British and US interests diverge?

Ben Bernanke’s comments that the Fed is considering scaling back and ultimately ceasing all new QE, by summer 2014, have had a dramatic impact on both equity and bond markets. The end of ‘sugar rush,’ if end it is to be, has hit investors hard with 10 year gilts moving out by 60bp and the FTSE 100 giving up virtually all its gains since the start of the year. This note looks at the implications of Bernanke’s statement and argues what is ‘Good for America’ is unlikely to be copied here. Please contact us for a copy of the report.

Will a rise in gilt yields scupper equities (and much else also)?

The last couple of weeks have seen renewed turbulence in markets. Bond yields, particularly at the long end, have moved out sharply and this, in our view, has been the primary factor behind the FTSE retreat. The maintenance of low sovereign bond yields seems to us as critical to Central Bank thinking and we anticipate a resumption of the ‘monetary put’ if bond yields expand much further. We view the bond move as turbulence rather than a fundamental shift in the curve.

It’s Getting Better? Upgrades, markets and risk

Walbrook marginally upgraded 2014 UK GPD and beyond today to 0.8% in 2013 (unchanged) 1.2% in 2014 (up 0.5%) and 1.5% in 2015 to 2017 (up 1.5%) based on anticipated slightly higher consumer leverage and the impact of monetary policy of real assets, notably real estate. Walbrook maintains the view that the underlying imbalances remain and that that new bubbles are being created as a result of the extremity of policy. The full note is available at

Walbrook at Espirito Santo

Walbrook, together with Steve Baker MP, spoke to clients of the Portuguese Investment Bank Espirito Santo at a Breakfast Conference outlining how investors should position themselves in an age of 'monetary activism.' The debate focused around the embedded nature of fiscal deficits, especially in the UK and Europe, and the probable response of first choice, particularly in the UK, monetary activism.' A more positive case was made for the US economy where it was argued investors should bias equity portfolios together with a modest 'risk on' sector stance.