Guest Post: Is The UK About To Engage In A Stealth Default?
by Mike Krieger
If there was ever an article that should spark every British citizen to immediately shift their savings into physical gold this is it. Basically, proposals are on the table to change the way inflation is calculated for bonds that payout based on the rate of change in prices. Unsurprisingly, they are purposely attempting to use an alternative measure of inflation that allows substitution (so when people can no longer buy a steak and must spend the same amount of money on spam this shows up as no inflation)! If this goes through, it is blatant theft. This is why owning TIPS in the U.S. is a total fool’s game. They will mark inflation to whatever level they want at the end of the day. To whatever is most convenient at the moment. You know, just like the banks mark their balance sheets. But don’t take my word for it…
Key quotes from the FT article:
Holders of some UK index-linked gilts could see more than 40 per cent wiped off the value of their bonds, according to M&G Investments, as a result of technical changes to the way the retail price index, which underpins these “linkers”, is calculated.
The mooted changes are designed to eliminate “unjustified” causes of the persistent gap between inflation as measured by the RPI and the normally lower consumer price index, narrowing the “wedge” between the two measures by altering the way the RPI is calculated. Some industry figures believe the gap between the two measures could be eliminated entirely.
“To eradicate the wedge altogether would be tantamount to an event of default,” said Ben Lord, portfolio manager at M&G.