James Saft, Reuters Columnist
James Saft's columns feature twice weekly in the International Herald Tribune and widely elsewhere. Before beginning his column, he directed all global coverage of economics and financial markets for five years at Reuters. His column won a Best in Business award in 2008 from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Before that he was global investment editor and chief correspondent, London capital markets. He has covered mortgage banking for American Banker before the term "subprime" was coined and syndicated lending for Reuters LPC in both London and New York.
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Right about now might be a good time to start worrying again about European peripheral debt. Along with just about every other risk asset the debt of the weaker members of the euro has sold off in recent weeks, hit by rising yields in higher-rated government bonds and a general pullback from bonds.
Sometimes, as with Treasury bonds right now, a better deal just isn’t good enough. A sharp selloff in Treasuries has taken yields higher, theoretically offering better returns and better protection against inflation. In fact, so-called real yields, meaning yield adjusted for inflation, have actually gone into positive territory.
Already halfway to a bear market, emerging market stocks face slumping commodities prices and what looks very much like a global trade slowdown.
- As US retools, commodities, emerging markets lose
- The Abenomics effect deflates
- Economic tapering shackles Fed
- When a buyback looks like executive pay
- Revenge of the markets
- Japan rates may torpedo recovery
- Bernanke’s dangerous optimism