Goodbye Bond Vigilantes, Hello Brent Vigilantes

Tyler Durden's picture

The flood of Central Bank liquidity into the world's asset markets has worked wonders for the optics of 'wealth' in the last few years. While correlation is not causation, the divergence from any sense of fundamental reality (and sheer miracle expectations of the future) simply reflect back to the leaking of that central bank liquidity into risk markets everywhere. However, there appears to be a limiter - or self-governor - that comes along every few months to tap the world's 'belief in economic miracles' on the shoulder. That 'self-regulator" is almost beyond the control of the central banks - it is simply, the cost of energy.

Time and again in the last few years, even as central bank balance sheets have risen inexorably, we get corrections in equity markets that bring them back to a fundamental reality, however briefly. The catalyst for those 'corrections' is hard to pin-point but a step back and we see that the flood of new money also spills out to anything that can't be printed (gold, silver, oil) and it is the latter that has a natural drag on the global economy. So, while the 'wealth' transmission mechanism is now the only policy tool left for central banks, it is the price of Oil that caps that upside thanks to its impact at the margin of a fragile global economy.


Nowhere is this more clear than in Europe, where each time Brent crosses above $120 (helped by central bank largesse), macro-economic surprises start to deteriorate rapidly and markets fade. We are close to $120 (Brent) once again now... With government bonds in US and Europe 'managed' so well, the vigilantes have left the building - and moved to the Crude oil pits...

The same is evident in the US - with $100 WTI apparently the trigger...

 

which makes one wonder what is driving the Brent-WTI spread divergence (aside from fundamentals which we discussed previously) as it seems $100 is desperately defended in WTI and Brent left to wonder. But judging by today's move - they are starting to lose the battle...

 

The Brent VigilantesTM are back in charge...

(h/t SocGen)