Recently, there has been a parade of central bankers along with their lackeys on Wall Street coming on the financial news networks and desperately trying to convince investors that there are no bubbles extant in the world today. Indeed, the Fed sees no economic or market imbalances anywhere that should give perma-bulls cause for concern. You can listen to Jerome Powell’s upbeat assessment of the situation in his own words during the latest FOMC press conference here. The Fed Chair did, however, manage to acknowledge that corporate debt levels are in fact a bit on the high side. But he added that “we have been monitoring it carefully and taken appropriate steps.” By taking appropriate steps to reduce debt levels Powell must mean slashing interest rates and going back into QE. The problem with that strategy being that is exactly what caused the debt binge and overleveraged condition of corporations in the first place.
People have been talking about a “debt bubble” for some years now. They’ve been right, of course, based on the combination of surging borrowing and plunging rates. But the bubble hasn’t stopped inflating, and recently it entered what certainsly looks like a terminal blow-off stage. Some highlights:
Though July, China’s total debt rose by $2 trillion, a year-over-year increase of 26%. And this month the Chinese government cut bank reserve requirements in an attempt to further rev up lending.
In Japan, the junk bond market is being constrained by banks so desperate for yield that they’re lending directly to companies previously considered too risky. See Japan Junk Bond Market Hopes Crushed by Banks Hungry to Lend.
One argument for last week’s extraordinary plunge in bond prices, which I explored as something that might happen this time of year in one of my earlier Premium Posts, was that bond prices could get crushed by the supersized US treasury auctions planned for September and October as the government makes up for its inability to issue new debt during the debt-ceiling standoff.
While pointing out the concern to patrons, I decided in the end for my own investment purposes that the Fed’s termination of quantitative tightening and its return to reducing interest rates would likely offset the impact of the government’s sudden debt expansion. Evidence is solid so far that the ballooning treasury auctions have not been the cause of the sudden collapse in bond prices (rise in yields).
(I also got out before the carnage of last week.)
Last week we wrote about how global central banks have created an economic time machine by forcing $17 trillion worth of bond yields below zero percent, which is now 30% of the entire developed world’s supply. Now it’s time to explain how the time machine they have built has broken down.
In parts of the developed world, individuals are now being incentivized to consume their savings today rather than being rewarded for deferring consumption tomorrow. In effect, time has been flipped upside down. These same central bankers then broke that time machine by guaranteeing investors they will never cease printing money until inflation has been firmly and permanently inculcated into the economy.
They have printed $22 trillion worth of new credit in search of this goal since 2008. This figure is still growing by the day. But by doing so, they have destroyed Capitalism. Freedom is dying; not by some Red Army but by central banks.
By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax
U.S. state and local government pensions, already with about $2 trillion less than they need to cover all the benefits that have been promised, are falling short of their investment-return assumptions this fiscal year — and President Donald Trump’s trade war with China isn’t helping.
The median public fund, which typically has a fiscal year ending June 30, returned 3.25% for the three quarters through March 31, according to Wilshire Associates Trust Universe Comparison Service.
In a previous analysis we examined how to create a 21% yield, as the incidental byproduct of the Fed’s plans for the cyclical containment of recession.
In this analysis, we will deepen that examination and visually illustrate the financial mathematics that would create a potential 48% yield from what the Federal Reserve plans to do in the event of another recession.
This analysis is part of a series of related analyses, an overview of the rest of the series is linked here.
Step One: Turning Zero Percent Interest Rates Into A 21% Yield
By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse
Back in 2014 oil was falling and hundreds of billions of dollars of energy junk bonds and leveraged loans looked to be at risk. Wolf Street had this to say at the time:
The price of oil has plunged nearly 40% since June to $65.63, and junk bonds in the US energy sector are getting hammered, after a phenomenal boom that peaked this year. Energy companies sold $50 billion in junk bonds through October, 14% of all junk bonds issued! But junk-rated energy companies trying to raise new money to service old debt or to fund costly fracking or off-shore drilling operations are suddenly hitting resistance.