Category Archives:

Interest rates

Beware of the debt binge

A decade of low interest rates has given companies, governments and households an excellent opportunity to cheerfully load up debt – until now. As interest rates rise and are projected to continue to do so in most major economies over the next three years, higher interest costs may soon send a stark reminder that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Highly indebted companies are most at ris…

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Just like 2008? Oil up, ECB tightening – all we’re missing is a credit accident

As we pass the 10-year anniversary of the Lehman default and we started thinking about what we were doing back in 2008 (desperately moving my savings out of certain banks was high on the list for me, whilst listening to MGMT and Los Campesinos; album of the year? TV On The Radio’s Dear Science), I went back to our blog, to see what the early warning signs were in the summer of that year.

It is …

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BofE: The unreliable boyfriend finally comes through with the chocolates

The Bank of England unanimously raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.75% – are gilts still an attractive investment opportunity? Are rising rates the main challenge to UK government and corporate bonds? Has Brexit risk been priced in?

Is the Bank of England right to raise rates?

The unreliable boyfriend finally came through with the chocolates – after months of going back …

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A new SONIA based bond. Does this mark the beginning of the end of LIBOR in public debt markets?

Last week the European Investment Bank (EIB) issued the first public bond based on the reformed SONIA benchmark, marking another step forward in the process of benchmark reform in the U.K. The 5-year, £1bn issue was priced with a coupon of 35bp above overnight SONIA.  The deal may very well serve as a benchmark for future issuance in the LIBOR-less world which the Bank of England and other regu…

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Time to sell Bunds?

German government bonds have gone from strength to strength in recent times; much like the German team at the World Cup – I wish! But is the latest Bund rally sustainable? I think not.

Let’s start with the bull case. In a recent blog, I described how Bunds had provided an efficient hedge against surging political uncertainty in Italy, due to the negative correlation between yields on German and…

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Why the Bank of England will pause tomorrow

If you looked at the post-referendum changes in sterling versus the dollar, or the movement in gilts, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Brexit was done and dusted. The 10 year gilt yield has bounced back to around pre-referendum levels hovering around the 1.4% mark (in August 2016, 10 year gilts rallied to historical lows of 0.5%), while the front end of the yield curve has moved higher. Simi…

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Beware the death of Libor

Guest contributor – David Covey (Financial Institutions Analyst, M&G Fixed Income Team)

The end is coming for the London interbank offered rate (Libor).  Ten years after suspicions emerged that this key interest rate was being manipulated in the financial crisis, regulators are ramping up their efforts to replace the benchmark rates. The Bank of England (BoE) and US Federal Reserve are leading …

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Mexico: a primer. Elections, inflation, the Bank of Mexico, NAFTA and gasoline

I’m just back from a fascinating research trip to Mexico City, to meet with policymakers, bankers, politicians, analysts, pension funds and regulators.  Like many emerging market economies, the Mexican economy has suffered over the past couple of years due to lower commodity prices and weak global demand for goods.  Of course, Mexico has had its own unique challenge with Donald Trump’s election…

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The euro and the dollar: rates not driving performance. So what is?

Despite US rate hikes in December, March and another last week, the US dollar has depreciated back to pre-election levels.  All of the Trumpflation dollar premium has disappeared.  As the Trump dollar trade appears to have run out of steam, the Euro has however been climbing. Optimism around the Euro area growth comeback grew leading up to the ECB meeting earlier this month, with EUR/USD hittin…

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Mortgages and monetary policy in the US and UK

The cost of new mortgage borrowing and payments on outstanding household debt can have a large impact on the rate of growth of an economy. For this reason, central bankers are interested in the transmission mechanism of monetary policy. It has been shown that interest rates can have a stronger influence on an economy where there are a high proportion of variable rather than fixed-rate mortgages…

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