– Faber’s Latest Rant On Global Monetization Wars (ZeroHedge, Jan. 13, 2012):
There is a little for everyone in Marc Faber’s latest appearance on CNBC. The infamous boomer (and doomer) believes (as we do) that today’s downgrades are less significant for stocks (at least until the realization that banks and more importantly insurance companies are about to be cut as well – keep a close eye out on Allianz and Generali (of ASSGEN fame) – it is not incidental that they are abbreviated to A&G, just one letter away from our own AIG) as it is largely priced in but the equity market’s rally of the last few weeks (with its lack of breadth and volume) is strongly suggestive of a bear-market rally (as opposed to the decoupling bull market that so many hope for). His view quite simply is that the ECB has undergone a backdoor monetization and without this the EUR would be significantly stronger especially given the huge short-interest (though he sees the trend for EUR is down). However, he remains unenthusiastic at the inevitable outcome – suggesting the majority of European nations deserve a CCC rating (which is clearly not priced in) and that the USA should not be AAA (noting that even Germany has huge unfunded liabilities as it writes check after check to save its socialist sorority sisters).
Admitting that he was wrong on US Treasuries (short) last year, he still worries of the long-term value in holding the ponzi-paper and addresses what seemed like the theory-du-jour that a weaker EUR is good for European exports and so all-is-well in the world by pointing out (among other things) that many large European corporations have huge amounts of USD-denominated debt making their debt servicing costs much higher. His perspective on Europe is interesting, concerned that we may see one country say enough-is-enough and leave the Euro, he believes the US outperformance over Europe will unwind and that quality companies in Europe and Emerging Markets are the place to be for investors. Noting that they are admittedly not compelling values he points to the difficulty of valuing anything in a zero-interest rate environment. The worse the global economy looks, the weaker the Chinese economy performs, and the more the reaction will be money printing which will lift equity prices (whereas the real economy is faltering and standards of living going down fast) leaving him holding gold at the core but realizing stocks will rise nominally.
Finally, his “black swan” scenario is some country saying “we’ve had enough. We are exiting the euro.” Which brings us to the issue of the Greek coercive restructuring which now appears to be just a matter of weeks if not days away. And once Greece pulls the plug, and the Eurozone does not implode (hypothetically), it will set an example whereby more and more countries do the same, until finally the system does crash under its own weight, as everyone does a CDS-triggering restructuring, in effect tearing the Eurozone from the inside.