Author profile

Jim Leaviss

Years in the bond markets: 25

Specialist subjects: Macro economics and fixed interest asset allocation

Likes: Cycling, factory records, dim sum

Heroes: Brian Clough, Morrissey, Neil Armstrong

The new Taper Tantrum – H2 outlook 2020

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…

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“Angrynomics” by Eric Lonergan and Mark Blyth: interview with the authors

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…

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“More: The 10,000 Year Rise of the World Economy” by Philip Coggan. Win a copy of the book in our competition.

Last week I interviewed Philip Coggan, the Economist journalist who writes the Bartleby column. His new book, “More: The 10,000 Year Rise of the World Economy” is out now, and it’s essential reading for anyone at all interested in the development of the global economy from the caveman through to the tech giants of today. One review of the book I read suggested it was a 21st century update to A…

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2020 Vision: Bond Market Outlook

Let me start with two predictions. Firstly that the title “2020 Vision” will be irresistible to all year-ahead outlooks, no matter what publication or industry you work in. This is why I trademarked the idea many months ago, and now expect to retire on the proceeds of all the copyright breaches. My second prediction is that in my industry, bond fortune telling, virtually all of those 2020 out…

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It wasn’t perfect, but it was the best we had

No doubt the main thing that Mario Draghi will be remembered for is his famous “whatever it takes”. He told financial markets that the Eurozone was not about to collapse and made it clear that the ECB would save the banks and peripheral sovereign nations of Europe.

More interestingly, however, is to think about how Draghi found himself in the position to be able to QE and to undertake othe…

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The moon landing, the Fed and a “pro-bubble”

Economists usually think of “bubbles” as being negative for economies and societies. Think of the US housing bubble and its role in the 2008 Global Financial Crisis as a great example. Defining a bubble is tricky, and often its causes are difficult to explain even with the benefit of hindsight. In their paper “Bubbles in Society – the Example of the Apollo Program” Gisler & Sornette say that…

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The Case for People’s Quantitative Easing by Frances Coppola. An interview and a competition

A decade on from the Global Financial Crisis after multiple rounds of QE across the developed economies, we are stuck with mediocre growth rates, the anticipation of renewed policy easing and the prospect of yet more bond buying from the ECB.

Yet much of the academic research into the impact of QE suggests there are diminishing returns from successive bouts of bond purchasing. It also seems…

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Beware the widow-maker

Over my 25 years in bond markets, there’s always been one trade that becomes known as “The Widow-Maker”. Being underweight long-dated gilts was one, at a time when new pension regulations sent yields plummeting, and shorting the Japanese bond market also became deadly as the Bank of Japan slashed rates to zero. Today, widows and widowers are being made in the German bund market. Yields on the …

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Would demutualising Germany’s Sparkassen (savings banks) kick-start consumption growth and give the eurozone a boost?

This week the 10-year German bund yield hit a new record low of -0.33% in the wake of Draghi’s Sintra speech which had echoes of his 2012 “whatever it takes” declaration. Why so dovish? Manufacturing data from the eurozone has been universally bad lately, and inflation expectations are collapsing. The core inflation rate is now just 0.8% and the ECB’s 2% target looks an impossible goal. The mar…

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Bankers & Bolsheviks: International Finance and the Russian Revolution by Hassan Malik. Our interview with the author; and win a copy of his book.

In the years leading up to World War 1, and then the Russian Revolution in 1917, Russia had become the world’s largest net international debtor.  It was borrowing heavily to finance industrialisation (railroads, oil, iron and cotton production) and as its population grew it saw rapid economic growth.  WW1, and the earlier 1905 conflict with Japan had also resulted in rising debt.  At the same t…

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