Category Archives:

macro and politics

Are the European Commission and the IMF right about Italy?

Persistent structural weaknesses, imbalances, and financial fragilities. These were some of the ways in which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) described the Italian economy in its most recent country report. Almost a decade after the great financial crisis, Italy’s economic prospects remain dim, with the costs borne disproportionately by the working age and younger population. With no gove…

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The Venezuelan cash crunch: exporting passports as a palliative?

Venezuela’s cash flow crisis has been well covered. The recent default on its sovereign debt and likely default on the debt issued by its state-owned company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), combined with collapsing imports attest to its ongoing cash crunch and humanitarian crisis. ¹

A change of economic policy however, would alleviate the crisis and improve the patient’s health. This could …

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Trump’s US tax Christmas present: glittering gifts for Investment Grade telecom companies, but only lumps of coal for High Yield

On 22nd December last year, President Trump enacted probably the most significant achievement to date of his presidency by signing the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017.  The precise implications of tax law changes can be fiendishly complicated and difficult to assess due to the numbing complexity of the legislation and individual companies’ tax planning arrangements.  However, in broad strokes, I be…

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German unemployment rate and real GDP growth

Angela Merkel’s Pyrrhic victory

And they say German elections are boring… As the preliminary results are in, here are our three key takeaways.

(1) Merkel goes fourth

First things first, as expected Angela Merkel has won the election. Her CDU, in combination with its Bavarian sister party CSU, is going to remain the largest faction in parliament (33.0% of votes combined). All roads lead to a fourth term for her as chancellor. …

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A dozen things I’m finding interesting in bond markets. Includes weasels.

1. On the face of it, long term US Treasury yields are looking fair value, having traded on the dear side since the middle of 2014.  Below is a chart you will have seen before on the blog as I’ve been using it for some time.  It shows the relationship between the Fed’s long term expectations of short term interest rates (taken, with a pinch of salt, from the FOMC’s dot plots) and the bond marke…

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Research trip: Mexico & Trump – a key call in emerging markets

President Trump’s anti-Mexico rhetoric has made Mexican assets one of the key calls in emerging market debt. I have just returned from a research trip to Mexico where I met with local economists, analysts, and corporate bond issuers. Below are a number of observations from my time there.

Donald Trump won the election on a fairly protectionist rhetoric – with a special focus on Mexico – and the …

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President Trump will be good for the transmission mechanism of animal spirits

The world will soon turn to the inauguration of Donald Trump. For at least the next four years, global investment markets will be focusing on his Presidency. This is always the case when a new President takes over the reins of the most economically powerful country in the world, but why does it feel more important this time?

Firstly, political deadlock has been broken. For the first time since …

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10 years of the M&G Bond Vigilantes blog. A new book and fundraising for Cancer Research UK.

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Bond Vigilantes blog.  Here’s a look back at the incredible changes to bond markets and monetary policy that we’ve been through over that decade.  Also today we are launching our new book (the difficult second album) in support of Cancer Research UK.  There’s a link to our Just Giving page at the bottom if you like what we do and can spare a few quid.

My fi…

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How will bond and currency markets react to the US election result?

We are now less than a week away from the US presidential election, with the latest polls suggesting the race to become the 45th President of the United States is neck and neck. Bond and currency managers around the world are currently trying to assess how a win for either candidate might affect their portfolios. Here is my best estimate as to what might happen.

A Clinton win

A Clinton victory …

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IMF and World Bank meetings 2016: China, Japan, UK and Europe

Last year we blogged with our key takeaways from the IMF and World Bank meetings and this year is no different. Claudia Calich and I tag-teamed between the Washington based events, participating in the many wide ranging discussions that took place, so we’re doing the same here. Claudia will be providing the emerging market coverage, while I share some insights from developed markets, alongside …

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