Asian economies in general are in an incredibly fragile state with South Korean exports contracting, export-dependent emerging markets clinging on to idle speed manufacturing PMI readings, and Chinese debt service payments coming due after being augmented by consecutive rounds of grandesque fiscal stimulus.
September trade data out of China might indicate a surge of temporary goods purchases in anticipation of another bump up in tariff rates. If so, this will feed into an abnormally high inventory buildup in the United States during the autumn period that will fall off a cliff early next year whether there are higher tariffs or not.
Emerging market currencies as a group are on the verge of testing lows not seen since late 2016 when the “Trump trade” was fueling expectations for a surge in multi-pronged fiscal stimulus and inflation. As it turns out, reflation expectations weren’t so far off the mark. Higher interest rates in the US are pulling capital away from emerging markets as […]
Hong Kong needs to mimic the US in raising short-term interest rates in order to maintain the currency peg with USD. This is causing strain on the Hong Kong economy as exemplified by 3m HIBOR climbing more briskly than it would independent of the peg. Some of the world’s most sky-high real estate prices are rolling over. This will accelerate […]
Safe-haven sovereign bonds are experiencing a counter-trend snapback rally as the focus has shifted to a slew of troubling yet still mostly second-tier geopolitical events. The incoming populist Italian Five Star Movement/right-wing League political coalition is pursuing a shift away from painful austerity back toward the type of popular but damaging heavy borrowing and spending regime that led to Italy […]
Oil, Sticker Shock, and Upward Pressure on Yields A perfect three-pronged storm is brewing: oil, the labor market, and fiscal policy in the US will soon propel inflation notably higher than appreciated by overly complacent economists and analysts stuck in a delusion of “low-flation” recency bias. Just this past Friday afternoon–Friday afternoons being the most notorious time to quietly dump […]
Emerging Market Credit Risks Could Fuel a Temporary Rush of Capital into USD as the Receding Tide Exposes Naked Swimmers
Risks are increasing for a rapid rush of capital out of low-quality EM and this could temporarily reverse or complicate the longer term trajectory of a weaker USD.
We like to build a foundation of top-down macro themes over longer time frames and then optimize specific risk management strategies to fit the nature of the themes more actively.
Venezuelan sovereign credit default swaps have priced-in imminent default.
Global Macro Backdrop: Absolutely remarkable and historically unprecedented Developed market equity indexes are scorching higher across the board. New all-time highs or multi-decade highs are being reached nearly every day in the US, Japan, Germany, and elsewhere. Bond yields are constrained across the duration and risk spectrum near multi-decade lows. European sovereign 2-year notes in periphery nations such as Italy, Portugal, and Spain are negative and continuing to hit new lows. Bond spreads between Germany and the periphery are generally narrowing to new lows, pricing in similar levels of risk between EU nation states. European high yield bonds are trading below 2%. Equity, bond, and currency market volatility are all at or near historic lows. This is the least volatile […]
USD is acting more like an injured EM commodity currency with political risk typically witnesses in developing countries, not a safe haven.