And markets are totally unprepared
The financial markets have had a bit of a tough time going anywhere this year.
2015 stands in relative contrast to largely upward stock and bond market movement over the past three years. What’s different this year and what are the risks to investment outcomes ahead?
There are large signs of stress now present in the credit markets. You might not know it from today’s multi-generationally low interest rates, but other key measures such as liquidity and volatility are flashing worrying signs.
Look, we all know that this centrally planned experiment forcing financial assets ever higher is simply fostering multiple bubbles, each in search of a pin. As all bubbles do, they are going to end with bang.
I keep my eyes on the credit markets because that’s where the real trouble is brewing. Continue reading
Stock markets opened lower on the first day of trading of 2015, and the credit markets that forewarned the 2007 crash are showing signs of strain
The FTSE 100 slid on the first day of trading in 2015. Here are 10 warning signs that the markets may drop further
Vix fear gauge
For five years, investor fear of risk has been drugged into somnolence by repeated injections of quantitative easing. The lack of fear has led to a world where price and risk have become estranged. As credit conditions are tightened in the US and China, the law of unintended consequences will hold sway in 2015 as investors wake up. The Vix, the so-called “fear index” that measures volatility, spiked to 18.4 on Friday, above the average of 14.5 recorded last year. Continue reading
US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has issued a categorical warning that the United States will default on its $16.7 trillion debt and throw the world into turmoil unless Congress agrees to raise the legal debt ceiling by October 17.
Mr Lew said the treasury had already exhausted its normal funds in May and has been “creating room” by resorting to one-off tricks, but these, too, have run dry. The government will have just $30bn by October 17, half what is needed to cover immediate needs over subsequent days. Continue reading
“The global financial crisis that began in the United States in the summer of 2007 was triggered by a bank run, just like those of 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893, 1907 and 1933.” That’s the theme of Yale economist Gary Gorton’s Misunderstanding Financial Crises, Why We Don’t See Them Coming, published last year by Oxford University Press. Students of financial crises will tell you that Gorton’s theme is highly relevant to the next meltdown we could face someday soon. Continue reading