The 2011 Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz – the answers and the winners

Thank you for another bumper haul of Christmas Quiz entries.  This year’s winner is Dan Looney, with 20/20.  Dan will be familiar to those M&G clients in the South West of the UK, as he used to cover that region for us a decade or so ago when he worked here.  He was genuinely first out of the hat – the others in the full house club are Richard Sullivan, Sam Morton, Mark Dufton and Nick Tudball….

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A review of fixed interest asset class returns in 2011

The decorations are up, the presents are under the tree, and I’m starting to think of New Year resolutions. Yes 2012 is almost upon us. With that in mind, I thought it might be interesting to have a quick look at who have been the winners and losers in debt markets over the course of an eventful 2011.

As the below chart shows, investors in UK gilts have had a fantastic year. The top performing …

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Asia research trip – not so rosy

I went to Asia a couple of weeks ago to try to get away from the Eurozone and maintain some semblance of sanity, and to try to figure out what’s going on in the continent that has driven global economic growth in recent years.

Escaping the Eurozone crisis was of course impossible, since the fact is that Asian ‘decoupling’ is a myth and the Eurozone is the most obvious source of a global economi…

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Economical With The Truth – Christmas Naivety

It’s over 4 years since the financial crisis began, and by now you would have thought that we would understand all the factors that drove the building of, and since 2007, the destruction of the foundations of world economic growth. Over the last few weeks the events have been analysed by a series of economic programmes on the BBC.

Not surprisingly, many of the players, the mistakes, the events …

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Debunking myths in the financial system- an annual review

Last week saw Citigroup’s credit conference & an opportunity for investors to catch up with a number of European high yield issuers. For a number of companies the message continues to be one of uncertainty, not least with regard to their banking relationships.

Back in 2008 Richard & I blogged about companies drawing down on bank lines (see here). Companies like CIT were doing so as they were fi…

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The 2011 Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz

Here’s the 5th annual Bond Vigilantes quiz.  Twenty questions.  The closing dates for entries is midday on Friday 16th December.  Please email your answers.

Given a doubling of our readership over the last year from 6,000 separate visitors per month to 12,500+ we are more than doubling our prize pool.  However, as it’s all about the glory of victory we will be donating the top prize of £200 to …

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Banking Sector Myths Exposed

The financial sector has understandably been a hot topic over the past few years and is a subject we’ve blogged about at great length. Given the constant newsflow around the sector, and of course due to popular demand, Ben Lord and Stefan Isaacs recently joined forces with Jeffrey Spencer, a senior member of our financial institutions credit research team, to share our current views.

We thought…

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Beware the wealth tax movement

I saw a very interesting article in this weekend’s Financial Times discussing the London property market. Ed Hammond cited data showing that Greek and Italian citizens have accounted for more than 10% of London property purchases so far in 2011. In fact, Greeks and Italians have so far this year spent more than £400m on prime London property, up from £245m in 2010. Much of this has been into th…

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Red screens at night, stockpickers’ delight

In this heightened atmosphere of risk aversion, the high yield market as a whole has been far more discriminating when it comes to any poor fundamental performance from individual issuers or sectors. This has led to some large relative moves between certain bonds and sectors within the market. To put it another way, 2011 is turning out to have been a vintage year for stock picking. Those high y…

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Why my dad is being hit hardest by inflation

Inflation remains a hot topic here in the UK. The latest numbers out last week showed CPI had risen by 5% over the year.  This is only 3% above the Bank of England’s target rate. If inflation remains at this rate for the next 5 years, the buying power of £100 today will fall to £78.35. Ouch! The words of John Maynard Keynes immediately spring to mind: “The best way to destroy the capitalist sys…

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