This is an abbreviated post from our subscription series at Credit Writedowns Pro. I would make the case that monetary policy is wholly inappropriate as a tool for steering against cyclical ups and downs exactly because it only has a secondary impact on the real economy and must act through the credit markets. As such, monetary policy is always about […]
The title here is a bit provocative I know. But it is really something I stole from an article about Stephen Roach’s view that I will use as a jumping off point for my Friday review.
Going back to my comments from yesterday about the utility of macro, I want to talk a bit about credit excesses and valuation manias. The overall gist here is that manias are endemic to our system because psychology plays a big part in social systems. And while it is debatable how well macro policy can “lean against”, it is clear […]
There are widespread signs of credit market froth. This is a telltale sign of top of the cycle or near top of the cycle excess. Think 2005, 2006 or 2007. The key bit here is that credit markets transmit distress in a way that equity markets do not because when the credit writedowns are forced onto banks, the knock-on effects are severe. Let me go through some of these signs of excess with you. As I do so, let’s be clear that the froth is largely due to investors reaching for yield due to excessively low nominal and negative real interest rates. Financial repression has consequences.
The Chinese property bubble is bursting
Chinese wage pressure is rising
Chinese search for oil has increased geopolitical tensions
I was reading a summary of Jeremy Grantham’s remarks in GMO’s recent quarterly analysis. And it occurred to me that a lot of what we see there is predicated on some embedded longer-term assumptions that I want to make clear. Grantham is talking about the potential, even likelihood of a bubble in equities by 2016. This has to worrying because it would usher in another period of deleveraging. But it also assumes that the real economy gets us through 2016 via expansion. Some thoughts below
The Canadian housing market is providing a pro-cyclical boost
Russia is now in a recession
Twitter’s share collapse is emblematic of broader trends
Corporations pay tax for a reason
I have been off since Thursday due to the Easter holiday. But I want to write my traditional Friday post today with a grab bag of different issues I am seeing. I actually just want to focus on the US this time.
The West has accepted Crimea’s annexation and will likely only increase sanctions if Russia goes further The Ukraine – IMF deal will put the Ukrainian economy through the wringer Russia’s economy is going to tank due to capital flight Brazil’s economy is in jeopardy of recession The US is doing ok but not great as data have improved The Fed’s […]
Market based information is telling us that spreads and leverage are now disconnected, fundamentals remain in-line with theory. Companies with higher net debt also have poorer liquidity positions.
Steel, iron ore futures in China tanked on bloated (all-time high) inventories and apparent lending curbs by Chinese banks.
In the wake of the financial crisis, bailouts and cheap money have done much to restore American bank balance sheets. Earnings for banks have returned to pre-crisis levels. But over the medium-term I believe banks’ earnings power will be damaged by a loss of fee income as bank fees come under assault. The problem is Bitcoin. Let me explain in this post.