Market Believes 'New Normal' Is 'Old Normal' Once Again

For the third time since the crisis of confidence in the world's economic and financial markets really shifted from the 'old normal' to a supposed 'new normal' of credit-bloated slow growth and deleveraging, risk markets in general have fallen back to a belief that systemic risk is off the table. Not just European tail-risk. As Bloomberg notes, across six major assets classes, cross-asset-class correlation has fallen to levels associated with pre-crisis risk. Simply put, the systemic 'tail-risk' driver of our markets has been priced out, leaving just idiosyncratic risk (for now). What is often misunderstood, however, is this drastic reduction in correlation also means the market believes that the systemic 'flow' of central bank liquidity is also less important as investors become more confident that some fundamental hope belies the performance. As we have seen a few times post-crisis, since the impossible was proved very possible, risk-flares can happen when one least expects them, and with market perceptions of that possibility now so low, the impact could be considerably more exaggerated.



Simply put, this is a chart of the victory of central bank largesse over human common-sense and logic. We suspect - just as we have seen before - this cloak of invincibility will be lifted once again very soon.


Chart: Bloomberg