June 26, 2013 | By Scott Minerd
The severe dislocation in fixed income markets is the result of investors’ surprise over the faster-than-expected pace at which the Federal Reserve indicated it plans to taper and eventually end quantitative easing (QE). There are parallels between this event and the bond market crash of 1994 when then-U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan increased the federal funds rate by 25 basis points. In the subsequent bond-market rout – the worst since the Great Depression – investors immediately began re-pricing bonds to where they assumed rates would be at the end of the tightening cycle, rather than waiting for interest rates to incrementally move to their new levels. Long-term rates doubled over the next six months and liquidity significantly dried up in the bond market.
When looking closely at the latest projections by the Federal Reserve, their outlook on the unemployment rate by the end of the year suggests that they believe economic activity will accelerate as we head into the summer. I do not subscribe to this view, as we are already seeing pressure on housing and the broader economy from higher interest rates, and the recent spike in yields’ negative impact is likely to continue to show up in the economic data over the summer. Adding all this up, there remains a strong possibility that the Fed will shift the tone of its guidance from QE tapering back to QE expansion or extension before the end of 2013.
As a result of increased banking regulations, U.S. primary dealers’ positions of corporate securities, including commercial paper, investment grade, and high-yield corporate bonds, have declined substantially from the peak of $260 billion in 2007 to the current level of $68 billion. This reduction in bond inventories could prove to have a negative impact on market liquidity. Investors may have difficulty unwinding their positions amid rising interest rates, as dealers shrink their corporate bond holdings, pushing bond yields higher.
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Bloomberg, SIFMA, Guggenheim Investments. *Note: Corporate securities include commercial paper, investment grade, and high-yield corporate bonds. Data for 2013 as of 1Q2013.
This article is distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investing advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. This article contains opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Guggenheim Partners or its subsidiaries. The author’s opinions are subject to change without notice. Forward looking statements, estimates, and certain information contained herein are based upon proprietary and non-proprietary research and other sources. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but are not assured as to accuracy. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of Guggenheim Partners, LLC. ©2014, Guggenheim Partners. Past performance is not indicative of future results. There is neither representation nor warranty as to the current accuracy of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information.
Current conditions could persist for some time, but with a possible recession approximately two years away, the time for caution is approaching.
Investors are coming to terms with the idea that the Fed will keep raising rates because of inflation and economic pressures.
Euphoria at Davos may be a sign that the market melt up may soon begin to cool.
Global CIO Scott Minerd and Head of Macroeconomic and Investment Research Brian Smedley provide context and commentary to complement our recent publication, “Forecasting the Next Recession.”
In his market outlook, Global CIO Scott Minerd discusses the challenges of managing in a market melt up and highlights several charts from his recent piece, “10 Macro Themes to Watch in 2018.”
You are now leaving this website.Guggenheim assumes no responsibility of the content or its accuracy.
Your browser does not support iframes.
2018 Guggenheim Partners, LLC. All rights reserved. Guggenheim, Guggenheim Partners and Innovative Solutions. Enduring Values. are registered trademarks of Guggenheim Capital, LLC.