Michael Nevin

Author's posts

Palmerston, Kondratieff and Me. Long waves in British financial markets.

The Victorian statesman Lord Palmerston once observed of the Schleswig-Holstein question that it was so complex that only three men had ever fully understood it. One of them had gone mad, the second had since sadly died, and the third was himself – but it was so long ago that he had completely forgotten the …

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Premier Oil and the High Yield Hypothesis

During market dips, it is worth recalling the words of Warren Buffett – “Be fearful when others are greedy; be greedy when others are fearful.” Security prices go up and security prices go down, but the coupons paid on bonds go on forever – steady, predictable and reliable. While they offer no upside beyond the …

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In Praise of Preference Shares

Preference shares are today a relatively neglected instrument of corporate finance. The current conventional wisdom of the City is that they offer none of the upside of ordinary shares and none of the tax advantages of loan notes. I have an alternative perspective. True, preference share dividends are not tax deductible, unlike loan interest payments. …

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The Structure of the London Fixed Income Market

A rapid recapitulation of the high yield bond system: The objective of the system is to establish whether a diversified portfolio of high yield bonds outperforms other major asset classes. This premise is being tested through a designated Isa, into which one-twelfth of the annual Isa allowance is subscribed each month, and then used to …

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The Euro’s Existential Crisis

Extract from Chapter 11, ‘The Euro’s Existential Crisis’, in ‘The Golden Guinea. The International Financial Crisis, 2007-2014: Causes, Consequences and Cures’ (2012). Final section, ‘The Long Goodbye: Requiem for the Euro’. “The inevitable conclusion is that the Euro cannot survive indefinitely in its current form…..Rigidly fixing national currencies to a single currency at an overvalued …

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Greek Tourism VAT and Greece’s future in the Eurozone

An article in today’s Times on Greek VAT on hospitality services entiled ‘Tourists will pay the price the Greek surrender on VAT’ reports that the rate of VAT on restaurants in Greece is likely to increase from 13% to 23%, while for hotels the rate will increase from 6.5% to 23% as part of a …

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Eros International – the paradox of a low risk, high yield bond

It is a sign of the times, and the remarkably benign conditions prevailing in the London securities market, that no less than 103 of the 106 corporate bonds quoted on the LSE’s Order Book for Retail Bonds (ORB) are trading above their par value. This isn’t entirely good news for a bond investor. First and …

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High Yield Bonds and the Efficient Market Hypothesis

The proposition that investments in high yield bonds will generate returns that are greater than could be secured from other investments is contrary to the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH). If the EMH is correct, then it should be impossible for an investor in high yield bonds to generate excess returns. So the performance of the …

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Rating Agencies and Bond Mispricing

As reported in March, over the coming months this site will report results of a real-time experiment in high yield bonds. Casting an eye over potential candidates for the High Yield Portfolio, my attention was caught by two rather curious features of the Co-operative Bank’s 11% Subordinated Loan Notes. These notes were issued in December …

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A Real Time Financial Experiment in High Yield Bonds

Over the coming months, I am conducting a real-time financial experiment designed to test the validity of the hypothesis that investments in high yield bonds (so-called “junk bonds”) systematically outperform investments in apparently safer options such as gilt-edged securities or investment grade corporate bonds. The High Yield Hypothesis emerged from research undertaken by W Braddock …

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