While the Fed’s taper talk has been tapered and then un-tapered, the market may now be tapering the Fed rather than vice versa. Let’s assess Act 2 of the taper talk and the implications for the markets, including the dollar and gold.
Wholesale gold edged back from last week’s two-month closing high on Monday morning, recording its best London Gold Fix since 18th June above $1375 per ounce. World stock markets slipped, with Indonesia dropping 5.5%, as major government bond prices also fell, driving interest rates higher.
For a number of weeks the Fed has been talking about “tapering” its asset purchases, and from the recent spike in US government bond yields and the decline in US equities it seems as though investors them at their word. This does however raise an interesting question: If the Fed really is going to begin taking away the punchbowl why is the dollar tanking?
Friday was one of those days when so many markets move so dramatically that it’s hard to know what to focus on. But in this case the headline numbers – US stocks way up, gold way down, foreign markets all over the place — matter less than the interest rate on 10-year Treasuries, which spiked.
The world’s finances may be reaching critical stress-points, and as Bill Fleckenstein points out in this excellent article, the recent cracks that have started to appear in the Japanese and US bond markets could be as significant as the first payment defaults that occurred during the subprime mortgage meltdown.
Last week’s article ‘The Big Picture: From banking crisis to sovereign debt crisis to currency crisis’, provides a brief outline of each of the macro forces and trends that are currently impacting the global economy and financial markets. Today’s article attempts to show these forces in visual form so that investors can begin to understand the interplay between them.
This article attempts to outline all the macro forces and trends that are currently impacting the global economy and financial markets. It is only by understanding all of these forces (and the interplay between them) that investors can begin to see the inevitable path from banking crisis to sovereign debt crisis to currency crisis.
For around 30 years US government bonds have been in a major bull market. The yield on the 10-year note made a low in July 2012 at around 1.4%, however thanks to the recent breakout above major overhead resistance it is looking increasingly likely that the multi-decade bull market in US government debt has come to an end.
Last week, Ben Bernanke made a speech in which he warned that a long period of low interest rates could lead to asset price bubbles and a new financial crash. Bernanke is worried about another banking crisis or another bubble caused by bank lending while low interest rates and Fed manipulations have already led to a new bubble. It’s in US Treasuries.