I gave a 45-minute presentation on Yield Purchasing Power at American Institute for Economic Research in Great Barrington, MA on October 14, 2016. I am grateful to the Institute for recording video of my presentation plus extended Q&A.
Amid souring bets on Brazil and the general malaise across EM, PIMCO has been dethroned as the king of emerging market bonds. A fund run by Ireland-incorporated Stone Harbor has overtaken PIMCO's EM Local Bond Fund as the world's largest emerging market fixed income fund by AUM as rollercoaster bets on Brazil and the departure of both El-Erian and Gross weighs on investor sentiment.
Now that there are "no taboos," and assuming the ECB doesn't take our advice on the '52 Mantles or the lumber, the only question is whether the central bank will pair a depo rate cut with the PSPP expansion (in whatever form it takes)....
Back in September we explained why, contrary to both conventional wisdom and the BOJ's endless protests to the contrary, neither the BOJ nor the ECB have any interest in boosting QE at this - or any other point - simply because with every incremental bond they buy, the time when the two central banks run out of monetizable debt comes closer. Since then the ECB has jawboned that it may boost QE (but it has not done so), and overnight as reported previously, the BOJ likewise did not expand QE despite many, including Goldman Sachs, expecting it would do just that.
In medicine, they have something called the Hippocratic Oath. It requires physicians to swear to uphold certain ethical standards. In modern fund management, there is no Hippocratic Oath. Whereas doctors are expected to “First, do no harm”, in modern fund management, iatrogenic illnesses hold sway. An iatrogenic illness is one that is caused by the physician himself. Fund management doctors seem to be doing the best they can to kill their own patients. Science has a word for this, too. It’s called parasite. There is a solution to all this insanity.
WTI Crude is back above $50 to its highest in almost 3 months following a 10%-plus gain on the week (the 2nd best since Jan 2009). This surge has sparked the biggest surge in European and US Oil & Gas stocks since 2008 as Bloomberg notes, output from the world’s biggest consumer drops and Shell and PIMCO claim the worst may be over (while Goldman sees "lower for longer" suggesting this rally is a squeeze). However, while Energy stocks and raw materials are soaring, credit markets remain notably less impressed.
Investors should hope for the best while making preparations for less benign scenarios. This can be achieved by reducing leverage and speculation and having a healthy allocation to physical precious metals in the safest vaults in the world.
The global risk on mood (which is really anything but, and is merely an unprecedented short covering squeeze as we will report momentarily) launched by an abysmal jobs report one week ago and "validated" yesterday by the surprisingly dovish FOMC minutes, which said nothing new but merely confirmed what most knew, namely that a rate hike is almost certain to not occur until mid-2016 if ever, and accelerated by a Fed-driven collapse in the dollar which overnight has led to a historic 3.4% move in the Indonesian Rupiah the most since 2008, has pushed global stocks even higher in their biggest weekly rally since 2012, despite the start of an earnings season where virtually every single company reporting so far has stumbled on earnings reports that were far worse than even gloomy consensus had expected.