Credit risk is real. It’s easy to forget this platitude in times when both investment grade and high yield credit markets go from strength to strength. Even one of Europe’s foremost credit investors – the European Central Bank (ECB) – has recently been reminded that there is indeed the risk of permanent loss of capital when buying corporate bonds.
Every week the ECB updates the consolidated lis… Read the article
Richard recently wrote about how government bond indices should be adjusted to account for quantitative easing (QE) purchases, thereby better reflecting the actual availability of investments in the market. A key argument indicated that given the absence of this adjustment, European government indices are incorrectly skewed towards more highly rated sovereigns, even though their issuance is not… Read the article
Investment markets have been remarkably resilient over the course of 2017. Sure, the geopolitical environment has thrown up a few frightening days which saw markets sell-off but on the whole volatility has been muted and most asset classes have generated solid total returns. That said, any horror movie fan will tell you that the scariest part of a horror film happens when things are relatively … Read the article
European investment grade (IG) corporate bond spreads are now more than 40 basis points tighter than in early March 2016, before the European Central Bank (ECB) announced the expansion of its quantitative easing programme into the € IG corporate bond space. The technical tailwind provided by monthly bond purchases to the tune of around €7.5 billion from June onwards under the ECB’s corporate se… Read the article
We have written about quantitative easing (QE) many times over the years, yet there remains more to be said: the great QE experiment is not yet over. Given the result of the EU referendum, speculation is rife as to whether the Bank of England will embark on another round of QE to stimulate the UK economy; arguably making this a good time to debate the efficacy of such strategies.
It’s safe to s… Read the article
Expectations are high that European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi will announce additional easing measures at the next monetary policy meeting on Thursday this week. If the ECB decides to provide further stimulus via extended (or expanded) QE and/or lowers its negative deposit rate further, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) has some thinking to do. I am probably not the only Swiss perso… Read the article
I spoke to Adair Turner last week about his new book, “Between Debt and the Devil”. You can see my interview with him below.
Early in 2012, as the UK struggled to escape recession, I asked the question “if the government simply cancelled the £300 bn+ of QE gilts held by the BoE, who would be unhappy?”. Would that have really let an inflation genie out of the bottle? I argued that even if … Read the article
(blog originally posted on www.bruegel.org)
Euro area consumer price inflation, as measured by the HICP, continues to undershoot the ECB’s target of “close to, but below 2%”, currently at -0.1% in March. While it is still too early to tell if the ECB QE programme launched on March 9 will manage to bring back inflation towards the target in the medium term, a look at market- and survey-based inf… Read the article
Richard Koo popped by our office a few weeks ago to discuss his most recent book The Escape from Balance Sheet recession and the QE Trap. You can see the interview here. We asked who was the Japanese prime minister in 1997 who oversaw arguably Japan’s biggest policy error post the collapse of Japan’s debt fuelled bubble, and the answer was Ryutaro Hashimoto.
It is perhaps a little harsh to im… Read the article
For years the Western world mocked Japan’s attempts to recover from its spectacular debt-fuelled boom and bust, blaming the Bank of Japan for doing far too little and far too late, and lamenting Japanese fiscal stimulus as extreme recklessness, where the only achievement has been to propel Japan’s debt levels into the stratosphere.
Now, seven years after much of the developed world’s own debt … Read the article