Category Archives: corporate bonds

20/8/20: All Markets are Now Monetized


While the economy burns, the stock markets are literally going bonkers. Here are the main implied volatility options:

Which are symmetric, in so far as they treat volatility as symmetrically-valued to the upside and downside. And here is another way of looking at the same concept via repricing speed, or the rate of change in actual P/E ratios of S&P500 over longer time horizons, in this case: 20 weeks running P/E ratios change:

Source of the chart is @longvieweconomics. What does the above show? We have S&P500 at an all-time high. S&P500's PE ratio (PER) is only slightly below the 2000 peak. And, we have the fastest rate of S&P over-valuation increase in history - full 85 percentage points trough to peak. Both, the fundamentals and the momentum of their deterioration are absolutely out of control. Of course, this is just the stocks. One must never mention the massive bubble blown up by the Fed in the bonds markets. 

The 20-weeks moving change in weekly yields for Aaa-rated bonds maxed out at historical high of -44.06% (remember, lower yields = higher prices) in the week of July 31st this year. Top three historically highest rates of change took place in the three weeks of July 24th-August 7 this year. Overall range of bonds repricing is in the range of 60 percentage points in the current cycle:

This is plain horrendous: there is nothing in the macro and micro fundamentals that can warrant these changes. Except for the expectation of continued monetary accommodation of the Wall Street into the infinitely long future. 

8/3/20: Global Economy’s Titanic: Meet Your Iceberg

Here's that iceberg that is drifting toward our economy's Titanic... and no, it ain't a virus, but it is our choice:

Via: @Schuldensuehner

Years of easy credit, easy money. The pile of debt from Baa to lower ratings is the real threat here, for its sustainability is heavily contingent on two highly correlated factors: cost of debt (interest rates) and availability of liquidity. The two factors are closely correlated, but are also somewhat distinct. And both are linked to the state of the global economy.

There are additional problems hidden within A and even Aa rated debt, since these ratings are vulnerable to downgrades, and current Aa rating shifting to Baa or Ba will entail a discrete jump in the cost of debt refinancing and carry.

16/10/2019:Corporate Bond Markets are Primed for a Blowout

My this week's column for The Currency is covering the build up of systemic risks in the global corporate bond markets:

Synopsis: "Individual firms can be sensitive to the periodic repricing of risk by the investors. But collectively, the entire global corporate bond market is sitting on a powder keg of ultra-low government bond yields, with a risk-off fuse lit by the strengthening worries about global economic growth prospects. Currently, over USD 16 trillion worth of government bonds are traded at negative yields. This implies that in the longer run, market pricing is forcing accumulation of significant losses on balance sheets of all institutional investors holding government securities. Even a small correction in these markets can trigger investors to start offloading higher-risk corporate debt to pre-empt contagion from sovereign bonds markets and liquidate liquidity risk exposures."

17/9/19: Flight from Fundamentals is Flight from Quality: Corporate Risk

Great chart via @jessefelder highlighting the extent to which the bond markets are getting seriously divorced from the normal 'fundamentals' of corporate finance:

Corporate debt has expanded at roughly x2 the rate of growth of corporate earnings since the start of this decade. And corporate bond yields are persistently heading South (see: and investment for growth is falling (see: Which continues to put more and more pressure on corporate valuations. As a friend recently remarked, at 2% interest rates, the game will be over. It might be over at 2% or 3% or 1.5%... take your number pick with a pinch of sarcasm... but one thing is certain, earnings no longer sustain markets valuations, real corporate investment no longer sustains financialized investment models, and economy no longer sustain real, broadly-based growth. Something must give.