"Paper money appears at first sight to be a great saving, or rather that it costs nothing; but it is the dearest money there is." This is the uncomfortable truth of the euro currency experience. As it seems, people in the euro area about to learn an old lesson: namely that unbacked paper money - which is what the euro represents - cannot be trusted.
The recent blow-up of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System was entirely predictable. The combination of overpriced financial markets, inadequate contributions and overly generous pension promises mean dozens of US local and state government pension plans will end up in the same situation.
Dallas CFO: "The more the rating agencies learn about the crisis facing Dallas as a result of the police and fire pension, the more they understand what the City has been saying for some time – the pension is a significant risk to the fiscal health of the City."
"The reality of it is that it was a Bernie Madoff type scheme. It was an unsustainable feature. What they turned it into was an investment strategy and guaranteed themselves a return that is unheard of."
Ask yourself; what are the trades that make complete sense and all your instincts say are right, and then do the opposite. Basically what you end up constructing is an out of consensus portfolio and we all know how consensus trades work out in this market.
President-elect Trump, consider this to be an open letter..."The time has come to quit placating the masses with subprime this and that to still their spirits. Please fulfill your promises to represent them and their children with integrity, knowing the road ahead will be anything but easy, and that the temptation to allow business as usual to continue at the Fed will be enormous."
"I believe 2017--2021 will represent the end and reversal of that multi-decade trend - as the debt bubble bursts and bond markets begin to crash... Each phase was a desperate battle between centralized, governmental control of currency versus universal, hard-asset based currency. And each phase saw the acceleration and intensification of that battle take hold in the ‘7’ year."
Now it’s $13 trillion... the total sum of negative-yielding debt in the world has increased in the last sixteen days alone by an amount that’s larger than the entire GDP of Russia. And just like the build-up to the 2008 subprime crisis, investors are snapping up today’s subprime bonds with frightening enthusiasm. So this trend will continue to grow for now, until, just like in 2008, the bubble bursts in cataclysmic fashion.
For the rates market, the significance of this acceptance phase by pensions cannot be understated, in our opinion. A $3 trillion industry running a $500 billion funding gap and a significant duration gap waking up to reality is likely to have major implications for the market. In the extreme case, entire pensions could be offloaded from corporate balance sheets to insurance companies (increasingly like the UK, Exhibit 1)–generating significant demand for long-end duration during such transactions.