Politicians propose spending and revenue plans, but the bond market often disposes of them, and not always kindly. In the UK plans to use borrowed money to combine tax reforms that work gradually with an immediate huge increase in the subsidised consumption of energy, were apparently a step too far, both for lenders to his majesty’s government and for the governing party.

Yet long-term interest rates in the US and Europe have also risen rapidly. In Germany 10-year money-yielding negative rates in January had increased to 2% per annum by October. US Treasury bonds that offered 1% per annum in early January now yield more than 4%, and indeed offer more interest in dollars than much-battered 10-year gilts...

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