Is The Japanese Party Ending?

As we discussed here just two weeks ago, there is a growing concern that Japanese officials will decide to turn the currency war amplifier volume to 11 and devalue the JPY. With carry trades unwinding rapidly, JPY continues to strengthen (much to their chagrin) but now we are seeing very aggressive positioning in 5Y JGB breakevens (or inflation bets) which implicitly belie devaluation expectations. The key being that, breakevens spiking implies a market expectation that the BoJ will finally be forced to stimulate inflation, as Andy Xie recently pointed out, but going the hyper-inflate path and crushing the JPY. This instead of the alternative, for an economy which is now no longer in a trade surplus, which is a collapse in bonds which has its own very nasty endgame (where, as a jarring reminder, if bond yields rise to 2 percent, the interest expense would surpass the total expected tax revenue of 42.3 trillion yen).

Chart: Bloomberg, h/t Clavin


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