Andrew Clare

Articles from Andrew Clare


    This Sunday the Greek population will effectively either vote to accept the austerity or to leave the Euro. As Americans might say to the Greeks – it’s time to take a ship or get off the pan. Or something like that. I can’t understand American accents very well, but with Spanish government bond yields soaring, all eyes are fixed on Greek voters as they decide which of these unpalatable options to choose. It does feel very much like we’re rapidly approaching the end game now. The game of course, began in earnest in 2008. On the evening of 12th September 2008 Lehman ... more

    The Eurozone crisis continues to mesmerise and terrorise the markets in almost equal measure. Since the start of the year the FTSE-100 is down 2% and the DJ Eurostoxx  is down over 5%, though the S&P500 is up just over 4.0%, and so is still in positive territory for the year. But May was been a bad month for equities as the Eurozone crisis has gathered steam, downhill, rushing headlong towards the cliff edge into an inferno of fire and pain … if that’s not mixing too many metaphors, or being too dramatic! In May the S&P was down 6.3%, and the FTSE and DJ Eurostox ... more

    Captain America is a Marvel comic character, a superhero soldier that managed to defeat his many foes, including most of the German army, virtually single-handedly. The character also stars in the latest Marvel “blockbuster” Avengers Assemble where, clad in the stars and stripes, he inspires a group of misfit superheroes to defeat an alien invasion of earth, while the US military looks on powerless. Who needs multi-million pound missiles, fighter planes, tanks and warships, when you have a bloke with a shield and spangly lycras? If only Captain America could work his heroic m ... more

    A week ago the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee chose not to extend their programme of quantitative easing. For those of you that were uncertain, quantitative easing (QE) is the central bank euphemism for the policy of printing money. In essence it was a policy born of desperation: with economic growth collapsing, once interest rates had been cut to (near) zero, it was the only option still open to the UK’s central bank. Now that the policy has ended it might be reasonable to assume that it has been a success. However, I have real doubts about the impact of the UK& ... more

    Last week we got the shocking news that Spanish unemployment is close to one in four. According to official figures at the end of March there were 5,639,500 unemployed people in Spain, representing 24.4% of the registered working population. These figures are very hard to digest. Anyone from Britain that remembers the early eighties when UK unemployment reached one in ten, will recall that it felt at times like the fabric of British society was collapsing completely. The Spanish unemployment rate today is far, far worse and it is frankly a wonder that Spain is not experiencing violent and ... more

    Last week we learned that the UK has fallen into a second recession. Growth over the first three months of this year was -0.2% which followed a contraction of -0.3% in the last quarter of 2011. Two or more consecutive quarters of contraction is the ‘official’ definition of a recession. To misquote Oscar Wilde – to fall into one recession is unfortunate, but to fall into a second is sheer carelessness. The arrival of the dreaded double-dip, has spurred on the bad news hungry media to make dire comparisons with the UK economy in the 1930s. Some economists have estimated t ... more

    Last week the UK’s Chancellor, George Osborne, unveiled his latest budget. Never has so much media attention been focussed on an event of such economic insignificance … well, not since last year’s budget anyway! The brutal truth is that while the UK’s coalition government insist on sticking to ‘plan A’, that is their deficit reduction plan, the Chancellor has almost no room for fiscal manoeuvre. And besides, I suspect that deep down this Chancellor believes that fiddling about with the tax system is not the answer to the UK’s problems anyway &nda ... more

    In a recent report by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) it was estimated that the Bank of England’s QE programme had caused the aggregate Defined Benefit pension fund deficit to rise by approximately £90bn. Of course it was not the intention of the Bank of England to impoverish the elderly – that is normally the preserve of Chancellors – however the NAPF argued that the Bank’s gilt purchasing programme had pushed the yields on gilts lower than they would otherwise have been. Falling gilt yields, and yields on other related instruments, causes t ... more

    Physicists got all excited recently when they found evidence to suggest that neutrinos – sub atomic particles – could travel faster than the speed of light. Based upon most of the reputable theory and empirical evidence at the time, this was assumed to be impossible. Anyway, now it turns out that the boffins at CERN that discovered this anomaly may have wired up their machinery incorrectly. I don’t know about you, but I know whenever I am trying to measure the speed of sub-atomic particles, I always double check that I’ve got the right fuse in the plug. It sounds l ... more

    Soon after the Bank of England was made operationally responsible for the UK’s monetary policy in 1997, the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street went on a charm offensive around the country to convince business leaders, trade unionists and a sceptical Daily Mail public that she could be trusted with the job of setting interest rates to achieve a medium-term inflation target of 2.50%. They even organised a competition called Target 2.5 (later re-titled ‘Target 2.0’, when the Chancellor changed the inflation target to 2.0%, thus underlining the fact that the Bank of England was ... more

    One of the biggest problems facing Britain, and other developed economies today is that too many of its grown-ups believe in the pension fairy – a magical creature that will provide them with a pension for life, a pension that will allow them to maintain their pre-retirement lifestyle, no matter how long they live for. A disproportionate number of these delusional grown-ups work in the public sector. But there is no such thing as the pension fairy. The funds needed to provide us with a pension in our old age will come from a combination of three sources, none of them magical: you, ... more

Andrew is the Professor of Asset Management at Cass Business School and the Associate Dean responsible for the school's Specialist MSc programme.

Previously, he was a Senior Research Manager in the Monetary Analysis wing of the Bank of England responsible for equity and derivatives research. Andrew also spent 3 years working as the Financial Economist for LGIM.

Andrew serves as an independent advisor on the GEC Marconi pension plan and as a trustee and Chairman of the Investment Committee on the Magnox Electric Group plan.

In addition, Andrew is co-author of 'The Trustee Guide to Investment' published by Palgrave MacMillan.