Albert Edwards als Erfinder der „Eiszeit-These“ immer wieder zu Gast bei bto leidet natürlich unter der Historie. Seit Jahren warnt er und es geht weiter bergan. Ich kann mir schon jetzt die Kommentare zu diesem Beitrag vorstellen. Dennoch bleibt festzuhalten, dass seine Grundthese anhaltend fallender Anleihenrenditen und eines japanischen Szenarios für die westlichen Industrieländer nicht so falsch war. Ich denke, es ist wie immer eine Frage des Timings.
Deshalb schätze ich seine Gedanken und bringe auch heute die Highlights aus einem Interview, das er Barron`s gegeben hat:
- „(…) Albert Edwards. Société Générale’s global strategist is undeterred by a nine-year old bull market and argues that a new financial Ice Age will take hold that more central-bank quantitative easing will be unable to stop. After the huge credit boom that has supported stock market gains, Western financial assets will experience a downturn similar to that felt in Japan beginning in the late 1980s.“ – bto: was in der Tat eine unerfreuliche Entwicklung wäre, die unsere anderen Probleme (Überalterung, falsche Zuwanderung) verschärfen würde.
- „In Edwards‘ scenario, U.S. Treasuries will eventually sport negative yields, the stock market will plunge below the previous lows of 2009, and corporate debt prices will fall. The result will be a recession.“ – bto: Grund genug für Barron`s mit Edwards zu sprechen.
- Zunächst zur Genese der Eiszeit-These: „In Japan, secular rerating of bonds took place with a very long journey of falling central-bank-controlled rates in the short term and declining long-term interest rates, with occasional strong cyclical recoveries during the past decade and a half. As each new recession came along, the bond yield would fall to a new low, and equities would reach new lows. From 1990, Japanese equities embarked on a long secular bear market in valuation.“ – bto: Und erst jetzt deutet sich eine Trendwende an.
- „In the West, stock valuations—not prices—reached their peak in 2000, and the very close positive correlation between lower bond yields and rising stock price/earnings ratios began to break down. As in Japan, bond yields continued falling because of central-bank easing. That would bring about an absolute and relative derating of equities versus bonds, interrupted by cyclical recoveries. In other words, bond yields keep falling as stock valuations drop. For that to happen in the West, the credit bubble supporting higher stock prices would have to burst.“ – bto: Bisher ist das nicht geschehen, weshalb die Kritiker über Edwards Thesen lachen.
- „We haven’t seen the lows in bond yields.In the next recession, bond yields in the U.S. will go negative and converge with those in Germany and Japan. The forward U.S. P/E bottomed at about 10.5 times in March 2009 on trough earnings. That was lower than the previous recession. In the next recession, I would expect the P/E to bottom at about seven times, a lower low with earnings about 30% lowerbecause of the recession. That would put the S&P lower than the 666 low of the previous crash.“ – bto: Es wäre ein Blutbad.
- „Traditionally, if the U.S. goes down 20%, the German Dax, though it is cheaper, would tend to go down a little more. Maybe this time it won’t. Japan is the one market we do like now on a long-term basis, and one of the reasons is the buildup of U.S. corporate debt during these past few years. The big bubble is U.S. corporate debt. In contrast, Japan’s corporate debt is collapsing. Over half of its companies have more cash than debt.“ – bto: weil sie sich über drei Jahrzehnte entschuldet haben!
- „In its Global Financial Stability Report of April 2017, the International Monetary Fund said that in the next recession, 20% to 22% of U.S. corporates would default. This is where the U.S is vulnerable. It isn’t just junk-bond issuers. It is the explosion that has taken place in corporate debt. Companies can be put under tremendous stress by the financial marketsin an equity bear market, which means they cut employment and investment.“ – bto: und verschärfen so die Rezession und Deflation, siehe Irving Fisher!
- „Normally in a bear market, if equities are down 50%, then junk is down 50%, and investment-grade debt is down about 15% or 20%. In the next downturn, junk will probably be down more than 50%, and investment grade will be down 30% or 40%.That will be the big surprise. In contrast, Treasury rates will rally.“ – bto: Das wäre exakt die Wiederholung der großen Depression.
- „If the U.S. 10-year Treasury goes from 3% to negative 1%, that is huge return. In equities, it would either be Japan or, if you can invest only in U.S., then gold miners, as gold will exceed its previous $1,900-per-ounce high.“
- „There is weak economic growth because you have the biggest bubble in history, and we know from Japan there is a long unwinding period, and you are condemned to weak growth. (…) This interference—even well-intentioned—causes other problems because the policy makers used credit to drive the recovery. You can never normalize interest rates. You try to normalize interest rates in the next upturn, as they are doing now, and eventually you blow things up.“ – bto: So ist es. Wir bekämpfen eine Krise wegen zu hoher Schulden mit noch mehr Schulden!
- „(Trump) has delivered tax reform, which is probably the most criminally insane piece of fiscal stimulusthis late in the cycle. To take the fiscal deficit to 6% of GDP at this stage is utterly ludicrous, but he is delivering on his promises.“ – bto: Und vielleicht schiebt er so den Crash sogar noch auf?
- „Germany may become a target. It has the biggest dollar surplus in the world now. If you are looking for things that will knock the market, Germany is annoying everyonein terms of the size of its trade and account surplus, not just the U.S. The European Commission has complained about Germany’s trade surplus. The Germans don’t help themselves. When China and Japan are criticized, usually they do a little something to placate criticism. Germany’s politicians are dismissive: ‚We have an incredibly large surplus. What do you expect us to do? Make crappy goods like you?‘“ – bto: Haha, so ist es (leider!).
- „I compare this to 1987, when the bond market sold off after many years of falling yields and stocks rising on the back of it. The Fed started to raise rates. The economy was strong, just as it now. The manufacturing ISM was over 60, just as it is now, only the second time the ISM has gone above 60 since 1987. Oil prices recovered from a slump the year before. The past year and a half is very similar. Equities were going up, ignoring the selloff in bonds, which leaves them vulnerable. Now, central-bank liquidity stimulus is gone, leaving financial assets vulnerable to a panic attack. And if you take out tech, the market has been looking horrible for quite a while. Breadth is deteriorating. We are in real trouble here.“ – bto: Wir werden sehr bald sehen, in welche Richtung es dreht.
- „The end game for the Ice Age in the next recession is always going to be currency wars, negative interest rates, and negative federal-funds rates. This recovery could go on for longer. You could get inflation that actually gets bonds sufficiently disturbed that yields break above 3% and enter a bear market. If bonds enter a bear market, I would be wrong on bonds, but that isn’t good news for equities.“ – bto: sicherlich nicht! Es wäre eine deutliche Verschlechterung in ein 1970er-Szenario.
- „Policy makers could always create inflation. Give everyone a check and print money and you will create inflation. Even though I’ve been calling for the Ice Age slipping into outright deflation, that is a signpost on the way to total global debauchment of currencies. Policy makers look in the rearview mirror and say easing hasn’t created inflation so far, so we’ll do more. People look in the rearview mirror too much.“ – bto: was dann für mehr Gold statt Anleihen spricht …
Ich finde es zumindest ein bedenkenswertes Szenario. Vergessen wir nicht, wir leben in extremen Zeiten.