Financial markets

Zhenyu Gao, Michael Sockin, Wei Xiong, 26 January 2020

Housing speculation became a national phenomenon in the low interest rate environment of the US during the mid-2000s. This column argues that speculation, which was largely independent of the credit expansion to subprime households, contributed significantly to US housing and economic cycles in the 2000s. It led not only to greater price appreciation, economic expansions, and housing construction during the boom in 2004–2006, but also to more severe economic downturns during the subsequent bust in 2007–2009. 

Roel Beetsma, Josha van Spronsen, 24 January 2020

For the last decade, euro area countries have undertaken substantial debt issuances in order to maintain or bolster international capital market access. This column shows that the ECB's unconventional monetary policy dampens yield cycles in secondary markets for euro area sovereign debt around new debt auctions. This dampening effect tends to be larger when market volatility is higher, and this can be used to minimise any instability generated, for example, by different countries’ issuances occurring close together or the spillover effects of one country’s auctions on another. 

Iain Begg, David Miles, 10 January 2020

In 2020, the UK and the EU will try to strike a post-Brexit deal in financial services. At the SEURF conference in Amsterdam, David Miles and Iain Begg explain to Tim Phillips what's at stake in the negotiations, and who would suffer most if there's no deal.

Patrick Augustin, Mikhail Chernov, Lukas Schmid, Dongho Song, 10 January 2020

Benchmark interest rates, such as LIBOR or EFFR, not only serve as indicators of the monetary policy stance but also as reference rates for the multi-trillion interest rate derivatives and mortgage markets. Since the Global Crisis, these interest rates have followed a puzzling pattern relative to the US Treasury yields, known as negative swap rates. This column describes the pattern, explains why it is puzzling, and argues that the emergence of US default risk can naturally explain negative swap spreads. 

Josh Davis, Alan M. Taylor, 02 January 2020

Investor experience and academic research since the Global Crisis reflects a growing realisation that credit conditions can affect future macroeconomic outcomes. This column investigates whether credit booms throughout history have had any explanatory power to account for future asset class returns. It finds that credit booms tend to systematically predict poor returns in the near future for equities in absolute terms, and relative to bonds. An investor who had tilted their portfolio allocations based on a credit boom signal would have been able to improve portfolio performance. The contribution of the credit boom signal is meaningful when compared to other well-established signals such as momentum and value.

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