As we all know, 2018 turned out to be a tough year for most asset classes, not least High Yield (HY) bonds. The sell-off in the fourth quarter was particularly quick and brutal compared to the recent lulls of benign volatility under the blanket of central bank largesse. Global HY lost a few percentage points in pure local currency terms in 2018, whilst the lower beta and more senior secured hea…Read the article
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…Read the article
Good performance after an exceptional 2016
2017 was another good year for high yield investors with the global high yield index delivering a total return of 8.0% (in USD terms), albeit this was less exciting than the 16% achieved in 2016. The US continued to outperform Europe but at a far more modest rate compared to 2016, with a 7.5% local currency total return vs Europe’s 6.7%, although much …Read the article
Guest contributor – Chris Mansfield (Investment Graduate, M&G)
The sustained demand for high yield bonds and European leveraged loans over the past few years, combined with improving corporate fundamentals, has led to strong performance from both asset classes. The large amount of capital available for issuers of higher yielding assets has placed the bargaining power squarely in the hands of th…Read the article
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…Read the article
1. The ECB can act quickly when considering if a bank has reached the point of non-viability (PONV), and enacting a resolution plan. The speed with which regulators acted clearly took the market by surprise. At the same time, how the regulator determines a bank to be non-viable is still a grey area (considering the situation around some of the weaker Italian banks).
2. EU stress tests are not…Read the article
According to recent reports, leading foreign football players in the English Premier League are looking to get paid in euro rather than sterling. Since the UK referendum result in June last year, sterling has fallen by 12% against the euro, so it is unsurprising to see that some players have questioned the denomination of their salaries. It is not the first time that global stars have asked to …Read the article
During my free time in August I read the book that has taken the French political and economic landscape by storm (no, it’s not “Capital” by Thomas Piketty). Nobel Prize winning economist, Jean Tirole, has written a book entitled “Économie du Bien Commun” (or “economy for the common good”). The book is written in plain language and attempts to reach a large audience, including readers with ve…Read the article
A year ago today the Swiss National Bank (SNB) unexpectedly discontinued its CHF peg against the euro, causing huge moves in the FX markets. On the anniversary of the peg removal I thought it would be interesting to see how the Swiss economy has developed over the past twelve months.
Swiss economy robust, but not immune during 2015
The Swiss economy actually proved to be quite resilient in 2015…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