Anthony Rayner

Is it the end of the road for austerity?

The September meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB) was a bit of a non-event. What we found most interesting was not the announcements on monetary policy, but on fiscal policy, which is not typically the remit of central banks.

Not all bonds are the same. But are any of them safe havens?

Government bonds shouldn’t be considered a safe haven asset, says Anthony Rayner, manager of Miton’s multi asset fund range.

To say that not all bonds are the same is stating the obvious but to suggest that government bonds shouldn’t be considered a safe haven asset, is a little braver.

Will currency wars follow trade wars?

In response to a recent US announcement on new tariffs, the Chinese authorities allowed the renminbi to weaken above the symbolic 7, versus the US dollar. In turn, this led the US to label the Chinese as currency manipulators. These exchanges might sound like straightforward tit-for-tat, but we think that they raise the ante, which might mean some investors are too complacent.

Is diversification dead?

Is diversification dead? It’s a fair question. 2018 saw the vast majority of assets fall and, so far, 2019 has seen the vast majority of assets rise. To put some colour on this, Deutsche Bank analyse a broad range of risk-on and risk-off assets and in their sample (excluding currencies), 31 of the 38 assets made losses in local currency terms in 2018, while in the first half of 2019, 37 of the 38 assets made gains - silver being the only loser.

Strong rally in first half of 2019, but what’s ahead?

The first half of 2019 was unusual in that it was characterised by a strong rally that encompassed both risk-on and risk-off assets. However, this is very reminiscent of quantitative easing at its height, as the material driver of the cross-asset rally was central banks turning dovish in response to slowing economic growth.

Is a perfect storm brewing in markets?

Markets have been a bit jumpy in October and, as ever, investors have looked for a suitable rationale, ranging from trade wars and slowing economic indicators, to higher interest rates.

In this case, the most likely cause was higher US interest rates, which was the reason behind the sell-off at the beginning of the year.

When is the next recession coming?

This is the second-longest US business cycle expansion, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research – and its data goes back to the 1850s. If there is no contraction before July 2019, it will be the longest expansion since records began.

The political blame game is here to stay

Much has been written about the Turkish president’s authoritarian style, paranoid outbursts, attacks on the media, questioning of the independence of the central bank, going for vote-winning growth, weakening political institutions and appointing family members to government positions, but he isn’t new to controversy. And he’s not the only one. Political risk is on the rise globally.