Government bonds

Never mind tariffs – here’s a scary thing that happened to markets this week

While investors were worrying about trade disputes and tariff hikes this week, the US bond markets threw up a nasty surprise. John Stepek explains what’s going on, and why it matters.

The charts that matter: the US economy’s big surprise

US economic growth absolutely hammered expectations for the first quarter. John Stepek looks at what that means to the charts that matter the most to the global economy.

Chart of the week: Greece – a better credit risk than the US?

The yield on the five-year Greek government bond has slipped beneath its US counterpart. For a country that has borrowed too much since its foundation to be considered a better credit risk than Uncle Sam seems absurd.

It makes sense to lend to governments

No matter how ramshackle or indebted the country, buying its bonds is rarely a bad idea, says Matthew Lynn.

The charts that matter: US jobless figures finally hit a fresh low

The four-week moving average of weekly US jobless claims fell to 207,000, the lowest level in nearly 50 years. John Stepek looks at the chart as well as all of the others that matter most to investors.

What is the yield curve saying?

An inverted yield curve usually means a recession lies ahead. Is this time different? And does it matter? John Stepek explains.

The charts that matter: have recession rumours been overstated?

With the “yield curve” bouncing back nicely, does that mean the risk of a recession is receding? To find out, John Stepek looks to the charts that matter most to the global economy. 

Latest recession scare is a false alarm

Markets have been spooked by the inversion of the US bond yield curve, which often – but not always – heralds a recession.

Are bond yields heading for new lows?

Government bond yields are turning negative. John Stepek looks at why people would pay to borrow from governments, and what it means for the markets and for your money.

A genuinely scary moment for markets

Markets took fright on Friday after the US Treasury bond “yield curve” inverted. John Stepek explains what that means, and why markets fear we could be heading for a recession.

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How gilts work and why they matter

Ed Bowsher takes a look at UK government bonds – how they work, why they are important, and whether you should invest in them.