blog-Mario-ECB-MAR-16

The ECB, negative rates, and the Swiss experience

Ahead of tomorrow’s ECB monetary policy meeting, the market has high expectations of rates being cut further into negative territory (consensus is a cut in the deposit rate by 10 to 20 bps).  However, a report this week from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) suggests that cutting rates further could be counterproductive and damaging for the banking sector.

The BIS’s quarterly review,…

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US inflation expectations are rising fast, but inflation is rising faster

2015 saw global inflation risk premia collapse, led by the developed world. US, UK and European annual inflation rates spent most of the year at or around zero with numerous dips into negative territory. Short dated breakevens correspondingly fell to levels that we last saw during the financial crisis (well, to be fair, they went far lower back then, but we are still at crisis levels today), an…

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16.03.03-JT-blog

Growth fears, deflation, rising defaults, tricky markets – a good time to buy US high yield?

It’s been a difficult past few months for all risk assets, including the high yield markets. Weakest of all has been the US, with negative returns of almost 10% over the past year. As part of this re-pricing, spreads have widened significantly, with the US high yield market touching almost 900bps over treasuries. All-in yields also briefly peaked above 10% last month.

Underlying this has been …

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16.02.10-CC-blog-1

How long until China reaches the floor of the recommended reserve adequacy range?

Much has been discussed on the topic of the optimal level of foreign exchange reserves. One of the common methodologies is the IMF’s ARA (Assessing Reserve Adequacy) metric, which essentially provides a range based on a country’s trade, broad monetary aggregates and external liabilities. How much weight should be given to each factor varies according to the economic structure of each country, i…

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16.02.08-JPJ-blog2

A quantitative analysis of US recession probabilities

Guest contributor – Jean-Paul Jaegers CFA (Senior Investment Strategist, Prudential Portfolio Management Group)

Getting a sense of when recessions are about to happen is a near impossible task, as evidenced by official institutions that often fail to forecast recessions, and organisations like the NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) that specialises in dating US business cycles, dating …

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Posted under US
why-doesnt-ecb-buy-oil

Why doesn’t the ECB just buy oil?

It’s pretty clear that the pressure is on the European Central Bank (ECB) to come up with some form of policy response at their next Governing Council meeting in March. Take, for example, the 5-year, 5-year EUR inflation swap rate (i.e., the swap market’s estimate of where 5-year inflation rates might be in five years’ time), which has taken a nose dive to 1.5% (see chart below). This is remark…

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The new wedge in US inflation linked bonds

The new wedge in US inflation linked bonds

There has long been a well-known ‘wedge’ in the UK index linked bond market, since the bonds pay RPI and the Bank of England targets CPI. The wedge is the difference between these two price indices, and over the long term is thought to be approximately 1%. So over the long term, and with all sorts of caveats, RPI will be around 1% higher than CPI. The reasons for the wedge are essentially that …

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Blog_WB_2015 IG-Spread-Performance1

Investment grade credit spreads spinning wider

We recently blogged about the uninspiring performance of many fixed income asset classes in 2015. Investment grade (IG) corporate bonds certainly had a tough year as credit spreads trended wider, both in the USD and the EUR market. Taking a look at option-adjusted spread (OAS) levels, USD IG credit (+29 bps) marginally outperformed against EUR IG credit (+36 bps) in 2015. In both cases periods …

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16.01.18-RW-blog

The US economy is not heading for recession, as it’s not FIRING on all cylinders!

There is currently a lot of concern regarding the US economy and its ability to withstand the collapsing price of oil and mined commodities, the Chinese slowdown, and the recent quarter (yes, quarter) point rate rise – or given the current market mood, its ability to cope with a doubling of the Fed funds rate! Whilst high yield spreads are close to recessionary levels, this is skewed by the ene…

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16.01.14-ME-blog

A look at the Swiss economy a year after the currency peg break

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…

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