Global Investing

South African bond rush

May 10, 2012

It’s been a great year so far for South African bonds. But can it get better?

Poland, the lonely inflation targeter

May 9, 2012

Is the National Bank of Poland (NBP) the last inflation-targeting central bank still standing?

Trading the new normal in India

May 1, 2012

After a ghastly 2011, Indian stock markets have’t done too badly this year despite the almost constant stream of bad news from India. They are up 12 percent, slightly outperforming other emerging markets, thanks to  fairly cheap valuations (by India’s normally expensive standards)  and hopes the central bank might cut rates. But foreign  inflows, running at $3 billion a month in the first quarter, have tapered off and the underlying mood is pessimistic. Above all, the worry is how much will India’s once turbo-charged economy slow? With the government seemingly in policy stupor, growth is likely to fall under 7 percent this year. News today added to the gloom — exports fell in March for the first time since the 2009 global crisis.

The “least worst” option?

April 24, 2012

Western governments saddled with mountainous debts will “repress” creditors and savers via banking regulation, capital controls, central bank bond buying and currency depreciation that effectively puts sovereign borrowers at the top of the credit queue while simultaneously wiping out real returns for their bond holders. So says HSBC chief economist Stephen King in his latest report this week called “From Depression to repression”.

Three snapshots for Tuesday

April 24, 2012

U.S. consumer confidence came in slightly weaker than expected but the ‘jobs-hard-to-get’ index – historically a good lead indicator of the unemployment rate - fell to 37.5 in April.

Three snapshots for Tuesday

April 17, 2012

Argentina’s debt insurance costs rose after the country moved to seize control of leading energy company YPF on Monday,  Madrid called the move on YPF, controlled by Spanish company Repsol, a hostile decision and vowed “clear and strong” measures, while the EU’s executive European Commission warned that an expropriation would send a very negative signal to investors. Of the countries in the MSCI Frontier equities universe Argentinian equities are the worst performer this year.

Three snapshots for Wednesday

March 21, 2012

Saudi Arabia has repeated publicly it would prime its pumps to meet any shortfall in exports from fellow OPEC member Iran, this chart shows their production since 1980:

Central banks and the next bubble (2)

February 22, 2012

In the previous bubble blog earlier in the week I wrote that G4 central bank balance sheets are expanding to a whopping 26% of GDP.

How Turkey cut interest rates but didn’t really

February 21, 2012

How do you cut interest rates without actually loosening monetary policy? Turkey’s central bank effectively did that today.

Turkey gearing up for rate cuts but not today

February 21, 2012

Could the Turkish central bank surprise markets again today?

Given its track record, few will dare to place firm bets on the outcome of today’s meeting but the general reckoning for now is that the bank will keep borrowing and lending rates steady and signal no immediate change to its weekly repo rate of 5.75 percent. With year-on-year inflation in the double digits, logic would dictate there is no scope for an easier monetary policy.