David Fuller and Eoin Treacy's Comment of the Day
Category - General

    Global Asset Allocation: A Quiet Dollar Devaluation

    Thanks to a subscriber for this report from Jeffries which may be of interest. Here is a section: 

    Without much fanfare, a second global monetary easing was unleashed in May as the dollar fell without anyone appearing to notice. The fact that the greenback fell of its own volition suggests that the unprecedented risk aversion seen in March is really beginning to unwind. If so, then the US$1.2trn sitting in US money market funds since February will be itching to find a home or asset class that can hold its value (see Global Asset Allocation: Too Much Money Chasing Too Few Assets). Throughout 2019, US money markets only accumulated US$555bn.

    As fears of the COVID-19 pandemic recede, the Federal Reserve is continuing to add dollars to the global monetary system at an unprecedented rate (see RHS chart). Just as importantly, US implied inflation expectations, as measured by the 10-year breakeven inflation rate, are rising after lurching into deflation. Coincidentally, this is occurring as the futures markets price in the probability of negative US rates. One of the most important turning points for the direction of equity markets is the shift into inflation (see US: Market Bottoms).

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Email of the day on DRD gold long base formations.

    Can you add DRD Gold (ADR) to the library. It is priced just under 10 $. There is overhead resistance from the early 2000s; is this still relevant 20 years on? Can you do a comparative review of the N. American, Australian and South African gold mining sector?

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Latest Satoshi Nakamoto Candidate Buying Bitcoin No Matter What

    This article by Olga Kharif for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribes. Here is a section:

    One reason is, Back believes Bitcoin will go to $300,000 from the current approximate price of $10,000 within five years -- without any additional adoption by institutional investors. Retail investors, who’ve carried the torch for the last 10-plus years, since Bitcoin’s debut, will continue to show support as institutions remain cautious, he said.

    “It might not require additional institutional adoption because the current environment is causing more individuals to think about hedging,” Back said. “And retaining value when there’s a lot of money printing in the world.”

    With more people working from home amid the Covid-19 epidemic, real-estate investments are more risky, he said. Bonds may be overvalued. And so some investors may be turning to Bitcoin, even though it too could see some headwinds as more people lose jobs, he said.

    “It is causing people to think about the value of money and looking for ways to preserve money,” Back said. “It’s a difficult environment to get any yield.”

    One reassuring sign of demand is that Grayscale Investments alone has bought more Bitcoin in the past few weeks than the amount of new coins that has been mined, Back said.

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Adam Tooze on the pandemic's consequences for the world economy

    This article is a month old but it raises a number of important questions which I believe are worth addressing. Here is a section: 

    The worry about China is the sustainability of its debt-fuelled economic growth. The basic weaknesses of the Eurozone are that it still doesn’t have a backstop for its rickety banking system and that it lacks a shared fiscal capacity; what’s more, Italy’s finances are so weak that they continually threaten to upset European solidarity. In the US, the national institutions of economic policy actually work: they demonstrated this in 2008 and are doing so again now. The Fed and the Treasury exert a huge influence not only over the US economy but the entire global system. The question is how they stand in relation to a profoundly divided American society and how their technocratic style of policymaking is received by the know-nothing nationalist right wing of the Republican Party and its champion in the White House.

    Over recent years, each of these weaknesses has at various times seized the attention of the fund managers and business leaders who direct global business, and the experts and technicians who advise them. It isn’t a secret that China’s debt bubble, Europe’s divisions and America’s irrational political culture pose a challenge to the functioning of what we know as the world economy. What caused the panic last month was the realisation that Covid-19 has exposed all three weaknesses simultaneously. Indeed, in Europe and the US the failure of government has been so severe that we now face a public health catastrophe and an economic disaster at the same time. And to make matters worse, Donald Trump appears tempted to juggle the two.

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Email of the day - on precious metals

    Hello Eoin, if "liquidity trumps everything else" and assuming that governments worldwide will continue New Monetary Theory with massive deficit spending financed by monetization by central banks at essential cero or negative real interest rates, then this wall of liquidity should further propel the ongoing general "melt up" of stock and debt markets allowing a prolonged, demand driven risk-on rally.

    In this case precious metals would lose their supposed unique "safe haven" status/advantage until such time that serious inflation or stagflation or a likely collapse or reset of the monetary system becomes visible to a large part of investors - if at all.

    Until such (far-off?) day of reckoning, precious metals would neither be needed as protection against systemic crisis as "NMT would be working beautifully" nor for return purposes as stocks and other assets will be pushed up by abundant liquidity. For investors in precious metals/mining stocks the critical questions therefore is:

    How long will stocks and other financial assets outperform and "unneeded" precious metals correct or even collapse? Looking back at 2011 and onwards, precious metals collapsed and stayed low until mid-2019 whilst continuing QE1- QEn (the predecessor for NMT) around the world made stock and debt markets boom for the next 9(!) years.

    As this time round central banks and governments "shot before asking" by IMMEDIATELY providing unlimited liquidity and fiscal deficits instead of slowly finding and providing relief to financial markets as they did in 2008-2012 and onwards, the best part of the run-up in precious metals may be behind us and the place to invest is in stock markets without much regard to old fashioned valuation discipline.

    Most of the performance of the past 10 years has been by way of a multiple expansion - why not have the S&P 500 trade at 25+ trailing earnings if real interest rates are negative and there is a worldwide "Powell/central bank put" as a guarantee against any serious losses?

    My questions to you: 1. Why stay invested in PMs NOW and risk a serious corrections/collapse in PMs? 2. When will investors at large recognize - if at all (?!) - that NMT is and will be seriously debasing the currency and nominal values of all assets and that PMs are relatively better or at least, competitive investments/stores of value than say quality stocks (which pay at least a small dividend)?

    Thank you for reflecting on the above and sharing your views with the collective. All the best, B

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    India Equities Post Best Run in Seven Months on Lockdown Exit

    This article by Abhishek Vishnoi for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    India’s phased loosening of restrictions will see malls, restaurants and places of worship reopening as of June 8 after the world’s toughest stay-at-home curbs to stem the Covid-19 pandemic muted economic growth.

    “The gradual easing of the lockdown has boosted sentiment,” Ajit Mishra, vice president of research at Religare Broking Ltd., wrote in a note Monday. “The recent surge indicates markets are focusing more on the optimistic side and anticipating a favorable scenario.”

    Still, Moody’s Investors Service on Monday reduced the country’s sovereign rating by a notch to the lowest investment grade, which may undermine India’s efforts to attract foreign capital into its debt market to fund a ballooning fiscal gap and avoid the first economic contraction in more than four decades.

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Protests Hammer U.S. Cities Still Recovering From Lockdown

    This article by Amanda Albright, Eric Martin, Elizabeth Campbell and Christopher Palmeri for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Violence erupted in dozens of cities following the death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man who died after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck for more than eight minutes. Some demonstrators broke off to rampage through shopping districts, including Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and set fire to police cars and municipal buildings.

    The chaos, amid otherwise peaceful protests, struck as the economy struggles to emerge from its coronavirus-enforced hibernation. After the Covid-19 deaths of more than 104,000 Americans, unprecedented government intervention and massive disruptions to business and everyday life, the scenes of unrest were a bleak contrast to the recent optimism of the markets. A 36% rally in the S&P 500 since March has pushed valuations to the highest in 20 years.

    “I think people are coming to the realization that their jobs may not be coming back or coming back quickly. This is all conflating with the racial tensions and completely boiling over,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “This highlights the depth of despair in America,” he added, citing 20% unemployment and 50 million workers who’ve lost their jobs or had pay cuts.

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.