In the final part of Hugh Hendry's 3-part (part 1 and part 2 here) interview with MoneyWeek's Merryn Somerset the Sanguine Scot, perhaps surprisingly to some given his previous negativity - though fitting with his world view of fiat currency destruction - believes "to bet against China or Chinese equities, or the Chinese currency is to bet against the omnipotence of central banks. One day that will be the right trade, just not ready or sure that that is the right trade today."
Stability is a myth yet it’s what we humans strive for...
"The market has been dodging boomerangs, not bullets, and they are likely to come back harder for it." Importantly, rich valuations here cannot be “justified” by appeals to current interest rates or profit margins unless that justification carries with it the assumption that both zero interest rate policy and cyclically-elevated profit margins will be sustained for decades, coupled with the assumption that economic growth will proceed at historically normal rates.
This process is not over, not by a long shot. As anyone who invested during the Peso crisis or Asian crisis can tell you, when carry trades blow up, the volatility can be EXTREME.
Brace yourselves, the zero sum game is on like Donkey Kong.
A bull market in the US Dollar is underway and its magnitude and duration are likely to catch everyone by surprise
Simply put, the dollar's rise could destabilize the entire global financial system. To understand why this is so, we have to start with the source of the risk: the world's central banks.
The only discernible difference we see from the Wall Street version of a casino it’s now so prominently become, and the one we find on some island or strip is this: At the least, when we have a great winning bet placed on Red or Black... The odds that someone from the house bank coming down to floor and yelling 'Fire' as the wheel is about to stop right on my stop is far, far less than a Central Banker coming out touting 'Well maybe we should or shouldn’t do...' the moment the true free hand of market is about to expose itself. At least at a true casino – they do have some level of integrity.
Globally the US Dollar carry trade is believed to be north of $3 trillion (larger than the economy of France). What happens when it begins to unwind?
European shares fall, reversing earlier gains, with the banks and tech sectors underperforming and basic resources, oil & gas outperforming. Companies including ArcelorMittal, Allianz, Swiss Re, Richemont released results. The Spanish and Italian markets are the worst-performing larger bourses, the U.K. the best. The euro is stronger against the dollar. Japanese 10yr bond yields rise; German yields increase. Furthermore, the pullback in the USD-index from overnight highs has also provided the commodity complex with some upside and thus has seen basic materials and energy name outperform to the benefit of the FTSE 100. Elsewhere, Allianz’s (+4.9%) impressive pre-market report has helped halt the move to the downside for the DAX which trades with modest gains of 0.3%. Fixed income markets continue to hold fire (albeit in marginal negative territory) with volumes exceedingly thin ahead of key risk events. And with that, all eyes move to today's Nonfarm payroll expected to print at 235K, after last month's 248K. Something to keep in mind: the average seasonal adjustment to the October data is almost exactly 1 million, so yet again the fate of the US and global economy, will be determined by an Arima X 13 "fudge factor."
Shit just got real. The Bank of Japan said it will buy 100% of new bond issuance.
The US Dollar is moving up RAPIDLY. Will this blow up the financial system as it did in 2008? We’ll soon find out.
The problem with what we call the Exit Rule for Bubbles - "you only get out if you panic before everyone else does" – is that you also have to decide whether to look like an idiot before the crash or an idiot after it.
The global economy is like a jetliner that needs all of its engines operational to take off and steer clear of clouds and storms. Unfortunately, as Nouriel Roubini tells The Guardian, only one of its four engines is functioning properly: the Anglosphere (the United States and its close cousin, the United Kingdom). As Roubini continues, the question is whether and for how long the global economy can remain aloft on a single engine. Weakness in the rest of the world implies a stronger dollar, which will invariably weaken US growth. The deeper the slowdown in other countries and the higher the dollar rises, the less the US will be able to decouple from the funk everywhere else, even if domestic demand seems robust. But it's not just the rest of the world that is decoupling from US growth... as the following uncomfortable chart shows, so is a crucial pillar of monetary policy transmission, consumer wealth perception, and economic stability - the US housing market itself.
What today's JPY-carry-trade-enabling Bank of Japan exuberance means to the 'average joe'...