Credit Matters

by Gary Jenkins

Credit Matters was a weekly column that ran in EuroWeek and then GlobalCapital for five years until August 2014, written by credit analyst Gary Jenkins.

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  • A philosophy for living from a Buddhist turned banker

    Buddhist monk and former investment banker Michael Dobbs-Higginson has written a rip-roaring account of an astonishing life that has included success and failure in equal measures. Now facing terminal illness he uses this book to offer lessons on running a balanced life

    • 13 Oct 2017
  • Return to Capital in the Twenty-First Century

    How can you follow the biggest economic blockbuster of the decade? Gary Jenkins thinks the sequel should tackle some unfinished business.

    • 14 Aug 2014
  • Twin Peaks and Piketty in the Twenty-First Century

    Gary Jenkins gets stuck into the least read economics blockbuster of the year, and finds it has much in common with Twin Peaks.

    • 07 Aug 2014
  • The central banker who cried wolf

    A parent has many roles when it comes to bringing up their children and it is fair to say that the relationship changes with time. Mine are at the age where I am becoming a taxi driver who pays them cash for the privilege of dropping them off somewhere. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still try and teach them valuable life lessons, or as they put it "bore us to death by stating the obvious" and often that means telling little stories to try and subtly illustrate a point.

    • 10 Jul 2014
  • Why the dinosaurs became extinct

    Gary Jenkins answers the burning question of the last 65m years – why the dinosaurs went extinct, and what humans have to protect us that they didn’t.

    • 25 Jun 2014
  • Draghi United 1 - 0 United States

    The Europeans look set to dominate in the weeks to come, while the US gets pounded. Gary Jenkins wonders if there's really a level playing field for international competition on this level.

    • 11 Jun 2014
  • The Urge to Converge

    European government bonds look pricey, but converging spreads make more sense than ever before. Gary Jenkins casts his mind back to the heady early days of the euro, and a world before bail-outs.

    • 03 Jun 2014
  • Credit Matters: So what is Amazon actually worth?

    In a world where the NFL can measure every aspect of future sporting skill, how come the capital markets lag so far behind? Gary Jenkins asks how you can value a company when all you have is 10 years of skinny profits and future potential to go on.

    • 22 May 2014
  • Credit Matters: What does Mr Draghi do now?

    It isn’t easy being a central banker. Pressure from international organizations, a sceptical market, and a toolkit that’s running out of tools. Gary Jenkins, returning to his column after a year off watching rugby, ponders the options.

    • 14 May 2014
  • Lost in the emotion of it all

    Gary Jenkins is back from Australia and not a moment too soon. It was all getting a bit emotional Down Under.

    • 18 Oct 2013
  • Hair today, gone tomorrow

    Remember when hair was big and everyone wanted to be an investment banker? A classic 1980s film takes Gary Jenkins back to his salad days — when people wanted to know what a credit analyst thought.

    • 17 May 2013
  • Apples and bears

    A $50bn order book can’t be wrong, right? While getting fit in case he gets a last-minute call-up to the Lions tour, Gary Jenkins wonders if investors have been able to separate the credit reality from Apple’s lovely, shiny gadgets.

    • 03 May 2013
  • Three’s a crowd

    With so many macro calamities at once, it can be hard to know how to prioritise. But the power of three is compelling, and Gary Jenkins thinks he has identified the ones that need the most attention.

    • 19 Apr 2013
  • A one-off, again

    Events in Cyprus have shown that the eurozone is very far from breaking the link between a sovereign and its banks. Gary Jenkins worries that populations are running out of places to put their money.

    • 28 Mar 2013
  • Rucking Cyprus

    Eurozone finance ministers took a big gamble with one of the bloc’s smallest members, but the whole affair has Gary Jenkins shaking his head.

    • 22 Mar 2013
  • Right said Fed

    There are central banks and there are central banks. The skill, according to Gary Jenkins, is being able to spot which is which.

    • 08 Mar 2013
  • Pick a card

    Gary Jenkins has been reminiscing. The grizzled credit analyst remembers the days of classic schoolboy games, and wonders how today’s heroes of the financial markets might fit in.

    • 22 Feb 2013
  • Keynes, trains and Nimbys

    A protest meeting has provided Gary Jenkins with the backdrop for an interesting discussion of economic theory. His memory may be playing tricks on him, though, owing to a high speed collision with an unexpected flying object...

    • 08 Feb 2013
  • Drop emotion for analysis? Yes we can

    Analysis will surely produce more accurate predictions than emotion, writes Gary Jenkins, whether the topic for discussion is politics or investment.

    • 09 Nov 2012
  • Reputation lost? Who cares?

    In business, as in life, reputation is everything. Or is it? The Moody’s apparent change of view on a Spanish downgrade makes it harder now to believe anything a rating agency says, argues Gary Jenkins. But he wonders whether that matters anymore.

    • 19 Oct 2012
  • The golf that divides us

    After all the worry, the world was treated to an awe-inspiring display of European unity last weekend — although inevitably it was Germany that had to save the day. Gary Jenkins wonders if the experience could provide lessons for other crises.

    • 05 Oct 2012
  • Draghi wins gold — and a bit of time

    It has been a glorious year of sport, but a less glorious one for the eurozone. Gary Jenkins finds there is one stand-out candidate for any accolades that might be going, but wonders what his legacy might be.

    • 14 Sep 2012
  • Debt — the name of the game

    Negotiation skills, economic knowledge and ruthlessness — if the eurozone sovereign debt crisis was played out on a board game, Gary Jenkins reckons he would have all the tools he’d need to win.

    • 03 Aug 2012
  • Forget Maria — how do you solve a problem like the banking sector?

    The Libor scandal raises scores of questions about the state of the banking industry and its regulatory watchdogs. But above all it has highlighted the futility of any attempt to grasp the full mechanics of complex modern banks. Gary Jenkins reckons the only solution is a total reimagining of what the sector should look like.

    • 20 Jul 2012
  • The ratings business: it’s all relative

    After the subprime crisis blew a hole in people’s reliance on credit ratings, the agencies that supply them are regularly vilified. That’s hardly surprising, writes Gary Jenkins, although markets would do well to remember what ratings are intended to show.

    • 29 Jun 2012
  • Caution: men at work

    Each effort to tackle the European sovereign debt crisis provides more evidence of a rushed attempt to do the bare minimum. Gary Jenkins sees parallels with men’s approach to housework, and wonders if blokes are the reason why the eurozone’s rescue vehicles are about as fit for purpose as his kitchen shelves.

    • 15 Jun 2012
  • Banking: it’s a funny old game

    Does it matter how you win or lose at football? Judging by the reaction to Chelsea’s recent victory, it would appear not. But what about banks? Gary Jenkins reckons that the harsh words being heaped on JP Morgan are evidence that people care more about how banks lose money than how much of it they lose.

    • 25 May 2012
  • Growth vs Austerity: when two tribes go to war

    Analysts have been arguing over the relative merits of growth and austerity since the Eurozone sovereign crisis began. Most politicians, however, have stayed rooted in an austerity consensus. As Gary Jenkins writes, that is now breaking down.

    • 11 May 2012
  • Growth... the final frontier

    Intrepid analyst Gary Jenkins is on a Star Trek-inspired quest, in search of Spock-like logic behind central bank actions during the various financial crises that have beset the world since 2007. He wonders what will happen when people start to worry that the fixes have done nothing for growth.

    • 23 Mar 2012
  • Thank Greece it’s Friday

    As holders of Greek debt make their final decision on whether to sign up to a deal that will lose them a fortune but might just stave off the country’s default, Gary Jenkins mulls over the change in the markets that has seen all the important stuff happen at the end of the week. He finds that nothing is certain but debt and deadlines.

    • 09 Mar 2012
  • Exposed! The real Greek debt sustainability analysis

    With the second Greek bail-out dominating the week’s events, intrepid analyst Gary Jenkins has stumbled upon a startling document emanating from the Troika – and even more intriguing than the one that has been circulating this week.

    • 24 Feb 2012
  • Third down and long for the EU

    Pampered, overpaid and prone to outbursts of emotion — top footballers clearly have nothing in common with those responsible for the smooth running of the Eurozone. But as Gary Jenkins writes, there may be a thing or two that sport might teach the eurocrats.

    • 03 Feb 2012
  • Michelangelo and markets

    Gary Jenkins thinks he has discovered a new art form, something that combines the grace of Michelangelo and the surrealism and shock of Picasso and which will hold the fascination of any aficionado of the bond market.

    • 13 Jan 2012
  • They think it’s all over

    While the eurozone lurches from one crisis of confidence to another, the cliché of what happens in desperate times is holding true. Footballers are being mobilised to steady the bond markets. As Gary Jenkins writes, they probably can’t do much worse than policymakers.

    • 02 Dec 2011
  • France’s rating confusion: lone gunman or shadowy plot?

    With markets as volatile as they are and political leaders falling like ninepins, it’s easy to get a bit paranoid. S&P’s blunder over its rating of France is the latest combustible element to have been thrown on to the fire. But as Gary Jenkins writes, events might not always be what they seem.

    • 18 Nov 2011
  • Credit Matters: Too much of a bad thing

    Far from getting better, the eurozone crisis is getting worse with every make-or-break summit. Gary Jenkins finds that the latest plan is nothing more than a wishlist and worries for the future of mankind if a way cannot be found to interest private investors in Spanish and Italian debt.

    • 04 Nov 2011
  • Credit Matters: Zen and the art of credit analysis

    The idea that instead of buying bonds directly the EFSF provides a partial guarantee on new issuance just doesn’t stack up. More meditation is needed — and quickly — says Gary Jenkins.

    • 21 Oct 2011
  • The best laid plans of Merkel and men...

    The eurozone’s political leaders don’t seem to have much of a plan to deal with the crisis. Or if they do, they are keeping pretty quiet about it. Gary Jenkins wonders what they can throw together in the next few weeks.

    • 14 Oct 2011
  • Credit Matters: Making a scene — when Gary met Ben

    Who says romance is dead? The US Federal Reserve’s latest attempt to get the economy moving, ‘Operation Twist’, and Europe’s sovereign debt saga have got Gary Jenkins thinking about Meg Ryan and that scene.

    • 30 Sep 2011
  • Credit Matters: Hope and despair displaces fear and greed

    It used to be said that the markets were all about greed and fear but it’s probably fair to say that they are now all about hope and despair. Gary Jenkins thinks this sums up his feelings about the Welsh Rugby World Cup campaign very nicely.

    • 16 Sep 2011
  • Credit Matters: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Crisis

    There is a theory which states that, if anyone ever discovers exactly what the rating agencies are for and why they are here, they will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

    • 12 Aug 2011
  • Credit Matters: Coco a no-go

    We all like a bit of danger in our lives, and Gary Jenkins, who is off to Milford Haven for his summer holidays, is no exception. But even he draws the line at Cocos. As for a US default, that’s just too scary to even begin to contemplate.

    • 28 Jul 2011
  • Credit Matters: European Union gets Messi

    Gary Jenkins is no footballer. But even he has noticed that the number and size of cans that the EU might need to boot down the road would challenge even the best Champions League players.

    • 22 Jul 2011
  • Credit Matters: Singing REM songs as Rome burns…

    “That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane —Lenny Bruce is not afraid…”

    • 15 Jul 2011
  • Credit Matters: Who rates the raters?

    Another week, another attack on the rating agencies, the source of the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis — or so some politicians would have you believe. But Gary Jenkins reckons the agencies are in a tough spot, damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    • 08 Jul 2011
  • Credit Matters: The European debt crisis — a solution?

    Reaching agreement between the European Union, the ECB and the bond market over what to do about the European sovereign debt crisis was never going to be easy. But that doesn’t put the situation beyond all hope. Gary Jenkins suggests a solution.

    • 17 Jun 2011
  • Credit Matters: Woke up this morning, got yourself a default

    What’s in a word? Quite a lot, as Gary Jenkins discovers when mulling the fortunes of Greece while immersing himself in the world of the Sopranos during some enforced time away from the office. He prefers to call a spade a spade, and wonders why others disagree.

    • 10 Jun 2011
  • Credit Matters: Sandra Bullock, Renault and sovereign CDS

    Inspired by a Sandra Bullock film and a recent mishap with his car, Gary Jenkins has been thinking a lot about insurance. And given the possibility of lenders being asked to accept a voluntary extension of Greek debt, he wonders what the effect will be on the sovereign CDS market.

    • 20 May 2011
  • CREDIT MATTERS: Twitter ye not

    Talk of super injunctions has got Gary Jenkins thinking about sustainability. Given that injunctions cost a lot of money and only work for a very short time, he wonders if there are parallels for those contemplating how best to deal with the debt problems of peripheral Europe.

    • 13 May 2011
  • Credit Matters: Full Marx to Spain

    Sovereigns in financial distress have clearly been playing on the mind of intrepid analyst Gary Jenkins since he was a child, when he would try to interest his friends in the Marx Brothers film Duck Soup, about the bankrupt nation of Freedonia. But with the European bail-out club now totalling three members, he doesn’t have to use his imagination any more.

    • 15 Apr 2011
  • Credit Matters: Zen and the art of bank regulation

    Theory is often upset by reality, as our intrepid analyst Gary Jenkins has found throughout his career. Thinking about the latest paper from the Bank of England’s Andrew Haldane, he observes that a small tweak of the data leads to a very different result.

    • 01 Apr 2011
  • Credit Matters: I know I don’t know

    Being a credit analyst isn’t all about being an expert. Sometimes it’s more about guesswork — educated or otherwise. Dragging himself away from his favourite cartoon to consider his own children’s futures, Gary Jenkins wonders just what you need to know to do his job.

    • 25 Mar 2011
  • Credit Matters: Deep time and constant motion

    Once upon a time, the tops of the highest mountains were at the bottom of the ocean — such are the extraordinary effects of change over the millennia. Gary Jenkins sees a parallel in the world of credit, where the concept of risk free has been turned on its head.

    • 11 Mar 2011
  • Credit Matters: Coco frogs

    Gary Jenkins has been worrying about poor bond investors that have to try to drum up returns in a market that doesn’t make it easy. Will Cocos be the answer?

    • 18 Feb 2011
  • Credit Matters: The deserving rich

    With the support of none other than the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer ringing in his ears, veteran banker Gary Jenkins can show his face again. Strutting his stuff in pinstripes and bowler, he wonders why anyone would ever doubt the merits of those at the top of his industry.

    • 11 Feb 2011
  • The art of predicting the unpredictable

    Expect the unexpected should be the motto for City veterans. But who’d have thought, says Gary Jenkins, that analysts would this week be talking of ‘contagion risk’ — which last year was all about European peripherals — in the Middle East?

    • 04 Feb 2011
  • Credit Matters: A European Bond Market Christmas Carol

    The Deutschmark was dead. There was no doubt about that. Dead as a door-nail. Angela Merkel knew it was dead. Of course she did. How could it be otherwise? They were partners for many years but she had buried it in 2002 and was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event. So just to be clear on the matter, the Deutschmark was dead. This must be distinctly understood.

    • 17 Dec 2010
  • Credit Matters: Europe’s debt problems are only just beginning

    It’s sometimes easy to forget that bail-outs are just more debt. And, as Gary Jenkins points out, refinancing that in a world of two-tier sovereign paper will not be pretty.

    • 26 Nov 2010
  • PIGS might cry

    After first cobbling together the EFSF as a safety net for Greece, EU officials have had plenty to say about getting bondholders to “share the pain” when it comes to the struggling peripheral economies. But as Gary Jenkins points out, their use of game theory has backfired spectacularly.

    • 12 Nov 2010
  • Credit Matters: Till debt do us part

    Once upon a time European sovereigns were deeply in love with each other. But since those romantic Maastricht days, some of the EU constituents have grown apart, or to be more precise some are growing more than others. Our happily married credit analyst Gary Jenkins wonders if the likes of the German politicians wish that their predecessors had insisted upon some kind of pre-nup all those years ago. It might have saved them a lot of heartache.

    • 05 Nov 2010
  • Is it Deflation? Is it Inflation? No, it’s Super-QE-Man!

    Born into a perfectly normal American family in Dillon, South Carolina, our hero did not exhibit any extraordinary powers in childhood. With a pharmacist father and a schoolteacher mother, there was no hint of what he might one day become. But now, as the US stands on the precipice of potential disaster, his every act could decide the fate of a nation...

    • 29 Oct 2010
  • Credit Matters: CoCo Pops - the investment opportunity of a daytime

    Our entrepreneurial credit analyst, Gary Jenkins, has hatched a plan to make his and our fortunes: an investment fund dedicated to contingent capital. He promises his fees will be low, his holidays long and the small print barely legible.

    • 22 Oct 2010
  • Credit Matters: HELLOK! Special Interview!

    There is no mistaking the image that the new European agencies wish to transmit as you approach their large new building in Canary Wharf. It is all about grandeur on an imposing scale while demonstrating stability juxtaposed with modern form.

    • 08 Oct 2010
  • Credit Matters: Want to reduce your deficit? Time to get creative ...

    You want your company logo on the new £10 note? No problem, writes Gary Jenkins. Want to sponsor Buckingham Palace? Step this way Mr Pandit.

    • 01 Oct 2010
  • Credit Matters: Mission impossible — predicting the market

    The future has never been easy to predict, so our mystic credit analyst Gary Jenkins leaves the hard work to others. However when it comes to the EFSF, it was all too predictable what the rating agencies would say.

    • 24 Sep 2010
  • Credit Matters: Basel, birthdays and Bob Diamond

    Our intrepid credit analyst is off the rollercoasters and on to the regulators. But his mind is also on his old boss Bob.

    • 17 Sep 2010
  • The Fed - can it handle it?

    Was the Federal Reserve’s extension of quantitative easing this week a sop to the market or an important monetary boost? Gary Jenkins worries that policy has started to imitate 1980s anti-drug advertising campaigns.

    • 13 Aug 2010
  • Credit Matters: Milford Haven and the markets

    Equity and credit indices have screamed back in, capital markets are back open and companies are making more money than expected. Yet, the yield on the two year Treasury hit a record low this week. Confused? Gary Jenkins is. Luckily for him, he’s heading off on holiday, armed with bucket and spade. If he digs deep enough down into the sand, he might unearth some clues as to where the economy is going.

    • 06 Aug 2010
  • Credit Matters: Stress tests? What stress tests?

    Gary Jenkins finds it more than a little ironic that the European banking sector can fly through the stress tests but still needs the proposed new Basel III regulations to be watered down.

    • 30 Jul 2010
  • Credit Matters: What have the rating agencies ever done for us?

    Just like the Romans in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, the rating agencies are universally despised, handy scapegoats to blame for everything that goes wrong. But do they really deserve such a bad reputation? Absolutely, says Gary Jenkins, who is not the Messiah, but a very naughty credit analyst.

    • 23 Jul 2010
  • Credit Matters: Austerity versus growth? Let Paul the octopus decide

    Stuck in a global debt crisis? Can’t work out whether to cut costs and conserve cash or spend your way out of trouble ? Gary Jenkins, no sucker himself, says let the cephalopod choose what to do.

    • 16 Jul 2010
  • Credit Matters: Stress tests? Stress balls more like

    It’s stressful being a credit analyst but our very own Gary Jenkins is feeling pretty relaxed. He’s been kicking back, happy in the knowledge that the publication of the European banking stress tests will sweep away many of the problems and uncertainties facing the markets. He knows it’s true: Christine Lagarde has said so.

    • 09 Jul 2010
  • Credit Matters: Many happy returns as financial crisis goes back to the future

    Learning from mistakes is easier said than done, says Gary Jenkins, who nevertheless suggests that market players should do as he says, not as he does. On the lookout for an interesting but cheap present for his wife this week, EuroWeek’s doting credit analyst stumbled across a rich vein of historical analysis that warrants a fresh look today.

    • 02 Jul 2010
  • Credit Matters: For the EFSF to work it has to fail

    If the authorities have got the response to this crisis wrong, Europe could be heading for disaster. Gary Jenkins doesn’t find any of the ironies of the EFSF very funny.

    • 18 Jun 2010
  • Credit Matters: Super-credit-models

    Who would be a credit analyst? Just when you get used to sovereigns being economical with the truth, a string of companies pop up to remind you to adjust your forecasts for extreme tail risks. Hanging out with supermodels can hardly compensate Gary Jenkins.

    • 11 Jun 2010
  • Credit Matters: World Cup predictor ratings alert

    Perennial underachievers Spain won’t have much chance in the World Cup if past form is any guide. Neither will the country have much chance of hanging on to its Aaa/AA/AA+ ratings. Gary Jenkins previews the month ahead, on and off the pitch.

    • 04 Jun 2010
  • Credit Matters: Greece restructuring: You decide!

    Will Greece have to restructure its debt? If democracy provides any guide, the answer is a foregone conclusion.

    • 28 May 2010
  • Credit Matters: Don Quixote rides again

    With apologies to Miguel de Cervantes

    • 21 May 2010
  • Credit Matters: The central bank that laid the golden eggs

    “Even when liars tell the truth, they are never believed.” Aesop’s Fables — one of Greece’s more successful exports — have lessons for the European Central Bank’s conduct of monetary policy, writes Gary Jenkins.

    • 14 May 2010
  • Credit Matters: Worst. Column. Ever.

    The European Central Bank has few tricks left up its sleeve, except for outright purchases of government bonds. But fortunately for the European Union, Gary Jenkins has offered his services.

    • 07 May 2010
  • Credit Matters: More dough needed

    Being stranded in Rome for a few days, thanks to volcanic ash, allowed Gary Jenkins the chance to dream up plans for a career change but he, like Greece, had to wake up and face reality eventually.

    • 30 Apr 2010
  • Credit Matters: Let’s put our heads together and start a new country up …

    Given a blank sheet of paper, how would you design a new financial system? Gary Jenkins would insist on ring-fenced, utility retail and commercial banks, partnership- or shareholder-owned advisory and underwriting firms, and strict leverage limits on investment outfits. Oh, and everyone would have to listen to REM, too.

    • 09 Apr 2010
  • Credit Matters: The credit analyst that roared

    The basics of why credit trades where it does have not really altered over the years. Gary Jenkins should know – he’s been around for most of them. But, as he points out, what will be fascinating to watch over the next decade is whether or not the key influences on the asset class will diminish and pure default expectations will become more important.

    • 26 Mar 2010
  • Credit Matters: The great CDS conspiracy

    When it comes to theories, an older and wiser Gary Jenkins nowadays leans more towards the cock-up than the conspiracy. So are credit default swaps the root of all evil? There were defaults and volatility long before the CDS market.

    • 12 Mar 2010
  • Credit Matters: Yours truly

    Sovereign debt is shedding its risk-free status and fast becoming the newest addition to the world of credit. Perhaps economists could maximise their marginal utility by paying more attention to credit analysts before they put pen to paper, says Gary Jenkins

    • 05 Mar 2010
  • Credit Matters: Take the money and run

    Equities are priced close to their long-run averages, government bonds have turned risky and credit is expensive. Gary Jenkins, the hardest-working analyst in the credit business, suggests investors should start digging holes.

    • 26 Feb 2010
  • Credit Matters: Iceberg sinks after Titanic collision

    While the eurozone wrestles with the moral hazard presented by sovereign bailouts, Gary Jenkins is wrestling with the intricacies of chaos theory and unintended consequences. Cool heads and steady hands are needed right now, not Titanic metaphors.

    • 19 Feb 2010
  • Credit Matters: Good Greece? Good Grief, Charlie Brown

    Comic strips offer some much needed, light-hearted diversion to Gary Jenkins from contemplation of a bleak future, triggered by fresh analysis of an age old problem of sovereign defaults.

    • 12 Feb 2010
  • Credit Matters: Get this wrong and Gilts go sky high

    The Bank of England this week removed one of the props that has been supporting the Gilts market. Timing has never been more important, writes Gary Jenkins.

    • 05 Feb 2010
  • Credit Matters: Pitchforks vs Pitch books

    President Obama is spoiling for a fight with Wall Street. Gary Jenkins backs the administration’s plan to outlaw prop trading but wonders if the president has the resources to win a war against the men with the money.

    • 29 Jan 2010
  • Credit Matters: Fears for Greek domino make bail-out certain

    Would the European Union support Greece if that country’s debt problems deteriorate? Gary Jenkins, the credit analyst who has always been on the simple side of arguments, thinks that faced with the threat of contagion sweeping through peripheral Europe, the EU would have no choice but to act to support its weakest member.

    • 22 Jan 2010
  • To boldly go where no credit has gone before

    Spreads go up, spreads go down but credit analysts always revert to their spreadsheets. Gary Jenkins delves into the data to predict good times for corporate bond investors in 2010.

    • 27 Nov 2009
  • Why we’re careering into pension disaster

    Today’s fresh-faced graduate trainees on bank trading floors can expect to spend many more years in their working life than their senior colleagues. Gary Jenkins, no young kitten himself, suggests that career switching could help avert demographic disaster.

    • 20 Nov 2009
  • The real X-Factor

    Inflationary forces are battling deflationary trends and central bankers are finely judging the competition with carefully chosen words. It’s time for Gary Jenkins, the credit analyst who comes top of every talent contest, to try his hand at translation.

    • 13 Nov 2009
  • Credit Matters: The Godfather - part IV

    Lloyds set the terms for its creation of contingent capital through the exchange of subordinated bonds this week. Gary Jenkins, the analyst who never shows disrespect, says it’s an offer than can’t be refused.

    • 06 Nov 2009
  • Credit Matters: Sign o’ the times - credit becomes the new equity

    When investors decide that high-yield bonds are more acceptable for their pensions than equities — for reasons of volatility and risk — are we seeing a sea change or merely a blip? Gary Jenkins dons his iPod to mull over fickle consumer behaviour.

    • 30 Oct 2009
  • Always believe in ... gold

    The soaring price of gold is a perfect backdrop for the return of the New Romantic standard bearers Spandau Ballet. Investing against inflation fears may well be sensible but if the gold price is so high, why are 10 year Treasury yields so low? Gary Jenkins dons his tartan and ruffled shirt to consider the delicate balancing act the central banks face over policy tightening

    • 16 Oct 2009
  • Lap-dancing - a new model for bankers’ pay

    Too little, too late. That’s Gary Jenkins’s damning verdict of the authorities’ response to preventing another financial crisis and stopping bankers walking away with the booty from the mess they created in the first place. But talking of booty, our own long-legged credit analyst has spotted one potential solution: paying investment bankers like lap-dancers.

    • 09 Oct 2009
  • Credit Matters: They think it’s all over…

    Does football really have anything to do with banking? Gary Jenkins, the analyst who has never knowingly dribbled, says that the financial industry is starting to resemble the upper echelons of the English Premiership. And it makes him as sick as a parrot.

    • 02 Oct 2009
  • Credit Matters: Art, for credit’s sake

    Returns go up, returns go down, but nothing much ever changes for credit investors. That’s the lesson that Gary Jenkins, the analyst who never rehashes old research, has learnt.

    • 25 Sep 2009
  • Credit Matters: Risk forgotten in rush for returns

    A trip to New York with his family gives Gary Jenkins a new insight into the risk/reward decisions being taken by equity and fixed income investors, and why those markets are indicating contrasting economic paths.

    • 18 Sep 2009
  • Credit Matters: Where’s all the money coming from? Compare the markets to find out

    How can asset prices rise so spectacularly when there is so much supply, and so soon after so many investors were wiped out? Gary Jenkins, the credit analyst who has spent as much time comparing the markets as any, has the answer.

    • 28 Aug 2009
  • Credit Matters: If you want loyalty, get a spaniel

    How do you solve a problem like bonuses? The UK’s Financial Services Authority has put forward some sensible principles but it has an almost impossible job, writes Gary Jenkins. A faster jobs merry-go-round could be just one of the unintended consequences of its attempts to tie pay-outs to risk taking.

    • 21 Aug 2009
  • Was it a dream? Two years on, it’s party time again

    The credit crunch celebrated its second birthday at the start of the week. With markets back in party mood, Gary Jenkins, the credit analyst who never strays far from a punch bowl, takes a look at some of the key events.

    • 14 Aug 2009
  • Still going strong, so what can stop risk rally?

    Risk markets have recovered in spectacular fashion since the nadir of March — faster even than a credit analyst with swine flu. But sustaining that rally in risk will require stability in long term government bond yields, says Gary Jenkins.

    • 07 Aug 2009
  • Howzat! Safety-first batters have the edge as credit enters new cycle

    Recent financial history is just like a game of cricket, says Gary Jenkins, the credit analyst who always uses the straightest of bats. Despite the upturn, risk taking is still off the agenda.

    • 24 Jul 2009
  • Credit Matters: Obama should step aside and let the angry mob through

    Inspired by Morgan Stanley inviting a teenager to write about his friend’s media habits in a research report, Gary Jenkins asks his three daughters for the lowdown on the global banking system and what should happen to all those naughty bankers who got us into this all this mess.

    • 17 Jul 2009
  • Credit Matters: Government bonds are a Ponzi scheme? Just beat it

    While Bernie Madoff appeared to live in Neverland, and Michael Jackson really did live in Neverland, the US and UK governments are just living on the never never. Gary Jenkins finds that the mixture of celebrity grief, the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme and huge deficits is making him have strange thoughts.

    • 10 Jul 2009
  • Credit Matters: Hair-raising bond markets heading for a close shave

    Corporate bonds are taking pride of place in European companies’ funding plans — providing a long-term boost to the job prospects of credit analysts such as Gary Jenkins. But sales made direct to the public mean that the outlook for the market is not quite as smooth as all that.

    • 03 Jul 2009
  • Credit Matters: Boom and bust: Who is to blame?

    Cycles of boom and bust are a natural, ineradicable feature of the markets — just as the psyche of a credit analyst demands a villain on which to blame its troubles. When it comes to this financial crisis, Gary Jenkins knows who the real culprit is.

    • 26 Jun 2009
  • Credit Matters: Yield, glorious yield

    Where does a credit analyst keep his own cash? Under the mattress is too risky for Gary Jenkins, but with governments and bank lenders providing a supporting act to troubled companies, corporate bonds might be centre-stage in his portfolio.

    • 19 Jun 2009
  • Credit Matters: Sex, drugs and pension plans

    Pension fund surpluses are plunging into deficits, firms are being pushed over the edge by commitments and demographics are set to make things worse. It’s enough to make Gary Jenkins give up his retirement plans.

    • 12 Jun 2009
  • Credit Matters: Sovereign debt: size really does matter

    First, the bad news: if government stimulus measures work, then bond yields are too low. But Gary Jenkins also has some good news: while the UK is fair game for the raters, the US is a whole different kettle of fee structure.

    • 05 Jun 2009
  • The Shape of Things to Come

    There’s an air of the surreal in the markets, as pundits, rating agencies, and even humble credit researchers attempt to describe the shape of economic recovery. But Gary Jenkins, the analyst who’s never out of shape, has seen the future and can describe exactly what will happen. Of course.

    • 29 May 2009
  • Credit Matters: Today’s analysis is brought to you by the letter ‘C’

    Rallying equities notwithstanding, the value pendulum has swung back to bondholders and away from shareholders. Gary Jenkins, a man as much at home on Sesame Street as Wall Street, explains why.

    • 22 May 2009
  • Credit Matters: Corporate bonds — where do we go from here?

    Is it down to the lake I fear? Yes, you can’t knock Haircut 100 (though you can easily misquote them). Sometimes I find myself day dreaming about all manner of things; the chances of the British Lions in South Africa, my collection of pencil sharpeners, classic bits of research (many of which are now available to view on YouTube) and of course where exactly this market is going and what the key risks are over the coming years.

    • 15 May 2009
  • Credit Matters: From the A road to scrap at breakneck speed

    Chrysler has filed for bankruptcy protection, GM is not far behind and Ford is teetering. The speed with which the firms plunged down the rating scales, even before they encountered economic headwinds, is exercising Gary Jenkins, EuroWeek’s columnist who likes to walk, not drive.

    • 08 May 2009
  • Credit Matters: Unlikely respite from holiday hassles as stress tests prove more than Mickey Mouse

    It all kicked off on the Eurostar to Disneyland Paris.* I had decided to take the latest copy of EuroWeek with me for some light reading on the train (and also thought it might be useful to give the kids to read if they started misbehaving) when my wife happened to pick it up.

    • 01 May 2009
  • Corporate bonds quash dark cult of equities

    Corporate bonds are the asset class of choice, but for how much longer? In most cycles, the cult of equity re-establishes itself and the credit market goes back into the darkness from whence it came, writes Gary Jenkins. Will this time be any different?

    • 17 Apr 2009
  • Attention credit investors! There’s never been a better time for accessible accounting

    • 09 Apr 2009
  • Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and credit bubble

    If you type in the words "corporate bonds" and "bubble" into Google you are clearly bored at work. It does seem though that over the last month or so that there have been a lot of warnings of the dangers of the bubble in corporate bonds that we are experiencing.

    • 03 Apr 2009
  • Geithner goes from zero to hero — and back again

    • 27 Mar 2009
  • When cash was king: a history lesson for GE

    • 20 Mar 2009
  • What was it about HBOS that Lloyds management saw but we missed?

    When Lloyds TSB management bought HBOS, just what profitability did they think they were actually buying? The £10bn-£16bn it notched up in 2004 to 2006 or the much more realistic 1997 performance when the bank produced net income of around £1.5bn? Gary Jenkins fears it was the former when it should have been the latter.

    • 13 Mar 2009
  • Equity investors: please give generously —your corporate bond market needs you

    Gary Jenkins, the former head of credit research at Barclays Capital and fundamental credit strategy at Deutsche Bank forged a reputation as one of the most incisive and quirky of market commentators — until he took a year’s sabbatical just as the market was getting interesting. Now he’s back, at Evolution Securities, and doing what he does best: angering, humouring and provoking credit investors.

    • 06 Mar 2009

All International Bonds

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Citi 102,038.49 382 7.96%
2 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 96,434.02 286 7.52%
3 JPMorgan 90,756.17 379 7.08%
4 Barclays 81,369.24 256 6.34%
5 Goldman Sachs 73,087.52 199 5.70%

Bookrunners of All Syndicated Loans EMEA

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Deutsche Bank 12,015.37 24 9.18%
2 SG Corporate & Investment Banking 11,212.23 27 8.57%
3 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 10,272.44 19 7.85%
4 Citi 7,587.00 19 5.80%
5 BNP Paribas 7,504.88 30 5.74%

Bookrunners of all EMEA ECM Issuance

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Goldman Sachs 4,988.90 21 11.90%
2 Citi 3,261.58 15 7.78%
3 Deutsche Bank 3,129.21 16 7.46%
4 JPMorgan 2,944.72 14 7.02%
5 UBS 2,093.71 7 4.99%