Mohamed El-Erian’s The Only Game in Town

The US stock market has just endured its worst start to a year on record. The fear is that the US may be close to recession, with baleful consequences for the global economy – and still worse, that the world’s policy-makers are out of ammo with which to respond.

What better moment could there be for a book subtitled “Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse”? And who better to write it than Mohamed El-Erian – the man who captured the essence of the present era of low growth, low inflation and low investment returns better than anyone else with his memorable concept of the “New Normal”?

I reviewed Mohamed El-Erian’s new book The Only Game in Town in the Financial Times on January 23, 2016.  You can read the review here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The markets’ New Year blues

This year’s January sales seem to have extended to the world’s stock markets. A week in to 2016, you could buy the FTSE for 6 per cent less than on New Year’s Eve. It is the worst start to the year in at least two decades.

What is behind these New Year blues?  My latest Real Money column in the New Statesman discusses the answers given by Martin Taylor, one of the most successful investors of the past two decades, as he decided to close his Nevsky Fund this month.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How much finance do we really need?

That is the question at the heart of two books recently published by two of Britain’s leading economists: John Kay’s Other People’s Money and Adair Turner’s Between Debt and the Devil.

I reviewed both books in the November 27, 2015 issue of the New Statesman.  You can read my review here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Do not discount a run on sterling

Is sterling riding for a fall?  The UK’s current account deficit is certainly worryingly large.

But the real reason for sterling’s vulnerability lies not in the current account deficit itself but in its cause.  Exploring what that is leads to a less conventional perspective on currency valuation, but one that is vitally important in today’s financially globalised world.

You can read more in the Markets Insight column I published in the Financial Times on October 28, 2015.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Gillian Tett’s The Silo Effect

Specialisation improves efficiency – but it also leads to tunnel vision and blind spots.  This paradox at the heart of modern life, and how to resolve it, are the topics of Gillian Tett’s new book The Silo Effect.

I reviewed The Silo Effect in the August 29-30, 2015 edition of the Financial Times.  You can read my review here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Stumbling stock markets: the toils of perversity

The steep and synchronised falls in the world’s main stock markets on Monday, August 24, 2015 caught investors by surprise.  Yet in light of the disappointing economic fundamentals of the past few years, the real question is perhaps not why markets stumbled but why asset prices were so high in the first place.

The answer to that question is simple – but ultimately paradoxical.  You can read what it is in my latest Real Money column in the New Statesman.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Greece and the Future of the International Economic Order

What is really at issue in the Greek crisis, and what do the latest developments mean for Greece, Europe, and the rest of the world?

I offer some answers to these questions in the July 9, 2015 issue of the New Statesman.

You can read the article here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized