Quote of the Week/Commentary:
Hedge funds, generally the most aggressive species of money manager, do a lot of “black box” trading in which bets are placed on previously-identified patterns and relationships on the assumption that those patterns will repeat in the future.
But with governments randomly buying stocks and bonds and bailing out/subsidizing everything is sight, old relationships are distorted and strategies that worked in the past begin to fail, as do the money managers who rely on them.
Why should regular people care about the travails of the leveraged speculating community? Because these guys are generally considered to be the finance world’s best and brightest, and if they can’t figure out what’s going on, no one can. And if no one can, then risky assets are no longer worth the attendant stress.
In response, a system that had previously embraced leverage and “alternative” asset classes will go risk-off in a heartbeat, and all those richly-priced growth stocks and trophy buildings and corporate bonds will find air pockets under their prices. And since pretty much everything else now depends on high asset prices, things will get ugly in the real world.
A case can be made that such a contagion is already underway but is being hidden from Americans by the recent strength of the dollar. According to Deutsche Bank, when measured in dollars the rest off the world is now deeply in recession and falling fast...John Rubino/Zero Hedge.
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