John Authers

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Full name: John Authers

Area of interest: Investment

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times


Personal website:







Education: University College, Oxford: Philosophy, Politics and Economics; Columbia University: MA Journalism; Columbia Business School: MBA

Career: Freelanced for The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, and also worked for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, DC. Joined FT in 1990: general reporter (covering Margaret Thatcher's attempt to introduce a poll tax, and subsequently covering the fund management and life assurance sectors); education correspondent, April 1993/1996 (based in London, also responsible for covering training, and British municipal government); US markets editor, US banking correspondent, 1996/2001 (based in New York, covering banking industry and Wall Street, and also initiating the FT's special US coverage of fund management); Mexico City bureau chief, 2001/2006 (responsible for covering political and economic developments in Mexico and Central America); became FT's Investment Editor in September 2006

Current position/role: Senior investment columnist

  • also writes/has written for:

Other roles/Main role: Global head of the Lex column

Other activities: Semi-professional singer (member of the Philharmonia Chorus in London), singing in the chorus for soloists such as Luciano Pavarotti, Cecilia Bartoli, and Bryn Terfel, and under conductors including James Levine and Kurt Masur, and performing in Carnegie Hall and in concert halls across Europe as well as on more than a dozen CDs. He is also an enthusiastic hiker, having climbed Kilimanjaro and reached the base camps of Everest, and of K2's Concordia glacier. On University Challenge he led the highest-scoring team in the history of the show



Broadcast media:




  • Journalistic Awards: Unit Trust Association's national journalist of the year, 1992 - for campaigning on the mis-selling of insurance products
  • Business and Technology Education Council's national journalist of the year, 1994
  • 'Best of Knight-Bagehot' award, 2002 - for most outstanding journalism by an alumnus of the Knight-Bagehot fellowship
  • 2010 Senior financial journalist of the year by the Wincott Foundation, the premier award in British financial journalism.



Books & Debate:

John Authers The Victim's Fortune.jpg
  • The victim's fortune OCLC 59489939 (co-author Richard Wolffe), 2002 (The subject of the book is the campaign by Holocaust survivors to gain restitution from European banks and governments)

see also, article: The road to restitution - 'Ten years ago this week, on the hottest day of a sweaty New York summer, an excited crowd gathered around a courthouse in Brooklyn to hear history proclaimed. A scrum of business-suited lawyers and Jewish activists emerged on the steps as Alfonse D’Amato, a US senator, read out a brief statement announcing that UBS and Credit Suisse, the two biggest Swiss banks, had agreed to pay $1.25bn to Holocaust survivors' - Financial Times, 15th August 2008

Latest work: The Fearful Rise of Markets: Global Bubbles, Synchronized Meltdowns, and How To Prevent Them in the Future OCLC551409146, 2010



Financial Times: 'Short View' (video)

Column name:

Remit/Info: Investment

Section: Companies & Markets

Role: Investment Editor



Website: FT.Com / John Authers

Commissioning editor:

Day published:

Regularity: Daily

Column format:

Average length: 350 words


Financial Times: ‘Long View’

Column name:

Remit/Info: Examines long term trends affecting investors in global markets

Section: Money

Role: Investment Editor




Commissioning editor:

Day published: Saturday

Regularity: Weekly

Column format: Single topic

Average length: 850 / 1000 words

Articles: 2017

Articles: 2016

Articles: 2015

Articles: 2014

Articles: 2013

Articles: 2012

Articles: 2011

Articles: 2010

Articles: 2009

  • OK, I called the rally wrong - and here's why - I did not believe US banks could muddle through and did not imagine China could rebound as strong as ever - 1st November
  • Question of maturity in developing economies - The authorities in the emerging world have shown that they can survive a crisis, but they are uneasy at money pouring in - 24th October
  • Ways to take stock of it all - The future of investing: After a crisis that overturned assumptions, fund managers have to think afresh about the basis on which they buy and sell - 15th October
  • Triumph of common sense over benchmarks - One shift in investing’s future is more or less assured – institutions and retail savers will change the way they judge fund managers - 3rd October
  • Wanted: new model for markets - Investment theory: After a global crisis that laid bare deficiencies in long-held assumptions about how efficiently markets function, attempts are under way to rejig previous thinking or adopt entirely different approaches – but no outcome is likely to provide so clean and simple a template - 29th September
  • A risky revival - Stock markets: As traders celebrate big price rallies, sceptics argue that the upturn may be unsustainable – an incipient bubble basedon cheap credit backed by government money - 26th September
  • Fog of Vietnam war still provides lessons - What Robert McNamara learned from a lifetime of life-and-death decisions is also a great guide for investors - 11th July
  • Daredevil balancing act for the world economy - Remember the Goldilocks economy? Right up until the credit crisis, Goldilocks lent her name to a theory that the economy was “not too hot, not too cold”, permitting stable growth - 27th June
  • Surreal goings on in the commodities showThere are two ways to explain the rise in commodity prices, which now far outstrips the rally in equities - 12th June
  • Becalmed equities - After the emotional extremes of the past two years, panic has given way to relief and a pause for thought - 4th June
  • Let’s keep things cheap and cheerful for now - After the panic of last autumn, and the economic freefall that followed it, markets are steadily returning to normal. Is this a good or bad thing? - 30th May
  • Like baseball stats, bond risks are hard to fathom - In the same way that baseball statistics cannot be applied to cricket, looking at the UK or ratings agencies reports does not help to gauge US Treasuries’ risk - 16th May
  • Wanted: joined-up data for a realistic forecast - More accurate and farsighted earnings estimates could have punctured the  bubble of overconfidence of the past decade - 9th May
  • Spectre of rising bond yields looms over rally - The rally in world stocks is into its third month. One question dwarfs all others: is this a new bull market, or just a rally within the bear market? - 9th May
  • The heavy cost of the principal-agent divide - The separation from risk is among the many problems to be solved as the world’s financial architecture is redesigned - 2nd May
  • Bonds not yet due reversal of fortunes - The trend downwards in yields has been consistent, a pattern that is different from the stock market - 25th April
  • Capital raising hints at a return to normality - Now that debt has returned to a more realistic price, companies find that they do not have enough capital and need to raise new equity - 18th April
  • Food for thought in Last Supper quiz - The world has entered what many of its population regard as a holy period, at a time when the markets are rallying after a period of great fear. So, once more, it is a good juncture for reflection - 11th April
  • Not quite Bretton Woods - The lasting lesson of this G20 is that emerging markets are ever more important - 4th April
  • Case studies shine some light on the credit crisis - Posterity may yet turn the Geithner plan into the definitive study of adverse selection - 28th March
  • Strategy to avoid a pension catastrophe - For now, the best way for those without excess cash might be to put money away regularly each month and rebalance between asset classes each year as retirement approaches - 21st March
  • Stocks still missing entertainment value - The mere fact that markets could bounce so sharply this week suggests that confusion still reigns and we are still in a bear market - 14th March
  • Why baby boomers will put their faith in bonds - Let down by equities, those about to retire could ensure that the asset class takes a long time to recover - 10th March
  • Nationalisation fear - Even former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan has said that nationalisation may be needed - 28th February
  • Dividends retain a ray of hope for investors - It is good to know that dividends cannot be produced by an accounting sleight of hand - 21st February
  • Optimism is alive - Various analysts think they see signs of a relative recovery. John Authers asks, are they right, or is this merely a case of hope springing eternal throughout the economic winter? - 14th February
  • Geithner’s ‘cunning plan’ - The unveiling of the financial rescue was the latest incident in which traders convinced themselves that a ‘cunning plan’ would resolve the banking crisis, without pain, only to relapse in disappointment - 12th February
  • Bounty in the wreckage - The scale of last year’s sell-off and the confusion it continues to generate in markets may create opportunities - 7th February
  • Profiting from the irrational - We can always rely on human irrationality. The question is whether it’s predictable enough for the rest of us to take advantage - 30th January
  • Obama’s regulatory middle way - The Greenspan free-market model of light regulation and easy money when things get tough looks over - 24th January
  • Bull-market bonds nobody wants to buy - Current Fed policy implies that at some point before long, deflation will turn to the risk of a severe recurrence of inflation. And bonds, at that point, could fall drastically - 17th January
  • Signposts on the road to rock bottom - Indicators that flashed trouble before the crisis now suggest it could even be time to buy. Others are contradictory. Even so, history may be our guide, so it is worth looking at the precedents - 10th January
  • If this is like 1932, there will be hope as well as pain - An explosive rally at some point is possible, simply because record amounts of money are sitting in bonds and cash - 3rd January

Articles: 2008

  • Dark clouds loom in the investment crystal ball - After such a tumultuous year, what may 2009 hold and will any recovery in equities only be achieved once the credit market improves - 27th December 2008
  • Hindsight enriched by common sense - Hindsight Capital’s success for 2008 tell us is that strategies based on common sense, consistently held, tend to work out in the end. You just need patience to wait for reality to catch up with unrealistic prices - 20th December 2008
  • Four strong contenders for mistake of the year - Not everything that happened this year was inevitable says - 13th December 2008
  • Eyes on the renminbi - With the world’s economy so connected, we must all pay attention to even the smallest moves in China’s currency - 6th December 2008
  • Low yield bonds - With the global economy sinking and deflation looming, low bond yields are part of the solution - by Michael Mackenzie, 1st December 2008
  • Market fright - Fear, left unchecked, can beget true damage to the real world - 22nd November 2008
  • The downside of fleeing the beast of deflation - Regulators are now convinced that deflation is the chief enemy and while they throw everything at it, they must not ignore the threat of inflation - 15th November 2008
  • Elusive emotional intelligence - When faced with scary events such as the January stock market swoon or the oil bubble, we need to keep our emotions disengaged - 8th November 2008
  • The markets’ no-lose election - Whoever wins on Tuesday, markets should have what they want – a leader with political capital - 1st November 2008
  • Chaos carries a risk for emerging markets - Chaos theory holds that a butterfly flapping its wings in Tokyo could cause a tornado in Texas. The analogy is relevant for investors. There is chaos in the markets - 25th October 2008
  • Hedge funds poised for harsh phase of evolution - Hedge funds, as the Galapagos islands of the financial services industry face a new phase of evolution – in a far more hostile environment - 18th October 2008
  • Heed the harsh lessons of history to find value - Stock market conditions look ever more like the 1930s and Benjamin Graham’s book looks highly relevant now - 11th October 2008
  • Consequences game plays out to bitter end - Economic data and falling commodity prices suggest the world is in for a recession, probably quite a bad one - 4th October 2008
  • Testing times for true believers in a bull run - The markets believe that a US recession would be worse for the rest of the world than for the US - 27th September 2008
  • Increased regulation of financial markets - If laws are not strict enough, the credit bubble shows that markets cannot be trusted to regulate themselves - 20th September 2008
  • We are now looking at a truly global slowdown - US dollar stands to benefit from a true global recession, by acting as a safe heaven - 6th September 2008
  • Europe’s woes put paid to decoupling thesis - While the Fed’s medicine seems to have kept economic activity going, it has sideswiped Europe - 30th August 2008
  • Strategic short-sellers not the root of all evil - If the rally was not caused by short-sellers struggling to buy back stock, it is hard to see what did cause it - 23rd August 2008
  • This train crash’s final impact is still awaited - It takes time for bankers to understand what has hit them and then to adjust their behaviour - 16th August 2008
  • Jim Cramer's TV outburst that will last for ages - Cramer Day is upon us. This weekend marks the anniversary of former hedge fund manager Jim Cramer’s outburst on CNBC that the Federal Reserve was “asleep” and that there was “Armageddon” in the fixed income markets - 2nd August 2008
  • Bank stocks mauled but back from the abyss - Investors in bank stocks have stared into the abyss. Have they touched bottom? - 26th July 2008
  • New US president inherits a sea change in policy - Some of history’s greatest economic shifts are closely associated with politicians and big political swings - 19th July 2008
  • Difficulties in identifying breed of bear markets - Bears come in many species. Some are vast and vicious hunters, living off raw meat. Some eat fruit. And some, like koalas and pandas, are not bears at all. - 12th July 2008
  • FTSE’s two faces provide mirror for global themes - Self-deprecating Brits will have difficulty arguing that the UK leads the way in many areas these days – reality TV and binge drinking notwithstanding - 20th June 2008
  • Oil, dollar traders feed each other crude lines - Every generation has its own satirists with a unique finger on the pulse. For the US, at present, the ruling comedians, appearing late every night on cable, are Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert - 13th June 2008
  • For good or ill, banks’ fate tied to wider market - It is almost like a bank run. Investors have lost their confidence in banks - 6th June 2008
  • Investors should look to lady luck to provide - Last week, I was asked to give a speech on the big picture for markets. This had me worried - 30th May 2008
  • Fall in US house prices heralds problems for all - Worriers are spoilt for choice at present. But there is probably nothing investors should worry about more than the future for US house prices. This applies even for those who live nowhere near the US - 23rd May 2008
  • Classic films shed light on commodities boom - In Jean de Florette, a great French film of the 1980s, Gerard Depardieu inherits a farm in rural France but fails in his dream to grow flowers there because jealous neighbours have blocked the secret spring on which it relies for water - 9th May 2008
  • When it's time to ask for whom the bell curve tolls - “Do you know what a bell curve is? It’s a curve, shaped like a bell.” London mayoral candidate Boris Johnson, speaking at the Oxford Union in 1985 - 2nd May 2008
  • Even the great investors get the right bets wrong - We all make mistakes, even if our names are Buffett or Soros. But when great investors such as Warren Buffett and George Soros make a mistake, the lessons for the rest of us are so much more interesting - 25th April 2008
  • So is there anything out of the question? - Passover starts tonight. The world’s Jews will gather to commemorate the Hebrews’ flight from Egypt and eat a stylised dinner known as a “seder” - 18th April 2008
  • The end of the beginning of the credit crisis - It is now a month since Bear Stearns told the New York Federal Reserve that it was about to file for bankruptcy protection, triggering a market drama. Wall Street now hails the event as the beginning of the end of the credit crisis - 11th April 2008
  • Think the worst and then prepare your strategy - It is time to copy all good business school students and practise Realistic Worst Case Scenario investing - 4th April 2008
  • Contrary to your expectations - Brian: “You’re all different!” The crowd: “Yes, we ARE all different!” Man in crowd: “I’m not.” The crowd: “Ssssh!” (Monty Python’s Life of Brian). Everyone wants to be a contrarian. But Monty Python showed that we cannot all be contrarian at once. That is why I fear a popular contrarian investment call now is doomed to fail - 29th March 2008
  • It's the death of regulation as we know it, again - This has been an unholy Holy Week. The panic triggered by the near collapse and subsequent rescue of Bear Stearns was the most terrifying moment for world markets for decades - 22nd March 2008
  • Imposing order on chaos - We are always tempted to try to impose order on chaos and find a common thread to link disparate events. This is a human need and, as I wrote a few weeks ago, it can lead us into mistakes - 15th March 2008
  • Investors should pick a reason for commodities' run - We are on the horns of a commodity dilemma. If we believe the judgment of the credit and stock markets, then the US financial services industry, the engine of the world's markets, is in a critical state. Meanwhile, the bond and currency markets show that confidence in the US economy has collapsed - 8th March 2008
  • Seize the moment, not the momentum - It is an inconvenient truth, but there is money in momentum - 23rd February 2008
  • Why, in times of doubt, it can pay to sit it out - Masterly inactivity has much to recommend it. In times of extreme stress and volatility, it is a difficult strategy to maintain. Faced with the reality of losing money, our instinct is to do something - anything - to avert it - 16th February 2008
  • Be wary of judging the markets at face value - Are stocks cheap? It is an endless, complicated and unanswerable debate, so let me start by short-circuiting some of the first steps - 9th February 2008
  • Wishful thinking will not write a happy ending - We are all burdened with an instinct not to let the facts get in the way of a good story. Psychologists say that humans have an in-built predisposition to explain the world in terms of stories, and to try to fit disparate facts into an overarching narrative - 2nd February 2008
  • I've got a funny feeling about negative sentiment - When a market reporter cannot explain why the market has just moved, there is always one easy candidate to blame: sentiment - 26th January 2008
  • Place your bets for a recession, if it's not too late - Let us assume that the world's economy is sliding into a recession. We are in good company, as markets have aggressively moved to discount such a possibility since the beginning of this young year. How can we make money out of it? - 12th January 2008
  • House prices are down, but we're not out of the woods - Concern about the affordability of housing in the US is nothing new. One of the classics of American literature goes into detail on the subject - 5th January 2008

Financial Times: ‘Last Word’

Column name:

Remit/Info: Fund management

Section: Fund management

Role: Investment Editor



Website: FTFm / Last Word

Commissioning editor:

Day published:

Regularity: Monthly

Column format:

Average length:


  • Where can asset allocation go from here? - So, after all that, are markets efficient? The last year reminded us all that markets are not efficient in any meaningful sense of the word that a layman might use - 12th April
  • My time with Wall St going full circle - The next logical point for stocks to come to rest would be 1994, the last time the Fed got ahead of the curve - 15th March 2009
  • History – a poor guide to the future - The release of the Global Investment Returns Yearbook raises the question of whether such surveys are any use – John Authers finds at least one intact theory from last year - 15th February 2009
  • Who will survive last year’s carnage? - The results are in for 2008, the hardest year in the experience of virtually anyone currently in the fund management business. Who is likely to survive? - 18th January 2009
  • Annus horribilis for the star investors - Bill Miller of Legg Mason, by his own admission, did spectacularly badly over the past year, an analysis of where he went wrong reveals a number of bad strategies - 14th December 2008
  • Poor performing CTAs in the spotlight - Equity managers long ago had to put up with academic research that showed they did not do as well as a passive index - 9th November 2008
  • It could get ugly for fund managers - The long-awaited second-order effects of the credit crisis are here; equities have crashed, as have all hopes that the world can avoid a recession of some severity - 12th October 2008
  • Style and fundamentals still important - Arguments about styles and sectors seem a little beside the point when the market is convulsed the way it has been in the last week - 14th September 2008
  • Value investors' day will come again - These are lousy times for value managers. Once growth started to outperform value in the summer of 2006, it had stoked up its outperformance to 20 per cent by the time the oil market turned in mid-July - 11th August 2008
  • Difficult times can test judgment - What do we want of a fund manager? Naturally we want them to make us money. But how can we infer from history their chances of doing so in the future? - 13th July 2008
  • Goldman’s intriguing replication idea - Any attempt to bring hedge fund investing to the masses could make ripples for the fund management industry - 15th June 2008
  • Quants adapting to a Darwinian analysis - Quants have a future. But the disaster that befell quantitative equity funds amid the credit crisis last August has shaken the investment community to the core, and is changing investors’ understanding of how markets work - 18th May 2008
  • The observer effect on commodities - It is fashionable to apply physics to investing. One axiom that looks relevant to investment in commodities is Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle - 20th April 2008
  • The debate over fundamental indexing - Fundamental indexing is one of the biggest ideas to emerge in the world of investing in recent years - 31st March 2008
  • Two styles of investing - There are many ways that active managers can try to run their portfolio, but two styles have come to predominate: “value” and “growth” - 5th March 2008

News & updates:



John Authers