FT investment editor James Mackintosh suggests the warnings of monetary policy hawks about central bank independence may be a little premature. He says Japan’s central bank has paid no more than lip service to the demands of new prime minister Shinzo Abe.

In his first term, US president Barack Obama oversaw the second-biggest rise in the stock market of any US president since the second world war. James Mackintosh, investment editor, says his second term hopes of economic recovery rest more on the housing market than equities.

Calm in the eurozone has come at a cost to the havens. James Mackintosh, investment editor, points to the sliding Swiss franc and sterling, and warns the premier haven of choice, London property, could be next.

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Small caps in the US have hit their fifth new high of the year and UK smaller companies soared past their previous peak a month ago – both climbing 172 per cent since 2009. But James Mackintosh, investment editor, warns that if the current rally peters out small caps look particularly exposed.

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The yen’s collapse was rudely interrupted on Tuesday. James Mackintosh, investment editor, points out that the yen’s premium as a haven from the global crisis has now evaporated, and examines the implications for the carry trade.

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More than half European companies have dividend yields above corporate bond yields for the first time, while mutual fund sales saw their biggest weekly inflow into equities since the US stock market peaked in 2007. James Mackintosh, investment editor, analyses whether this is the long-awaited rotation from bonds back into stocks – and how to compare them.

The UK’s inflation-linked gilts markets have just seen their largest one-day rise in 25 years – thanks to the decision of statisticians to do nothing. James Mackintosh, investment editor, looks beyond gilts to analyse what the real yields on government bonds are telling us.

The parade of best bourses so far this year is a rogue’s gallery of the past few years’ basket cases: Greece, Dubai, Egypt and Argentina, with the eurozone periphery close behind. James Mackintosh, investment editor, analyses whether this dash for trash is wise.

Several measures of sentiment suggest investors are becoming worryingly optimistic. Investment editor James Mackintosh says this is something which typically happens before the market drops back.

The valuation gap between European and US shares has narrowed to levels only seen a few times in the past decade. Is this justified? James Mackintosh, investment editor, says this suggests investors see a safer Europe while America’s economy turns European.

Investors are starting to worry that the bond market bubble is looking fragile. Investment editor James Mackintosh explains why this matters a lot.

FT investment editor James Mackintosh examines why bond yields in France have fallen and links it to a revival of confidence in the eurozone.

The financial crisis created the risk-on, risk-off phenomenon as hope of recovery vied with fear of renewed crash, pushing markets to move together. James Mackintosh, investment editor, says these correlations are showing some signs of easing, easing pressure on investors.

The Federal Reserve has driven US investors into riskier assets by promising lower rates for longer as part of its assault on unemployment. James Mackintosh, investment editor, worries that markets are complacent about the speed with which unemployment is falling, and the risk of an early Fed policy tightening.

Investors are becoming more hopeful that a deal will be done to avoid the US fiscal cliff. But would it really be so bad if no deal was reached? James Mackintosh, investment editor, explores the impact of the tax hikes and spending cuts due in the new year.

Italian shares fell and bond yields rose as investors reacted badly to losing Mario Monti. Investment editor James Mackintosh says this looks like a classic market over-reaction. But there are reasons to worry that worse might be ahead for the country.

Consumer confidence in the US is climbing despite disposable incomes flatlining for five years, suggesting few worries about the looming fiscal cliff. James Mackintosh, investment editor, points out the worries among chief executives and warns that even if the fiscal cliff becomes a fiscal staircase, it could still be an uncomfortable climb down.

Shanghai shares have hit levels not seen since the depths of crisis in 2009. But James Mackintosh, investment editor, says the domestic gloom is combining with a growing faith in the Chinese outlook among international investors.

Another day, another late-night Greek rescue. James Mackintosh, investment editor, unravels the myths, eyes the investment opportunities and explains why Germany must accept Greece must fully write off its debt.

Reasons to be fearful are everywhere: Greece, triple-dip Japan and the looming fiscal cliff in the US. Yet, as James Mackintosh, investment editor, points out, share, bond and currency volatility are all extremely low. Is this complacency or have central banks disconnected the volatility sensors?