Readers of our blog in spring ’07 were probably a bit bemused as to why we were banging on about a little island over 1000 miles away from continental Europe, with a population the size of Sunderland/ Venezia/ Gelsenkirchen/ Cordoba/ Strasbourg/ Pittsburgh. It’s pretty clear now – Iceland is probably the world’s best example of the credit bubble, and the subsequent credit bust. Icelandic compan…Read the article
In light of the news of recapitalisation of the UK banking sector (which Ben alluded to in his blog yesterday afternoon here) and today’s coordinated global rate cuts, I thought it would be an appropriate time to see whereabouts we are on the road to recovery.
The route map we have been following has been laid out on this blog over the past 18 months (see last comment here), and is updated in …Read the article
One of our credit analysts came up to me on Friday and told me to pull my finger out and get something on the blog. So apologies for the lack of comments from mid-September. As you can imagine, things have been rather busy.
A lot has happened in the last few weeks and I thought I’d shed some light. The credit cycle has turned. Abundance of credit has given way to its utter scarcity. Companies –…Read the article
The original ‘supersub’ was the ginger scouser David Fairclough, famed for coming off the bench to rescue the mighty Liverpool FC. The financial markets themselves have returned to the 1970s with chants of stagflation and bank failures emanating from city players. Everyone is fully aware of sub prime, but as I explained in the FT today (see here), corporate bond investors’ main concern should b…Read the article
Conventional wisdom says that the mess that the banks are in is due to a lack of regulation, which meant that banks did things that they shouldn’t really have got involved with….Read the article
I think it’s worth looking back at a comment I wrote in November last year on how the global economy had reached a ‘Minsky moment’. In brief, economist Hyman Minsky unerringly predicted the boom and bust of tech stocks, and events of the last few years have followed the same classic Minsky pattern. Minsky argued that periods of stability breed periods of instability, where prolonged economic st…Read the article
Our chief economist, Steven Andrew, and I are just back from a research trip to Washington. To some extent our visit was overtaken by this weekend’s events and the government bailout of the GSEs (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae), but there was tangible nervous excitement in the air that anticipated that something big was about to happen – plus we’d had the shocking rise in US unemployment out on Fri…Read the article
1) Putting aside the question of why on earth would Alistair Darling publicly predict the worst economic downturn for sixty years, the more interesting question is how does he come to that conclusion? No other forecaster is predicting such a disaster, and they all have exactly the same economic inputs as the Chancellor (he might get the official statistics a co…Read the article
Spreads on Euro denominated ‘Tier 1′ bank bonds hit record wides yesterday, reflecting the growing concern in the market about banks’ ability and willingness to repay investors. ‘Tier 1′ bank bonds are the highest yielding, highest risk bonds in a banks’ capital structure. Essentially, banks issue a spectrum of different ‘tiers’ of debt securities in an attempt to minimise their cost of funding…Read the article