I just spent two weeks traveling Latin America around the IMF meetings in Lima. The region is navigating through various shocks: lower commodity prices, deteriorating balance sheets, growth and fiscal deterioration, an urgent need for structural reforms and significant political challenges. There is plenty to write about, so in the next couple of days I will post a series of blogs focused on th…Read the article
Recently Claudia and I were in Lima for the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank. Unsurprisingly (given the host nation and history of the meetings) the majority of sessions were on the developing world, in particular Latin America. Claudia will shortly be posting a series of more detailed blogs on the LATAM countries she visited, so I’ll focus more globally.
In aggregate, the IMF is predi…Read the article
Brazil has been facing the perfect storm since the re-election of Dilma Rousseff in October 2014 and asset prices in Latin America’s largest country have collapsed. Credit default swaps on Brazil 5-year sovereign debt in US dollar and hard-currency corporate bond spreads widened to as much as 545 bps and 938 bps respectively, as at the end of September 2015, which is higher than during the 2008…Read the article
Whilst economic forecasters are currently concerned about falling oil prices and the implications for global growth, weather forecasters worry about the impact an El Niño weather event could have on global weather patterns. In August, America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said there is a 90% chance that the current Niño event will continue through the remainder of the…Read the article
U.S. high yield energy bonds have sold off recently, virtually reversing their Q1/Q2 rally. The main culprit is, again, oil prices. The recent re-re pricing in oil has led to energy bonds trading at levels worse than the last time oil sold-off at the beginning of 2015. In fact, the BAML U.S. high yield energy index this week reached its widest levels (in terms of spreads) since April 2009 at …Read the article
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has announced this morning that it is improving the pricing mechanism of the daily fixing rate of the renminbi. It will do this by referencing the previous day’s closing rate and by taking into account “demand and supply conditions in the foreign exchange markets” as well as exchange rate movements of other major currencies. As a result, the USDCNY (US dollar t…Read the article
The euro’s 12-year low against the dollar is a mixed blessing for US companies. On the one hand, the US manufacturing sector is suffering from an uncompetitive currency and lower export revenues. But on the other, rock bottom European interest rates have given US companies an attractive opportunity to issue bonds denominated in euros and lock in cheap financing. For example, in the first quarte…Read the article
CPI in the UK today fell into negative territory for the first time, posting a 0.1% decline year-over-year. Airfares presented a meaningful drag on the April figures, owing to the timing of Easter compared to last year. Carriers increase their prices over Easter holidays, so when Easter moves between months this causes flight prices to move around, thereby affecting the headline inflation numbe…Read the article
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
We’ve been worried for years about the prospect of a sharp slowdown in China and the knock on implications for those countries and companies that have grown reliant on a strong China over the last decade, namely commodity exporters, some emerging markets, and particularly emerging market commodity exporters (eg see If China’s economy rebalances and growth slows, as it surely must, then who’s sc…Read the article