Another paper out by Bill Gross 10 days ago also with rather negative overtures towards the markets and the debt levels/interest rates, here are some snippets and a link to the full piece.
- Draghi’s ECB and the Merkel controlled EZ ascribe to the old theory of “Feed a fever, starve a cold” – the “fever” in this case being financial bull markets fed with 0% credit, and the “cold” being fiscal austerity starved by balanced budgets. So far, the philosophy seems to be working well for Germany, miserably for Greece, and not so well for all other EZ countries in between.
- With financial assets, the logic is straightforward: higher bond prices and stock P/E’s almost axiomatically elevate markets, although the assumed trickle-down effect leading to higher real wages has not followed suit. In the real economy, it seemed almost straightforward as well: if a central bank could lower the cost of debt and equity closer and closer to zero, then inevitably the private sector would take the bait – investing in cheap plant + equipment, technology, innovation – you name it. “Money for nothing – get your clicks for free”
- Because BB, B, and in some cases CCC rated companies have been able to borrow at less than 5%, a host of zombie and future zombie corporations now roam the real economy
- The BIS emphatically avers that there are substantial medium term costs of “persistent ultra-low interest rates”. Such rates they claim, “sap banks’ interest margins…cause pervasive mispricing in financial markets…threaten the solvency of insurance companies and pension funds…and as a result test technical, economic, legal and even political boundaries.”