BIZD: ETF TRACKS INDEX OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMPANIES (BUYERS OF THE WORST CREDITS): Ytd: -30.4%, retraced <50% of BM decline...
LEVERAGED LOAN PRICE INDEX: Ytd: -5.3%, retraced >62% of BM decline…
PSP (Private Equity ETF): Ytd: -15.80%, retraced >62% of BM decline.
HYG: Ytd: -308 bps, retraced >76% of BM decline…
MUNI/TREASURY SPREAD: 122% of 10-yr treas, 61% wider vs equity mkt peak
HY SPREAD (1-day behind): 489 bps, 36% wider vs equity mkt peak
Ba SPREAD: 342 bps, 60% wider vs equity mkt peak
BB-BBB SPREAD: 168 bps, 95% wider vs equity mkt peak
CDS Inv Grade Index 70.37
PWA FIN’L STRESS INDEX -12.5
The wealth that is made by the financial players (and businesses and individuals) who are implementing carry trades is not real wealth of the sort that derives from an economy’s greater ability to produce better goods and services that the general population needs and desires. On the contrary, it causes financial asset prices to become hopelessly distorted, unhinged from the real economy, and therefore ends up misdirecting scarce capital into potentially unproductive uses. Over time, the economy will perform progressively more poorly, with income and wealth more and more concentrated in a few hands.
Nevertheless, it is also important to realize that the carry regime, as it progresses, fundamentally weakens the true power of central banks (and by extension governments). This may seem counterintuitive, but as with regulatory capture, central banks are themselves “captured” by carry. During the intensely deflationary carry crashes (such as occurred in 2008), they appear to have no option other than to increase moral hazard further, via even greater intervention and bailouts. In one of the various seemingly contradictory aspects of the carry regime, central bankers seem to have enormous power—their extraordinary power to create high-powered money, set short-term interest rates, and strongly influence financial markets with everything they say—but ultimately they themselves have little latitude to act. Central banks become merely the agents of carry. Their seeming immense power is, in reality, mostly illusory.