The first big problem, or rather first 9.5 trillion problems: that is how much debt the corporate buyback binge will cost companies over the next 5 years as the debt matures. The second big problem is even more important: the disappearance of virtually all demand from the primary bond market, most certainly in the junk space, and gradually, in investment grade as well.
In a market where fraud is tolerated or even encouraged, no amount of capital will suffice to maintain investor confidence.
Prosper Marketplace is raising the cost of loans in the face of a chaotic start to 2016. This is just the latest sign that the P2P model is starting to crack and that means the nascent ABS market for person-to-person loans may collapse in relatively short order.
At the worst possible time.
"Our portfolio advice has been pretty horrendous lately.... As an investor recently said to us at a conference, “I am doing a lot of things, just nothing with confidence”. Doing the opposite of what we recommended would have been better. Bizarro World. Or at least hopefully not the real world.." - Morgan Stanley's Adam Parket
With investment grade credit risk soaring, it's now or never for many firms to lever up at "relatively" low costs and two of the biggest buyback-ers are stepping up to the debt issuance window this week. Perhaps helping to explain the carnage in Treasuries at the end of last week (as rate-locks are set), Apple has unveiled a 10-part deal which could price today and IBM a 7 part deal. No size is indicated yet but Apple's previous two issuances were $8bn and $6.5bn.
Bottom line, our conversations with investors suggest yields in the 20 – 25% context could be attractive enough to draw in marginal capital – although several investors noted that is reasonable for triple C risk excluding commodities. In short, we're not there yet.
The on-the-run WTI crude futures price just plunged to $27.27 (for the March contract) which is a new cycle low for black gold (below March's previous "This is the low" lows in January.) It should not be entirely surprising since US Energy credit risk has spiked once again to new record highs.
When it rains it pours...
Here is the one chart showing why the time to panic about Canadian banks may have finally arrived...
Overnight, one of the two rating agencies, Standard and Poors, came one step closer to that fateful moment of junking Glencore when it downgraded Glencore, however it decided to throw the company one last lifeline by keeping it at the very lowest investment grade rating, and instead of cutting it from BBB to single B or CCC where its CDS and bond yield implies the company should be trading, it kept it a BBB-.
The surge in credit risk across the global financial system is starting to get to the point where even Bill Miller will be forced to pay attention. With every central banker "all-in" with "whatever it takes" or "no limits" monetary policy, the fact that US, European, Chinese, Japanese, and Middle-East banks are all seeing credit risk spike should be a major concern to all...
"Why after several decades of 0% rates has the Japanese economy failed to respond? Why has the U.S. only averaged 2% real growth since the end of the Great Recession? “How’s it workin’ for ya?” – would be a curt, logical summary of the impotency of low interest rates to generate acceptable economic growth worldwide. "