Hong Kong could be a black belt in green bonds

June 14, 2016

China is pushing environmental finance, but rules and definitions are fuzzy. Hong Kong’s large pool of capital and transparent regulation give it the credentials to whip this immature market into shape. With just one green bond under its belt, however, the city has work to do.

Illinois governor all but summons bond vigilantes

May 17, 2016

In an interview with Breakingviews, Republican Bruce Rauner challenged a pervasive belief in markets that governments can always just raise taxes to plug deficits. The issue resonates beyond his state’s $140 bln fiscal mess. Debt investors have neglected to focus political minds.

Puerto Rico debt payment marks end of fiscal rope

December 1, 2015

The cash-strapped U.S. territory scraped together $355 mln for creditors, avoiding default on its government-guaranteed debt. A $945 mln payment due on Jan. 1 will be harder to deliver. Unless Congress offers relief soon, bondholders will still face a messy restructuring.

Rampant market fear clarifies global divide

October 15, 2014

A slump in 10-year U.S. Treasury yields and the evaporation of this year’s stock gains augur poorly for the Fed’s bond-buying exit. Yet the domestic economy has been improving. Slowing growth elsewhere presents the bigger worry. America’s central bank can’t do much about that.

U.S. debt capers may expose “risk-free” fallacy

July 26, 2011

Exposing "risk-free" for the illusion that it is would correct another major flaw in the markets.

European bond buyers: often wrong, never in doubt

November 14, 2011

Bond market investors are a fickle lot. They were too complacent for years and now they may be too demanding – though their reformist zeal is welcomed by most. As a result, politicians and the ECB, which might have anticipated the risks, have more complex problems to deal with.

Investors start to notice Germany is in euro zone

November 28, 2011

Neither an undersubscribed Bund auction nor yields crossing the 2 percent threshold is a sign of total panic. Still, Germany is looking less like a safe haven. That makes sense - it would struggle if the euro came unstuck. All the more reason for EU leaders to stop squabbling.

Worst might be over in euro debt crisis

January 24, 2012

Greece could still have a hard default and Portugal remains worse than a question mark. But the main reason there’s a regional crisis is that investors think there is one. Now they could be changing their minds, thanks to money from the ECB, plus some fiscal and political resolve.

Italy’s revival brings little joy to fund managers

February 8, 2012

Many bond investors have missed the best trade of 2012 so far. Italian 10-year government debt gained 8 pct in January while many managers were wary. Rather than chase prices higher, those who missed the boat may find more value in other corners of the euro zone periphery.

Say hello to 100 years of financial repression

March 15, 2012

The UK might issue ultra-long bonds. The yield would be ultra-low, courtesy of the Bank of England’s monetisation policy. Buyers would be ultra-foolish, but they may come – that’s how financial repression works. This looks like a symbolic victory for the government over savers.