When Ken Ofori-Att – the Ghanaian finance minister – presented mid-year budget revisions, he highlighted the huge challenges of the pandemic. The Ghanaian response to COVID-19 has been quick, well organised and aimed at stopping economic weakness becoming a depression. But the rescue is coming at a large financial cost to the country. The fiscal deficit is forecast to be around 11% of GDP in 2…Read the article
One common theme in market commentary of late has been the unprecedented use of the word unprecedented! One thing that used to be unprecedented and is now commonplace is central banks buying corporate bonds. Now this seems to have become conventional monetary policy, it is worth asking “why?” and “is this appropriate?”.
We first wrote about corporate bond purchases in 200…Read the article
The COVID-19-induced slowdown of the past few months has been different from past crises for a number of reasons. One of the most significant differences has been the greater ability of emerging market central banks to provide support to their economies, as we wrote about a few weeks ago. An interesting example is that of Indonesia. Last week, Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia – “BI”) c…Read the article
Covid-19 has taken lives, dramatically reshaped the way we live and work, and challenged our view of a safe and stable world. Those of us who work in investment management, especially high yield fund managers like myself, have seen the pandemic put many businesses under severe financial stress. British high-end sports car maker McLaren was one of them. The company’s activities have been badly …Read the article
The first half of this year saw one of the fastest and most aggressive market corrections in history, as Covid-19 spread around the globe. Just as unprecedented was the speed and extent of the subsequent recovery, thanks above all to governments and central banks having sent in the cavalry to boost liquidity and plug the consumer confidence gap. Combining fiscal and monetary stimulus, the g…Read the article
The inclusion of the Bulgarian lev and the Croatian kuna in the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II), which was announced last Friday, marks a crucial step for both countries to becoming the 20th and 21st members of the euro area. Bulgaria and Croatia won’t imminently join the currency union, though. As stipulated in the Maastricht Treaty, prospective members are expected first to demonstrate a…Read the article
The EU has embarked on a mission to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050. Rather unnoticed amongst COVID-19 headlines, the EU parliament approved the unified EU Green Classification System, also known as the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities, on the 18th of June and turned it into law. A core pillar of the new regulation is to outline whether an economic activity quali…Read the article
Historically, one of the defining characteristics of emerging market (EM) economies has been that they generally have not been able to use monetary policy to stimulate their economies during crises in the way developed markets (DM) have. Usually, they have had to hike rates to limit capital outflows and defend their currencies, in doing so making economic recovery more difficult.
This …Read the article
This new book by Eric (an M&G multi-asset fund manager) and Mark (an economics professor at Brown University in the US) is getting a lot of attention at the moment: Martin Wolf put it on his list of “must read” books for FT readers over the summer, and the book’s ideas are very much answering the big questions of today. Why are we all so angry? Where did these culture wars come from? Why ha…Read the article
“Events, dear boy, events”, UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan responded to a journalist when asked what is most likely to blow governments off course.
At the beginning of this year, Donald Trump was favourite to follow in the footsteps of the previous three Presidents and win re-election. However, events have since unfolded that put his re-election into serious doubt.
…Read the article