GFD Blog

750 Years of Interest Rates

Global Financial Data has collected centuries of data on interest rates. We wanted to highlight two data sets from the GFD Indices that cover government bond yields from 1285 to 2019 and that cover central bank deposit rates from 1522 until 2019. With these two charts, you can see how unusual the current decline in interest rates is, pushing yields down to levels that hadn’t been reached during the past seven centuries.

Government Bonds

Figure 1 provides data on the yields on government bonds from 1285 until 2019. During the past 700 years, the financial center of the worl ...

Will America’s Outperformance Continue?

Global Financial Data has generated indices on the United States and the World Index excluding the United States since 1792. This enables us to compare the performance of stocks in the United States with the rest of the world over the past 225 years. Generally speaking, US stocks underperformed the rest of the world in the first half of the 1800s, but strongly outperformed the rest of the world since the Civil War. After a decline in the relative performance between 1967 and 1988, American stocks have generally outperformed the rest of the world over the past 30 years. Will this trend conti ...

Global Financial Data’s Emerging Market Indices

Global financial Data has calculated an index for Emerging Markets that far precedes any indices that are currently available. MSCI’s emerging market index begins in 1987. GFD’s Emerging Market Index begins in 1602. Though few people may realize it, emerging markets are one of the primary reasons why stock markets came into existence 400 years ago.

The British, French and Dutch created monopolies that enabled investors to raise capital for companies that explored Asia. During the 1800s, the British raised capital in London to fund companies not only in British colonies, but in Sout ...

Events in Time Anniversaries: March 2019

25 years ago: March 1994

S&P 500: 445.77 (vs. 2783.30 in 03/2019)
10-year U.S. Government Bond Yield: 6.77% (vs. 2.64% in 03/2019)
Gold: $389.20 (vs. $1285.00 in 03/2019)
Oil: $14.775 (vs. $56.60 in 03/2019)
GBP/USD: 1.4835 (vs. 1.308 in 03/2019)
US GDP: 7,013 billion (vs. 20,891 billion in 12/2018)
US Population: 260 million (vs. 328 million in 2019)
03/10/1994: Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices didn't infringe on Intel patents, a federal jury decides.
03/23/1994: Luis Donaldo Colosio, Presidential candidate was as ...

A Revised Stock Index for Australia

GFD is revising its stock index for Australia because it can now use data on Australian shares that were listed in London to supplement the data that already exists from Sydney and other Australian exchanges.

Australia has one of the highest returns of any stock market in the world, but this is in part due to problems with the indices that were calculated in the 1950s and the biases in that data. Historical data for Australia was calculated by Lamberton in the 1950s, but the data are limited to commercial companies and ignores returns to mining and finance companies. A similar probl ...

GFD World Index 2.0

Global financial Data has calculated a new World Index that extends from the beginning of stock markets in Amsterdam in 1601 to the present day.  It will succeed the original World Index that GFD first calculated 20 years ago.  With the World Index 2.0 we can clearly distinguish the four eras that the stock market has evolved through during the past 400 years: Mercantilism, Free Trade, Regulation and Globalization. We can analyze how the stock market behaved in each of the four eras as well as each global bull and bear market the market has passed through during the past 400 years ...

America’s Longest Bear Market

We know that the worst bear market in United States history occurred between 1929 and 1932 when the S&P Composite fell 86%, returning the stock market back to levels it hadn’t seen since the 1800s.  But what is the longest bear market and how long did it last? 
To answer this question, you have to understand GFD’s definition of a bear market as a 20% decline in the stock market and a bull market as a 50% increase in the stock market.  If the stock market falls by 30%, rises by 40%, then falls by another 30%, that would be treated as a sing ...