bond market vigilante

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pages: 1,066 words: 273,703

Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World by Adam Tooze

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bond market vigilante , Boris Johnson, break the buck, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, dark matter, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, friendly fire, full employment, global reserve currency, global supply chain, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, large denomination, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, new economy, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, open economy, paradox of thrift, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Post-Keynesian economics, predatory finance, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, Steve Bannon, structural adjustment programs, tail risk, The Great Moderation, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trade liberalization, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, white flight, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, éminence grise

But, as Neil Irwin later commented: “Britain . . . was embarking on something that has rarely been attempted . . . cutting spending and raising taxes in a preemptive strike against the risk of a future debt crisis.”15 As Paul Krugman remarked from New York: “It’s one thing to be intimidated by bond market vigilantes. It’s another to be intimidated by the fear that bond market vigilantes might show up one of these days.”16 As the squeeze continued, other motives revealed themselves. Shrinking the state, it turned out, was an aim in itself. The ultimate goal, as David Cameron would put it in his speech to the Lord Mayor’s Banquet three years later, was “something more profound”: to make the state “leaner . . . not just now, but permanently.”17 By 2015 Chancellor Osborne would claim to have slashed £98 billion in annual spending from the UK budget.

In 2007–2008 it had been the collapse in confidence in mortgage securitization, money markets and the banks that brought down the house and necessitated the bailouts. By 2009 confidence was still the problem. But now it was government deficits and the supposed threat of bond vigilantes that seized the headlines. Given actually prevailing conditions in bond markets at the time, the constraints this anxiety placed on fiscal policy were a triumph of precrisis centrist orthodoxy over the facts of the postcrisis situation. While the bond vigilantes never appeared, millons of jobless would pay the price for the failure to sustain fiscal stimulus. And the effects went beyond the labor market. The purpose of restraining fiscal policy was supposedly to maintain confidence and to create space for a private sector recovery.

Chief political adviser James Carville was left to ruminate: “I used to think if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope or a .400 baseball hitter. But now I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.”13 In the 1980s and 1990s, the so-called bond vigilantes had their day in the sun. Ten years later they were still in the market. Indeed, the bond funds were bigger than ever. But, as Obama had hinted, domestic investors were not what most worried the Rubinite crowd. Foreign investors were the key concern. The Bush administration’s deficits were financed overwhelmingly by bond buying from abroad.


pages: 504 words: 143,303

Why We Can't Afford the Rich by Andrew Sayer

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, anti-globalists, asset-backed security, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, bond market vigilante , Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, James Carville said: "I would like to be reincarnated as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.", James Dyson, job automation, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, land value tax, long term incentive plan, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, predatory finance, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Thanks to John Allen for drawing this reference to my attention. 58 On how UK privatised train services are still heavily subsidised by the state, with much of the subsidy going to shareholders, see Bowman, A. et al (2013) ‘The conceit of enterprise: train operators and trade narrative’, http://www.cresc.ac.uk/sites/default/files/The%20Conceit%20of%20Enterprise.pdf. 59 Charles Rowley’s Blog, http://charlesrowley.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/bond-market-vigilantes-rule-across-the-eurozone/. 60 Hilferding, R. (2010) Finance capital, London: Routledge, ch 7, http://www.marxists.org/archive/hilferding/1910/finkap/ch07.htm. 61 In the US, the top 0.5%, who dominate bondholding, got half of all the interest payments by the Federal government going to households. See Canterbery (2000). 62 Stevenson, T. (2012) ‘Bond market vigilantes turn on Italy’, Telegraph, 12 November. 63 Time (1989) ‘Top 10 tax dodgers’. She was imprisoned for tax evasion. http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1891335_1891333_1891317,00.html. 64 European Central Bank (2014) ‘Long-term interest rate statistics for EU Member States’, http://www.ecb.europa.eu/stats/money/long/html/index.en.html. 65 Wall Street Journal (2011) 30 September, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904332804576538363789127084.html. 66 Cited in Canterbery (2000). 67 Stevenson (2011). 68 Krugman, P. (2009) ‘Invisible bond vigilantes’, New York Times, 19 November 2009; see also Wolf, M. (2010), ‘Why the Balls critique is correct’, Financial Times, 2 September, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/119c59ac-b6c3-11df-b3dd-00144feabdc0.html. 69 Cited in Leyshon, A. and French, S. (2010) ‘“These f@#king guys” (1): the terrible waste of a good crisis’, Environment and Planning A, 42, pp 2549–59.

Indeed these were policies which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank pushed as a condition of support for economies in trouble. When the debtor is in difficulty, the creditor can force the debtor to sell off their assets. This practice of dispossession has been going on for millennia. Bond markets: vigilantes, bogeymen and banks Thank Heaven for the bond markets. They protect us all from the in-built fiscal excesses of democratic politics. (Charles Rowley, Professor of Economics at George Mason University in the US)59 State bonds are nothing but the price of a share in the annual tax yield.

The 10-year rate on US Treasury bonds touched 8% in 1994. The consequent threat of a credit crunch in the business sector, and higher mortgage rates for prospective home buyers, generated enough political opposition to stop it going through Congress.65 Bondholders – sometimes dramatised as ‘bond market vigilantes’ – can simply bid up interest rates or refuse to lend anew. As James Carville, lead strategist for US President Bill Clinton famously commented, ‘I used to think that if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the President or the Pope. But now I want to be the bond market: you can intimidate anyone.’66 Now, the same credit rating agencies that got things so wrong in rating credit derivatives mark down the credit ratings of countries that refuse to embrace austerity: in the euro-crisis, they drove the cost of borrowing for Greece, Ireland and Portugal, and then Italy, up to unsustainable levels, forcing their governments to think the unthinkable.67 On ‘Black Friday’ (13 January 2012), Standard and Poor’s downgraded the credit rating of nine European countries, prompting complaints that Europe’s future was being determined by American private credit rating agencies.


pages: 267 words: 71,123

End This Depression Now! by Paul Krugman

airline deregulation, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, debt deflation, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gordon Gekko, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, James Carville said: "I would like to be reincarnated as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.", Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Money creation, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price stability, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, salary depends on his not understanding it, Savings and loan crisis, Upton Sinclair, We are the 99%, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Invisible Bond Vigilantes I used to think if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the President or the Pope or a .400 baseball hitter. But now I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everyone. —James Carville, Clinton campaign strategist Back in the 1980s the business economist Ed Yardeni coined the term “bond vigilantes” for investors who dump a country’s bonds—driving up its borrowing costs—when they lose confidence in its monetary and/or fiscal policies. Fear of budget deficits is driven mainly by fear of an attack by the bond vigilantes. And advocates of fiscal austerity, of sharp cuts in government spending even in the face of mass unemployment, often argue that we must do what they demand to satisfy the bond market.

And at every uptick in rates over that period, influential voices announced that the bond vigilantes had arrived, that America was about to find itself unable to keep on borrowing so much money. Yet each of those upticks was reversed, and at the beginning of 2012 U.S. borrowing costs were close to an all-time low. Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System The figure above shows U.S. ten-year interest rates since the beginning of 2007, along with supposed sightings of those elusive bond vigilantes. Here’s what the numbers on the chart refer to: 1. The Wall Street Journal runs an editorial titled “The Bond Vigilantes: The Disciplinarians of U.S.

As we’ll see, none of them is as deep in debt as Britain was for much of the twentieth century, or as Japan is now, yet they definitely are facing an attack from bond vigilantes. What’s the difference? The answer, which will need a lot more explanation, is that it matters enormously whether you borrow in your own currency or in someone else’s. Britain, America, and Japan all borrow in their respective currencies, the pound, the dollar, and the yen. Italy, Spain, Greece, and Ireland, by contrast, don’t even have their own currencies at this point, and their debts are in euros—which, it turns out, makes them highly vulnerable to panic attacks. Much more about that later. What about the Burden of Debt? Suppose that the bond vigilantes aren’t set to make an appearance and cause a crisis.


pages: 263 words: 80,594

Stolen: How to Save the World From Financialisation by Grace Blakeley

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, fixed income, full employment, G4S, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, impact investing, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job polarisation, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land value tax, light touch regulation, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Modern Monetary Theory, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, Post-Keynesian economics, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Right to Buy, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, transfer pricing, universal basic income, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, yield curve, zero-sum game

They did what they always do: they claimed that they didn’t have a choice. The Bond Vigilantes In 1983, Edward Yardeni, an economist at a major US brokerage house, coined the term “bond vigilantes”.31 These vigilantes, Yardeni claimed, would “watch over” domestic governments’ policies to determine “whether they were good or bad for bond investors”. In other words, in the era of capital mobility, it was up to states to prove to investors that their country was worth investing in. If states were found wanting, the vigilantes would flee, pockets stuffed full of cash. Yardeni’s bond vigilantes are a personification of the logic of market discipline.

Neoliberal politicians were not terrified into submission by the bond vigilantes, they worked with these investors to rebuild the global economy in the interests of global capital, just as they had rebuilt their domestic economies along the same lines.33 The bond vigilantes provided cover. States would deregulate financial markets, making investors more powerful, thereby allowing governments to invoke the logic of market competition to justify their imposition of neoliberal policies on an unwilling populace. By the 1980s, the bond vigilantes had made it possible for politicians like Thatcher and Reagan to claim that there was no alternative to neoliberalism — any attempt at socialist experimentation would be severely punished by the markets, just look at Mitterrand’s France.

By the 1980s, the bond vigilantes had made it possible for politicians like Thatcher and Reagan to claim that there was no alternative to neoliberalism — any attempt at socialist experimentation would be severely punished by the markets, just look at Mitterrand’s France. Illiberal Technocracy The bond vigilantes supported a project that aimed to place fiscal policy outside of the realm of political debate. In the era of capital mobility, states would have no choice other than to do as the markets wished. But whilst it contained an element of truth, states that had control over their own monetary policy still retained much more power than this discourse suggests. The bond vigilantes knew that much more had to be done to place economics outside of the realm of politics. Developments in academic economics would provide the perfect justification.


pages: 475 words: 155,554

The Default Line: The Inside Story of People, Banks and Entire Nations on the Edge by Faisal Islam

Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bond market vigilante , Boris Johnson, British Empire, capital controls, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, dark matter, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, energy security, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, ghettoisation, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Just-in-time delivery, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, Money creation, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, reshoring, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, tail risk, The Chicago School, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two tier labour market, unorthodox policies, uranium enrichment, urban planning, value at risk, WikiLeaks, working-age population, zero-sum game

It was President Clinton’s adviser James Carville who mused that in a future life he’d want to return as a trader in government bonds. ‘You can intimidate everybody,’ he chuckled. The term ‘bond vigilante’ was coined by the US economist Ed Yardeni in 1983 to describe traders who would sell off the debt and demand higher yields (averaging 11 per cent) to compensate for the perceived risk of higher inflation and higher deficits in President Reagan’s America. The bond vigilantes were unleashed again on President Clinton, when in 1993 he introduced his wife’s plan for extra health-care spending (‘HillaryCare’), and ten-year US Treasury bond yields shot up to 8 per cent.

Harris, 2007 And for those born even later than that too, I dedicate this book to the incompetence of the generation of European political leaders born in the 50s and 60s Contents Cover Welcome Page Dedication Introduction Chapter 1 How the Euro Stole the Greek Sun Chapter 2 Of Fiscal Criminals and Bond Vigilantes Chapter 3 The Real Northern Rock Chapter 4 12/11: The Chinese Root Canals of Crisis Chapter 5 The House Trap Chapter 6 Three Funerals, Two Banking Systems and a Wedding Chapter 7 The Formula that Created the Shadow Banking System Chapter 8 The Gates of Hell Chapter 9 Mervyn’s Magic Money Machine Chapter 10 The Reluctant Imperium Chapter 11 Ground Control to Eurotower Chapter 12 The Great Carbon Wars Chapter 13 Lent in Larnaca: The Cypriot Job Epilogue New Default Lines Ten ideas to chew on Acknowledgements About this Book About the Author An Invitation from the Publisher Copyright Introduction Economics is not meteorology.

On a real fault line in San Francisco you will hear from the hippyish man who wrote the formula which was said to have broken Wall Street, but is still being used to define the safety of the Western banking system, and may well be holding the world economy back. There’s the Indian motorbike magnate who thinks climate change is principally a colonial ruse. There are the oil pipelines that threaten the fracture of a fragile nation. There is the constant dance and fight between fiscal criminals and bond vigilantes that has led to curious and patchy austerity. There is the desperate need for central bankers to communicate control in uncertain times. And then there are the migratory journeys within China that were a proximate cause of everything. In Cyprus, all the strands – bad banks, bad politicians and a dysfunctional Eurozone – coalesced into three weeks of high drama in March 2013.


pages: 82 words: 24,150

The Corona Crash: How the Pandemic Will Change Capitalism by Grace Blakeley

asset-backed security, basic income, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, debt deflation, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, don't be evil, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, global pandemic, global value chain, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Martin Wolf, Modern Monetary Theory, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, quantitative easing, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, reshoring, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, yield curve

Similar conclusions were drawn in the UK.8 In fact, ever since the ‘Greenspan put’ that followed the 1987 stock market crash, investors have counted on the fact that policymakers will hold interest rates down in the wake of a market crash.9 Central banks proved unable (some did not even try) to unwind the asset purchasing programmes implemented in response to the 2008 credit crunch. Part of the reason for the ongoing necessity of unorthodox monetary policy was the refusal of many governments – obsessed with the threat posed by the bond vigilantes and their maxims about ‘sustainable’ rates of borrowing – to use government spending to boost productivity and investment.10 But another, even more significant, factor was the sheer weakness of the global ‘recovery’ from the financial crisis itself. Global capitalism had become so sclerotic that policymakers were forced to prop it up with extremely loose monetary policy, which could only influence growth through the roundabout and unsustainable mechanism of artificially boosting lending and asset prices.

Much of its outstanding debt is owed to Chinese state-owned banks – as a relatively new large lender, it is unclear how China will respond to calls from Africa for debt restructuring. Meanwhile, on the other side of the South Atlantic, Argentina under left-wing Peronist president Alberto Fernández, elected in 2019, is undergoing its ninth sovereign default. Like other economies in the Global South, international institutions have allied with the bond vigilantes to bludgeon Argentina into imposing policies that benefit international investors and harm working people. The threat that the Fernandez government might impose restrictions on capital mobility was causing significant concern among investors even before the pandemic. They sought to discipline the struggling state into submission by selling Argentinian assets.

It is unlikely that either Argentina or Zambia will be able to escape the current crisis on its own. States in debt distress of this scale need cheap, long-term, unconditional lending to fund investment that can boost productivity and competitiveness. But the structure of the imperialist international system – built in the interests of the ‘bond vigilantes’ – militates against this.23 The Global South is now fighting a battle against nature on two fronts: not only tackling the spread of the coronavirus but also dealing with the effects of climate breakdown. The challenge these states face was made abundantly clear when Cyclone Amphan struck India and Bangladesh in May 2020.


pages: 446 words: 117,660

Arguing With Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future by Paul Krugman

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, bond market vigilante , Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, different worldview, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, employer provided health coverage, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, frictionless, frictionless market, fudge factor, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, London Whale, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, Modern Monetary Theory, New Urbanism, obamacare, oil shock, open borders, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, salary depends on his not understanding it, secular stagnation, Seymour Hersh, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, universal basic income, very high income, working-age population

Instead, it rests on what we might charitably call sheer speculation, and less charitably call figments of the policy elite’s imagination—specifically, on belief in what I’ve come to think of as the invisible bond vigilante and the confidence fairy. Bond vigilantes are investors who pull the plug on governments they perceive as unable or unwilling to pay their debts. Now there’s no question that countries can suffer crises of confidence (see Greece, debt of). But what the advocates of austerity claim is that (a) the bond vigilantes are about to attack America, and (b) spending anything more on stimulus will set them off. What reason do we have to believe that any of this is true?

As Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, recently put it, “There is no intrinsic contradiction between providing additional fiscal stimulus today, while the unemployment rate is high and many factories and offices are underused, and imposing fiscal restraint several years from now, when output and employment will probably be close to their potential.” Nonetheless, every few months we’re told that the bond vigilantes have arrived, and we must impose austerity now now now to appease them. Three months ago, a slight uptick in long-term interest rates was greeted with near hysteria: “Debt Fears Send Rates Up,” was the headline at The Wall Street Journal, although there was no actual evidence of such fears, and Alan Greenspan pronounced the rise a “canary in the mine.”

Three months ago, a slight uptick in long-term interest rates was greeted with near hysteria: “Debt Fears Send Rates Up,” was the headline at The Wall Street Journal, although there was no actual evidence of such fears, and Alan Greenspan pronounced the rise a “canary in the mine.” Since then, long-term rates have plunged again. Far from fleeing U.S. government debt, investors evidently see it as their safest bet in a stumbling economy. Yet the advocates of austerity still assure us that bond vigilantes will attack any day now if we don’t slash spending immediately. But don’t worry: spending cuts may hurt, but the confidence fairy will take away the pain. “The idea that austerity measures could trigger stagnation is incorrect,” declared Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the European Central Bank, in a recent interview.


pages: 756 words: 120,818

The Levelling: What’s Next After Globalization by Michael O’sullivan

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, bond market vigilante , Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, cloud computing, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disinformation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gini coefficient, global value chain, housing crisis, impact investing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Carville said: "I would like to be reincarnated as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.", knowledge economy, liberal world order, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, performance metric, private military company, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, Steve Bannon, supply-chain management, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, tulip mania, Valery Gerasimov, Washington Consensus

Amromin, De Nardi, and Schulze, “Inequality and Recessions.” 18. B. M. Smith, The Equity Culture: The Story of the Global Stock Market (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003), 5. 19. J. Carville, “The Bond Vigilantes,” Wall Street Journal, February 25, 1993, A1. 20. M. Fox, “‘Bond Vigilantes’ Are Saddled Up and Ready to Push Rates Higher, Says Economist Who Coined the Term,” February 9, 2018, US Markets, CNBC, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/09/bond-vigilantes-saddled-up-and-ready-to-make-a-comeback-ed-yardeni.html. 21. One such proposal comes from Mike Konczal and J. W. Mason of the Roosevelt Institute: Konczal and Mason, “A New Direction for the Federal Reserve: Expanding the Monetary Toolkit,” November 30, 2017, http://rooseveltinstitute.org/expanding-monetary-policy-toolkit/. 22.

Markets are important warning mechanisms, especially when it comes to bad economic policy. Famously, Bill Clinton’s political adviser James Carville said that if he were to be reincarnated, he would like to return as “the bond market” because it is so powerful.19 In the past, market strategists, such as Ed Yardeni, have spoken of “bond vigilantes,” referring to the fact that the bond market curbed excessive borrowing (and inflation) by governments by penalizing them for reckless borrowing with higher bond yields.20 A good example of the role bond markets play in signaling economic health is the information in bond yields across the eurozone countries.


pages: 537 words: 144,318

The Invisible Hands: Top Hedge Fund Traders on Bubbles, Crashes, and Real Money by Steven Drobny

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, Commodity Super-Cycle, commodity trading advisor, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency peg, debt deflation, diversification, diversified portfolio, equity premium, family office, fiat currency, fixed income, follow your passion, full employment, George Santayana, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, index fund, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, Kickstarter, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, North Sea oil, open economy, peak oil, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price discovery process, price stability, private sector deleveraging, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, random walk, reserve currency, risk free rate, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, savings glut, selection bias, Sharpe ratio, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, statistical arbitrage, stochastic volatility, stocks for the long run, stocks for the long term, survivorship bias, tail risk, The Great Moderation, Thomas Bayes, time value of money, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, two and twenty, unbiased observer, value at risk, Vanguard fund, yield curve, zero-sum game

Hyperinflations typically start when a fiscal deficit gets monetized, so the vigilantes are right to be alert to the dangers. But, the bond disaster story has to go through the path of better growth and a better outlook for some time. The process, even if the vigilantes are right, is likely to take a good deal longer than generally assumed. Bond Vigilantes Bond vigilante is a term given to bond market participants who, in reaction to inflationary monetary and fiscal policies, effectuate a “protest” in U.S. Treasury markets, pushing up yields. From the fall of 1993 to the fall of 1994, 10-year Treasury yields climbed from 5.2 percent to over 8.0 percent, in part because of concerns about the federal deficit.

And, for defending a view initially expressed back in April, when yields generally were 50 to 100 basis points lower. A very well played “away” game. Bravo! SOURCE : Drobny Global Monitor, October 30, 2009. What, then, happens if we have inflation or hyperinflation, as some are predicting? These are the new “bond vigilantes” (see box). They have a point, but you do not want to skip any steps here. The path to hyperinflation may well involve an initial period of healthy-looking recovery. It takes a long time for hyperinflation to take root. Things can look good for a while at first. Hyperinflations typically start when a fiscal deficit gets monetized, so the vigilantes are right to be alert to the dangers.

And the common attribute has been the decision to not allow their currency to rise, which funnels the resulting liquidity into rising asset prices, such as the stock market and real estate. This is the real quantitative easing, and over the past decade it sent oil from $10 a barrel to $150. Where were all the bond vigilantes then? Now that everyone has whipped themselves up into a frenzy of inflation paranoia, the moment may have passed. The desire for Americans to save more will reduce Asian surpluses and therefore the Asian money printing will abate. The interesting thing about today is that the renminbi is not rising; it has flat lined since the middle of 2008 just before everything fell apart (see Figure 13.11).


pages: 376 words: 109,092

Paper Promises by Philip Coggan

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Money creation, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, paradox of thrift, peak oil, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, tulip mania, value at risk, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Countries that ran large fiscal deficits needed to turn to the markets for their financing; those that combined fiscal deficits with trade deficits needed to rely on international investors. In theory, investors could punish irresponsible governments by pushing up interest rates. Indeed, that is what happened in the 1980s when real interest rates were very high, as investors reacted to their losses of the 1970s. The ‘bond market vigilantes’ would keep errant governments in line, and head off an inflationary rebound. By itself, this was a crucial difference from the Bretton Woods era. Capital controls meant that, until the late 1960s, the markets played a limited role in disciplining governments. Instead, the key role was played by trade.

And the rise of China (and other Asian nations) removed a further constraint. The inflationary burst in the 1970s caused a lot of pain for investors in government bonds; the nominal value of their holdings was repaid but the real value (purchasing power) deteriorated greatly. As they spotted this was happening, the bond market vigilantes mentioned in Chapter 6 naturally reacted by demanding a higher interest rate on bonds to compensate them for the risk. James Carville, an adviser to President Clinton, was astonished to find that his administration’s economic plans would have to take account of these vigilantes. ‘I used to think if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope or a .400 baseball hitter,’ he said.

This required them to sell their own currencies and buy dollars, which they held in the form of foreign-exchange reserves. Those reserves were invested in developed-world government bonds (mostly US Treasury bills). The system had thus created a very wealthy group of investors who were effectively uninterested in the price of, and return from, their investments. The bond-market vigilantes had been swamped. There was a savings glut that forced up asset prices. The result was an odd system that seemed to suit both sides. The Chinese had a flourishing export market; the Americans were able to fund their consumption at low cost. There were occasional grumbles. American politicians feared that the Chinese were stealing US manufacturing jobs; the Chinese occasionally lectured the Americans on the need to safeguard the value of the Treasury bond market.


pages: 338 words: 104,684

The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy by Stephanie Kelton

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, Covid-19, COVID-19, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, discrete time, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, floating exchange rates, Food sovereignty, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, liquidity trap, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Mason jar, Modern Monetary Theory, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, National Debt Clock, new economy, New Urbanism, Nixon shock, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, obamacare, open economy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, Post-Keynesian economics, price anchoring, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Tax Reform Act of 1986, trade liberalization, urban planning, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, zero-sum game

That backstop reassures investors, who understand that the central bank has ironclad control over its short-term interest rate, along with substantial influence over rates on longer-dated securities.7 Greece gave up that backstop when it adopted the euro. It could literally run out of money, and everyone knew it. That’s why it couldn’t keep the bond vigilantes at bay. The term bond vigilantes refers to the power of financial markets (or, more accurately, investors in financial markets) to force sharp movements in the price of a financial asset like government bonds so that the interest rate swings unexpectedly. Ultimately, the European Central Bank did keep the vigilantes at bay, but not without helping to impose painful austerity on the Greek people.8 By 2010, many European countries, including Greece, were ensnared in a full-blown debt crisis.

Statistically, the federal funds futures market is where the most accurate predictions are made.) This gives central banks reasonably strong influence over long-term rates. To exercise even stronger control, central banks can effectively set rates across the yield curve, as Japan has done. 8. The term bond vigilantes refers to the power of financial markets (or, more accurately, investors in financial markets) to force sharp movements in the price of a financial asset like government bonds so that the interest rate swings unexpectedly. Ultimately, the European Central Bank did keep the vigilantes at bay, but not without imposing painful austerity on the Greek people.


pages: 183 words: 17,571

Broken Markets: A User's Guide to the Post-Finance Economy by Kevin Mellyn

banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bond market vigilante , Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, compensation consultant, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, disintermediation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, information asymmetry, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mobile money, Money creation, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Coase, Savings and loan crisis, seigniorage, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the payments system, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, underbanked, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Of course, there are limits to this neat trick of impoverishing the thrifty to feed the government and its dependents by reducing the value and income of savings. Inflation often breaks out suddenly with little or no warning, and can run unchecked as it did in the 1970s during the so-called Great Inflation that wiped out most of the value of American savings in a few years. Then, the so-called bond vigilantes simply refused to buy government debt on the terms offered. Eventually, Regulation Q, which capped interest rates, was abolished as savers abandoned the banking system, and the heroic actions of Paul 81 82 Chapter 4 | Life After Finance Volcker broke the back of inflation by inducing a deep and painful recession.

He did that by jacking rates up as high as 20 percent.When the smoke cleared, perhaps as much as 70 percent of the wealth of savers and investors had been liquidated. Right now, there are voices saying that a little more inflation would be a good thing for the economy, but perhaps because financial repression is firmly in place there is no sign of bond vigilantes riding to the rescue. This would all be bad enough, but the trajectory of public debt is pointing skyward in the developed world. Consider the McKinsey Global Institute analysis “Debt and Deleveraging: The Global Credit Bubble and Its Economic Consequences” (January 2010), as updated in 2011.


pages: 484 words: 136,735

Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis by Anatole Kaletsky

"Robert Solow", bank run, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, bond market vigilante , bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, eat what you kill, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, foreign exchange controls, full employment, George Akerlof, global rebalancing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Modern Monetary Theory, Money creation, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

These double-dip recessions were also attributable to policy changes—generally big fiscal tightening not compensated by looser monetary policy. 2 The rate on long-term bonds is arguably even more important than the overnight rate, and many financiers believe this to be the central bankers’ Achilles heel. Bond rates, unlike short rates, are set by private investors in a competitive market. These investors are supposedly focused on the risks of inflation and government bankruptcy. They are often called “bond market vigilantes” because they can override the decisions of bureaucrats and take ultimate control over financial conditions. These issues are discussed further on pages 215-218 when we consider inflation and currency depreciation. In trying to work out who actually controls long-term interest rates, both theory and experience suggest that the overnight rate set by the central bank is more important than bond marker sentiment.

In trying to work out who actually controls long-term interest rates, both theory and experience suggest that the overnight rate set by the central bank is more important than bond marker sentiment. This was spectacularly confirmed in December 2008, when the Fed’s decision to print and push overnight rates down to zero was widely denounced as an inflationary debasement of the dollar, but Treasury bond yields, instead of rising as the bond-market vigilantes had expected, dropped almost immediately from 3.9 percent to 2.1 percent. For a remarkably frank admission by one of the world’s top monetary theorists of the astonishing confusion in academic economics about the respective roles of central banks and private investors in setting short-term and long-term rates, see Ben Friedman, “What We Still Don’t Know about Monetary and Fiscal Policy,” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 2 (2007). 3 The exceptional size of the output gap is partly a result of unusually deep recessions in every major economy and partly due to the fact that these recessions occurred at the same time.


pages: 182 words: 53,802

The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of Banks by Ann Pettifor

Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, bond market vigilante , borderless world, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clean water, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, interest rate derivative, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mobile money, Money creation, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, Post-Keynesian economics, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, The Chicago School, the market place, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, too big to fail

Western Europe’s return to prosperity was also achieved without capital account convertibility … In short, when we penetrate the fog of implausible assertions that surrounds the case for free capital mobility we realize that the idea and the ideology of free trade and its benefits … have been used to bamboozle us into celebrating the new world of trillions of dollars moving daily in a borderless world.12 Just as a well-managed banking system ends society’s dependence on robber barons at home, so should a well-developed and sound banking system end society’s and the economy’s reliance on international, mobile capital. With a managed domestic banking system, operated in the interests of both industry and labour, then government, industry and labour need not depend on, or fear, ‘bond vigilantes’ or ‘global capital markets’. Our society’s subjection to the predations of these markets is a tragedy entirely of our own making. We, or at least our elected representatives and public authorities, including central bankers, allowed the capital mobility genie to escape from the bottle of domestic regulation.


pages: 253 words: 79,214

The Money Machine: How the City Works by Philip Coggan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, algorithmic trading, asset-backed security, Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bond market vigilante , bonus culture, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, carried interest, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, endowment effect, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, foreign exchange controls, Hyman Minsky, index fund, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, James Carville said: "I would like to be reincarnated as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.", joint-stock company, labour market flexibility, large denomination, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, merger arbitrage, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, pattern recognition, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, technology bubble, time value of money, too big to fail, tulip mania, Washington Consensus, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

Governments duly cut back, albeit with the help of some dodgy accounting tricks. This attention to deficits owes something to a general realization by politicians that running up debts on the never-never is a short-sighted strategy. Gradually, interest payments on previous debts consume an increasing proportion of the annual budget. And the rise of the so-called ‘bond market vigilantes’ has also made it more difficult for profligate governments. Countries have to raise money from the international markets and in these days of free capital flows, investors will be quick to sell the government bonds of a nation if it suspects its finances are deteriorating. That will increase the cost of raising new money and make the government’s finances even worse.


pages: 225 words: 11,355

Financial Market Meltdown: Everything You Need to Know to Understand and Survive the Global Credit Crisis by Kevin Mellyn

asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, bond market vigilante , bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business cycle, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, foreign exchange controls, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, global reserve currency, Home mortgage interest deduction, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, long peace, margin call, market clearing, mass immigration, Money creation, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, pattern recognition, pension reform, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, pushing on a string, reserve currency, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, tail risk, The Great Moderation, the new new thing, the payments system, too big to fail, value at risk, very high income, War on Poverty, Y2K, yield curve

The second creates inflation—too many dollars chasing too little stuff—which erodes the real value of the income received from the coupon. At some point, as happened in the United States during the 1970s, investors will stop buying ‘‘risk-free’’ government bonds. Bond investors hate to fund runaway government spending. This makes those so-called bond vigilantes, who keep a hawk’s eye on government spending and loose money, very powerful. Governments that can’t borrow except at crushing interest rates are in real trouble. Bond Yields If it is working well, the bond market sets all other interest rates. This means that for any ‘‘tenor’’—the length of time the government wants the money—what it is required to pay is a benchmark against which all other interest rates are pegged.


pages: 245 words: 75,397

Fed Up!: Success, Excess and Crisis Through the Eyes of a Hedge Fund Macro Trader by Colin Lancaster

Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, always be closing, asset-backed security, beat the dealer, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, bond market vigilante , Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy the rumour, sell the news, Carmen Reinhart, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, collateralized debt obligation, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, Edward Thorp, family office, fiat currency, fixed income, Flash crash, global pandemic, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, index arbitrage, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, margin call, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Modern Monetary Theory, moral hazard, National Debt Clock, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Northern Rock, oil shock, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sharpe ratio, short selling, statistical arbitrage, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, two and twenty, value at risk, WeWork, yield curve, zero-sum game

A wave of new debt will be hitting the markets shortly. Despite the extreme risk aversion and a historic repricing in stocks and credit, ten-year yields are climbing. Holy hell. This either means that risk parity funds are unwinding, or maybe, just maybe, folks are thinking about the fiscal dimensions of this mess. The last time the bond vigilantes had any relevance was eight years ago during the European crisis. This was when fiscal and budgetary concerns had a brief but disruptive day in the sun. They’ve since been relegated to the far stretches of the market discourse as heads of state promised and delivered more spending, central banks unleashed their alphabet soups of stimulus, and the world settled into this new-normal paradigm.


pages: 355 words: 92,571

Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets by John Plender

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, bond market vigilante , bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, diversification, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Carville said: "I would like to be reincarnated as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.", James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, money market fund, moral hazard, moveable type in China, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Veblen good, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

., mid-eighteenth-century) times because it would be nullified by bankers’ foreign exchange operations and arbitrage – that is, bankers had learned to compare and assess a currency against competing currencies from around the world and could use bills of exchange rather than currency to finance trade. It is an excitingly modern thought in that Montesquieu anticipates twentieth-century public choice theory’s emphasis on the benefits of market constraints on self-serving politicians’ and bureaucrats’ freedom of action. It also looks forward to the activities of so-called bond market vigilantes, modern institutional investors such as pension funds, insurance companies and hedge funds that shun government debt markets and so force up interest rates when they fear policymakers will resort to inflation by printing money and monetising debt. Yet the underlying idea is still very much of its time in the conclusion Montesquieu draws from it relating to the workings of human passions and interests: ‘And it is fortunate for men to be in a situation in which, though their passions may prompt them to be wicked [méchants], they have nevertheless an interest in not being so.’


pages: 324 words: 90,253

When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence by Stephen D. King

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Basel III, Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bond market vigilante , British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, congestion charging, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, endowment effect, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, loss aversion, market clearing, mass immigration, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, price mechanism, price stability, quantitative easing, railway mania, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk free rate, Savings and loan crisis, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, technology bubble, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population

Wilful manipulation of government bond yields also means that the anchor for all asset values is slowly corroding. That surely means that capital will increasingly be at risk of being misallocated as a result of mispricing within financial markets, undermining long-term growth prospects. Most obviously, quantitative easing has allowed governments to avoid being penalized by the so-called bond market vigilantes. We have ended up with both incredibly low interest rates and incredibly large amounts of government debt. In the modern era, only Japan has previously managed to pull off that trick. Yet its economy has gone from one disappointment to the next. LIVING WITH POLICY PAINKILLERS LONG TERM As with Vicodin, excessive use of policy painkillers may eventually prove dangerously addictive.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth Is Unattainable and the Global Economy Is in Peril by Satyajit Das

"Robert Solow", 9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, salary depends on his not understanding it, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Current levels of government debt are only sustainable if growth returns quickly to high levels. Given that recent economic growth has been debt-fueled, reduction in credit growth slows economic activity, making the borrowings unsustainable, feeding a deadly negative-feedback loop. As the global economy stagnated, weak countries were targeted by bond vigilantes, making it difficult to finance and forcing up their financing costs. Nations were forced to implement austerity programs, cutting spending and increasing taxes to stabilize public finances and reduce debt, trapping them in recessions or low growth, which only aggravated the problems. With the basic strategy ineffective, the focus shifted to keeping interest rates near zero and creating inflation to increase nominal GDP, that is, unadjusted for price increases.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, bond market vigilante , business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

Richburg, “Getting Chinese to Stop Saving and Start Spending Is a Hard Sell,” Washington Post, July 5, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/getting-chinese-to-stop-saving-and-start-spending-is-a-hard-sell/2012/07/04/gJQAc7P6OW_story_1.html, and “China’s Savings Rate World’s Highest,” China People’s Daily, November 30, 2012, http://english.people.com.cn/90778/8040481.html. 34. Mike Riddell, “China’s Investment/GDP Ratio Soars to a Totally Unsustainable 54.4%. Be Afraid,” Bond Vigilantes, January 14, 2014, http://www.bondvigilantes.com/blog/2014/01/24/chinas-investmentgdp-ratio-soars-to-a-totally-unsustainable-54–4-be-afraid/. 35. Dexter Robert, “Expect China Deposit Rate Liberalization Within Two Years, Says Central Bank Head,” Bloomberg Businessweek, March 11, 2014, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014–03–11/china-deposit-rate-liberalization-within-two-years-says-head-of-chinas-central-bank. 36.


pages: 586 words: 159,901

Wall Street: How It Works And for Whom by Doug Henwood

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bond market vigilante , borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy the rumour, sell the news, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, central bank independence, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, disinformation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental subject, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Irwin Jacobs, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, labor-force participation, late capitalism, law of one price, liberal capitalism, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, London Interbank Offered Rate, Louis Bachelier, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-Keynesian economics, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, publication bias, Ralph Nader, random walk, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Savings and loan crisis, selection bias, shareholder value, short selling, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

This story may be a plant, an attempt to calm the markets through leaking; Bradsher is a reporter who has had no trouble serving as a frictionless conduit for administration or Fed propaganda. But it does fit with events; challenging the Wall Street demand for slower growth would be political dynamite — just the kind of fight a not-feared-on-Wall-Street Democrat would shy away from. The bond-market vigilantes have won. Postscript. This book is being prepared for publication two-and-a-half years after that diary was written. Growth continued to be strong for the rest of ENSEMBLE 1994, consistently surprising Wall Street, which was touting an imminent slowdown, and the Fed tightened several more times. 1994 turned out to be the bond market's worst year in modern history, and perhaps ever; higher U.S. interest rates helped throw Mexico into crisis.


pages: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, bond market vigilante , Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, independent contractor, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, Modern Monetary Theory, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, you are the product, zero-sum game

If capital was free to move, it could be invested in the most profitable opportunities around the world, and this would improve economic growth in the long term. Investors would also act as a source of discipline on spendthrift governments, demanding higher yields before lending them money. Politicians began to fear the “bond market vigilantes”. The asset management industry matured in this era. Fund managers look after the money of individuals and institutions, and offer the benefits of diversification. By pooling assets, they can spread their portfolios across a wide variety of securities and reduce the risk that any one investment goes wrong.


pages: 444 words: 151,136

Endless Money: The Moral Hazards of Socialism by William Baker, Addison Wiggin

Andy Kessler, asset allocation, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bond market vigilante , Branko Milanovic, break the buck, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, commoditize, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, debt deflation, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, foreign exchange controls, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, housing crisis, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, McMansion, mega-rich, Money creation, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, naked short selling, negative equity, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, reserve currency, risk free rate, riskless arbitrage, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, school vouchers, seigniorage, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, stocks for the long run, Tax Reform Act of 1986, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, time value of money, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra, young professional

Although having DNA similar to pathogens seen in wartime debt buildups, this season’s strain encoded itself with the pattern of socialism: entitlements, bloated and intrusive government, and punitive taxation exclusively directed at the top brackets. Its vector of transmission is fiat currency. Our culture leaves the body politic and the investment community with no antibodies to recognize this threat. In earlier eras such as the 1980s, the bond vigilantes watched the money supply and government outlays closely. At the turn of the century, leading bankers looked over their shoulder for signs of the next wave of panic from others who might have lent speculatively, and they kept their balance sheets in good shape for that rainy day. Today, those who took defensive action through short selling or exchanging their money for commodities were instead pilloried in public hearings and damned for being speculators.


pages: 526 words: 160,601

A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America by Bruce Cannon Gibney

1960s counterculture, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate personhood, Corrections Corporation of America, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, equal pay for equal work, failed state, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Carville said: "I would like to be reincarnated as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.", Jane Jacobs, Kitchen Debate, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Menlo Park, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Savings and loan crisis, school choice, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Snapchat, source of truth, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

That the bond market holds great power is no secret to either Wall Street or the Treasury Department, and shouldn’t be to politicians. After all, it is the bond market—the collection of all buyers, individuals, banks, other nations, etc.—that supplies money in the first place. When disappointed, “bond market vigilantes” have punished the Treasury market. James Carville, Bill Clinton’s chief political operative, found himself entirely surprised by the power of the bond market and once expressed a desire to be reincarnated not as the “president or the pope or a .400 baseball hitter… but as the bond market.”36 Vigilante justice is inflicted through higher interest rates, and this requires a quick refresher on bonds.


pages: 662 words: 180,546

Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown by Philip Mirowski

"Robert Solow", Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, blue-collar work, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, constrained optimization, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deindustrialization, disinformation, do-ocracy, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, full employment, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, incomplete markets, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, loose coupling, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, Ponzi scheme, Post-Keynesian economics, precariat, prediction markets, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, random walk, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, savings glut, school choice, sealed-bid auction, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, tail risk, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Myth of the Rational Market, the scientific method, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, working poor

As the Manchester CRESC group observed, “Leverage was the driving force behind the privatization of gains and the socialization of losses.”36 * * * Figure 6.2: European Public and Private Debt, 2000–2010 * * * * * * Source: Bank for International Settlements Alternatively, one might discern in its vaulting ambition the financial logic of the Structured Investment Vehicle used to hide crushing liabilities, only now being imposed on the state itself. In the meantime, as bond vigilantes conduct their attacks and government insolvency looms, states are forced by neoliberal parties and international agencies to engage in myriad forms of “austerity,” which include fire sales of viable legacy state assets and crude attempts to lower wages and renege on social insurance schemes. Indeed, this narrative that the crisis is all the fault of the government conforms so faithfully to the standard neoliberal script, trumpeted relentlessly from the think-tank shell of the Russian doll since early in the crisis, that it is hard to imagine that the tactical political economy of market-maker of last resort was not engineered to conjure this outcome.


pages: 1,088 words: 228,743

Expected Returns: An Investor's Guide to Harvesting Market Rewards by Antti Ilmanen

Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, backtesting, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, debt deflation, deglobalization, delta neutral, demand response, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, dividend-yielding stocks, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, framing effect, frictionless, frictionless market, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, Google Earth, high net worth, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, income inequality, incomplete markets, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, law of one price, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market friction, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, mental accounting, merger arbitrage, mittelstand, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, negative equity, New Journalism, oil shock, p-value, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price stability, principal–agent problem, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk free rate, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, riskless arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, savings glut, selection bias, Sharpe ratio, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stochastic volatility, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, systematic trading, tail risk, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, volatility arbitrage, volatility smile, working-age population, Y2K, yield curve, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

• The central bank is the backstop that can resist or accommodate inflationary pressures. Improved central bank credibility was one major reason for anchoring long-term inflation expectations. We simply do not know what it takes to unmoor those expectations, what it takes to get the genie back in the bottle if this happens, and if the Fed has the stomach for it. Bond vigilantes worry about the Fed’s priorities and its independence. Even if the unmooring of inflation expectations to the upside is scary, the impact of global deflation, if it occurs, is even worse. Debt deflation and hyperinflation are the worst destroyers of wealth. Most policymakers now fear the former more than the latter, which makes inflation (though not hyperinflation) the more likely medium-term outcome.


pages: 1,242 words: 317,903

The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan by Sebastian Mallaby

"Robert Solow", airline deregulation, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, balance sheet recession, bank run, barriers to entry, Bear Stearns, Bear Stearns, Benoit Mandelbrot, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, business cycle, central bank independence, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency peg, energy security, equity premium, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, full employment, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, James Carville said: "I would like to be reincarnated as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.", Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Money creation, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nixon shock, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Northern Rock, paper trading, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Savings and loan crisis, savings glut, secular stagnation, short selling, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, yield curve, zero-sum game

On December 18, 1980, Greenspan dined with Stockman and several senior Republicans at the Century Club in Manhattan. Stockman had spent the day trying to sell Reaganomics to Wall Street, and had met with a skeptical reception. Spooked by the supply-siders, investors anticipated big deficits; to compensate for the consequent inflation, they were driving up interest rates on bonds. Stockman promised the bond vigilantes that Reagan’s tax reduction would be offset by commensurate reductions in spending. “The tax cut has to be earned through the sweat of the politicians,” he promised.6 The reaction from the other diners at the Century Club showed what Stockman was up against. “The Street’s delirious!” snarled Jude Wanniski, one of Jack Kemp’s tax-cutting allies.