Leverage treibt die Märkte

In meinem letzten Podcast sprach ich mit Professor Steve Keen. Es ging um Finanzkrisen, Schulden und Leverage – unter anderem um die Schulden, die die Finanzmärkte treiben.

Wie aktuell das Thema ist, zeigt dieser Kommentar in der FT:

  • “When the Archegos fund imploded last month, it demonstrated yet again the perils of taking on excessive margin debt. (…) Archegos amassed a reported $50bn of loans from banks such as Mizuho and Credit Suisse to purchase risky equities. When those bets turned sour, its losses surpassed $10bn, judging from recent results from the banks that made those loans. That is a startling amount. Even more startling, though, is that Archegos is far from being the only fund to rack up large margin debt — the funds that an investor borrows from brokers to trade financial markets.” – bto: Es ist klar. In dem Umfeld von Null-Zins muss man ein immer größeres Schuldenrad drehen, will man entsprechende Erträge erwirtschaften und alle wollen mitspielen.
  • “Data collected by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority shows that total margin debt across Wall Street hit $822bn by the end of March (…). That was almost double the $479bn level of this time last year and far more than the around $400bn peak that margin debt reached in 2007, just before the financial crisis.” – bto: ein eineindeutiges Warnsignal!
  • “(…) ABP Invest, a London-based fund, calculates that during the 2000 dotcom and 2007 credit booms, US margin debt topped out at roughly 3 per cent of gross domestic product. Now it is nearly 4 per cent. As John Waldron, chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs told the Economics Club of New York this week: ‘That’s an extraordinary (level) of margin debt.’ Quite so — particularly as Goldman was reportedly ‘very exposed’ to Archegos, although it apparently managed to exit its positions and avoid major losses.” – bto: Goldman war klar, sind nicht umsonst die Smartesten in der Branche. Systematisch müssen die hohen Margin-Schulden Anlass zur Sorge geben. Wir kennen den Mechanismus: → „Margin Call für die Welt­wirtschaft“
  • “Is all this dangerous for markets? The answer depends on what you think will happen to asset prices. If you believe they will keep rising while the cost of borrowing remains so low, the answer is ‘No’. Indeed, many investors and investment banks appear confident that is the case.” – bto: Wir wissen aber, wie leicht die Stimmung kippen kann und dann geht es sehr schnell abwärts.
  • “Perhaps more surprising is that markets are not pushing up borrowing costs either. (…) That seems like a big vote of market confidence in the Fed, if you view markets as an efficient weighing machine of investor views of macroeconomic trends. However, there is another reason why bond yields may have remained relatively unmoved. It may be due to an unusual change in the way liquidity flows around the US financial system.” – bto: und zwar in Form verdeckter Liquiditätshilfen der Fed, wie im Artikel weiter ausgeführt wird.
  • “(…) this injection of liquidity has ‘swamped fundamentals’, raising asset prices. But (…) the dynamic will reverse later this year as the account balance falls to pre-pandemic levels, causing asset prices to fall. If so, that might create more unease about the risk of high levels of margin debt. And that unease would only rise if, say, the Biden administration’s bold tax plans are implemented in a way that crimped corporate earnings and thus undercut equity prices.” – bto: Wieder einmal retten die Notenbanken die Finanzmärkte und schaffen damit noch größere Risiken. Genau das, was uns erst in diese Krisensituation geführt hat.
  • “(…) the Archegos episode was a repeat lesson in how nobody usually worries about excess leverage while asset prices are rising. It is only when they suddenly tumble, for idiosyncratic or system-wide reasons, that nasty surprises emerge.(…) Money is cheap, so elevated levels of gearing and margin should not be a surprise (…). But this creates great ingredients for some good old fashioned market fragility (…) it is a useful reminder that fundamentals such as profits and low interest rates can explain some of today’s rise in asset prices. But they are only part of the tale. As was true in 2007, just before the financial crisis exploded, liquidity and leverage can matter just as much — even if they are harder to observe and thus often ignored.” – bto: Und genau darüber spreche ich mit Steve Keen morgen.

ft.com (Anmeldung erforderlich): „Margin debt and leverage are flashing red, again“, 29. April 2021