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Bill Blain

ill Blain is a published author on financial markets, contributor and editor of the Morning Porridge. He is a well-known market commentor, and a practicing investment banker in the alternative private debt and equity sector. His day job combines his role as Strategist for Shard Capital, the leading investment management firm, and heading the firm’s Alternatives Group – financing Private debt and equity deals, and direct lending transactions. His clients include sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, insurance and pension managers, credit funds and family offices.

Bonds Tell Truth, but the Market is Broken

The great Autumnal Bond Funding Season is upon us, but the looming taper of Central Bank Asset Purchase Schemes could well expose just how broken and dysfunctional bond markets have become. Markets always over-react to stress and panics, but when markets struggle with price discovery and liquidity the coming sell off could be magnified, which means a great buying opportunity in bonds may be coming!

ESG – Time for a Complete Rethink

ESG is a marvellous concept appallingly executed. To understand how it’s gone wrong I recommend Tariq Fancy’s rant about his time as Sustainability CIO at Blackrock. To figure out how we actually deliver climate-change mitigation, social amelioration and better corporate governance, and avoid these lofty concepts being hijacked and suborned by business and finance interests, we need to replace the carrot of ESG with the stick of Carbon Taxes and Corporate Legislation. Time to get real and dispense with ESG claptrap.

Inflation, Covid, Central Banks and Politics – about half the things to really worry about…

As markets shake off their summer slumbers, what should we be worrying about? Lots..! From real vs transitory inflation arguments, the long-term economic consequences of Covid, the future for Central Banking unable to unravel its Gordian knot of monetary experimentation, and the prospects for rising political instability in the US and Europe.

Even as China’s markets wobble, they will view The Afghan Skedaddle as an opportunity to pressure the US.  

China’s markets are under pressure from the widening Chinese Communist Party’s regulatory crackdown – which is likely as much about imposing party discipline and control as much as it was ever about consumer protection. But as investors fret about crashing China stocks, rising global uncertainty and the destabilisation caused by the Afghan debacle, the Chinese are likely to up the pressure and further test a distracted US administration. “Interesting times” lie ahead for global markets as the tension threatens to escalate.