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Macro

(New York)

One of the biggest names on Wall Street is warning investors that a recession is coming. Ray Dalio, head of the world’s biggest hedge fund, says that we are likely in for a recession as the Fed has to navigate a tricky tightening cycle. Dalio says the economy is in a hard-to-navigate period of tightening rates that will be hard for the Fed to get right. Rates are likely to rise quickly, which could spark a recession. The view is a reversal for Dalio, who had been until very recently saying that it was foolish to be wary of the stock market.


FINSUM: Dalio’s calls from Davos just a few weeks ago look foolish now, but he does make a good point that this will be a tricky period for the Fed to navigate well.

(New York)

The last two weeks could hardly have been worse for investors. Stocks plunged and bonds are falling, with the former led by obsession over the VIX. However, according to Bloomberg there is a ticket timing much bigger than the VIX, and one you probably aren’t paying much attention too—ETF loan funds. The market is much bigger than the $8 bn of volatility linked ETFs that got wiped out over the last couple of weeks, try $156 billion between loan ETFs and mutual funds. The big worry is that since these kind of illiquid underlying investments—actual loans—cannot be sold so quickly as the ETFs, that it could cause huge losses as ETFs stampede out but fund managers cannot liquidate the underlying quickly enough.


FINSUM: So this is a provocative spin on a common argument. Our counter, however, is that credit worthiness is pretty good overall, so it doesn’t seem like an exodus will occur.

(New York)

One of the Financial Times’ most respected columnists has just published an article making a grim comparison. Saying that he dreads even mentioning it, John Authers argues that the current state of markets and the context of the losses are very similar to the summer of 2007, or the eve of the Financial Crisis. In particular, just like then, stocks moved higher even as bond yields did, all until a yield threshold is broken, when stocks finally panic. Then, even though fixed income started the worries, equity investors flee into the safety of bonds. The important extension of the argument is that all the associated fallout will not occur this time, as the economy is stronger and more balanced.


FINSUM: So this is only a half comparison. The actual market event may be similar, but the condition of the economy, and its link to markets is very different, and almost inarguably better this time around.

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