For Bonds, It's A Lehman Repeat
There is plenty of discussion of outflows but we though the following chart was perhaps the most insightful at why this drop is different from the last few year's BTFD corrections. As we noted here, corporate bond managers have desperately avoided selling down their cash holdings (since they know dealer liquidity cannot support broad-based selling and its an over-crowded trade) and bid for hedges in CDS markets. But it seems, given the utter collapse in the advance-decline lines for high-yield and investment-grade bonds that the liquidations have begun. While the selling in high-yield bonds is on par with the Lehman liquidationlevels, it is the collapse in investment grade bond demand that is dramatic (and worse than Lehman). It's not like we couldn't see it coming at some point (here) and as we warned here, What Happens Next? Simply put, stocks cannot rally in a world of surging debt finance costs.
Corporate Bond Advance-Decliners lines are as liquidation-based bad as during Lehman (worse in fact for IG)...
Do Not Panic!! This is orderly...
The current decline in the high yield market, now at 30 trading days, has been the fastest since the end of the 2008 recession, with yields widening 159 bp. Only the July - October 2011 market decline had a greater ultimate magnitude than the current period.
As we noted here:
Remember - and it's important - there is no rotation that drives high-yield credit spreads wider without punishing equities. They are liabilities on the same capital structure and rise and fall in a highly correlated (well non-linear co-dependence) manner as the underlying business risk rises and falls. Do not, repeat do not, see high yield credit weakness as a sign of rotation to stocks - if the credit cycle has turned then stocks are set to fall. And bear in mind that while HY yields are at all-time lows, spreads are not and in fact being short stocks relative to credit makes more sense if you are you are a bear on the credit cycle here. The only problem being that the epic flows that sustained a credit market at non-economic levels for so long will exit in a hurry.
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