Author profile

Wolfgang Bauer

Years in the bond markets: 6

Specialist subjects: Investment grade credit (and the mysteries of microfluidics…)

Likes: Football, scuba diving and jiangsu cuisine

Heroes: Alfred Wegener, Charles Darwin and Stanislav Petrov

The ECB resumes corporate bond purchases — here is what you have to know

All eyes are on central banks these days as major
monetary policy decisions have been driving global bond markets. The eagerly
awaited September meeting of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank
(ECB) has given bond investors much food for thought. In particular, the new
round of its asset purchase programme (APP)—announced in true ECB fashion revealing
only the bare minimum of det…

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What if the ECB starts buying corporate bonds again?

In his distinctively dovish Sintra speech two weeks ago Mario Draghi left the door wide open for further loosening of monetary policy in the Euro area. All options seem to be on the table to bolster European inflation numbers, including a new round of quantitative easing. Draghi’s remark about the ECB’s Asset Purchase Programme (APP) still having considerable headroom fuelled hopes amongst ma…

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Could ‘Green Bunds’ be a cure for Europe’s economic malaise?

Compared to one and a half years ago, when the prevailing narrative was still revolving around global synchronised growth, the economic outlook for Europe has darkened significantly. From ‘peak optimism’ levels in late 2017, Euro area real GDP growth has slowed to 1.2%, while Eurozone manufacturing PMI has dropped by more than ten points. Even the notoriously optimistic ECB eventually had to co…

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Diverging fortunes of inflation expectations in the US and Europe

Inflation expectations in the US and Europe have been diverging lately and it comes as no real surprise, of course. After all, annual GDP growth in the US was running at a healthy rate of 2.6% in real terms in Q4 2018. The unemployment rate has fallen below 4%, putting upward pressure on wages, while economic sentiment indicators, such as PMIs, are in firmly expansionary territory. In stark con…

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BVTV: Markets go cold turkey

Market sentiment turned risk-off last week, largely due to the new US sanctions on Russia, which destabilised the ruble, and with the worsening of the situation in Turkey, which sank the lira and hit European lenders to the country. What are these two crises telling us about the state of the global economy? Watch some insights from M&G fund manager Wolfgang Bauer.

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BVTV: A Farewell to Shops?

Toys R Us and House of Fraser are some of the high street names that have faced tough competition from online retailers in recent years. Is the bricks & mortar model passé? Are some industries more resilient than others? And what does this mean for investors? Watch M&G’s Stephen Wilson-Smith explain how a French beauty giant sells more products online than in Latin America and how a US ice-crea…

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Time to sell Bunds?

German government bonds have gone from strength to strength in recent times; much like the German team at the World Cup – I wish! But is the latest Bund rally sustainable? I think not.

Let’s start with the bull case. In a recent blog, I described how Bunds had provided an efficient hedge against surging political uncertainty in Italy, due to the negative correlation between yields on German and…

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Never a dull moment – trying to make sense of last week

Political turmoil in Italy and Spain, escalating trade tensions and, for good measure, unexpectedly strong US employment data – to say that markets had a turbulent few days would be an understatement. Taking a step back, here are three lessons I took away from last week.

(1) Market sentiment shifts can be brutal

Political risks in the European periphery are real – a statement that might sound t…

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The front-end of the US Treasuries curve: short and sweet?

With the notable exception of the upcoming royal wedding, it would be pretty difficult to find a topic that is currently more over-analysed than the flattening of the US Treasury yield curve. On this blog as well we have pondered potential implications for credit valuations and possible counter-measures the Fed might employ. Still, one aspect that has arguably not received enough attention in t…

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Are sovereign bond-backed securities the key to financial stability within the Eurozone?

Creating a Eurozone-wide safe asset and thus diversifying sovereign risk within the currency union without the need for sovereign debt mutualisation – sounds like having your cake and eating it, doesn’t it? Well, according to the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS) might do the trick. SBBS are merely an idea, discussed in ESRB working papers, feasibility…

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