Duncan’s Economic Blog

Guido Wrong, shock.

Posted in Uncategorized by duncanseconomicblog on March 31, 2009

Guido has a great story today. He notes that the Bank of England Pension Fund has moved 70% of it’s assets into inflation linked gilts, a bet on inflation. As he puts it:

Hold on, if deflation is (as the political elite and their client media commentators claim) the big threat, why is the Bank of England’s pension fund betting 3/5 of the £2.2 billion pot on hedging against inflation? This is their personal pension fund. Money talks.

It’s a shame he didn’t read the report itself.

The Trustee received formal notice in February 2007 of the proposed termination of the in-house investment management services provided by the Bank under the existing Investment Management and Custody Agreement.

In other words, the Bank no longer manages it’s own fund.

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Surgeon Blamed After Smoker’s Lung Cancer Death…

Posted in Uncategorized by duncanseconomicblog on March 31, 2009

Meanwhile; ‘FSA faces heat over bail-out of Dunfermline’.

We can, and should, debate at length the terms Nationwide is getting, what the failure of a mutual says about ownership structure and indeed why the FSA wasn’t more on top of this.

But to focus on the ‘bailout’ totally ignores the key question – what on Earth were management up to? Building an £800mn ‘toxic’ loan book from a smallish mutual in Scotland? Buying sub-prime assets from GMAC and Lehman’s?

In related news Barclays have turned down taking part in the Government’s asset protection schme. Good for them. I hope they are right and they don’t need the insurance. I hope Soc Gen are wrong and they don’t actually have problems. I hope they are selling Barclays Global Investors because they don’t want it anymore, rather than because they need the money. I hope their $45.7 trillion nominal derivative book is all fine.

Because if there are any problems and it turns out management have rejected help becuase they think restrictions on pay and bonus are too a high a price to pay, then I’m going to be very angry. Especially as the press will probably report ‘FSA blamed after Stress Tests on Barclays Inaccurate’.