Author profile

Jim Leaviss

Years in the bond markets: 23

Specialist subjects: Macro economics and fixed interest asset allocation

Likes: Cycling, factory records, dim sum

Heroes: Brian Clough, Morrissey, Neil Armstrong

Just like 2008? Oil up, ECB tightening – all we’re missing is a credit accident

As we pass the 10-year anniversary of the Lehman default and we started thinking about what we were doing back in 2008 (desperately moving my savings out of certain banks was high on the list for me, whilst listening to MGMT and Los Campesinos; album of the year? TV On The Radio’s Dear Science), I went back to our blog, to see what the early warning signs were in the summer of that year.

It is …

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Letter from Washington DC. The IMF’s Sovereign Debt Conference.

The IMF recently held a two-day public conference on sovereign debt at its home in Washington DC. How do we measure it? How have governments reduced it in the past, for example in the periods after the two World Wars? How can Japan carry debts of over 200% of GDP while other sovereigns have defaulted with virtually no public debt? And when things do go wrong, how do we sort out the mess of a re…

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Japan: weakening growth and inflation, and an unpopular government

I was in Tokyo last week, seeing a mix of economists, JGB experts and clients.  I was also awesome at karaoke, dressed as an astronaut.

The last time I was in Japan, over a year ago, I came away thinking there was a decent chance that the Bank of Japan would abandon its zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) as it was damaging banks’ profits, and sending a negative signal to Japanese households and b…

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“The Great Economists” by Linda Yueh. Our interview, and chance to win her book!

We interview the academic and TV presenter about her choices of history’s most important economists, and ask what we can learn from them in solving our current problems. Also, win a copy of Linda’s book in our competition.

From Adam Smith, to Robert Solow, Linda Yueh’s latest book examines twelve important economists and suggests how we might use their thinking as we tackle modern society’s ec…

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“Unelected Power” by former BoE Deputy Governor Paul Tucker. Our interview, and chance to win his book!

Former Bank of England Deputy Governor Paul Tucker has written a book about accountability and central banking.  Have central banks become “overmighty citizens”, with too much power and insufficient democratic input?  If so, does it matter and what can we do about it?  In an era of QE, and bailouts of commercial banks, wealth inequality has widened in most developed economies.  Did society agr…

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Does the U.S. yield curve predict wider credit spreads? Also, goodbye to Hamish Watson

As the U.S. yield curve flattened to just 45 bps (2s-10s) last week, we dug out something I wrote back in 2007, in the early days of this blog.  A chart that accompanied the blog showed that a) U.S. BBB credit spreads had hit their tightest level for nearly 3 decades and b) that the yield curve had flattened substantially (and in fact inverted).  If you pushed the yield curve shape chart 18 mon…

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Davos 2018: M&G’s CEO Anne Richards talks to Jim Leaviss. Are markets headed towards another financial crisis?

This year’s Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) comes at a time where equity and credit valuations look high, where we have “obvious” bubbles in cryptocurrencies, and where bond yields – perhaps an anchor for all financial asset valuations – finally seem to be moving higher.  Global borrowing across governments, financial institutions, companies and households is at record levels.  Can the global …

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M&G Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz 2017 – the answers and the new champion

Happy New Year to you all.  Thank you for another bumper crop of entries for our Christmas quiz.  This year’s winner and new reigning champion is Adam Begg of UBS Investment Bank.  Many congratulations.  As you know, this year we donated £500 to Cancer Research UK in lieu of a trophy.  Via CASCAID, the fund management community in the UK this year decided to try to raise £1 million for Cancer R…

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The M&G Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz 2017

Here is the 11th annual Christmas Quiz.  20 questions, and the closing date for entries is midday on Friday 22nd December.  Please email your answers to us at bondteam@bondvigilantes.co.uk.  The winner will get glory, and in lieu of a golden trophy, M&G has donated £500 to Cancer Research UK, through CASCAID.  CASCAID is the UK asset management industry’s effort to raise £2 million for this bri…

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