It’s rare to find a piece of writing that EVERYONE in bond markets has read and is talking about, but in January, a blog by Paul Schmelzing on the Bank of England’s excellent Bank Underground site did just that. Paul is a visiting scholar from Harvard University, working at the Bank of England to research foreign exchange policy in the era of Bretton Woods. In the blog however he took a very …Read the article
Now that the Bank of England has commenced purchases of gilts and committed to a programme of corporate bond buybacks, alongside similar measures being presently undertaken by the ECB, it is worth taking a step back and thinking about valuations in sterling fixed income.
Let’s take a brief look at what has happened so far in 2016 in government bonds. The ultra-long conventional gilt has returne…Read the article
Post the Brexit referendum we are in an economic purgatory. The brexiteers are looking forward to a democratic led revitalisation of the economy, while the bremainers fear that the “little England” mentality will leave us isolated and depressed. Most people have an opinion, and the economic opinion that matters the most is that of the Bank of England (BoE). The market has absorbed the news of B…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
When the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee meets next week, the market expects that they will cut rates, especially now that even outgoing hawk, Martin Weale (who has been at the Bank for 71 meetings so far, and voted to hike 12 times, and to hold 59 times) says that he will support a reduction. A resumption of the Funding for Lending (FLS) scheme is also a possibility (many economis…Read the article
Despite keeping interest rates on hold at the 4th July meeting, the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee indicated that “most members expect an easing in August” (even long-time hawk Martin Weale has shifted to a dovish stance). Subsequently, markets are pricing in a staggering 98.3% probability of a rate cut at the next meeting in 8 days’ time. With UK data expected to deteriorate over the…Read the article
With the Fed recently raising its interest rates via a unanimous vote, I’ve been wondering whether the UK will shortly follow suit. The market seems to think not, pricing in the first UK rate rise in Q1 of 2017, compared to two further US rate hikes in 2016. At face value this huge divergence feels strange; both countries are targeting (and undershooting) a 2% inflation rate, both have similar …Read the article
On the 7th of September £38bn worth of UK gilts (4.75% 2015) will mature. The Bank of England (BoE) own just under half the issue, having purchased the bonds through its £375bn quantitative easing (QE) programme. At this point in time, the BoE have indicated that they are committed to keeping the size of the QE program at £375bn. As a result of the 2015 bonds maturing, the bank will therefore h…Read the article
So now we know what the Bank of England intends to do about the UK’s housing market, a market that Governor Carney has previously referred to as the biggest risk to financial stability and therefore to the economic expansion (the IMF and the EC had similar warnings).The answer, in short, is not much at the moment – while Carney is not “happy” with the buoyant UK housing market, he is willing to…Read the article
The squeeze on UK consumers through falling real wages has been regarded as a significant factor in the (until recently) anaemic economic recovery. Employers have taken a good share of the blame for this – but is that fair? Have employers deliberately kept earnings below inflation as a means of boosting their own profitability, or was this an unintended outcome of upside inflation shocks?
If …Read the article