Category Archives: Views

Boris Johnson is about to reap what he sowed

By Michael Brett

So Boris, as he likes to be called, hopes he can reassemble a disjointed Britain.  Under his benign leadership families that were torn apart by violently differing views on EU membership can be restored to harmony and domestic bliss.

The 29 million-odd people WHO DID NOT VOTE TO LEAVE THE EU in the 2016 referendum are to be dragged out willy-nilly to satisfy the 17.4 million who voted to leave. This is widely hailed as democracy.

Brexit rules the waves (which, incidentally, can only be used in future to transport goods at the cost of a hell of a lot more paperwork, restriction and delay). We will be poorer in the future than we would have been as EU members. Even the would-be leavers are forced to concede this.

How on earth did we land in this situation?

Continue reading

Wiley’s European customers should read this

How seriously is Wiley taking its European customers? The NYSE-listed provider of professional education services doesn’t seem to be aware of basic consumer rights legislation in Europe and the UK.

European customers should expect the final price they pay for Wiley’s products to be higher than advertised, even when offered a discount.

Continue reading

The Fed wants you to believe in it

Caught in the middle of the Brexit saga, European investors can be forgiven if they glossed over a speech by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell that could turn out to be the starting point of a very risky period for the global economy.

It’s no secret that President Donald Trump would want the Fed to cut interest rates and debase the dollar. Earlier this year, he called the Fed “crazy” and Powell himself, “clueless.”

Of course, Powell did not immediately show that these repeated attacks influenced his policy. However, in a speech he gave last week he reiterated his fondness for a very risky idea on how to ease monetary policy even further.

Continue reading

Winners and losers from a Trump dollar intervention

Just as it was beginning to look like the bond market’s luck was finally running out, President Trump made some remarks that all but guarantee that the bond rally will go on for a little while longer.

Continue reading

Negative bond yields equal negative investor confidence

Last week, investors yet again favoured bonds over any other asset class, despite central banks cooing dovish everywhere.

The Fed is cutting rates? No worries, buy bonds. The European Central Bank prepares to push rates even further into negative territory? Bonds are the ticket. The Bank of England gets the printing press ready again? Oh yes, some bonds would be great.

Continue reading

Bond proxies will not save investors

What does well when the world’s most powerful man writes a furious tweet, followed by real life decisions that send stock market plunging? Bonds. But if you are still exposed to equities, where is the best place to be? Bond proxies.

This, at least, has been the scenario so far. But investors are forgetting that companies less dependent on the business cycle are not completely immune to economic turmoil.

Continue reading

Growth or stability? Central banks face dilemma

It must be a strange experience, being a central banker these days. Ever since the financial crisis of more than a decade ago, central banks have had to reconcile two opposing goals — both of them self-imposed.

Continue reading

Boris Johnson’s Brexit bus is broken

As Conservative Party members vote for the next UK prime minister — the one who will maybe, possibly, finally take Britain out of the European Union — they face a depressing choice: neither of the candidates is prepared for the role, and neither will create any ‘Brexit dividend’.

Continue reading