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Ruffer LLP

June 10, 2022

Who’d be a central banker today? Once, they were the masters of the universe, bravely slaying the dragon of inflation and slashing interest rates to save the economy in times of peril. Today, they seem powerless to control inflation, says Ruffer LLP’s investment director Steve Russell.

Who’d be a central banker today? Once, they were the masters of the universe, bravely slaying the dragon of inflation and slashing interest rates to save the economy in times of peril.

Today, they seem powerless to control inflation. Fearful of raising interest rates too far, they issue hollow calls for wage restraint. No wonder Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, admitted to MPs recently that “It’s a very, very difficult place for us to be in.”

May 20, 2022

Financial markets – with their twists and turns and unknowability – remind us just how hard it is to predict the future and just how wonderful perfect foresight would be, says Ruffer LLP’s Duncan MacInnes.

In the Back To The Future trilogy, the bad guy is a bully called Biff Tannen.

The megalomaniac mogul amassed his wealth because his older self travelled back in time to give his younger self the Grays Sports Almanac, a compilation of every sports result from 1950 to 2000. So Biff was able to earn a spectacular fortune from sports betting.

Financial markets – with their twists and turns and unknowability – remind us just how hard it is to predict the future and just how wonderful perfect foresight would be.

May 5, 2022

Globally, inflation is likely to be higher and more volatile. Inflation risk, an absent adversary throughout the careers of most investors today, will need to be priced once again, says Ruffer LLP’s Jamie Dannhauser.

In the late 1970s, the world was on the cusp of radical change. The ‘Deflation Machine’ was being born. Deng Xiaoping, having outmanoeuvred Mao Zedong’s preferred successor, began the process of reforming China’s moribund economy. In the West, liberal, free-market ideals were gaining traction, ideals that underpinned the subsequent regime of rapid, disinflationary global growth.

April 21, 2022

Inflation-linked bonds are a key defence in a world of deepening negative real yields, says Jasmine Yeo, investment manager at Ruffer LLP.

What was the real return on the US ten-year bond over the past two years? Flat? Down a little?

Wrong – down a lot. The bedrock of the balanced portfolio has delivered a real return of -20% over the past two years [1].

That’s the worst inflation-adjusted performance since 1981 [2].

Traditional balanced portfolios rely on equities and bonds fulfilling their roles – equities for good times, bonds to cushion the bad. But after a torrid three months for markets, investors are being forced to tear up the rulebook.

April 7, 2022

Events in Ukraine are to be seen, first, through the lens of humanity. Through the lens of finance, Russia’s invasion is having the same effect as Covid-19: it is accelerating trends which are already in place. And those trends are inflationary says Ruffer LLP chairman Jonathan Ruffer.

Events in Ukraine are to be seen, first, through the lens of humanity. Through the lens of finance, Russia’s invasion is having the same effect as Covid-19: it is accelerating trends which are already in place. And those trends are inflationary.

March 17, 2022

Inflation is running hot, even before wage-price pressures have begun says Ruffer LLP economist Jamie Dannhauser.

Inflation is running hot, even before wage-price pressures have begun says Ruffer LLP economist Jamie Dannhauser.

Central bankers tell us the current burst of inflation will be transitory and workers will not mind the temporary squeeze on their living standards.

In today’s full employment economy, this is not convincing. The implied policy response is flawed, potentially even reckless.

March 3, 2022

Increasing inflation volatility represents the greatest challenge to investors for a generation. A new regime and the collapse of the financial market status quo requires us to reimagine portfolios. No longer can we rely on yesterday’s logic says Ruffer’s chief investment officer Henry Maxey.

Increasing inflation volatility represents the greatest challenge to investors for a generation. A new regime and the collapse of the financial market status quo requires us to reimagine portfolios. No longer can we rely on yesterday’s logic.

“Inflation is the endgame. Just brace for inflation volatility first.”

This was the punchline of my 2021 Ruffer Review article.

December 1, 2021

Investors have divided into two camps. Those who believe inflation will subside and the rise in prices will prove temporary. And others who fear we are entering a period of high sustained inflation reminiscent of the 1970s. We consider both scenarios unlikely.

Investors have divided into two camps. Those who believe inflation will subside and the rise in prices will prove temporary. And others who fear we are entering a period of high sustained inflation reminiscent of the 1970s. We consider both scenarios unlikely.

Overlay the bottom chart below and you would be forgiven for believing that we are now on the same trajectory as we were 50 years ago. There are parallels but to assume the economy will meet the same inflationary fate would be a grave mistake for investors.

September 21, 2021

What can they see that we can’t? Private equity bids for UK companies are soaring, while at the same time the UK stock market languishes at valuations well below US peers.

What can they see that we can’t? Private equity bids for UK companies are soaring, while at the same time the UK stock market languishes at valuations well below US peers.

Private equity bids for UK companies are soaring, while at the same time the UK stock market languishes at valuations well below US peers.

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