Market Thinking - Party Politics, People and Policies

It’s thirty years since the crash of Black Monday and it’s a very different world. Thirty years ago, China had a gross domestic product (GDP) of $253bn, which is less than the GDP today of just the...

Iggo's Insight - Happy New Year - or is it?

From sun and sea to doom and gloom. What a welcome back from my winter break. The big picture trends continue – the glacial normalisation of monetary policy in the US and the ongoing...

Iggo's Insight - How Soon is Now?

No-one really seems to have enjoyed the current economic expansion and now, because it has been going on for several years, some are worrying about the end. The typical end of cycle signs are there...

Iggo's Insight - A view from the bond market

Forward guidance and quantitative easing (QE) are no long de rigour. It's all about negative rates now. Dystopian novelists could have a field day with visions of a bank-less society where...

Iggo's Insight - Follow The Money

Financial market returns have been driven by policy and recovery over the last five years. The single biggest driver has been monetary policy which brought down short and long term interest rates...

Market Thinking - A view from the equity market

Last week in Hong Kong was disrupted with some particularly unusual typhoons. Unusual both in that there were two in one week, and in the fact that they were very late. There was also an...

Iggo's Insight - Time to Perform

It's time to stop worrying about things you can't control. As an investor that means building a portfolio that you are comfortable with, you understand the risks of and have some view that...

Iggo's Insight - Tale of Two Debts

In aggregate, the bond asset class remains expensive. Government bond yields are too low to tempt a meaningful increase in duration exposure, credit spreads are so tight that it is difficult adding...

Iggo's Insight - Yield is back

Yields are higher all over the credit markets. That's because credit spreads are wider, and violently so in some cases. The optics are for a sharp increase in defaults in high yield and...

Market Thinking - A view from the equity market

Last week had something of a back to school feel about it and after the shortened week in the US due to the Labour Day holiday, investors will return later this week and next to consider the...

Iggo's Insight - All Together Now for Negative Rates

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) said "konnichiwa" to negative interest rates making the reality of a tax on bank reserves even more common. The idea is to stop banks hoarding cash at central banks...

Iggo's Insight - A view from the bond market

The Federal Reserve (Fed) may not hike rates next week but financial conditions are easier today than they were in December at the time of the first move. Unless there is more evidence that the US...

Iggo's Insight - A view from the bond market

The long anticipated rise in yields got underway this week. Credit has outperformed rates and inflation has outperformed nominal government bonds. Rates have bottomed – even the Brexit hit...

Iggo's Insight - A view from the bond market

Bonds have performed well this year, driven by the decline in underlying government yields. The recovery in risk assets since mid-February has run out of some momentum even if the fears of an...

Market Thinking - Quarter close-out

Last week we discussed in some detail the market mechanics that appear to be working in the background as we close out the quarter, and for many people (especially Japan) the financial year.

Iggo's Insight - Update on The Donald

Hold your nose, disassociate personality from policy and embrace the potential for the end of secular stagnation. Here comes the Trump boom. If actions follow promises...

Market Thinking - A view from the equity market

In some senses we have to question whether or not it is worth writing anything so close to the US presidential election. After all, in three days’ time, everything will be settled. Except of course...

Market Thinking - A view from the equity market

Financial markets are broadly neutral when it comes to politics. This is not to say that they are indifferent, rather that smart investors recognise the risks associated with aspects of behavioural...

Iggo's Insight - A view from the bond market

Prospective returns from developed equity and bond markets are unexciting given the tepid growth outlook. It’s an investment environment that favours conservative strategies focused on sustainable...

Market Thinking - A view from the equity market

When I worked as a sell side strategist, literally back in the last century, I was once advised by my then head of sales that there was no point in writing anything any later in December than the...