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The persistence of zombie firms in a low yield world

March 1, 2018
In the fourth part of our series on the impact of rising yields, we discuss the rising incidence of zombie firms in recent years. Bottom-up data of some 3,000 companies in the FTSE All World index show that the percentage of zombie firms has more than tripled to 2.0% of firms in 2016 from 0.6% in 1996. Such firms are defined as those with an interest coverage ratio under 1x for 2 consecutive years and a price to sales ratio under 3x. That matters because zombie firms are linked to fading business dynamism and because years of low interest rates should have led to fewer such firms, not more. There are early signs we are at a turning point, however. The numbers for 2017, with two-thirds of firms reporting, suggest that zombie firm incidence declined sharply last year. If this proves to be a real trend, it may give central banks confidence that continuing to raise rates and pull away from unconventional monetary policy will have some advantages. [more]

96 Documents
May 5, 2021
1
In a new Podzept podcast Brett Ryan, Senior US Economist, Frank Kelly, Head of Governmental and Public Affairs, US & Latam and Luke Templeman, Thematic Analyst discuss the US economy, in particular what President Biden has done in his first 100 days in office, including the enormous fiscal stimulus package. Is the package politically possible as Washington looks forward to mid-term elections next year? [more]
March 24, 2021
2
David Folkerts-Landau, Group Chief Economist & Global Head of Research and Peter Hooper, Global Head of Economics have just published an updated outlook for the global economy and financial markets. The report is titled ‘Goldilocks with Inflation Risk’ and outlines how Goldilocks could be about to enter the global economy as conditions appear just right for strong growth. [more]
October 28, 2020
9
The 2020 election is now less than a week away. While all elections have implications for the economic outlook, the two candidates for this year’s contest have historically divergent views on pretty much all important aspects of the economic policy landscape. In this podcast, we consider the implications for the economic outlook of the four possible combinations of president and Senate. [more]
September 16, 2020
11
The widening generational divide should be a key source of alarm for investors, financial markets and society as a whole. Young people perceive themselves as the losers on issues ranging from housing to climate change to student debt. In turn, this anger is manifesting itself into political outcomes, with elections around the world increasingly fought along generational lines. [more]
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