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Author profile

Jim Leaviss

Years in the bond markets: 21

Specialist subjects: Macro economics and fixed interest asset allocation

Likes: Cycling, factory records, dim sum

Heroes: Brian Clough, Morrissey, Neil Armstrong

Mike Riddell’s work here is done

Mike Riddell, who worked in and around the bond team here at M&G for the past twelve years, has decided to move on. We can’t say where to yet, but it’s to another big bond fund manager and it’s a good move for him. Normally we’d ask the airbrushing team to have him removed from the official histories, but he did a great job for us and we are all sad to see him go.

Mike did a great job running …

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Argentina saw a huge rebound in growth when it abandoned its dollar peg

Greece is not Argentina: don’t expect exports to drive growth if Greece leaves the euro

I have heard it said, semi-seriously, that the biggest risk for the Eurozone isn’t that Greece leaves the single currency and its economy collapses, but that it leaves and thrives.  In this scenario Greece starts again, debt free, able to adapt fiscal easing rather than austerity, and with a devalued “new drachma” encouraging an influx of tourists and a manufacturing and agricultural export boo…

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Last week: the election, the abolition of physical money, and how Tesla’s new battery is going to change the world and save us from a future zombie apocalypse

Here are a few quick thoughts about things that happened last week.

First, the UK election and the failure of the opinion polls. Ahead of the General Election we met with several of the big opinion pollsters, and even ran a Bond Vigilantes x Politics event featuring Anthony Wells of YouGov. Without exception they highlighted how unusual it was that, whilst the Conservatives appeared to be neck …

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war loan pic

Goodbye to War Loan: 1917 to 2015.

Today, the War Loan issued in 1917 to help finance Britain in World War 1 is finally redeemed. We’ve written about it repeatedly over the years as it has always fascinated us. Was its coupon cut in 1932 a form of default from the UK government? Does George Osborne’s claim that it is being redeemed this year as a result of a tight grip on the public finances ring true?

To commemorate this most i…

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Video: Jim & Mike go to NY to ask the big question. Will the Fed hike in 2015?

Have you seen the film The Day After Tomorrow? The one where U.N. officials foolishly ignore climate scientist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) and a super-storm plunges New York into a new Ice Age? Well it was colder than that last week when Mike and I made a research visit over there. With wind-chill it was a billion below. I was only able to survive by laughing at Mike forgetting to wear a hat and g…

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Competition winners: 10 copies of Diane Coyle’s GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History

Diane Coyle came in to talk about her study of the history of Gross Domestic Product a couple of weeks ago. You can watch a short interview we did with her here. We also offered you a chance to win a copy of her book, and we had over 60 correct answers to this question: he’s regarded as one of the creators of modern GDP statistics, but in 1934 he told Congress that “the welfare of a nation can …

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An interview with Diane Coyle: GDP A Brief but Affectionate History. And win a copy of the book.

One of my favourite economic reads of 2014 was Diane Coyle’s book about an economic statistic – GDP. Whilst monarchs had been trying to take inventories of the national wealth since the Doomsday Book and earlier (so they could tax it!), the idea that you should rigorously measure economic activity is under one hundred years old. But the concept of Gross Domestic Product has now become central …

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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…

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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 …

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Bretton Woods competition winners: 15 signed copies of Ed Conway’s The Summit go to…

The following 15 people correctly answered that President Richard Nixon effectively ended the Bretton Woods era in 1971 by suspending the convertibility of the US dollar into gold.  Thanks everyone for entering – we will contact the winners by email to arrange delivery of the book.  If you didn’t win, why not try the Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz

  1. Frank Markey – Wells Fargo
  2. Doug Brodie – Maste…

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