Looking back at the markets through October

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review Election fever October saw the UK plunge into election fever as progress on Brexit once again ground to a halt. Although Prime Minister Boris Johnson managed to reach a new Brexit Withdrawal Agreement with the EU , he failed to win … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through October”

Looking back at the markets through September

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review What next for Brexit? The long-running Brexit saga took a new twist in September as the clock continued to tick towards its Hallowe’en deadline. After being suspended earlier in the month, the UK Parliament was hastily reconvened towards the end of … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through September”

Looking back at the markets through May

Although the US and China had been widely expected to agree a trade deal, US President Donald Trump instead confounded hopes by announcing that tariffs on over US$200 billion-worth of imports from China would increase from 10% to 25%.  In response, China raised tariffs on US$60 billion-worth of US goods. Share prices fell heavily in … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through May”

Is corporate debt worth the risk?

As bond investors seek a better return than the poor yields on advanced country bonds, they eye up the higher income available on some company debt. There has been a sharp increase in so called levered loans. These are bonds issued by larger companies, often at a floating rate of interest related to official interest … Continue reading “Is corporate debt worth the risk?”

You still struggle to get an income on safer investments

The difficulties in getting a good return from Western nation bonds. The great crash of 2008-9 has left interest rates in much of the advanced world at very low levels. The fitful and slow recovery this decade has meant central banks have needed to keep rates low. Japan had a similar, if even more dramatic, … Continue reading “You still struggle to get an income on safer investments”

The Brexit deadline looms

The UK ended February with the question of Brexit still unanswered.  The month was dominated by political newsflow as concerns over Brexit were compounded by the resignation of eleven MPs who left the Conservative or Labour parties to form ‘The Independent Group’.  A second ‘meaningful vote’ on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal will take … Continue reading “The Brexit deadline looms”

Avoiding a corporate bond liquidity squeeze

Since the global financial crisis in 2008, aging developed-world populations, record low deposit interest rates and quantitative easing by the world’s major central banks have driven a global ‘search for yield’ by investors. For many years, this drove asset yields lower across the risk spectrum. However, since the start of 2018 the investment backdrop has … Continue reading “Avoiding a corporate bond liquidity squeeze”

No time to be pig-headed

The trade war is dominating headlines and shaking investor confidence in China. But as we enter Year of the Pig, it’s worth remembering this is a long-term growth story. No sooner have the Christmas decorations come down than new ones have gone up to mark the Lunar New Year, which starts on February 5. It’s … Continue reading “No time to be pig-headed”

Bond vigilantes at the gates in Italy

The 2019 budget target was unveiled on 27 September 2019, with the government defying the advice of Giovanni Tria, Italy’s Minister of Economy and Finance. Tria had recommended a deficit1 of 1.6% of GDP; however, the target has been set at 2.4% of GDP. Italy is now on a collision course with the European Commission, … Continue reading “Bond vigilantes at the gates in Italy”

The Only Game in Town

The US stockmarkets were the only game in town in August. US stockmarkets provided the only positives in August posting another month of strong gains due to robust economic news-flow.  However, all other major global regions showed negative returns, with geopolitical issues and trade war concerns weighing on investor sentiment. The overall result was a … Continue reading “The Only Game in Town”

Hubris and Nemesis: insights into the financial crisis

Ten years ago, the demise of Lehman Brothers marked the height of the financial crisis. At the time, I was an economist at one of the UK’s largest financial institutions. Working there gave me abundant insights into the psychological biases at play, both in that institution and in the companies that it supported. Many of … Continue reading “Hubris and Nemesis: insights into the financial crisis”

Doom Loop

The most likely candidate for the next ‘Lehman moment’ is in Europe. In some ways the regulatory response that followed in the years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers has been a success. The days of racy balance sheets chasing outsized profits on wafer thin capital are largely over; replaced by a mantra of prudence … Continue reading “Doom Loop”

The growing role of China and India in emerging market bonds

Diversification across asset classes has become an essential part of investing for the long term. Investors are increasingly looking further afield to deepen their portfolio diversification and lower total risk as they seek attractive returns. The EMD asset class will continue to see strong growth and we believe that China and India will become increasingly … Continue reading “The growing role of China and India in emerging market bonds”

Walking on sunshine

Some key factors that have influenced investment markets in recent weeks are discussed below. A positive month for stockmarket investors. Having seen signs of investor nervousness in June, last month saw investors regain their appetite for risk, and it proved to be a sunny climate (matching the weather) for most global stockmarkets. The overall result … Continue reading “Walking on sunshine”