Finally, Libor's on the way out ..... and it's not just the scandals that are killing it. r

Even those for whom Libor has been a significant factor during their working lives must be thinking "Not before time ..... !" . The UK's Financial Conduct Authority has set a 2021 deadline to find an alternative to the benchmark rate upon which so many financial instruments are priced. Since inception in the mid-1980s Libor has performed a crucial and efficient role in global markets ..... or at least that's how it seemed until the rate-rigging scandal erupted six years ago. First, some background : Each day, a panel of leading banks in London are contacted (at about 11.00am) to discover what they believe to be the true rate at which they could borrow from one another . The average of their

The ECB can finesse the nuances of  "policy speak" all it likes ..... looks like the marke

As we may have said before, generally speaking central bankers do not belong to the subsection of civil servants that elicits the most public sympathy. No doubt the fact that the pervasive hangover from the financial crisis that still taints the banking sector in the court of public opinion has a good deal to do with it. It's is a shame, really ..... on the whole, and whether you always agree with all their actions or not, these are fairly decent people doing a difficult and highly pressurised job. To say that we're feeling hugely sympathetic towards Mario Draghi might be overstating it a bit, but we can certainly understand any frustration he might be feeling at the market reaction to his p

The VIX and the Volatility Conundrum : Either something awful is about to happen , or it's all a

ref :- Short View by Miles Johnson , The Financial Times, Companies and Markets If you're one of those who struggles to get your head around Volatility, or perhaps more pertinently has questioned its true worth as a trading tool when the rest of the world pores over its every move, it turns out that your instincts may not so offbeat after all. At least, that's one of the conclusions examined by Miles Johnson in today's FT. First of all, a definition reminder : The CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, is a measure of short-term market volatility constructed from the implied volatility of S&P 500 stock index options. It is calculated from the price of both Put options (to sell) and Call options (to

We all know that as far as asset management goes, "Active" is out and "Passive"

ref :- "Smart beta funds eye $1trn milestone in race for cash" , The Financial Times, Companies and Markets. Those brought up in a Britain of a million years ago might have sepia-tinged memories of the "Janet and John" books, (that wasn't sepia, it was smog). For those who weren't, which is to say almost everybody, the "Janet and John" series were early-learning picture books aimed squarely at 4 - 7 year olds. We reminisce in this way because if there are those out there getting a bit twitchy at the mere mention of terms like "Smart Beta", they can rest easy ..... we shall be taking the "Janet and John" approach to any required definitions or explanations ...... not least because in this, a

Why take it calmly when you can get in a flap about it ? The markets contemplate changing realities

Thursday 6th July 2017 Why take it calmly when you can get in a flap about it ? The markets contemplate changing realities ...... ref :- "German Bund Yields Surge to 17-Month High After French Auction" , Bloomberg Markets News this morning that an auction of French 30-year securities met with reduced levels of demand had a predictable effect on already jittery bond markets. Prices took a hit as yields were pushed higher across Europe by an average of about 7 basis points, with US Treasuries and UK Gilts not far behind. It's not as though the issue was actually undersubscribed, but it's reasonable to assume that the fact that there were fewer investors queuing up to snaffle government paper r

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