EU satellites, they produce earnings estimates for retailers, and forecast economic data.  By counting cars in Big Box parking lots from space, they gen…

Read the article
What has the recent fall in oil prices got to do with inflation over the next three decades?

What has the recent fall in oil prices got to do with inflation over the next three decades? Plus robots, charity, Morrissey.

First of all thanks to Business Insider.  Every now and then we come into work to find hundreds of new Twitter followers have joined us overnight – this week it was thanks to BI listing us second in its round up of finance Tweeters.  It’s a great list and pretty much everyone on it is worth a follow – I’d also recommend following Business Insider’s European markets editor Mike Bird (@Birdyword)…

Read the article
M&G YouGov survey

New M&G YouGov survey: there’s very low support in Europe for sovereign bailouts

Our new survey, carried out with YouGov across several EU member states (the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria), shows that there is a low level of support for future sovereign bailouts in the event of debt crises and economic difficulties.  The following question was asked as part of the M&G YouGov Inflation Expectations Survey – the full survey will be released here in early Octob…

Read the article
Robotisation rates are correlated with demographics

“We need to hike…so that we have room to cut if we need to”. Eh? And some robot stuff too.

I keep hearing the argument that the Fed needs to hike, so that if the US economy slows down again it will have room to cut rates once more.  In other words it needs to get away from the zero bound so that the traditional monetary policy tool of rate cutting comes back into play in the future.  In less cerebral moments I may have made this argument myself, but I’m struggling to remember why it …

Read the article

“Something Will Turn Up” by David Smith of the Sunday Times. Video and competition to win a copy of his book.

How did the UK go from a manufacturing powerhouse in the 1950s, to economic destitution in the 1970s?  Is the history of post-war UK economics one of policy mistake after policy mistake?  And are Britain’s political and financial institutions better placed today to make good, long term decisions than they were in the past?  In the latest of our series of interviews with authors of new economic …

Read the article

What should the relationship be between index-linked bond yields and equity yields?

There ought to be a relationship between yields available on equities (earnings or dividend yields) and those on index-linked gilts and other inflation-linked bonds.  Ex-ante, and adjusted for risk, expected returns should be similar across asset classes.  In the case of equities and index-linked bonds, both asset classes give you exposure to “real” returns on both income and capital.  For inde…

Read the article

Mike Riddell’s work here is done

Mike Riddell, who worked in and around the bond team here at M&G for the past twelve years, has decided to move on. We can’t say where to yet, but it’s to another big bond fund manager and it’s a good move for him. Normally we’d ask the airbrushing team to have him removed from the official histories, but he did a great job for us and we are all sad to see him go.

Mike did a great job running …

Read the article
Argentina saw a huge rebound in growth when it abandoned its dollar peg

Greece is not Argentina: don’t expect exports to drive growth if Greece leaves the euro

I have heard it said, semi-seriously, that the biggest risk for the Eurozone isn’t that Greece leaves the single currency and its economy collapses, but that it leaves and thrives.  In this scenario Greece starts again, debt free, able to adapt fiscal easing rather than austerity, and with a devalued “new drachma” encouraging an influx of tourists and a manufacturing and agricultural export boo…

Read the article

Last week: the election, the abolition of physical money, and how Tesla’s new battery is going to change the world and save us from a future zombie apocalypse

Here are a few quick thoughts about things that happened last week.

First, the UK election and the failure of the opinion polls. Ahead of the General Election we met with several of the big opinion pollsters, and even ran a Bond Vigilantes x Politics event featuring Anthony Wells of YouGov. Without exception they highlighted how unusual it was that, whilst the Conservatives appeared to be neck …

Read the article
war loan pic

Goodbye to War Loan: 1917 to 2015.

Today, the War Loan issued in 1917 to help finance Britain in World War 1 is finally redeemed. We’ve written about it repeatedly over the years as it has always fascinated us. Was its coupon cut in 1932 a form of default from the UK government? Does George Osborne’s claim that it is being redeemed this year as a result of a tight grip on the public finances ring true?

To commemorate this most i…

Read the article