Category Archives: US 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. 


24/7/20: Bonds v Stocks: Of Yields, Investors and Large Predators


Corporates are reeling from the COVID19 pandemic impacts, yet stocks are severely overpriced by all possible corporate finance metrics. Until, that is, one looks at bonds.


Over the 3 months through June 2020, average 10 year U.S. Treasury yield has been 0.69 percent. Over the same period, average S&P500 dividend yield was 2.02 percent. The gap between the two is 1.33 percentage points, which (with exception of March-May average gap of 1.42 points) is the highest in history of the series (from 1962 on).

Given that today's Treasuries are carrying higher liquidity risk (declining demand outside the official / Fed demand channel) and higher roll-over risks (opportunity cost of buying Ts today compared to the future), the real (relative) bubble in financial markets todays is in fixed income. Of course, in absolute returns terms, long-term investment in either bonds or equities today is equivalent to a choice of being maimed by a T-Rex or being mangled by a grizzly. Take your pick.

8/7/20: On a Long-Enough Timeline, This Is Not Sustainable


Something will have to give, and on an increasingly more proximate timeline, although we have no idea when that timeline runs its course...



In basic terms, U.S. Bonds yields are only sustainable as long as:

  1. There remains a market-wide faith that the U.S. Government will not deflate itself out of the fiscal mess it has managed to run, virtually un-interrupted, since at least 1980 on; 
  2. There remains a regulatory coercion into the U.S. Government bonds being 'risk-free' capital 'instruments'; and
  3. There remains vast appetite for the U.S. dollar as the store of value instrument for everyone - from migrants and legitimate business people in the politically questionable jurisdictions to drug dealers.
Which puts a serious question mark over how long can the U.S. Treasury afford to escalate weaponization of the dollar.

21/1/20: US Deficits, Growth and Money Markets Woes


My article for The Currency on the effects of the U.S. fiscal profligacy on global debt and money markets is out: https://www.thecurrency.news/articles/7371/the-us-deficit-has-topped-1-trillion-and-investors-should-be-worried.

Key takeaways:

"As the Trump administration continues along the path of deficits-financed economic expansion, the question that investors must start asking is at what point will debt supply start exceeding debt demand, even with the Fed continuing to throw more cash on the fiscal policies bonfire?"


"In the seven years prior to the crisis of 2008-2012, US economic growth outpaced US budget deficits by a cumulative of $1.56 trillion. This period of time covers two major wars and associated war time spending increases, as well as the beginnings of the property markets and banking crises in 2007.

"Over the last seven years since the end of the crisis, US economic growth lagged, on a cumulated basis, fiscal deficits by $928 billion, despite much smaller overseas military commitments and a substantially improved employment outlook.

"These comparatives are even more stark if we are to look at the last three years of the Obama Administration set against the first three years of the Trump Presidency. During the 2014-2016 period, under President Barack Obama, US deficits exceeded increases in the country’s GDP by a cumulative amount of $226 billion. Over the 2017-2019 period, under  Trump’s tenure in the White House, the same gap more than doubled to $525 billion.

"No matter how one spins the numbers, two things are now painfully clear for investors. One: irrespective of the stock market valuations metrics one chooses to consider, the most recent bull cycle in US equities has nothing to do with the US corporate sector being the main engine of the economic growth. Two: the official economic figures mask a dramatic shift in the US economy’s reliance on public sector deficits since the end of the crisis, and the corresponding decline in the importance of the private sector activity."