We are nowhere near the zero bound

Guest contributor – Eric Lonergan (Fund manager on M&G’s macro hedge-funds and multi-asset team, and author of “Money”)

We need more cash, not less.

Many economists just assume that central banks have hit “the zero bound” on interest rates and that conventional policy is thereby exhausted. Take Ken Rogoff’s bizarre proposal as an example:

Let’s forget about the idea of phasing out paper curren…

Read the article
2015-01AD blog

Europe needs a German fiscal stimulus package but won’t get it

The German government can theoretically borrow at negative yields if it were to issue short maturity debt today. Longer maturity debt is also yielding a record low amount. Could the collapse in yields be a blessing for Germany and Europe? Two economists at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seem to think so. Indeed, the German government’s narrow-minded pursuit of the “black zero” (a balance…

Read the article
How steep is the USD IG credit spread curve?

Is now the time to buy long-dated USD IG corporate bonds?

Credit curves are usually upwards sloping; as you’d expect, investors require more of a credit risk term premium for lending for a long time than for a short time, all else being equal. As the charts below show however, the steepness of USD IG non-financial credit curves has become rather extreme in 2014. At year end, the asset swap (ASW) spread differential between c. 25 years and c. 2 years w…

Read the article
Slide1

Long US Treasury bonds are overvalued by 250 bps. Discuss.

As we started 2014 the US Treasury market was expecting 10 year yields to be at 4.13% in a decade’s time. This 10 year 10 year forward yield, derived from the yield curve, is a good measure of where the bond market believes yields get to if you “look through the cycle”, and disregard short term economic trends and noise. I wrote about it here and suggested that we were approaching the top of th…

Read the article
Emerging market fixed income – 2014 performance

Emerging Market debt: 2014 returns post-mortem and 2015 outlook

2014 was quite an eventful year for Emerging market (EM) fixed income. After a period of strong performance which lasted all the way to September, markets corrected significantly in the latter part of the year as the escalation of the Russia crisis and the plunging oil prices triggered the most significant drawdown since the “taper tantrum” of June 2013. All in all, emerging markets still poste…

Read the article
EM Asia corporate bonds have outperformed in recent sell-off

After the December rout, where is the value in EM corporates?

It’s this time of the year when banks and other investment research providers have released their outlooks for the coming year. For the EM corporate bond asset class, Asia was forecast to be the best performer in 2015, with most top picks being in India and China.

Most 2015 outlooks were released in late November or early December, when EM USD corporate bonds were boasting a solid 6.1% total re…

Read the article

Default case study: “Ave Caesar, morturi te salutant”

“Hail Caesar, those who are about to die salute you” may well have been the gladiatorial epitaph of choice two millennia ago, but the junior creditors of Caesar’s Entertainment Operating Co are unlikely to feel the same way.

In 2008, TPG and Apollo Global Management, two powerhouses of the private equity industry, led a $30.7bn buyout of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc, the US gaming business. This …

Read the article
GH blog1

Duration, duration, duration – a review of bond market returns in 2014

This time last year many thought that duration management was going to be the key to success in 2014. Yields were expected to rise as the Fed weaned the market off QE and began to normalise rates. As a result, only the very brave would have been positioned long duration heading into 2014. To be positioned as such would presumably have taken some explaining, particularly when set against what se…

Read the article

The 2014 Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz – the answers and this year’s champion

Thanks for another huge haul of entries to the Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz.  Three people got full marks (20 points plus the bonus half mark for spotting the Goldhawk Road rail bridge), but the first out of the hat was Marton Huebler of Fidelity Worldwide Investment.  Congratulations – we’ll be in touch to find out where you’d like us to make the charitable donation to.  You’ll also get the …

Read the article

The M&G YouGov Inflation Expectations Survey – Q4 2014

Today we launch the next edition of M&G YouGov Inflation Expectations Survey which polled over 8,200 consumers across the UK, Europe and Asia.

The Q4 report reveals that consumers’ short-term inflation expectations continue to moderate across most regions, although they remain well above current inflation levels. Long-term expectations remain resilient despite this year’s low inflation environm…

Read the article