FINANCIAL MARKET CHAOS REIGNS

Headline:
Free-Falling Markets In Full Fear Mode.

****************************

Global Financial Markets Have Recently Been Slammed…

Especially Equities…As Beta Dominates + Dispersion Is Generally Non-Existent.

The SPY Has Cratered Almost 16% In The Past Month…

Longs Have Nowhere To Hide…Other Than Than A Well Bid $US…

And An Increasingly Spooked Volatility Complex…

Contributing To A Brutal Fixed Income Rout…

In All Likelihood…These 1-Way Price Movements Are Turbo Charged By Margin Calls.

Meanwhile…Investor Sentiment Is Dismal…Probing Spring ’20 COVID Lows.

****************************

“If It Bleeds It Leads”…Captures Global Market Headlines

1. Terminal Fed Funds Rate Expectations Ramp Toward 4.5%.
2. U.S. Quantitative Tightening Amplifies Rate Increases.
3. U.S. Financial Conditions Constrict To Contain Inflation.
4. Europe Is Natural Gas “Boxed” By Russia.
5. British Politicians Panic With Absurd Budget Proposals.
6. Japanese Yield Curve Control Is Fortified…Despite Inflation’s Bite.
7. China COVID Lockdowns Perpetuate…Stifling Supply Chains.
8. Taiwan Braces For China Aggression.

And…No Doubt…It ALL Contributes To Much Market Angst.

****************************

However…The Primary Culprit For Current Financial Market Volatility =

The Federal Reserve’s Bloated Balance Sheet…

BECAUSE 12 YEARS OF RIDICULOUSLY EXCESSIVE DOLLAR PRINTING + ZIRP PROVIDED THE FOUNDATION FOR TODAY’S INFLATION CONUNDRUM…

And Was Compounded Globally…As Domestic Debt Monetization Policies Were Intellectually + Practically Exported To Almost All Developed Economies.

****************************

Since ’09…QE/ZIRP Proponents Frequently Articulated There Was Little Legacy Based Inflation Risk…Confirmed By Very Soft Traditional Price Metrics…

1. CPI +
2. PCE +
3. PPI

…Despite Stunningly Sharp Increases In The Money Supply.

Further, They Also Argued That A More Legitimate Longer Term Price Concern Was…Deflation/Dis-Inflation…Especially Due To Globalization Trends…

Thus…Validating Their Money Printing + ZIRP Strategies.

****************************

However, There Was Plenty Of High Flying Inflation…Initiated By Their Monetary Policies…

IN PLAIN SIGHT

That Central Bankers Elected To Simply Ignore…Defined As…

GLOBAL FINANCIAL ASSET INFLATION …Comprising…

1. Equities = Private + Public
2. Fixed Income = Private + Sovereign
3. Real Estate = Commercial + Residential

…AND ALL DRAMATICALLY

1.  Ascended +
2.  Distorted +
3.  Inflated

…Which…Finally…Post COVID…

Transmitted To John Q. Public’s Real Economy…

…With Increased + Persistent Momentum…During Calendars ’21/’22.

****************************

Then Suddenly…After 12 Months Of Consistent Denial…About The Durability Of Heightened Legacy Based Inflation Measures…

THE FED GOT REAL SMART…REAL FAST…

As The Monetary Baton Seamlessly Flipped…

From…Powerful Stimulus…

To…Bold Contraction.

****************************

Recently…The Fed’s Hawkish Chatter Ratcheted Up…Especially After Last Month’s CPI Data…Which Was Just A Bit Firmer/Wider Than Market Expectations.

Then…Chair Powell Jawboned…At Last Week’s Fed “Presser”…That Real Interest Rates Ought To Be Positive Across The Entire Yield Curve…And That Did It.

Subsequently…Already Heavy Fixed Income Markets Tanked Again…The Dollar Received Another Adrenaline Boost + Fatigued Equity Markets Collapsed From A Further Lack Of Any Bullish Oxygen.

****************************

So…Global Dollar Liquidity Is Currently Being Withdrawn…

At A Frenzied + Record Pace.

Financial Markets Now Price-In Dire Economic Consequences…And Risk Premiums Naturally Skew To The Downside…

As Borrowing Costs Quickly + Very Steeply Escalate.

Asset Managers…Dizzied By The Rapidly Changing Macro-Dynamics…Are Selling First + Asking Questions Later.

****************************

So…When Will This Period Of Financial Market Dislocation…At Least…Begin To Subdue?

ONLY WHEN EXPECTATIONS OF U.S. INTEREST RATE INCREASES INITIALLY SLOW…AND THEN PEAK…

ALLOWING THE US DOLLAR TO WEAKEN…

Of Which…We Are Likely…Closer Than Many May Conceive…As

As Post COVID’s Incredibly Dramatic “Bull-Whip” Economic Impact Normalizes.

****************************

Contact The Author: Dominate@GlobalSlant.com

“STONES” REQUIRED…TO EXCEL AS L/S EQUITY PORTFOLIO MANAGER

Headlines:
1. Pain Ought To Be Expected.
2. The Outcome = Always Uncertain.
3. A Metaphor For Life?

*************************************

Managing Risk Capital = A Chosen…Yet Extremely Stressful Profession.

The Potential Financial Rewards Are Irresistible…

But The Pathway To Achievement Is Typically Tumultuous.

*************************************

The Primary Tactical Goals Of A L/S Equity Portfolio Manager =
1. Elevate “High Water Mark” +
2. Maximize Sharpe Ratio +
3. Optimizing Capital Allocation/Utilization

While Recognizing That =
4. Returns Are Not Time Linear +
5. Research = Cornerstone Of High Conviction +
6. Investing/Trading = Art…NOT A Science +
7. Liquid/Transparent Markets Are Preferred +
8. Risk May Only Be Precisely Measured In Hindsight

And Appreciating Esoteric Factors =
9.  Humility…As Markets Can Exact Brutal/Sudden Pain +
10.  Psychology’s Significant Impact On Market Pricing +
11. Experience/Instinct = Monumental Attribute +
12.  Accepting Responsibility For All Decisions +
13. Financial Media = Backward Looking

*************************************

Equity Market Cycles Are Akin To Fingerprints…Each One Is Unique…Determined By Dynamic + Unpredictable Inputs…Including An Occasional “Thin Tail” Event On The Bell Curve.

Thus…Managing A Portfolio Of Equities Through Variant Cycles…Requires A Release Of Absolute Beliefs…

Especially The Most Dangerous Belief…

That There Is Some Repeatable Process That Is Universally Market Effective…All The Time…

Because There Isn’t…As The Market Frequently Shifts Its Stylistic Favor.

*************************************

So…At The Very Least…A L/S Equity Money Manager Must Be Intellectually Agile…

Not Only With Idea Generation…But Also With Capital…

That Is…Sizing Of Positions.

And Managing Capital Is A Crucial Skill-Set…

As Much As Sector/Security Selection.

*************************************

Because Most Trades…Involve Capital Draw-Down…Especially In A Contrarian/Value Oriented Approach.

So…As A Respected Mentor Of Mine Once Asked Me…

“HOW MUCH PAIN CAN YOU TAKE?”

*************************************

You See…Just As L/S Money Managers Have A Job To Do
i.e. Maximize Returns + Sharpe Ratio etc…

So Do The Equity Markets Have A Job =

That Is…To Test Your Convictions…

By Imparting Capital Draw-Down Pain On Market Actors…To The Point Of Extreme…

1.  Fear +
2.  Frustration +
3.  Impulsivity +
4.  Panic…

That Can Yield Emotional + Erratic + Irrational Investment/Trading Decisions.

*************************************

Thus…How To Counter The Market’s Actions To Debilitate + Weaken You?

First Of All…You Need To Accept + Recognize The Market’s Role…Because It Is Real.

Secondly…You Must Figure A Way To Channel This Capital Draw-Down Pain To Your Advantage.

To Do So…Pain Must Be Bisected + Simply Defined As:
1. Price Erosion = Capital Draw-Down +
2. Time Erosion = Duration of Price Erosion

*************************************

Naturally…Price Erosion Stings…

And Is Intensified By Time…

As Both Separate Elements Compound…With Every Counter-Price Day + Week + Month.

You Feel Increasingly Defeated + Demoralized.

Naturally…You Question Your Hypothesis…Your Investing/Trading Gut…Your Research…Pretty Much Everything…

Because You Are Currently Losing…No Matter If Driven By Beta Or Idiosyncratic Stock/Sector Issues…& It Is All Too Clear.

It Seems Defeat Is Certain…Just A Matter Of When To Capitulate.

*************************************

But…What If…Somehow…As A Losing Position[s] Capital Depletes…Within A Portfolio of Just 10-12+/- Concentrated + Margin-ed Positions…

You Are…Paradoxically…Even More Optimistic About That/Those Current Losing Position[s]…Than You Were When The Positions Were Initiated?

Is That Even Possible…Or Just Plain Delusional?

Well…It Is Absolutely Possible…

And If You Wish To Excel In This Business…You Better Believe It.

Otherwise…Markets Will “Eat You Up”

As Evidenced By The Average/Modest Life Of A Hedge Fund = 3 Years…Which Is Not Much Of A Career.

*************************************

More Importantly…Even If You Are The Rare Portfolio Manager Capable Of Being Energized About A Current Losing Position…That Is Not Enough…Not Even Close.

You Must Be Willing To Act + Commit More Capital As The “Draw-Down” Mounts.

And This Might Be The Most Difficult Task Of All.

*************************************

So…As The Title Of This Post Indicates…Committing More Capital…At These Precarious Price Points…

Requires “STONES.

And BTW…Even If You Have The “STONES” [And Most Certainly Do Not]…

It Is Entirely Possible…You Just Might Be Wrong…Once Again…For A While.

But If You Deeply Understand How To Evaluate A High Quality + Market Leading Company’s Underlying Assets + Liabilities + It’s Capital Structure [Equity + Debt] + Its Ability To Generate Free Cash Flow [Not Zombie Companies]…Or Vice-Versa For Short Positions…

Maybe Even Get Paid A Decent Dividend While You Wait [To Cover Margin Costs]…Evaluate Executive Leadership’s Legitimate Commitment To Shareholders …Or Vice-Versa For Short Positions.

And…If You Started To Accumulate The Position When The Chart Already Looked Dire…And The Valuation Metrics Were Ridiculously Reasonable…Or Vice-Versa For Short Positions…

More Often Than Not…

It’s A Matter Of When You Will Be Proven Correct…Not If You Are Indeed Correct.

*************************************

So…Though Challenging…You Must Eradicate The Recency Bias Imprinted In Your Brain + Recognize That Past Decisions In This Security….That Thus Far Have Proved Incorrect…Have No Impact On The Success Failure Of The Current Decision.

Because Rare + Great Ideas/Positions [Long or Short] Do Not Become Bad Ideas/Positions Just Because Price Action is Not Immediately Cooperative…

Typically…It Just Means You Are Early…Despite Best Timing Efforts.

And The Benefit To Being Early Is That You Have An Opportunity To Build A Larger Position At More Favorable Prices [Long or Short].

*************************************

Further As Price Moves “Against”Provided The Hypothesis Remains…Generally…In Tact

This/Those Position[s]…Are Only Becoming Increasingly Asymmetrical…

Which Is The Ultimate Objective…To Initiate At Price Points Where Reward Swamps Perceived Risk.

And Positions Are ALWAYS The MOST Asymmetric At/Near Price Extremes.

*************************************

So…As You Stare Into That Dark Universe Of Price Uncertainty…

Contemplating  A Positional “Press”

All You Have To Rely On = Your Gut + Your Research And…Most Critically…

The Vision To NOW SEE WHAT OTHERS WILL ONLY EVENTUALLY SEE

It Is Both An Exhilarating + Scary Moment…

Especially So…Because We Are All Taught To Avoid + Shun Uncertainty…

Rather Than Stepping Deeper Into It.

*************************************

Which Leads To The TS Eliot Quote Presented At The Top Of This Post…

Only Those Who Will Risk Going Too Far Can Possibly Find Out How Far One Can Go.”

So “Pressing” A Position…With Considerable Capital…At This Specific Pain Point…

Is It “Going Too Far”?

Maybe…Maybe Not…As Only Time Will Tell…

But At The Very Least…You Are In The “Too Far” Zip Code.

Still…If You Are A Truly Experienced + Judicious + Skilled L/S Equity Portfolio Manager…

You Actually Become Increasingly Comfortable With The Inherent Discomfort These “Draw-Down” Moments Present…And…

Of Course…You Most Certainly “Press”…Because…The Asymmetry Is Just So Compelling.

*************************************

Moreover…This Comfortable Discomfort…Is Discomfort Nonetheless…And Must Be Intellectually Silo-ed…

So As Not To Spill-Over + Discomfort-ably Influence Other Positions In The Portfolio…

Which When Aggregated…Consume Much More Capital Than The Pained Position[s].

So You Are Severely Vigilant…

Yet Cognitively Balanced…With Both Capital + Ideas…

Continuously Challenging Both In The Portfolio…While Also Allowing Your Positions To Organically Contend With Inevitable Market Tests.

*************************************

Now…What About That/Those Pained Position[s]…Do The Idea[s] Work Or Not…And How Long Until The Outcome Is Determined?

Well…As An Optimist…Because You Cannot Operate In This Business From A Weakened Position Of Fear…

The Belief…ALWAYS…Is That Price Will Reverse Course…And Head In Your Preferred Direction.

And Usually…When That Does Occur…It Happens Very Quickly…

As In Time…The Counter Price Tension Reaches A Crescendo…Sort Of Like A Beach-Ball Pushed Deeper + Deeper Beneath The Water’s Surface.

Then Suddenly…When The Pressure Is Released…That Ball Launches Far Above The Waterline…And Vice-Versa For Shorts.

And Alas…With The Price Change/Reversal…The Perception/Reality Of The Company’s Future Prospects…In All Likelihood…Change Too.

*************************************

Furthermore…A Peculiar + Tortuous Feature Of This Investing/Trading Scenario Is The Concept Of Time As…

There Is No Reliable Linearity Between The Duration Of Pain + The Duration Of Time To Reclaim/Replace The Pain…With Gain.

For Example…Many Months Of Agonizing Losses Can Be Recaptured In Days/Weeks…If Capital Was Scaled + Wisely Deployed.

Which Assists In Explaining Why The Greatest Pain Points Ought To Be Embraced…

Versus The Most Fearful + Weakest Holders…That…At These Pain Thresholds…

Are Consistently Flushed…To The Eventual Price…Where There Is…Almost…Nobody Left To Liquidate…And Vice-Versa For Shorts.

Thus…Not Much Incremental Capital Is Required To Push The Stock In “Your” Direction…As Price Must Be Adjusted Much Higher To Draw Any Meaningful Sellers…And Vice-Versa For Shorts.

*************************************

In Some Ways…This Complicated Investing/Trading Plot…

Perhaps…Can Also Serve As A Metaphor For Life’s Pains…

Whether The Pain Is Emotional or Interpersonal or Psychological or Sociological or Spiritual…And Sometimes Even Physical.

For Those Experiencing Consequential Pain…Pavlov’s Response Mechanism…

All Too Often…Predictably Registers As…
1. Bail or
2. Cleave or
3.  Discard

…At The Very Worst Time…

As Avoiding Any Pain…At Any Cost…Irrespective Of The Collateral Damage…

Is Priority #1…#2…#3.

*************************************

Thus…A Prime Opportunity To Say “Yes” To The Pain…

And Creatively Discern It + Learn From It + Re-Frame It + Understand It…

Crucially…Concurrent With The Most Acute Pain Experienced…

As The Heightened Pain Enables Extreme Clarity + Focus…

Is Now Lost.

*************************************

And This Is Not Only A Loss…But Also A Waste…Primarily Because…

Much Of The Tactical Pain…Typically…Has Already Been Endured…

And…Despite Recency Bias…Is Not Indefinite.

Now…This Pain…Is Nothing More Than Soured + “What If” Reflections…

Probably Then Stashed In A Cerebral Dark Box…

To Some Extent…Forever Festering…Like A Wound That Is Never Properly Treated.

*************************************

So…This Hampster-Wheeled Cycle…Of So Many…

To Bail + Cleave + Discard…

Only To To Start Over…Again + Again…

With The Same Conclusive Pain…

Yields No Legitimate Benefit Other Than A Dubious Skill Of Continually…

Re-Setting The Board”

Commonly Resulting In A Life Of Frustration +  Neutrality…At Best.

*************************************

A Dramatic Axis Tilt Focused On…

Accepting Chaos + Pain + Volatility…

As Legitimate Moments Of Aspiration + Opportunity…

However Inspired…Is Unlikely And Unwanted…By Most.

Though…It Is Possible…

*************************************

So For The Few Seeking Entry Into A Riskier Clique…

Be Informed…Of A Few Qualitative Hindrances…

To Both Navigate + Negotiate.

*************************************

You See…Life’s Daring + Risky + Savvy…

That Believe A Quite Painful Dilemma Can Be Successfully Flipped + Inverted…

May…Perversely…Stimulate A Skeptic’s Clouded + Distorted Lens.

As To Them…The Pain Filled Status Quo…Is Irreversible + Permanent.

And Since “Anxiety/Misery Loves Company”

Attempts To Poison + Thwart An Optimist’s Hope May Initiate.

Specifically…With Inaccurate Presumptions + Fears.

Demonization Could Culminate.

*************************************

Just A Nasty + Pernicious Cycle That Is So Unpleasant To Encounter.

Therefore…To Withstand…Takes Courage Of Convictions + Principles…aka “Stones.”

Especially To The Ignorant Critiques…From Those Forever Gripping Tightly To Certainty + Ultra-Safety.

*************************************

So If “GOING TOO FAR” Is…

Both Compulsory + Desired…

You Better Have Serious “STONES.

But Then…How Else To Determine…

HOW FAR ONE CAN GO.”

*************************************

Contact The Author: Dominate@GlobalSlant.com

WHEN WILL EQUITY MARKETS TROUGH?

Headline:
An Obsessive Investor Focus…Naturally.

**************************************

The Short Answer To The Title’s Question =

When EXPECTATIONS For U.S. Interest Rate Increases + Federal Reserve Balance Sheet “Run-Off” PEAK.

Because Higher Rates + Balance Sheet “Run-Off” = Reduced Financial Market Liquidity.

And Reduced Financial Market Liquidity = Universally Lower Financial Asset Prices [Equities + Fixed Income + Real Estate].

**************************************

The Monthly Price Chart Of The S&P 500 [see above]…Especially Since The Spring Of 2009….Steeply Ramped…

Without Much Of A Meaningful Capital Draw-Down…As The Fed Frequently + Quickly Modulated The Quantitative Easing Dials…Whenever It Deemed Necessary…To Stimulate U.S. Economic Activity.

**************************************

But Then…Without A Doubt + Collectively

…U.S. Domiciled Publicly Traded Corporations Are The Most:

1. Dominant +
2. Innovative +
3. Profitable Companies

…In The World.

**************************************

But Do Not Confer A Company’s Equity Performance Strictly To Operational Acumen…As A Much More Explosive Element…To Share Price = Market Liquidity.

Because Since The Spring Of 2009…The Liquidity Hose Of The Federal Reserve Has…For The Most Part…Run At Close To 100% Capacity…

Toggling Between “Flow” And/Or “Stock” Of Printed Dollars…Without Much Of An Abolute Liquidity Draw-Down…

Versus The Current Federal Reserve Plan To Shrink The Balance Sheet At $95B/Month…Which Is Much More Dramatic Than The 2015-2019 Episode [see chart below].

Further Complicating Matters…A Challenging Inflationary Backdrop + Slowing U.S. Economy.

**************************************

For Now…The “Flow” Of The Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet Has Quickly Reverted To Zero…Soon Becoming Negative.

And The Balance Sheet’s “Stock” Has Most Definitely Crested.

Equity + Fixed Income Investors/Traders…Cower + Flee In Anticipation…As The Cliched “Wall Of Worry” Has Rarely Been More Fortified…

Hence…That “Wall” Could Be Climbed + Negotiated + Scaled…But Only…Very Carefully.

**************************************

Contact The Author: Dominate@GlobalSlant.com

FIXED INCOME MARKETS SLAUGHTERED BY FED “FLIP”…WHAT NEXT FOR BONDS + RATES?

****************************************

Headline:
Wealth Effect In Jeopardy.

****************************************

The Bond Market Was Destroyed In Q1 ’22.

The Worst Quarter For Fixed Income In Nearly 40 Years.

****************************************

So After 1 Year Of Determined Inflation Denial…The Fed Suddenly Flipped + Folded To A Hawkish Monetary Position.

The Fixed Income Sell-Off That Followed Was Well Deserved…As Investor Complacency Was Deeply Rooted In All Products…Private + Public…Including:

1. Investment Grade Corporate Bonds +
2. High Yield Corporate Bonds +
3. Municipal Bonds +
4. U.S. Treasury Bills + Notes + Bonds…

Thanks To A 13 Year Federal Reserve Policy Of Ultra Easy Money…Punctuated By A Capitulative Dollar Printing Binge To Address Covid’s Detrimental Economic Impact.

****************************************

Now…Liquidity…The Primary Short Term Catalyst For Asset Prices…Is Being Sharply Reduced.

Naturally…The Bond Market’s Greatest Fears Have Come True…As The Sell-Off In Q1 ’22 Was Both Merciless + Relentless [see above chart].

Interest Rates Sharply Ramped Early In The Quarter…Even Further…After It Was Indicated The Severely Bloated $9T Federal Reserve Balance Sheet Will FINALLY Be Culled…By $95B/Month [see below chart].

****************************************

Nevertheless…There Is Much Market Chatter About…POSSIBLE…Peak Fed Hawkishness.

Perhaps…In The Near Term…As The Sell-Off Has Been So Rapid…& Fixed Income Sentiment Is So Bearish…That A Counter-Trend Rally Is Plausible.

Still…Consider The Following…Inflation Grips With An “8” Handle & The Current Fed Funds Rate Target = Just 25-50 Basis Points.

Historically…In Order To Tame A Sharp Inflationary Impulse…The Fed Funds Rate Ought To Be ABOVE The Annualized Rate Of Inflation.

Obviously…We Are Not Anywhere Close To That Level…Even If You Halve The Normalized Inflation Rate To 4%…And Fed Governors Have Acknowledged As Much.

****************************************

Of Course Capital Markets Are Well Skilled At Discounting Future Expectations…And Current Expectations Are For Short Term Interest Rates To Approximate 2.48%…By The End Of Calendar ’22.

That’s A Lot Of Actual Fed Tightening In The Next 8 Months…Just To Catch-Up With Real Time Market Pricing.

****************************************

Anyway…The Most Critical Unanswered Bond Market Question =

In Order To Dramatically Slow Inflation…Must The Fed Move Beyond The Perceived Terminal Fed Funds Rate…That Is…The Interest Rate That Is Neutral…Neither Stimulating Nor Restricting U.S. Economic Activity…In Order To Dampen Inflation?

And Therein…Lies The Answer To Future Bond Market Pricing…

Because Right Now…Though The U.S. Economy Is Indeed Slowing…The Fed’s Current Monetary Policy Is Still Massively Stimulative.

Despite The Steep Q1 Sell-Off…Market Actors…For Now…Presume A Terminal Interest Rate Of Just 2.50-2.75%.

But That Presumption Will Vacillate With Forthcoming Inflation Data…

And If/When The Market Merely Senses That The Terminal Interest Rate Might Reside At A Much Higher Level…Then…

…The Fixed Income Market Rout Will Resume.

****************************************

Furthermore…Much Intellectual Capital Has Been Recently Spent Comparing/Contrasting Inflation Of The 1980’s To Today’s Inflation…

And 1 Item To Seriously Contemplate…Regarding This Issue…Is That Inflationary Measures Have Adjusted…Quite A Bit…In The Last 40 Years.

If One Were To Apply The Same…More Liberal…Inflation Measuring Criteria To The 80’s…As Is Now Calculated In 2022…That 14% Inflation Rate In The ’80’s Currently Translates To Around 9.5%.

So Inflation…No Doubt…Is Currently Perched Near Generational Highs.

****************************************

As To How Inflation Evolves…Here Are Some Crucial Facts To Ponder:

1. The War In Ukraine = Inflationary
As Global Supplies Of Agricultural Commodities + Commercial Fertilizers + Industrial Metals + Oil Are Curtailed.

2. Global Supply Chain Bottlenecks = Inflationary
As The Uncertainty Of Input Supply Leads To Over-Ordering + Purchasers Aggressively Adjusting To Diminished + Unreliable Allocations.

3. The “Green Agenda” = Inflationary
Primarily Because The Implementation Is Too Fast…And Discourages Oil Production Despite Still Robust Global Petroleum Demand.

4. Global Central Bank Balance Sheet Volumes = Inflationary
vis-a-vis Richly Valued Financial Assets + Real Estate.

5. Tight Labor Markets = Inflationary...
As Demand Continues To Dramatically Outstrip Supply

****************************************

So…How To Combat This Daunting List Of Inflationary Challenges?

First Things First…The Fed Has Zero Control Over #1 & #2 Listed Above.

As For The Green Agenda [#3]…That’s A Political Issue…That Only Pivots If The U.S. Executive Branch Reverses In The Next U.S. Presidential Election.

So…Tactically…The Only Flanks For The Fed To Attack Are #4 & #5.

****************************************

In The Meantime…Fed-Speak Is As Hawkish As Ever…Though Never Precise.

But If You “Read Between Their Ambiguous Lines”…It Is Quite Clear That They Intend To…At The Very Least…Severely Dent The U.S. Residential Real Estate Market…

As Its 12 Year Bull Run Almost Perfectly Mirrors The Fed’s Balance Sheet Expansion…And Has Strongly Contributed To Legacy Based Goods Inflation + Financial Asset Inflation Too.

Consider This…

Existing Home Sale Prices…On A Year/Year Basis…Have Increased EVERY MONTH For The Last 120 Months/10 Years.

And The Price Increases Are Primarily Well Distributed Nationally & Ridiculously Exceed GDP Growth.

Thus…Residential Real Estate Is Classic “Low Hanging Fruit” For The Fed To Harvest“…In Its Attempt To Bring Inflation Down.

****************************************

And What Makes Residential Real Estate An Even More Obvious Target Is That…Generally…It Is A HIGHLY LEVERED “LONG” TRANSACTION…

And While Leverage…

Amplifies Gains In A…

Rising Price Environment

It Inversely Amplifies Pains In A…

Decreasing Price Environment.

****************************************

Residential Real Estate Is Even Further Levered As New Home Construction & Development Is Debt Financed.

And Real Estate Development Consumes Many Commodities… That Have Contributed To Goods Based Inflation…Such As…Concrete + Gypsum Board + Lumber + Metal + Plastics [Chemicals].

Even Then…Developers Compete For These Commodities With Existing Homeowners [a much larger market]…Further Driving Prices Upward…As The Lure Of High Home Prices + Low Financing Costs…Provide Great Incentives To Improve + Remodel Existing Dwellings.

So This Connection Between Housing Prices + Inflated Materials Cost = Highly Elastic…And Easily Susceptible To A Higher Interest Rate Regime.

****************************************

Moreover…Rock Bottom Interest Rates…While Encouraging New Home Purchases Also Stimulate Home Refinancing For Existing Homeowners

Placing Even More Disposable Income In Their Pockets…Though That Has Already Reversed Quite A Bit [see Mortgage Bankers Association weekly data].

And Do Not Forget That Homeowners Also Spend Much Discretionary Income On Home Goods + Furnishings [Indoor & Outdoor]…Adding Another Stimulant To Aggregate Demand…That Ought To Wane With A Slowing Residential Real Estate Market.

So The Beautifully Levered Multiplier Effect Of Real Estate…That So Stimulates The U.S. Economy…Transmitted Through Developers + 1st Time Home Buyers + Existing Homeowners…Will Be …In All Likelihood…Harshly Slayed…As The Positive Feedback Loop Steeply Reverses.

****************************************

The Second Piece Of The Previously Mentioned “Low Hanging Fruit” For The Fed To Harvest…In Order To Fight Inflation Is:

Financial Asset Prices…Beyond Fixed Income + Real Estate…So Equities.

And The Cornerstone Of Equity Price Appreciation = Low Interest Rates…Combined With The Expectation That Rates Will Remain Low…

Obviously….That Investment Ethos Has SHARPLY INVERTED.

****************************************

For Equities…Generally…Higher Interest Rates Are Not Friendly To Share Prices…Especially Those That Do Not Generate Any Free Cash Flow.

Even Then…Higher Interest Rates Depress Valuation Metrics Almost Universally…Despite Free Cash Generation.

Plus…The Valuation Set-Up…After 13 Years Of QE + ZIRP…Is Not Compelling…

As Metrics Are Still Broadly Stretched…Especially In The Top Heavy Technology Sector…Predominant In Most Major Equity Indices.

And As Earnings Expectations Reset Lower In A Slowing Economy…Valuation Metrics Will Likely Get Clipped Further As Interest Rates …Ironically Rise…Thanks To The Fed’s Much Tardy Application Of Inflation Fighting Tools.

Finally These All Important Metrics Will Likely Overshoot To The Downside As Investor Anxiety Continues To Build.

****************************************

So This Troika-ed Wealth Effect Comprising:

EQUITIES + FIXED INCOME + REAL ESTATE =

Under INCREASINGLY INTENTIONAL PRESSURE…

And Ought To Remain So Until The Current Inflationary Impulse Is Quashed…And That Will Take Some Time…And Maybe Some Luck Too.

**********************************

Contact The Author: Dominate@GlobalSlant.com