Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.UK House Prices BrExit Crash NOT Likely Despite London Property Market Weakness - Nadeem_Walayat
2.BrExit Morning - New Dawn for Britain, Independence Day! - Nadeem_Walayat
3.LEAVE Wins EU Referendum - Sterling and FTSE Hit Hard, Pollsters, Bookies and Markets All WRONG! - Nadeem_Walayat
4.BrExit Implications for UK Stock Market, Sterling GBP, House Prices and UK Politics... - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Trading BrExit - Stocks, Bonds, Sterling, Opinion Polls, Bookmaker Odds and My Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
6.FTSE and Sterling Brexit Trading, Deconstruction of the EU Referendum Result - Nadeem_Walayat
7.UK Interest Rate Cut to 0.25% Imminent and More QE Money Printing - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Trading BrExit - British Pound Plunges, FTSE Stock Futures Slump on LEAVE Shock Referendum Win - Nadeem_Walayat
9.The Stock Market is Reading it Wrong! - Chris_Vermeulen
10.Breakouts Galore in Gold and Silver - Jordan_Roy_Byrne
Free Silver
Last 7 days
Soybean Commodity Price to Soar Again - 23rd July 16
SPX Stock Market Uptrend Continues - 23rd July 16
Gold And Silver – Debt Addiction Will Carry Precious Metals Higher, Guaranteed - 23rd July 16
Pokemon Go - How to Play, First Use, Balls, Stops, Catching Pokemon's... Great Excercise! - 23rd July 16
7 Signs That the Gold Market Remains Resilient - 23rd July 16
Basic Income in The Time of Crisis - 23rd July 16
Silver Bull Faces Correction - 22nd July 16
The Serious Warning No One’s Talking About - 22nd July 16
Stock Market Insight from Greed, Volatility, and Put/Call Ratio - 22nd July 16
What Will Happen To the Stock Market When Interest Rates Rise? - 22nd July 16
How to Escape the World’s Biggest Ponzi Scheme - 22nd July 16
Addicted to Debt - We Can’t Borrow from the Future Anymore - 21st July 16
Not Everything Is Bullish for Gold - 21st July 16
Don’t Get Sucked Back Into the Stock Market - The Big Picture Hasn’t Changed - 21st July 16
Silver – Caught Inside - 21st July 16
Forex: "The Markets Are Getting Exciting!" - 20th July 16
China Economic Troubles - Is Kyle Bass Finally Getting His Revenge? - 20th July 16
Why Lithium Will See Another Price Spike This Fall - 20th July 16
The Peak Oil Paradox Revisited - 19th July 16
SPX Challenges the Upper Trendline - 19th July 16
Missing ’28 Pages’ of the 9/11 Report Released into Blitzkrieg of World Events - 19th July 16
Likelihood of Organized Disruption at GOP Convention - 19th July 16
More on the ‘Breadth Thrust’ and Stock Market Internals - 19th July 16
FX Traders: Get a Free Week of Forecasts (Details inside) - 19th July 16
Ups and Downs in Gold and Crude Oil Price - 19th July 16
Keep an Eye on ‘Bitcoin’ as the Next ‘Financial Crisis’ Starts! - 18th July 16
Erdogan Might Have Known about the Coup but Didn’t Prevent It on Purpose - 18th July 16
More Deflation Ahead: Silver, Gold And Their Mining Stocks A Must-Have - 18th July 16
Stock Market Minor Top? - 18th July 16
5 Best Gold and Silver Junior Mining Stocks in 2016 - 17th July 16
Gold And Silver – NWO-Created Tragedies Will Never End, Seek Truth - 16th July 16
How Long Can Buybacks Continue To Support A Market Which Is Standing On A Fundamentally Flawed Premise? - 16th July 16
Will They Come For Your IRA? - 15th July 16
Gold’s Record Selling Overhang - 15th July 16
Capitalism Has Entered a New Era—and Historic Stock Market Investing Returns Are Gone Forever - 15th July 16
Gold Price Could Hit $5,000 or Even $10,000 in a Few Years - 15th July 16
Junior Gold and Silver Mining Funds or Individual Gold and Silver Mining Stocks - 15th July 16
The Soaring Risk of Flying in Bernanke's Helicopter - 15th July 16
The Broad Stock Market, Helicopters and Gold - 15th July 16
The Curious Case of Vanishing Lady Liberty; Only Gold and Silver Remember Her - 15th July 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Forex Forecasts

Are Stock Market Investors Being Set Up For Another Fall?

Stock-Markets / Stock Markets 2010 Jul 30, 2010 - 01:10 PM GMT

By: Sy_Harding

Stock-Markets In the early 1930’s, after the 1929 crash, Wall Street could not get nervous investors interested in stocks again. However, with interest rates dropped to extreme lows in the Great Depression, those who still had money were eager to invest in something that would provide more income than they could receive on savings accounts. As a result Wall Street had no trouble selling them bonds.


It was later said to have been a slower disaster than the stock market crash, but almost as devastating. Bonds decline in price when interest rates and yields rise. Over the next two decades interest rates began to rise from their extreme lows, and the price of bonds declined. Investors new to bonds discovered it was not a safe haven to be receiving 4% annual interest on bonds if the bonds were dropping 10% in price annually due to rising interest rates.

I bring that up because of reports this week that the major U.S. banks are on a tear to raise huge amounts of low cost capital by issuing bonds while rates are at record lows, and while investor demand for higher returns is on the rise as an alternative to stocks. Some of the low cost capital being raised is being used to pay off the higher cost bonds and debt on their books. Moody’s estimates that U.S. banks have already refinanced $200 billion of the $372 billion in debt that is coming due in 2010.

The Financial Times quotes an executive with one of the big banks as saying, “There’s a bit of a food fight among investors to get hold of paper from U.S. banks.” (It’s not the same situation in Europe where banks need to raise capital but are struggling to issue new debt in the midst of the Eurozone debt crisis).

The large U.S. banks are not the only corporations having an easy time issuing new bonds, benefiting from the flight to safety. Investors have been piling into corporate and treasury bonds for quite some time, and it continues. The Investment Company Institute, which tracks money flows in retail mutual funds, estimates that individual investors pulled another $9 billion from U.S. stock funds in the first three weeks of July, even as the stock market was rallying again, and poured $20 billion more into corporate and government bond funds.

Tom Lee, chief U.S. equity strategist at JP Morgan Chase, speaking at the Reuters Investment Outlook meeting in New York on Wednesday said that, “Retail investors buying bonds today, at a time when the supply of corporate bonds is shrinking . . . they’re chasing a bubble.”

Assuming the issuer does not default on its bonds, an investor will not lose money on individual bonds if they are held to maturity, when the issuer returns the borrowed money to the investor. However, holding to maturity may be difficult, as bond investors discovered in the late 1930’s and 1940’s, once stocks begin producing 10% to 25% in some years, while the 20-year corporate bond will continue to pay only 4.5% or whatever annually to maturity (and meanwhile may be significantly underwater until maturity due to rising interest rates).

As Tom Lee of JP Morgan also said Wednesday, “Have Americans ever been satisfied with earning a steady but low rate of return? What we have in American history is rolling from bubble to bubble, whether it’s stocks, real estate, commodities, emerging markets, time shares . . . when one bubble bursts they are moved to the next one.” Lee implies that the bubble currently forming is in bonds.

But it should be okay as long as the Fed holds interest rates at record low levels near zero for “an extended period of time” as they say they will, and particularly if the stock market has another leg to go on the downside (keeping the appeal of safe havens alive). But investors probably need to be aware of the potential that it is a bond bubble, and be prepared to bail out early when rates and yields begin rising, or if the stock market bottoms and begins a new leg up. With so much money in bonds and bond funds, the exit doors will be crowded when the time comes.

Sy Harding is president of Asset Management Research Corp, publishers of the financial website www.StreetSmartReport.com, and the free daily market blog, www.SyHardingblog.com.

© 2010 Copyright Sy Harding- All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife