Simply put, the massively overcrowded hedge fund herding into US equities has created a crisis situation. With liquidity levels at record lows, the market will be unable to smoothly absorb any concerted selling pressure from large money managers.
As is always the case, a ramping bull market hides investor mistakes – it is the bear market that reveals them. The meteoric rise in passive investing is one such 'strategy' sending an important and timely warning. Just remember, everyone is 'passive' until the selling begins.
When BofA conducted its monthly Fund Managers' Survey, and asked what is the most likely bear market catalysts, the responses were as follows: "protectionism" = 34%, "higher rates" = 28%, "financial event" = 18%, "weaker EPS" = 15%. The "smart money" also said that the best protectionist investment is one: gold.
"As I look back, it now seems that, with all the thought and work and good intentions, which we provided, we achieved absolutely nothing… nothing that I did produced any good effect – or indeed any effect at all except that we collected money from a lot of poor devils and gave it over to the four winds."
"The important point to note here is the historical deviation between exuberance and economic realities has generally NOT been resolved by reality catching up with fantasy. It has always been the other way around."
According to Mario Draghi, portfolio manager of the world's biggest hedge fund, it is not his gargantuan balance sheet equal to 36% of the eurozone GDP, nor the $14 trillion in global central bank liquifity that will be responsible for the next market crash, but that Donald Trump's deregulation of the banking industry has "sown the seeds of the next financial crisis."
"Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as they have predicted. I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months."
– Dr. Irving Fisher, Economist at Yale University 1929
“Nationalism, protectionism and militarism increase global tensions and the risks of conflict. For these reasons, while we remain open-minded, we are increasingly concerned about the emerging policies of the Trump administration,”