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Comrade Corbyn capital markets: surprisingly enriching?

Super Sterling
By Craig McGlashan
10 Dec 2019

Voters go to the polls on Thursday to pick the next UK government, with the outside possibility of a far left Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government keeping capital markets bankers awake at night. But the return of Marxism might hold some silver linings for them.

Of course, some of Labour’s policies, such as higher income taxes, might not be too palatable for the City’s denizens. 

This is missing the biggest picture, however. Even factoring in the extra visits from the taxman, bankers could find themselves wealthier — if not, certainly busier — under a Corbyn government.

Take the Gilts market. Labour’s borrowing plans will mean that Gilt sales will need to increase by 1,000,000% over the next five years, according to the most Conservative of estimates.

All of that will have to be sold somehow. That means fees galore for banks on UK syndications — and every bank should get a shot, given the number of deals that will be hitting screens. At least until the subject of sovereign debt sustainability rears its ugly, boring head again. 

But it’s not just those in the Gilt market that will be celebrating.

Over at the Bank of England, they’ll be cutting rates faster than you can say “centralisation of the means of production and socialisation of labour at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument”.

Under that monetary regime, all and sundry from across the UK’s corporate issuer base will be flooding the market to raise cash at super-cheap rates, meaning plenty of business for corporate DCM and syndicated loans bankers alike. That is, of course, if the companies haven’t been nationalised first.

Some might say that all this will mean a return to 1970s Britain — a place of soaring inflation, rubbish piling up in the streets and horrendous fashion. But such thinking fails to grasp the opportunities at hand.

Bankers of the UK, unite! You have nothing to lose but your bonuses and BA gold cards...

By Craig McGlashan
10 Dec 2019