Merryn Talks Money

Merryn Talks Money

Merryn Talks Money with Bloomberg senior columnist Merryn Somerset Webb is your key to understanding how markets work – and how you can make them work for you. Every episode features a relaxed but in-depth conversation with a fund manager, a strategist, a Bloomberg expert or just someone Merryn finds particularly interesting in any given week. Listen in for the kind of insights and explanations everyone can use to help them make better saving and investing choices. Every Friday starting December 9th. From Bloomberg Podcasts.


May 26, 2023 48 mins

Famed contrarian investor Rob Arnott, co-founder of Research Affiliates, has said since the autumn of 2020 that UK shares are a great bargain—in particular so-called value stocks. In a conversation with Merryn Somerset Webb on this week’s Merryn Talks Money, he contends that’s still the case. The 2020s may be the “the decade for diversifiers,” he says—those prepared to move out of mainstream stocks and bonds and into assets that ha...

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Inflation will eventually come down, but not rapidly or in the way it would have in previous years. So says Sharon Bell, managing director and senior European equity strategist at Goldman Sachs. She tells Merryn Somerset Webb on this week’s Merryn Talks Money that the reason for this state of affairs is specifically the tight labor market, and more broadly the demographics of the Western world.

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Are we getting to the point where central banks are starting to break economies?Dario Perkins, Managing Director on the Global Macro team at TS Lombard, asks that question in his conversation this week with Merryn Somerset Webb on Merryn Talks Money. He says central banks are losing control of their own tools, and that policymakers may drive their economies into recession. 

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Investment trusts are special, says Simon Elliott, client director at J.P. Morgan Investment Trusts. They have a strong history of outperforming other types of investment vehicles. They provide pools of genuinely permanent long-term capital. They come with boards of directors whose specific job is to look out for investors. And on this week’s Merryn Talks Money, Elliott argues that, right now, an awful lot of them look like bargain...

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Dambisa Moyo is an economist and board member of Chevron and 3M. She’s also author of the 2018 book Edge of Chaos. In this week’s episode of Merryn Talks Money, Moyo and host Merryn Somerset Webb discuss whether the world has finally slipped off the edge. 

Moyo says it feels that way. Most economies were already stagnating before the pandemic struck, she says. Growth was trending downwards, productivity was a problem and it was ha...

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There’s not much you can do right now to dramatically improve your personal finances. But there’s at least one thing you can get on top of: cash savings accounts. You can now get 3 or 4% a year on your money if you look around. Take the easy win and move, says Simon Edelsten, manager of the Artemis Global Select fund, on this week’s episode of Merryn Talks Money

This shift is symptomatic of the change in all markets, he explains...

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During the Panic of 1907, J.P. Morgan came up with a clever plan to slow the ongoing bank run. He told his tellers to count all the money twice before handing it over. The more time paying out the cash took, the more time there was to work on rebuilding confidence before money ran out.

Of course, that kind of tactic can’t work anymore, Ruffer Investment Director Duncan MacInnes explained on this week’s Merryn Talks Money. Now, he ...

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Sebastian Lyon says he’d been expecting inflation to rise for a long time. So when prices began to tick up, his firm was ready. Now the founder and chief investment officer of Troy Asset Management says be prepared for inflation to stick around awhile.

Lyon says rates can still fall, and not every part of the economy that thrived in a low-interest environment will run into trouble. So what’s at risk? He says housing, growth stock...

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British pension funds used to have up to 55% of their assets in UK equities. That might have been too much. Now it’s more like 5% (and 70% in US equities). That might be too little. Why? Because those UK equities are cheap and US equities are expensive, explains Temple Bar Investment Trust Portfolio Manager Ian Lance on this week’s episode of Merryn Talks Money.

He also argues that there’s an inverse correlation between the price ...

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In an earlier episode of Merryn Talks Money, reporter Neil Callanan joined the podcast to talk house prices. It’s fair to say his outlook for the UK housing market was not optimistic. It is, he said, entirely possible that prices across the UK will end this cycle down 40% in real terms (adjusted for inflation).

This week, Bloomberg Opinion writer Marcus Ashworth joined Merryn Somerset Webb and John Stepek to make a different case...

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The world has been mired in a new Cold War for at least four years, according to Niall Ferguson, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and Milbank Family Senior Fellow. Ferguson joins this episode of Merryn Talks Money to discuss the implications for inflation, the Federal Reserve and how investors should navigate the current economic climate. 

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Inflation isn’t heading back to 2%, according to Pippa Malmgren, author and former adviser to President George W. Bush. She says it’s more likely to stay around 4 to 5%. Why? Malmgren contends that it’s because the main problem facing economies today is tied to supply and demand, and that means traditional inflation-fighting tools won’t really work. Malmgren joins this week’s episode of Merryn Talks Money to talk inflation targets,...

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The industry of providing people with investment advice has been around for a long time. Just how long is the subject of this week’s Merryn Talks Money. Host Merryn Somerset Webb speaks with Peter Knight and Helen Paul, two of the five authors of Invested: How Three Centuries of Stock Market Advice Reshaped Our Money, Markets and Minds.

The new work is a review of centuries of pamphlets and books offering investment advice, and th...

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The UK housing market is not in a good place. Mortgage rates are up, buyers are disappearing and so are sellers. The former don’t want to dump money in a falling market, and they can’t afford mortgages at current prices anyway. The latter don’t want to accept that prices are falling in the first place.

The result? A standoff. And that means the number of transactions are dropping. And while prices aren’t sinking very fast right no...

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February 10, 2023 39 mins

For a fund manager with a belief in value, 2021 was as discombobulating a year as they come, says Ben Inker, co-head of GMO’s asset allocation team. Valuations went to insane levels across all markets, and there was nothing you could buy or hold that was cheap enough to offer real long-term returns. But the good news according to Inker is that an awful lot of froth came out of the market last year. Prices went down and inflation we...

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Inflation isn’t going away. Why? Because governments can’t let it. So says market historian Russell Napier, who on this episode of Merryn Talks Money tells host Merryn Somerset Webb that, with the global debt-to-GDP ratio at an historic high, using inflation to eat away at the real value of debt is the only escape route. What that means, Napier says, is that for the first time in a long time politics will matter most to markets.


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James Ferguson, founder of MacroStrategy Partners, isn’t worried about inflation this year. Instead, he sees the beginnings of deflation. On this week’s Merryn Talks Money, he tells host Merryn Somerset Webb that it’s purely a matter of remembering what the monetarists said: Print money and (with a long and variable lag) you will get inflation; Yank money out of the economy (as the US Federal Reserve is doing) and you will get the ...

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Pictet Chief Strategist Luca Paolini says that while there’s a lot to be negative about these days, things aren’t as bad as they seem—even in the UK. He joins Merryn Somerset Webb on this week’s Merryn Talks Money to explain why things are looking up there and elsewhere. There’s also a chance there could be more happy surprises in 2023. According to Paolini, a ceasefire in Russia’s war on Ukraine would be a massive positive economi...

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Not many investment trusts made a positive return last year. The Ruffer Investment Company did -- partly by using strategies not open to the retail investor but also using ones that are. In this week’s Merryn Talks Money, the firm’s Investment Director Alexander Chartres talks host Merryn Somerset Webb through what worked for Ruffer in 2022 and what might work in 2023.

Chartres’s key point is the world has changed. He says the glo...

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Smaller UK companies were among the worst performing assets in the world last year. That made 2022 a tough time for small cap fund managers. But small caps very rarely see two down years in a row, says Anna Macdonald, fund manager at Amati. She joins host Merryn Somerset Webb on this week’s Merryn Talks Money. Macdonald shares her suggestions for the stocks to buy in this kind of environment—think trains, hospital software and spec...

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