The Panic in Interest Rates is Just Getting Started


QUESTION: Marty; You warned that there would begin a cash shortage and real rates would rise in the private sector starting in September after Labor Day. Ok, it’s about 15 days past that marker and Repo rates have gone completely nuts hitting 10% forcing the Fed to intervene. They were calling it Armstrong’s revenge here in the dealing room. It certainly appears the Fed has lost control of short-term rates as you warned. Is this the start of the chaos you have warned about?

GD

ANSWER: It’s not my revenge, it’s fiscal mismanagement. Look, this is the chaos we have coming and sorry, it is the beginning, not the end. It’s not even a fluke or a blip. So get used to it. Indeed, the Fed has lost control of short-term rates. Trump can jawbone all he wants for zero to negative rates. Sorry! The free markets are showing something else lies in wait.

The Repo Rate reached a high of 10% by about 9 am just before the stock market opened. The fed funds rate was testing the Fed’s upper limit. The Fed was forced to intervene I believe for the first time since the 2008 crisis.

On Tuesday, the Fed offered $75 billion through its facility and received $53 billion of demand from borrowers who swap AAA Treasury holdings for cash at minimal rates. On Wednesday, the Fed again offered the same $75 billion facility and received this time $80 billion in bids.

Overnight financing (REPO Rate) is a basic function which holds the economy together. Those who trade on leverage rely on the REPO market (Broker-dealers, hedge funds, and institutional). It is rarely written about for it is not generally seen by the public. The events of the past few days is a clear warning sign of what I have been yelling about which is on the horizon. The central banks are TRAPPED and in Europe, they have destroyed their bond market with more than $15 trillion and perhaps up to $17 trillion in negative-yielding bonds ($1 trillion is corporate).

Before the 2007-2009 crisis, the Repo Rate was actually the only financial instrument which paid a rate of return that could become NEGATIVE under normal market conditions. NEGATIVE Repo Rates can happen when there is a shortage of cash or particular collateral security, like negative-yielding bonds, are put up to borrow against. Therefore, trying to borrow against a negative-yielding bond can present a crisis. The standard Repo contracts, such as the Global Master Repurchase Agreement (GMRA), have been drafted under the implicit assumption that general collateral (GC) Repo Rates would only ever be positive.

What has transpired is the buyers of these negative bonds have been simply traders. They have not bought this stuff to actually hold to maturity. They have been happy to trade them assuming rates would continue lower so it would be a bond rally. We are looking at SERIOUS credit risk once again but instead of the time bombs being mortgage-backed securities, this time it will be negative-yielding bonds issued by governments. The bond markets have been converted into a child’s game of musical chairs. When the music stops, someone will be left holding negative-yielding bonds that will only be salable at even deeper discounts of perhaps as great as 50% in a few years.

About 30% of the bonds issued by governments and companies worldwide are trading at negative yields which is now about $17tn of outstanding debt. This unprecedented reversal of normal practice has raised profound questions about the outlook for bonds. This is seriously impacting core holding for institutional investors.

The interest rate risk that negative-yielding bonds carry is beyond unbelievable. It is totally artificial supported only by punters. The financial system simply doesn’t work with negative rates and this is also contributing to shortages of cash for Repo markets. A slight rise in interest rates will create a massive debt crisis and if you undermine the bond market, that is what creates great depressions. Negative yields have been confined to places outside the USA and the intervention of the Fed implies they are not prepared to allow negative rates to undermine the US economy as they have done in Europe.

Unlike the 2008 crisis where the time bombs were private debt, Tuesday’s abrupt rise in short-term rates wasn’t obvious that the financial system was in trouble because sovereign debt is assumed to be AAA and risk-free. Not sure whoever started that huge lie.

Nevertheless, we have a convergence of forces which are creating the perfect financial storm on the horizon. Immediately, corporate tax payments are due so corps have less cash to sell overnight. Then there are big Treasury auctions as deficits continue to rise for governments always borrow, yet never pay off the debt as if this can continue without end.

I have been warning that we are headed into a major financial crisis that will be a liquidity event which involves government – not simply the private sector as was the case in 2008. So buckle-up. I have been warning this is something NOBODY has ever witnessed before and if Socrates was actually alive, he would be screaming bloody-murder by now. The Institutional Bond Report will be going out to all our Institutional Clients. Those who have been thinking about joining our Institutional client base can purchase a copy $3,500

Government Will Never Accept Responsibility for their Actions


COMMENT:  You were right Martin! Demonetization was one of the worst decisions by the Modi government, the country is now suffering from that…. economy has gone down, but the new govt will not admit it. They believe the Millenials are to blame!

JPM (India)

REPLY: After nearly 40 years of dealing with governments throughout the world, I have yet to hear any government EVER admit blame for causing an event.

I was called in for research on the 1987 Crash as we had clients on the Commission. Not only did we forecast the crash to the day, but we came out on the day of the low and forecast new highs by 1989. The Energy models showed the move was over.

Despite all of that, I stressed that the entire crisis was set in motion by the formation of the G5 and their pronouncement that they “wanted” to see the dollar fall by 40% for trade purposes in 1985. The Brady Commission report went into detail about how the foreign exchange markets impacted the event. However, they would not blame the G5.

When Rubin started the same jawboning about the dollar, I wrote to him warning he would create another crash. They backed off.

Flight from Public to Private


QUESTION: Hi. Martin. I have read your blog for many years and I’m blown away about how much I have learned Question can you help explain how the European stock markets Like the day have risen to over 12000. With European interest rates falling.

SH

ANSWER: Capital is beginning to move already. Europe is closing in and hunting taxes. The chaos of Brexit and punishing Britain rather than addressing the economic problems has really doomed Europe.

As you can see, the peak in the PE ratio took place at the LOW in 2009, not the high. When you enter these periods of uncertainty, interest rates, dividends, and expectations of profits no longer mean anything. The primary objective is to park money in a safe place where you get it back. Banks are questionable with bail-in policies and negative interest rates. Now even gold is being targeted. Where else to go but equities

Piketty is Back As Elizabeth Warren Adopts His Ideas


Thomas Piketty, the French economist from communism’s birthplace, is back and this time he wants to drive a stake through the heart of capitalism, end human rights, and deny equal protection of the law in the true spirit of Marxism. Now in his latest treatise, “Capital and Ideology,’’ he argues that governments should fix the inequality of wealth by confiscating all the assets of the rich thereby ending capitalism. Excuse me, but didn’t Lenin and Stalin try this once before?

Piketty has been influential, and believe it or not, his ideas are the core of Elizabeth Warren’s platform. Warren worked with two former Piketty aides to design her Wealth Tax proposal.

The idea of communism actually emerged during the French Revolution. It was an experiment known as the Parisian Commune of 1793. Marx concluded ultimately that the power of the state, and the duty of citizenship, must be subordinate to the state by necessity. If that principle stands, there can never be liberty. It was the French who convinced Marx that socialism was not enough. There had to be the forced subordination of all people to the will of the state. This is the core of what Piketty is really all about. He is still speaking from a French view that has prevailed since the revolution during the Commune Movement.

France has one of the worst economies in Europe. It has opposed free trade to support uncompetitive jobs. France has been unfavorable to capital investment which has kept the nation from really participating as a leading economy in the 21st century. France has been unable to test, no less exceed, its 2000 high. Now Piketty wishes to spread the worst of France to the rest of the world. This is like going to dinner with a friend and they taste something so bad and then offer it to you to see how bad it really tastes.

How Quantum Biology Might Explain Life’s Biggest Questions | Jim Al-Khalili | TED Talks


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The Story Of Energy With Professor Jim Al-Khalili | Order and Disorder


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The great 19th-century Austrian physicist, Ludwig Boltzmann was one of the most important proponents of the idea that all matter is made of atoms.

Trump on Interest Rates -OMG!


I have said this many times, when it comes to understanding interest rates Trump is speaking the standard mantra that people apply when it comes to interest rates. Trump is a borrower, not a lender. His bankruptcies were the result of the business cycle and he leverages himself to the hilt so when the recession comes, he gets in trouble and when it is booming he claims to be a fantastic investor. But he is no trader. He could have hedged the business cycle but did not.

This latest rant that interest rates should be lower illustrates he is a borrower and not a lender. Therefore, he views that lowering interest rates will be bullish when in fact lower interest rates wipe out the savers.

Sorry, I do not agree with this and more than 10-years of low to stupidly low interest rates have FAILED to reverse the economic declines in Europe or Japan. Europe is approaching its 13th year of economic recession. When we look at the German share market, the strongest in Europe, it still has not exceeded the 2000 high on the Price Index. So much for lower interest rates boosting the share market.

Hello President Trump! You better look for some REAL advisers.

 

Stocks rise with Rising Interest Rates & Falls with Lower Rates


QUESTION: I mentioned that you said the stock market rallies with rising rates and declines with lower rates to an analyst. He said you were wrong and everyone knows that is not true and President Trump just came out calling on the Fed to lower rates to zero of negative.

You have only showed 1929 as your example. Can you support your argument otherwise?

Skeptical

REPLY: Well skeptical, we need people like you on the opposite side. It is not my job to convince you. Trump is a borrower and only sees the world through his personal experience. The people with savings and pension funds are being wiped out. That is a statement he has made which is HIGHLYdangerous and proves I do not advise Trump which seems to be a Democratic accusation running around.

 

I do not care what period you look at. This notorious group of “everyone” illustrates that if you tell a lie long enough, you yourself will believe what you are saying. These people constituting everyone just repeat what others say without any verification whatsoever. They even teach this nonsense in school. I had one student who said his professor was teaching the same nonsense.

I fully understand that the talking heads on TV also portray the stock market from the borrower’s viewpoint just as Trump has done. Not everyone borrows and the big money does not. So if people believe what they want to believe. I prefer to assemble the largest possible database, correlate everything, and see how the world REALLY ticks. So believe what you want. There are always two-sides to a market so I fully respect that it is ABSOLUTELY vital that the major be on the wrong side for that is what makes the markets move.

Japan Still Declining into 2021


QUESTION: When I saw your blog saying 2019 will be really crazy and chaotic year for Japan (Feb 2019), I was curious how bad it could be. It is always amazing to see how you and your Socrates turning point manifest in the real world. I was astonished when Japan restricted exports of critical materials used in South Korea’s high-tech semiconductor industry right after G20 Osaka Summit. A trade war is generally initiated by a deficit country. This decision was not only opposite but might lead to devastate their own industry and disrupt the world IT markets. It seems to be a political stance for the upcoming Japan Upper House election but connects further deep into friction between Korea and Japan history. Insane year for Japan indeed, thank you for your great work and efforts providing new perspectives to the world.

Q: With all that sovereign debt how do you see the future of Japan will be?

HJ Kim

 

ANSWER: Our forecast was covering economics, which then causes political responses. As I previously reported, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda publicly stated that it may maintain ultra-low rates for a further period of well over a year. However, he also warned against the idea of propping up the economy through unlimited money or printing to finance government spending.

The Bank of Japan is trapped. Its holdings of the national debt have reached nearly 50%. The BOJ modified its forward guidance or pledge on how it will guide future monetary policy. It stated that current very low interest rates will continue at least until the spring of 2020. Without the BOJ buying government debt, there is ZERO hope that interest rates will rise dramatically and a financial crisis will be in the making. The BOJ will keep rates low for an extended period of time for they have no choice. There is no way out of this nightmare and the real inflationary cycle comes when the majority wake up and realize that the emperor has no clothes, and that means the central bankers worldwide.

There remains a capital flight from Japan and the more they keep these policies up, our model does not show that their economy will recover. We are looking at the absolute low perhaps forming as early and the middle of 2020 but more likely into mid-2021. This will prompt the Monetary Crisis to spark political change.

Fixed Exchange Rates Have Always Caused Major Financial Crises


Margaret Thatcher on the ERM Crisis & why even the euro will f