Miles Davis is reputed to have said that jazz is not about the notes you play, but those you don’t play.
In many ways, 2015 didn’t seem as if there was much of a correction going on. US investment-grade bond issuance steamed to yet another annual record – breaking the mark in October this time, as opposed to November in 2014 and December the year before that. The Fed’s first rates hike was supposed to come early in the year, then the spring, then the summer. But it didn’t – and new offerings just kept piling into the primary market.
High expectations: Eighteen months into Narendra Modi’s government, things are looking up for India. Growth is quickening, inflation is under control, and reforms are coming through. Harnessing that momentum, however, remains a constant challenge, and India’s prime minister will need to work hard if he is to come close to meeting his grand ambitions.
Shape-shifting: The debt market is a singular animal: no matter what situation arises, it simply evolves in order to address it.
Mean Streets: If the IMF were a cop, it would be the righteous Commissioner Gordon, desperately trying to maintain order in Gotham City while waiting for Batman to turn up.
Shifting sands – Credit markets posted yet another year of storming supply, a scene played out in an unnatural landscape constantly reshaped by shifting sands. On the one hand, the US called time on its quantitative easing bond-buying programme; but, on the other, the European Central Bank scrambled up the dunes to proclaim an initiative of its own. In the QE stakes, Frankfurt simply replaced Washington.
After years of bailouts, downturn, debt, fouls and penalties, it would appear the eurozone first team is finally showing signs of being ready to compete. The technical staff’s promise to do “whatever it takes” to keep the team together gave both players and supporters a lift. And after overcoming question of its legality, the additional stimulus provided by quantitative easing is providing additional confidence that they can cope should the team come unstuck once again.
Hype is returning to the renminbi capital markets. After a few lacklustre years for Chinese equities, Shanghai and Hong Kong are on their biggest bull runs in years, while interest rate cuts have lifted interest in renminbi bonds.
To say that Turkey is at a crossroads and must choose its future direction is simply to state an age-old truth: it always has been. Geographically, Turkey is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, an ornate doorway between two regions. The EU’s endless debates over the merits of letting it join have only emphasised its unique location – while fuelling its frustration.
Rather like the best Spaghetti Westerns, the usual suspects are present in Latin American finance – along with a familiar plot line on the tussle between order and chaos along an unruly frontier.
In boxing, the crowd often rallies around the underdog – especially if the fight is in the country that invented the sport. After tumbling to the canvas, Greece has staggered back to its feet and is now risking everything in order to win.