Last year proved a tough year for investment grade corporate bonds, with credit spreads moving wider. Fast forward six months to today and the decision of the UK referendum to leave the EU is continuing to shake markets, with European credit spreads now even further elevated. It is nevertheless important to recognise that these bouts of volatility can however present buying opportunities as cor…Read the article
The year is 2020 and King Henry IX, the recently installed head of state of the United Kingdom of Northern England, Wales and Northern Ireland stands in a room overlooking the Trent River. Most of his subjects still refer to him simply as “Harry”. His popularity with the electorate is seen as a key factor behind the surprise victory for the monarchists in the recent constitutional referendum fo…Read the article
Over the last few days and weeks, as the odds of a vote to leave in the referendum have moved from a remote possibility to somewhat less so, market participants have spent more and more time wondering about how they are positioned going into the vote, relative to their benchmark, their peer group, or their risk budget. The significant moves that we have seen in recent trading sessions show pret…Read the article
One of the major factors that has enabled inflation to stay low despite the economic strength in major western economies has been the fall in the price of oil. Given the huge price volatility over the past 18 months it is interesting to depict the falling influence of oil on actual end inflation.
In the UK, the most direct way that changes in the oil price affect inflation is through petrol pri…Read the article
This weekend the team were doing more than just our Christmas shopping, we were also saying a fond farewell to one of our favourite investments of recent times – our Granite Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS).
Granite was the name that Northern Rock gave to the vehicle it used to securitise the mortgages that it originated before blowing up in 2007 – when it was no longer able to fun…Read the article
How did the UK go from a manufacturing powerhouse in the 1950s, to economic destitution in the 1970s? Is the history of post-war UK economics one of policy mistake after policy mistake? And are Britain’s political and financial institutions better placed today to make good, long term decisions than they were in the past? In the latest of our series of interviews with authors of new economic …Read the article
CPI in the UK today fell into negative territory for the first time, posting a 0.1% decline year-over-year. Airfares presented a meaningful drag on the April figures, owing to the timing of Easter compared to last year. Carriers increase their prices over Easter holidays, so when Easter moves between months this causes flight prices to move around, thereby affecting the headline inflation numbe…Read the article
Here are a few quick thoughts about things that happened last week.
First, the UK election and the failure of the opinion polls. Ahead of the General Election we met with several of the big opinion pollsters, and even ran a Bond Vigilantes x Politics event featuring Anthony Wells of YouGov. Without exception they highlighted how unusual it was that, whilst the Conservatives appeared to be neck …Read the article
The condition of the US labour market is one of the hot topics in the ongoing “will they / won’t they” Fed rate hiking debate, and as Bloomberg’s Economic Surprises screen shows, this sector is the only area of the economy outperforming expectations of late.
Labour market indicators continue to impress, with employment indicators strong on many measures. Initial Jobless Claims have dropped to …Read the article
As the old adage goes, markets don’t like uncertainty. And yet in just under two months we have a UK election, about which the only degree of confidence that anybody has is that the UK will have a second successive hung parliament – the key question is whether the UK ends up hung to the left, or to the right, or we get a potentially painful outcome somewhere in between.
So we thought it worthwh…Read the article