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
Underpriced Silver Is the “Rip Van Winkle” Metal - 25th July 16
Declines in Multiple Market Indexes - 25th July 16
Retailers Are Doomed as Most Americans Are Too Poor to Shop - 25th July 16
Here’s One Currency That Could Go to Zero - 25th July 16
Stock Market Top is Expanding - 25th July 16
Silver Manipulation – Because They Needed the Eggs - 25th July 16
Silver Market COT Stuns: What's Going On Here? - 24th July 16
Gold Demand Remains Stable During Sector Weakness - 24th July 16
Sernova, Diabetes and Haemophilia - 24th July 16
Russia: Tensions, Turmoil, and Western Hubris - 24th July 16
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

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Forex Forecasts

What Happens When the Bond Markets Turn Against the US?

Interest-Rates / US Bonds Dec 29, 2012 - 06:53 AM GMT

By: Graham_Summers

Interest-Rates

The US Fed is committed to keeping interest rates low for the simple fact that if interest rates were to rise then the payments on the debt would send the US into an EU-syle debt crisis along with the commensurate intense austerity measures being implemented.

Unfortunately for the Fed, the bond markets may indeed force this in spite of the Fed’s efforts.


Weimar Germany, like most historic episodes of hyperinflation, occurred when Germany’s Central Bank began monetizing its debts. This worked until the country lost credibility in the international bond markets at which point the Central Bank was forced to monetize everything resulting in a currency collapse and one of the worst episodes of hyperinflation in history.

The US has been moving increasingly down this path which each new QE program. The two reasons the US has not yet entered an inflationary death spiral are:

1)   The fact that the US continues to maintain its credibility in the bond markets (at least compared to Europe and Japan).

2)   Large financial institutions’ needs for high-grade sovereign bond collateral.

Regarding #1, the US has never defaulted on its debt. Compared to Germany (another safe haven), which has defaulted on its debts twice in the last 100 years, the US remains one of the most credible governments in the world, regardless of how bad the country’s finances are becoming (for now at least).

Regarding the collateral situation, as I’ve explained in recent articles one of the most critical issues in the financial system is the shortage of high grade collateral to backstop the $700 trillion derivatives market.

With France and the ESM bailout fund recently losing their AAA status this issue is only getting worse. The US, despite losing its AAA rated status is still consider high grade due to its having never defaulted on its debt. With that in mind, the Fed decision to take US Treasuries at a time when more and more countries are losing their AAA rated status means that even less high grade collateral will be in the system.

Indeed, as I’ve noted before, because so much of the US debt market is already held by government controlled entities, the Treasuries shortage is even worse than the below article indicates.

Clearinghouses, run by firms such as Chicago-based CME Group (CME) and London-based LCH.Clearnet Group, make traders provide collateral, including government bonds, that can be seized and easily converted into cash to cover defaults. Traders may need from $2 trillion to $4 trillion in extra collateral to meet the new requirements, according to Timothy Keaney, chief executive officer of BNY Mellon Asset Servicing.

The trouble is finding all that high-grade debt. The U.S. had $10.8 trillion in Treasuries outstanding at the end of August. Other countries, including Japan and European nations rated AAA or AA, had about $24 trillion of debt in the second quarter of 2011, according to an April report by the International Monetary Fund. Those government securities are already in heavy demand from central banks and investors.

The solution: At least seven banks plan to let customers swap lower-rated securities that don’t meet standards, in return for a loan of Treasuries or similar holdings that do qualify, a process dubbed “collateral transformation.” The maneuver allows investors who don’t have assets that meet a clearinghouse’s standards to pledge corporate bonds or mortgage-linked securities to a bank in exchange for a loan of Treasuries. The investor then posts the Treasuries—the transformed collateral—to the clearinghouse. The bank earns fees plus interest, and the investor is obliged at some point to return the Treasuries. In effect, the collateral is being rented…

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) are already marketing their new collateral-transformation desks, executives at the companies say. Other banks confirmed they’re planning to offer the service too, including Bank of New York Mellon (BK), Barclays (BCS), Deutsche Bank (DB), and State Street (STT).

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-09-20/a-shortage-of-bonds-to-back-derivatives-bets

Here’s the actual amount of Treasuries available to the banks:

Total US Sovereign Debt $16 trillion
Foreign Nation holdings $5.4 trillion
Intergovernmental holdings $4.8 trillion
US Federal Reserve $1.5 trillion
Remaining $4.3 trillion

Indeed, as the below article reveals, the search for high quality collateral is one of the primary items holding up the Treasury market. The Treasury’s latest information reveals that:

Foreign ownership of U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record level in October, a sign that overseas investors remain confident in U.S. debt despite a potential budget crisis.

Total foreign holdings of U.S. Treasurys rose to $5.48 trillion in October, the Treasury Department said Monday. That was up 0.1 percent from September. Still, the increase of $6 billion was the weakest since total holdings fell in December 2011.

China, the largest holder of U.S. government debt, increased its holdings slightly to $1.16 trillion. Japan, the second-largest holder, boosted its holdings by a smaller amount to $1.13 trillion. Brazil, the country with the third-largest holdings, increased its total to $255.2 billion.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_FOREIGN_HOLDINGS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-12-17-09-44-48

My point with all of this is that the search for collateral will drive yields lower… until the bond markets truly begin to spin out of control. In the meantime, the US Fed is playing a very dangerous game by purchasing as many Treasuries as it is. But that game can last much longer than anticipated.

How precisely these issues will finally play out is a mystery. But the consequences will be tremendous. And enormous fortunes will be made by those who get it right. The first key clues will be when Bunds and Treasuries begin to nose dive in a big way.

If you’re an individual investor (not a day trader) looking for the means of profiting from all of this… particularly the US going over the fiscal cliff… then you NEED to check out  my Private Wealth Advisory newsletter.

Click Here Now!!!

Graham Sumers

Chief Market Strategist

Good Investing!

http://gainspainscapital.com

PS. If you’re getting worried about the future of the stock market and have yet to take steps to prepare for the Second Round of the Financial Crisis… I highly suggest you download my FREE Special Report specifying exactly how to prepare for what’s to come.

I call it The Financial Crisis “Round Two” Survival Kit. And its 17 pages contain a wealth of information about portfolio protection, which investments to own and how to take out Catastrophe Insurance on the stock market (this “insurance” paid out triple digit gains in the Autumn of 2008).

Again, this is all 100% FREE. To pick up your copy today, got to http://www.gainspainscapital.com and click on FREE REPORTS.

Graham also writes Private Wealth Advisory, a monthly investment advisory focusing on the most lucrative investment opportunities the financial markets have to offer. Graham understands the big picture from both a macro-economic and capital in/outflow perspective. He translates his understanding into finding trends and undervalued investment opportunities months before the markets catch on: the Private Wealth Advisory portfolio has outperformed the S&P 500 three of the last five years, including a 7% return in 2008 vs. a 37% loss for the S&P 500.

Previously, Graham worked as a Senior Financial Analyst covering global markets for several investment firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. He’s lived and performed research in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States.

© 2012 Copyright Graham Summers - 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.

Graham Summers Archive

© 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