Bill Gross

Bund-Battering Continues - It's Different This Time

10Y German bond yields hit 42.5bps today (almost a 10x move off their 4.9bps lows on April 17th - before Bill Gross and Jeff Gundlach unleashed their bearish theses). While Draghi keeps buying, the move over the last week is 'almost' unprecedented in bond market history. We says 'almost' because we have seen this before - a sovereign issuer with an extremely low yielding bond suddenly see their bond market collapse... Japan 2003 (when Greenspan cut rates less than expected).

Bund Sell-Off: It's The Supply Stupid

One of the biggest stories of the week has been the great German Bund route as everyone’s new favorite short has sold-off hard on what HSBC calls a “cascade of small events [which has] created a large splash in a structurally ever-thinner mkt, similar to UST flash crash of Oct. 15.” Amid the cacophony of explanations emanating from every credit and rates strategist on Wall Street, BNP is out with a simple suggestion: it’s all about the waxing and waning of supply.

Frontrunning: April 30

  • Marchers protest police violence in Baltimore, New York (Reuters)
  • Majority of Financial Pros Now Say Greece Is Headed for Euro Exit (BBG)
  • Greece signals concessions in crunch talks with lenders (Reuters)
  • Greece, Euro-Area Partners Target Deal by Sunday (BBG)
  • Iglesias Says EU Risking Right-Wing Backlash With Greek Pressure (BBG)
  • Student-Loan Surge Undercuts Millennials’ Place in U.S. Economy (BBG)
  • Majors’ Quandary: Why Drill for Oil When They Can Buy Somebody Else’s? (WSJ)

To Commerzbank, German Bunds Are "Flash Crashing"

As first Bill Gross and then Jeff Gundlach suggest shorting German bonds, so it appears the message has sunk in that at 4.9bps 10 days ago, 10Y Bund yields were the short of a lifetime. Since then they have soared, with a dramatic doubling today from 14bps to over 29bps - the highest yield in 7 weeks. As Commerzbank warns, "a cascade of small events is creating a large splash in a structurally ever-thinner market," which has led to a plunge "similar to US Treasury flash crash of Oct. 15."

Gundlach Considers 100X Leveraged Bet Against German Bunds

The "new" Bond King joins his predecessor on the bond throne in calling German Bunds a compelling short opportunity. Just as we said last week, "when you short negative yielding bonds you have a positive carry," so why not leverage your bet 100X and get paid to wait on rising yields? 

"I’m Not Crazy, I’m Scared" - Why For One Trader, This Time It Is Different

"What is different this time? Central banks are driving all investment decisions, and what this implies is that they are in this trade so  deeply that there is no obvious or practical exit.... This is a dangerous situation. The focus must return to the REAL economy; we cannot trade our way out of past mistakes."

When To Put On Bill Gross' Big Bund Short: Citi Explains

With only six weeks (or one Graccident) to go until Bund purchases are forced out to 7-year maturities, and with traders warning that nearly every piece of PSPP-eligible German government paper will eventually trade special in repo despite the ECB’s feeble attempt to remedy the situation via its Securities Lending Program, the world wants to know: “when do I sell Bunds?”

Assessing The Bund Shortage And Weighing Mario Draghi's Q€ Expansion Options

30% of German debt trades at or below the depo rate and some 60% carries a negative yield. The way things are going now, central bank Bund purchases will have to be in maturities of 7 years or more within just 6 weeks, and of course that timeframe could accelerate meaningfully should things take a turn for the worst in Athens. Ultimately, the math doesn't add up and it appears as though modifications to PSPP's structure will be necessary (perhaps at the ECB's September meeting) in order to prevent a forced taper.

Frontrunning: March 3

  • 3 days after Zero Hedge, here's Bloomberg: Company Cash Bathes Stocks as Monthly Buybacks Set Record (BBG)
  • Israel's Netanyahu to address Congress in speech that has strained ties with Obama (Reuters), Risks Diplomatic, Political Pain If Speech Falls Flat (BBG)
  • Before Key Speech, Netanyahu Hails U.S. Ties (WSJ)
  • $1.92 bilion FX rigging charge: Barclays Posts Loss as Foreign-Exchange Provisions Rise (WSJ)
  • Barclays Awards Jenkins First Bonus as CEO, Cuts Pay Pool (BBG)
  • Exxon’s Russia Exposure Surges as Long View Outweighs Sanctions (BBG)
  • Obama says Iran must halt key nuclear work for at least a decade (Reuters)
  • Yellen Turning from Friend to Foe for Dollar Bulls (BBG)

Bill Gross: "Central Banks Have Gone Too Far In Their Misguided Efforts To Support Economic Growth"

"None dare call it a “currency war” because that would be counter to G-10/G-20 policy statements that stress cooperation as opposed to “every country for itself”, but an undeclared currency war is what the world is experiencing. Close to the same thing happened in the 1930’s, a period remarkably similar to what many countries’ policies resemble today....  Negative/zero bound interest rates may exacerbate, instead of stimulate low growth rates in all of these instances, by raising savings and deferring consumption... Asset prices for stocks, high yield bonds and other supposed 5-10% returning investments, become stretched and bubble sensitive; Debt accumulates instead of being paid off because rates are too low to pass up – corporate bond sales leading to stock buybacks being the best example. The financial system has become increasingly vulnerable only six years after its last collapse in 2009.... Central banks have gone and continue to go too far in their misguided efforts to support future economic growth."

 

Paul McCulley Leaves PIMCO - "Mission Complete"

"I accepted this position, as I said at the time, to work side-by-side with Bill Gross, as economic counselor, doing the three things that I love: think, write and speak macro. My mission here is complete. I will continue doing the things I love in other spaces, possibly in the academic arena. PIMCO will always be Camelot in my heart."

David Tepper Dumps 40% Of US Equity Exposure Despite Claiming "Stocks Inexpensive"

At the start of Q4 2014, Appaloosa's David Tepper made a series of statements - dismissing Bill Gross as irrelevant (nope - turmoil caused by PIMCO unwinds roiled credit markets), calling the end of the bond bull market (nope - yields went on make lower and lower lows), and finally proclaiming that stocks were inexpensive and multiples not high. So, one wonders, if stocks were inexpensive and multiples not high, why did Appaloosa dump 40% of its US equity exposure in that quarter (only to end the quarter with even more exuberance proclaiming that stocks could rise another 10% in 2015)? It appears that when David Tepper says "buy", he means "buy... from me."

5 Things To Ponder: Ascending Contingencies

Recent market actions, the rapid decline in interest rates, earnings deterioration and plunging energy prices have made many less comfortable being long the market. While the "buy and hold" crowd suggests this is all rubbish, it should be worth remembering that every single one of that group never saw the corrections in 2000 or 2008 until it was far too late. Their only excuse was "no one could have seen it coming." The truth is that many did see what was coming. Paying attention to what is happening at the margin leads to an understanding of when the "tides" begin to shift.