Recent Blogs




Italian and Spanish spreads: Further to fall?

Following a 2013 that saw euro area peripheral government bond spreads fall dramatically, 2014 has seen further reductions in funding costs. Spanish and Italian 10Y spreads to Bunds are now around 200bps, having ended 2013 around 20bps above that level. That compares very favourably to the start of 2013, when Italian spreads were almost 320bps, while Spanish spreads were close to 400bps...

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Japan: Q313 Flow of Funds

With the BoJ’s massive monetary easing designed, in part, to drive investors out of safe assets and into riskier ones, the flow of funds data have taken on added significance providing evidence on the success or otherwise of these efforts...

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Abe & the Consumption Tax: No Nineties Throwback

Chris Scicluna

• Shinzo Abe looks set soon to give the green light to April’s consumption tax hike.
• That has raised fears of a repeat of 1997, when a similar measure coincided with Japan’s slide into deflation.
• But conditions are now very different to 1997 and we think such fears are overdone.

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A Tale of Two Cities

During twenty-plus years of economic underperformance, policymaking in Japan earned itself a (largely deserved) reputation for both its caution and its incompetence. Japan became an object-lesson in how not to run an economy...

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QQE in action: The BoJ's flow of funds data

The BoJ’s massive easing of monetary policy announced in early April, via a commitment to double the monetary base and more than double its holdings of JGBs within two years, is in part designed to change the asset allocation strategies of Japanese investors...

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