Black Swan

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John Taylor On Whether The Next Market Move Will Be A Black Swan Or A White Crow





While everyone's strategic focal point still continues to be planted firmly on the black swan even horizon, in essence making the "unexpected" negative event virtually impossible as while nobody knows what will cause the crash, everyone is certain a crash will arrive in some form or another, today John Taylor takes an inverse approach and instead of chasing Black Swans he looks at the possibility of a "White Crow" - or the opposite: a positive outlier event with outsized implications on risk assets. The two main White Crows evaluated by Taylor are i) a conversion of the stock market melt up into a rout up, and ii) a bullish outlook on the EURUSD. The latter is particularly notable as the FX titan has long been known for his extremely bearish outlook on the European currency. Is he throwing in the towel and joining Goldman in the long EURUSD trade? Overall a surprisingly optimistic short-term outlook on the market: "Although our cycles argue there is a reasonable probability of a risk peak in the first half of March, followed by a sharp decline, the cyclical picture before that time is positive for risk. The future outlook might be dark, but the models are positive now. Being open to risky assets is the only way to go." And with $200 billion in additional liquidity in February and March, he just may be right.

 
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Guest Post: Black Swan Meets White Swan





How would you hedge against a Black Swan event today? We put our observation cap back on to find that, amid all the hedging going on, one bet stands out. In our search to find clues that determine future directions of financial markets, we find that inflation risk offers the most widespread cause for concern. Inflation, the White Swan, is a fundamental macroeconomic risk factor for a broad range of investments and therefore an obvious cause of anxiety. The prevailing wisdom is that, to protect against this risk, one should hold onto positions in emerging stock markets and commodities. We also find the use of Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) on the bond side very popular. In essence, these tactics are widely considered to be sure bets to safeguard against the inflation that will surely follow the large increase in the money base.
However, we constantly argue that poor immunization and assets mismatch will lead to a dynamic rebalancing act. We feel we are closer now to this event. - Yves Lamoureux

 
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Albert Edwards Calls For The Next Black Swan: Expect Yuan Devaluation Following Deep 2010 Downturn





With everyone and their grandmother screeching that it is about time for China to inflate the renminbi, despite that such an action would be economic and social suicide for the world's most populous country, SocGen's Albert Edwards once again stalks out the Black Swan in left field and posits the contrarian view de jour: China will aggressively devalue the yuan following a deep 2010 downturn coupled with escalating trade wars. As Edwards says: "I think the next 18 months will see major ructions in the financial markets. The consequences of a double-dip back into recession next year require some lateral thinking. If the carry trade unwind results in a turbo-charged dollar, any collapse in the China economic bubble will be doubly destructive to commodity prices. A surging dollar, coupled with China moving into sustained trade deficit through 2010, could prompt the Chinese authorities to acquiesce to US pressure for a more flexible exchange rate. But why does no-one expect a yuan devaluation?"

 
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Thinking The Unthinkable: The Treasury Black Swan, And The LIBOR-UST Inversion





The below piece is a good analysis of a hypothetical Treasury/Dollar black swan event, courtesy of Eugenio Aleman from, surprisngly, Wells Fargo. Eugenio does the classic Taleb thought experiment: what happens if the unthinkable become not just thinkable, but reality. Agree or disagree, now that we have gotten to a point where 6 sigma events are a daily ocurrence, it might be prudent to consider all the alternatives.

Thinking the Unthinkable

 
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The Incredibly Shrinking Market Liquidity, Or The Upcoming Black Swan Of Black Swans





"Anyone who is doing anything sensible right now is either losing money or is out of the market entirely." These are the words of a quant trader, who is seeing something scary in the capital markets. Scary enough to merit a warning that we could be on the verge of another October 87, August 2007, or January 2008.

 
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Is GS Tempting The Interest Rate Black Swan With 1,056% Risk Exposure?





Last week Zero Hedge posted the most recent (Q4 2008) report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which among other things, discussed the $9.2 billion bank trading loss in cash and derivatives in Q4.

 
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Is GS Tempting The Interest Rate Black Swan With 1,056% Risk Exposure?





Last week Zero Hedge posted the most recent (Q4 2008) report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which among other things, discussed the $9.2 billion bank trading loss in cash and derivatives in Q4.

 
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Quote Of The Day From Nassim Taleb "A Return To Normalcy Would Be Black Swan"





The Vice Chairman of Doom, Nassim Taleb, was very eloquent today, claiming the next Black Swan event would be "for us to emerge out of this unscathed and return to normalcy. Compared with the Great Depression, this crisis is very different, and it requires much more drastic action.”

 
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Quote Of The Day From Nassim Taleb "A Return To Normalcy Would Be Black Swan"





The Vice Chairman of Doom, Nassim Taleb, was very eloquent today, claiming the next Black Swan event would be "for us to emerge out of this unscathed and return to normalcy. Compared with the Great Depression, this crisis is very different, and it requires much more drastic action.”

 
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