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IMF

IMF/World Bank Autumn meeting notes

Recently Claudia and I were in Lima for the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank. Unsurprisingly (given the host nation and history of the meetings) the majority of sessions were on the developing world, in particular Latin America. Claudia will shortly be posting a series of more detailed blogs on the LATAM countries she visited, so I’ll focus more globally.

In aggregate, the IMF is predi…

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Beware the demise of the Hungarian forint

Guest contributor – Tolani Benson (Financials/Sovereign analyst, M&G Credit Analysis team)

Hungary has a substantial amount of debt outstanding – the IMF estimates levels were around €75bn at the end of last year, corresponding to 74% of GDP. Its local currency debt makes up a decent proportion of emerging market indices, constituting a not insignificant 4.6% of the widely used JPMorgan GBI-EM …

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Jim’s video from Tokyo – cup noodles, lessons about QE from the Edo period, and the fiscal multiplier effect

Last week Jim attended the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Tokyo. For Bond Vigilantes, he took the camera along and documented his trip. Jim told me that the IMF and World Bank meetings, and even more the conversations and debates beyond the formal schedule, gave him some interesting food for thought. With the fiscal cliff arising and the UK’s failing experiment with austerity, Oli…

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See you on the other side

Now that the new budget has been announced by George Osborne and spending review disseminated, the coalition is lauding its merits and the opposition is deflecting responsibility for the deficit and exposing flaws in the cuts.  Today’s budget and public sector reforms will see billions cut from welfare spending, Whitehall budgets reduced, the retirement age raised, quangos culled and a permanen…

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Greece enlightening

Yesterday I attended a presentation by Greek officials and delegates from the IMF and EU as part of the London leg of a two day European trip.  Considering this was a two day roadshow designed to reassure investors and rebuild confidence in Greece, and the speakers were Greeks and the guys who’ve lent them lots of money (and are likely to lend lots more), it was never going to be anything other…

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European growth is not sustainable so get used to higher unemployment rates

Much has been made of the fact that the European economy (since the creation of the European Economic and Monetary Union or EMU)  has exited the worst recession in its existence. Many have pointed to the early actions of politicians and government officials as a reason Europe avoided a depression-like scenario. You might not know it or be able to feel it, but Europe is actually growing again. W…

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Unemployment likely to rise for many months to come – Central Banks firmly on hold, perhaps for over a year

With sovereign and political issues taking centre stage in markets recently, macroeconomic indicators have taken a back-seat in many market participants’ minds. But how have the advanced economies been recovering, absent these risks? Today I’d like to focus on some research on labour markets that was recently published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in their World Economic Outlook and…

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Lessons from Argentina

The past couple of days have seen Greek debt take a bit of a battering.  Spreads on Greek government bonds are the widest they have been since the inception of the Euro, and Greek 5yr CDS is wider by 100bps+ versus the beginning of the week. This seems to have been driven initially by nervousness around the anticipated bailout, with rumours that the Greeks are trying to renegotiate the deal tha…

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Football promotions, Buffett and the IMF World Cup

With the latest Beckham injury hitting both the front and back pages of our national newspapers, the FIFA Football World Cup will soon rival talk of elections and budgets for headlines. We are about to be bombarded with messages from numerous corporations eager to use the tournament to expand their profile within the consumer psyche. 

Apart from the usual car, razor and fast food companies vyin…

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The Bond Vigilantes visit the ECB

A couple of weeks ago I went on an incredibly useful trip to Frankfurt, where I met with some key policy makers from the European Central Bank and the Bundesbank, and discussed a range of issues including the timing of exit strategies and rate hikes, the inflation outlook, and the state of the banking sector. 

This video was recorded in early November, and it’s interesting that many of the thin…

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