Tag Archives:


Currency wars

Recently, we have often spoken about QE, and how it could result in the demise of the bond vigilante (topsy turvy), and the birth of the currency vigilante. Well, we are getting very close to the presumed launch of further unconventional monetary policy by the Fed on the 3rd of November. The market is trying to work out if it’s shock and awe or a gradual siege mentality that the Fed will deploy…

Read the article

Bernanke calls for a 4% inflation target

Well sort of.  It hasn’t got a lot of attention in the bond markets, but this week both Jon Hilsenrath in the WSJ, and subsequently Paul Krugman in the NYT have revisited Ben Bernanke’s paper Japanese Monetary Policy: A Case in Self-Induced Paralysis.  Bernanke wrote this in 1999 as an academic at Princeton University.  In it he calls on the Bank of Japan to set a “fairly high” inflation target…

Read the article

Turning Japanese I Think We’re Turning Japanese I Really Think So (follow up)

There is only one explanation for why 2 year US Treasury yields broke below 0.5% today (an all time low), or why 10 year government bond yields in Germany and the US are currently 2.5% and 2.9% respectively.  Or, for that matter, why German 30 year bunds are now at just 3.2%.  The bond markets clearly think there is a very real and increasing risk that the developed countries are going to end u…

Read the article

The year is 2020, and the world is about to get hit by the next financial tsunami…(+ **competition time**)

The year is 2020, and at the centre of the financial tsunami is Japan.  Another decade of very low single digit growth has meant that debt to GDP has steadily climbed from 200% in 2010 to 300%, which is considerably higher than any other country.  Another ‘lost decade’ has meant that the Japanese government has been unable to meaningfully cut back on spending or increase taxes, since such behav…

Read the article

Does deflation always result in a low and flat yield curve?

We’ve had a huge rally in risky assets since we wrote a comment about Turning Japanese almost a year ago, and while diminished, the risk of a ‘lost decade’ is still very real. I thought it would be worth another look. Now I am not out to compare and contrast the prevailing conditions that led to deflation and QE between Japan and the UK, but what I want to do is ask whether deflation, which led…

Read the article

What effect will the surge of government bond issuance have on government bond returns?

This is a question that numerous clients and members of the press have asked us so I thought it would be worth writing a brief comment here. 

Focusing on the UK, in yesterday’s budget, chancellor Alistair Darling said that gross gilt issuance will be £220bn this financial year, which is easily a record. There is much speculation as to whether the market is able to digest this much issuance.  If…

Read the article

Japanese economy booming? Perhaps not, because it’s a leap year

Figures announced on Friday showed that Japan’s economy grew at a headline-grabbing annualised rate of 3.3% in the first quarter of this year, way ahead of expectations of 2.5%. Commentators have focused on strong export growth, although one reason for the surprise may be because the Japanese don’t adjust their growth figures for leap years. The Japanese aren’t the only ones not to adjust for l…

Read the article

Keep a very close eye on the money supply

The chain of events that led to the Great Depression were extremely similar to the ones that led to the ‘lost decade’ in Japan. Firstly loose monetary and fiscal policy led to real estate and stock market bubbles. Then the bubbles popped, which resulted in a sharp fall in demand for housing (and a fall in housing investment), bank failure (since the banks had become reliant on asset prices risi…

Read the article