Economic principles explain why the Saudis began, in late 2014, to pump crude as fast as they could – or close to as fast as possible. In fact, there is a good reason why the Saudi princes are panicked and pumping.
Culminating with the tipping of the UK's numerous real estate fund "dominoes" and the subsequent fallout in the wake Brexit, Fitch has been on a ratings-slashing spree, having cut the credit ratings on 14 nations so far in 2016, most recently that of the United Kingdom - a record downgrade pace for the rating agency.
After yesterday's afternoon surge in US stocks, facilitated by the "uncertain" Fed's FOMC Minutes, today the rest of global market are playing catch up with European stocks rebounding from one week lows, snapping the longest losing streak in three weeks, as well as Asia where most stock markets climbed, led by gains among energy producers as crude prices advanced, while a stronger yen weighed on Japanese shares.
Instead of suspending trading and implicitly disallowing redemptions, giant fund manager Aberdeen has forced investors in its UK Property fund to take a 17% haircut wiping hundreds of millions of dollars off its value. The fund stated that shareholders wishing to redeem will do so at a reduced price in order to reflect the current market environment and the fact that short term trading in the property market has "relatively penal consequences." Which makes us wonder - is all this post-Brexit selling because UK property prices are 20% over valued?
Brexit is just a symptom of the disease eating away at the fabric of our global economy. Lehman’s collapse was not the cause of the 2008 worldwide financial crisis. It was just the excuse for something that was going to happen no matter what. Bad debt, bad bankers, bad regulators, bad politicians, media cheer leading, and a willfully ignorant populace were a toxic combination – and it’s worse today.
Both of this year’s presumptive candidates are “low interest rate” people, all right. Their adult lives were marked by the credit cycle and their careers shaped by ballooning debt. And now, almost the entire world economy depends on low rates. We live on Planet Debt.
Nearly everywhere on the planet the giant financial bubbles created by the central banks during the last two decades are fracturing. The latest examples are the crashing bank stocks in Italy and elsewhere in Europe and the sudden trading suspensions by four UK commercial property funds. If this is beginning to sound like August 2007 that’s because it is. And the denials from the casino operators are coming in just as thick and fast.
Does '4' make a trend? First Standard Life, then Aviva, followed by M&G and now this morning, due to "exceptional liquidity pressures" Henderson has suspended trading in its $5bn UK property fund and all of its feeders. Is it time to panic yet?
"Investors should not hope unrealistically for deficit spending any time soon. To me, that means at best, a ceiling on risk asset prices (stocks, high yield bonds, private equity, real estate) and at worst, minus signs at year's end that force investors to abandon hope for future returns compared to historic examples. Worry for now about the return "of" your money, not the return "on" it."