The VP Blog
A blog about financial markets and the VP investing framework
Australian banks have grown in size hugely in recent years. Astonishingly, Commonwealth Bank of Australia is the tenth largest bank in the world, despite Australia having a far smaller population than China, the US and the UK - the other countries who have banks in...
One of the themes that we have been highlighting this year is the growing bubble in corporate bonds. It is pointless in the first instance to discuss whether super easy monetary policy that has fueled this bubble is appropriate or not. The main thing for investors to countenance is that the current monetary policy regime is having unintended consequences through the formation of a bubble in increasingly scarce liquid fixed income instruments.
There are some notable reasons for near-term reasons for optimism in the UK. The housing market seems to be picking up, industrial production growth is looking up together with PMI data and the equity market has done well. All these are real and significant signs of a better economy in the UK, but the structural challenges remain.
Our real narrow money index continues to decline and is sending an increasingly bearish cyclical signal for the global economy and commodity prices. Our real narrow money index has now declined for 4 months running and is now tracking below 7% for the first time since October 2010.
The economy and financial markets remain in the grips of the most easiest monetary policy the world has ever seen. The balance sheets at the Fed and the BOJ continue to expand at record pace and global real rates have been negative for over 3 years now. Negative real rates create tremendous incentives for borrowers to lever up and often create asset bubbles in debt, equity and property.
Variant Perception’s Jonathan Tepper was on Bloomberg TV this morning talking about leading indicators in the US, the government shutdown and debt ceiling in the US as well as the Fed’s monetary policy.
Variant Perception’s Claus Vistesen was on CNBC last week to discuss the market consequences of the government shutdown in the US.
The notion of a perfect storm is a tired cliché but in Portugal’s case, its use has rarely been more apt. Our view is that the market is underestimating the risks surrounding Portuguese debt roll-over and planned exit from the Troika programme in 2014. According to...
One of the most interesting developments across speculative positioning in the past weeks has been the reversal in net positioning in US stock futures. On an unsmoothed basis speculators most recently turned net short S&P 500 futures for the first time since October 2012 (although they increased their bullish bets slightly following the non-taper at the Fed). On a smoothed basis and including positioning in Dow Jones futures, net long speculative positioning has now declined for 5 months running.