– Bill Gross Preemptively Summarizes Today’s Election Result In 22 Words (ZeroHedge, Nov 6, 2012):
Presented without comment – adding anything to this concise summation of the state of the union is superfluous…
– Bill Gross Preemptively Summarizes Today’s Election Result In 22 Words (ZeroHedge, Nov 6, 2012):
Presented without comment – adding anything to this concise summation of the state of the union is superfluous…
– Bill Gross: “Ours Is A Country Of The SuperPAC, By The SuperPAC, And For The SuperPAC” (ZeroHedge, Nov 1, 2012):
Curious why we dedicate precious virtual real estate to periodically bring to you the “billionaires behind the best presidents money can buy“? Bill Gross explains why?
Time To Vote, from PIMCO’s Bill GrossSo I pulled out my magic lamp that for some reason works only every October 22nd, and rubbed until the Genie appeared in his red and white checkered cloak with a 10-inch diameter Flavor Flav clock hanging ceremoniously around his neck. Being a rather forward, although not disrespectful Genie, he immediately said, “Mr. G, instead of the yield on the 10-year Treasury, perhaps this year you should wish to know who is going to win the Presidential election?” After some thought I replied, “Nah, I need some breaking news, Mr. Genie, something that will make a difference, something that will shock the world, like when does the iPhone 6 come out?” Obama/Romney, Romney/Obama – the most important election of our lifetime? Fact is they’re all the same – bought and paid for with the same money. Ours is a country of the SuperPAC, by the SuperPAC, and for the SuperPAC. The “people” are merely election-day pawns, pulling a Democratic or Republican lever that will deliver the same results every four years. “Change you can believe in?” I bought that one hook, line and sinker in 2008 during the last vestige of my disappearing middle age optimism. We got a more intelligent President, but we hardly got change. Healthcare dominated by corporate interests – what’s new? Financial regulation dominated by Wall Street – what’s new? Continuing pointless foreign wars – what’s new?I’ll tell you what isn’t new. Our two-party system continues to play ping pong with the American people, and the electorate is that white little ball going back and forth over the net. This side’s better – no, that one looks best. Elephants/Donkeys, Donkeys/Elephants. Perhaps the most farcical aspect of it all is that the choice between the two seems to occupy most of our time. Instead of digging in and digging out of this mess on a community level, we sit in front of our flat screens and watch endless debates about red and blue state theologies or listen to demagogues like Rush Limbaugh or his ex-cable counterpart Keith Olbermann. To express my discontent, Genie, along with my continuing patriotism, I’ve created a modern-day version of our Pledge of Allegiance. Place your hand over your clock and recite after me:
– Bill Gross Warns “Very Likely’ Central Banks Will Cause 1987-Like Crash (ZeroHedge, Oct 19, 2012):
What takes other Political Journalism majors (and CTRL-C/V minors) pages and pages of verbose essays full of acronyms and meaningless gibberish to refute, Bill Gross asserts in less than 140 characters.
– The Scary Math Behind The Mechanics Of QE3, And Why Bernanke’s Hands May Be Tied (ZeroHedge, Sep 7, 2012):
When it comes to the NEW QE, everyone has an opinion, and most seem to believe that the NEW QE will come next week, now that the US economy added “just” 96,000 people (but, but, the unemployment rate ‘fell’). Certainly, and far more importantly, if the most recent FOMC minutes are any guide, the Fed shares this view. Sadly, as so often happens, most, and this includes the FOMC’s various voting members, have once again made up their minds without actually evaluating the limitations posed by simple math. After all it is far easier to form an opinion, and actually think about the underlying facts later. The math, for those who actually have looked at the numbers behind the scenes, is scary (in UBS’ words, not ours).Here is the math.
As part of its Operation Twist, the Fed is buying long-term bonds, and selling short-term (0-3 years) bonds. As we reported in April, the biggest limitation for the Fed is that it is rapidly running out of short-term bonds to sell. There is a fix to this: the Fed will simply have to sell longer dated bonds from its SOMA portfolio, first up to 5 years, then 7, and so on. Of course, this will also force the Fed to extend its ZIRP language by an appropriate amount of time, through 2017, then 2019, and so on (which also means all bets that the Fed will hike any time in the next 5 years will be immediately null and void, and one can position accordingly in the Eurodollar space).
This move, however, will simply permit the Fed to extend Twist 2 beyond its year-end maturity. As a reminder, the primary role of Twist, aside from that stated one which is to keep the curve as flat as possible (i.e., boost housing which as we showed yesterday is not working, as refis have plunged recently despite record low mortgage rates), is to absorb virtually all the long-end supply: after all, it is all about the funding of the US $1 trillion+ annual budget deficit.
Said otherwise, when it comes to the 10-30 year sector the Fed is already monetizing all new issuance. This is part of the entire flow argument which we have been discussing for the past 6 months, and why we, correctly, say that Operation Twist is really QE 3 and QE 3.5 (for the recent extension of Twist). So far so good.
Here comes the important part.
Three weeks ago we presented a video courtesy of Stone McCarthy which showed a timelapse of the “takeover” of the Fed as the primary holder of public debt. For those short on time, here is how the Fed’s holdings portfolio looked like then…
The shaded region is important for two reasons: this is where the Fed will be buying new bonds as part of any new QE Large Scale Asset Purchase program, and it tells us all there is to know about how big and how effective QE3 (really 4) will be. The bottom line, as calculated by UBS’ Michael Schumacher and confirmed by anyone with access to the detail behind the Fed’s SOMA holdings, which incidentally just hit a record 116 months two months ahead of Twist 2 schedule, is that “the Fed owns all but $650 billion of 10-30 year nominal Treasuries.” Also as pointed out above, Twist 2, aka QE 3.5 is already absorbing all of the long end supply. And herein lies the rub. To quote UBS: “Taking out, say, $300 billion in long-end Treasuries almost certainly would put tremendous pressure on liquidity in that market….Ploughing ahead with a large, fixed size QE program could cause liquidity to tank.”
In other words, anyone expecting a full blown LSAP focusing only on US Treasurys will very likely be disappointed as the Fed will certainly realize, quite soon we hope, that it has only $650 billion in total 10 year + bonds available in the entire private market!
Well, perhaps the Fed will just monetize MBS, as Bill Gross has been betting on for nearly a year now. It could do that… but when once factors in “math“, the results are once again quite startling. Quote UBS again:
– By The Time Operation Twist 1 Is Over, The Fed Will Have Quietly Completed 40% Of Operation Twist 2 As Well (ZeroHedge, May 20, 2012):
By the time Operation Twist (1) ends in just over 40 days time, on June 30, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, according to his previously announced “loose” target, will hope to have extended the average maturity of all bonds in the System Open Market Account (SOMA) to a record of roughly 100 months from 75 month at the onset of the program in October 2011. After all the sole purpose of Twist was to load up the Fed’s portfolio with duration, forcing the rest of the market to shift its investing curve even further into risky assets, as the Fed will have effectively onboarded the bulk of securities in the 3-4% return interval. Now as we showed back in early April, hopes that the Fed will simply continue with Operation Twist 2 after the end of “season” 1, as suggested by some clueless “access journalists” who merely relay what they are told by higher powers, are completely misguided as the Fed simply does not have enough short-term securities (1-3 years) to sell, and would have at most 2 months of inventory for a continued sterilized operation. Which however, does not mean that the Fed can not be quietly ramping up its operations in the ongoing Twisting episode. Because as Stone McCarthy demonstrates, as of the past week, the Fed has already surpassed its 100 month maturity target of 100 months, and is at 102.82 months as of May 16. And this is with 6 more weeks of Twist to go: at the current rate of SOMA purchases, the Fed will have a total portfolio average maturity of just shy of 110 months by June 30! Which means that contrary to market expectations of what the Fed’s own stated goal may have been, Bernanke will have gobbled up nearly 40% more long-dated Flow relative to estimates! In other words, Ben does not need to do a full blown Operation Twist 2 episode: by the time Twist 1 is over, he will have attained nearly 40% of the goals of the next potential sterilized operation.
Why is this important? Well, recall that over a month ago Goldman Sachs itself admitted what we have been saying for over 3 years: it is not stock that matters… it is flow. Recall the Goldman punchline:
…we have found some evidence that at the very long end of the yield curve, where Operation Twist is concentrated, it may be not just the stock of securities held by the Fed but also the ongoing flow of purchases that matters for yields…
And there you have it.
– Gold Bug Bill Gross Will Gladly Pay You Tuesday For A Hamburger Today, Hoping “Tuesday Never Comes” (ZeroHedge, May 1, 2012):
We will forgive Bill Gross for taking the chart that Zero Hedge first presented (oddly enough correctly attributed by his arch rival Jeff Gundlach) as the centerpiece of his just released monthly musings, and wrongfully misattributing it, for the simple reason that everything else in his latest monthly letter “Tuesday Never Comes” is a carbon copy of the topics covered and discussed extensively on these pages both recently and over the past 3 years. However something tells us that the man who manages over $1 trillion in bonds in the form of the world’s largest bond portfolio will be slowly in getting branded a gold bug by the idiot media even with such warnings as “real assets/commodities should occupy an increasing percentage of portfolios.” Neither will his warnings that an inflationary spike courtesy of the tens of trillions in loose money added to the system will be inflationary: “inflation should creep higher. Do not be mellowed by the affirmation of a 2% target rate of inflation here in the U.S. or as targeted in six of the G-7 nations. Not suddenly, but over time, gradually higher rates of inflation should be the result of QE policies and zero bound yields that were initiated in late 2008 and which will likely continue for years to come.” Finally, since Zero Hedge is the only venue that has been pounding the table on the whole “flow” vs “stock” debate which is at the heart of it all (see here), we were delighted to see this topic get a much needed mention by the world’s now most influential gold bug: “The Fed appears to have a theory that is somewhat incomprehensible to me, stressing the “stock” of Treasuries as opposed to the “flow.” And there you have it. In summary: to anyone who has read Zero Hedge recently, don’t expect much new ground covered. To anyone else, this is a must read.
From Bill GrossTuesday Never Comes
- The current acceleration of credit via central bank policies will likely produce a positive rate of real economic growth this year for most developed countries, but the structural distortions brought about by zero bound interest rates will limit that growth and induce serious risks in future years.
- Not suddenly, but over time, gradually higher rates of inflation should be the result of QE policies and zero bound yields that will likely continue for years to come.
- Focus on securities with shorter durations – bonds with maturities in the five-year range and stocks paying dividends that offer 3%–4% yields. In addition, real assets/commodities should occupy an increasing percentage of portfolios.
– ‘Gold Bullion or Cash’ Shows Buffett, Roubini, Krugman Mistaken; Faber, Rogers, Bass, Einhorn, Gross Correct (ZeroHedge, Feb. 25, 2012)
– Bill Gross Explains The European Ponzi (ZeroHedge, Feb. 8, 2012):
Not like it is news, but… Out of one pocket, into another, and in the mean time “things get better” as Gross explains below. That said, we hope Bill knows where Allianz of A&G fame (which just happens to be the closest comp to our own AIG) falls in the pecking order of the European house of cards.
– ‘King Of Bonds‘ Bill Gross Explains Why “We Are Witnessing The Death Of Abundance” And Why Gold Is Becoming The Default “Store Of Value” (ZeroHedge, Feb. 1, 2012):
While sounding just a tad preachy in his February newsletter, Bill Gross’ latest summary piece on the economy, on the Fed’s forray into infinite ZIRP, into maturity transformation, and the lack thereof, on the Fed’s massive blunder in treating the liquidity trap, but most importantly on what the transition from a levering to delevering global economy means, is a must read. First: on the fatal flaw in the Fed’s plan: “when rational or irrational fear persuades an investor to be more concerned about the return of her money than on her money then liquidity can be trapped in a mattress, a bank account or a five basis point Treasury bill. But that commonsensical observation is well known to Fed policymakers, economic historians and certainly citizens on Main Street.” And secondly, here is why the party is over: “Where does credit go when it dies? It goes back to where it came from. It delevers, it slows and inhibits economic growth, and it turns economic theory upside down, ultimately challenging the wisdom of policymakers. We’ll all be making this up as we go along for what may seem like an eternity. A 30-50 year virtuous cycle of credit expansion which has produced outsize paranormal returns for financial assets – bonds, stocks, real estate and commodities alike – is now delevering because of excessive “risk” and the “price” of money at the zero-bound. We are witnessing the death of abundance and the borning of austerity, for what may be a long, long time.” Yet most troubling is that even Gross, a long-time member of the status quo, now sees what has been obvious only to fringe blogs for years: “ Recent central bank behavior, including that of the U.S. Fed, provides assurances that short and intermediate yields will not change, and therefore bond prices are not likely threatened on the downside. Still, zero-bound money may kill as opposed to create credit. Developed economies where these low yields reside may suffer accordingly. It may as well, induce inflationary distortions that give a rise to commodities and gold as store of value alternatives when there is little value left in paper.” Let that sink in for a second, and let it further sink in what happens when $1.3 trillion Pimco decides to open a gold fund. Physical preferably…
From PIMCO’s Bill Gross:
Life – and Death Proposition
- Recent central bank behavior, including that of the U.S. Fed, provides assurances that short and intermediate yields will not change, and therefore bond prices are not likely threatened on the downside.
- Most short to intermediate Treasury yields are dangerously close to the zero-bound which imply limited potential room, if any, for price appreciation.
- We can’t put $100 trillion of credit in a system-wide mattress, but we can move in that direction by delevering and refusing to extend maturities and duration.
– Bill Gross’ Explains The FOMC Decision: “QE 2.5 Today, QE 3, 4, 5 … Lie Ahead” (ZeroHedge, Jan. 25, 2012):
Pimco just saved you lots of garbage sellside “research” “analysis” on the topic.
– Bill Gross: Enjoy The Santa Rally – The Hangover Is Coming As “US Is Not An Island” (ZeroHedge, Dec. 20, 2011):
Just tweeted from the bond titan who is getting more and more concerned about those asset management fees in a world in which fixed income is increasingly becoming risk free, courtesy of central planning, until Gresham’s law unwind destroys everyone.
– Bill Gross Has Record $60 Billion Short Cash Bet Fed To Proceed With MBS Monetization (ZeroHedge, Dec. 12, 2011):
Following the release of its November fund statistics, Pimco’s Total Return Fund has once again reaffirmed it is betting on imminent QE by the Fed in the form of MBS monetization, a trend it started two months ago as we pointed out. And with a record $60 billion short cash position, or 25% of the entire fund $242 billion AUM, they better be right this time (he did the same thing in Jan-Feb… that did not work out too well). It is amazing to consider that back in April, Gross was long $90 billion in cash: a $150 billion swing! The TRF’s 43% holdings of MBS is an increase of 5% compared to October, the most since December 2010, but still just half of the 86% held in February 2009 in expectation sof MBS monetizations by the Fed as part of QE 1. Just as notable is the near record effective fund duration, which at 7.46 was the second highest ever, just a modest drop from the 7.58 in October. What is most curious is that Gross, for the first time as far as our records go, is completely out of the 0-3 year maturity range. Which makes sense: after all the Fed has telegraphed there will be no money made in that band of rates until mid-2013, a deadline which will likely soon be extended.
- Bill Gross Sends Out Big Apology To Investors, And Then Declares That The Economy Is Doomed (Business Insider, Oct. 15, 2011):
Funny, just yesterday afternoon we pointed out the irony of nobody caring about the fact that Bill Gross had loaded up the boat on the long end of the yield curve, a gamble that obviously meant one thing: He sees no growth or inflation ahead — essentially an economy that’s doomed.
Now he might get more attention, because he just put that in writing.
A month ago, Zero Hedge first reported that Bill Gross had taken the stunning decision to bring his Treasury exposure from 12% to 0%: a move which many interpreted as just business, and not personal: after all Pimco had previously telegraphed its disgust with US paper, and was merely mitigating its exposure.
This time, in another Zero Hedge first, we discover that it is no longer business for Bill – it has now become personal (and with an attendant cost of carry).
In March, Pimco’s flagship Total Return Fund (TRF) has now taken an active short position in US government debt: -3% on a Market Value basis (or $7.1 billion), and a whopping -18% on a Duration Weighted Exposure basis.
And confirming just what PIMCO thinks of US-related paper is the fact that the world’s largest “bond” fund now has cash, at a stunning $73 billion, or 31% of all assets, as its largest asset class on both a relative and absolute basis.
We repeat: cash is more than PIMCO’s holdings of Treasurys and Mortgage securities ($66 billion) combined. To paraphrase: in March PIMCO was dumping everything related to US rates (see chart below).
Captain Obvious strikes again.
More from Bill Gross:
In a letter focusing on what has been well known to Zero Hedge readers for about two years now, Bill Gross’ latest investment outlook does the usual attack of Beltway stupidity (as if Congress is in any way competent of making math-related decisions – they do what Wall Street – that’s you Bill! – tell them to do, and you know it), emphasizing the impossible math of total US entitlement liabilities (on a net present value basis), which Gross estimates at $75 trillion. That Gross conclusion is predetermined from the onset is not surprising: “Unless entitlements are substantially reformed, I am confident that this country will default on its debt; not in conventional ways, but by picking the pocket of savers via a combination of less observable, yet historically verifiable policies – inflation, currency devaluation and low to negative real interest rates.”
Then again, that America is bankrupt is not really news to anyone. Neither is it news, that Gross, as we first reported, no longer has any US bonds to dispose of. What will be news is the inflection point at which Gross starts purchasing Treasuries once again. And after all with $220 billion in AUM in the Total Return Fund, what else will he do: hold on to cash? Buy Netflix? Then the only question will be how Gross spins the inevitable capitulation of the re-hypocrisy trade, validating that he, in a narrow sense, and PIMCO in a broad one, is perhaps the biggest cog in the very system that Bill spends so many hours writing letters about and complaining against. But yes, even that won’t be all that surprising to us. After all, in this bizarro world absolutely everything is now priced in.
The greatest financial (and economic) collapse in world history is well on its way.
The bankster bailouts, stimulus package and unprecedented deficit spending have caused the ultimate bubble and it is ready to burst.
This is the Greatest Depression.
Bill Gross’ decisions look certainly like common sense, BUT his ‘perfect timing history’ is pretty odd and he must be trading on insider information.
(Reuters) – The world’s largest bond fund has gone ultra bearish on the United States, dumping all of its U.S. government-related debt holdings.
The move by Bill Gross’s $236.9 billion PIMCO Total Return fund completed last month comes in the wake of a vicious Treasury market sell-off and just days after he questioned who will buy Treasuries once the Federal Reserve halts its latest round of bond purchases in June.
Gross, who also helps oversee a $1.1 trillion investment portfolio as PIMCO’s co-chief investment officer, has repeatedly warned against U.S. deficit spending and its inflationary impact, which undermine the value of government debt and push up yields as investors demand more compensation for risk.
Over the last five months, worries over the ballooning U.S. budget gap estimated at $1.645 trillion for 2011, political stalemate in Washington over how to narrow it and inflationary fears have all contributed to a steep sell-off in Treasuries. The benchmark 10-year note has seen its yield, which moves inversely to price, rise more than one percentage point since early October to 3.46 percent by Wednesday’s close.
Gross expects further carnage. Just last week, he told Reuters Insider that a 4.0 percent yield for 10-year notes is a “rational expectation” if the Fed “disappears as the buyer of last resort.”
This week marks the 2-year anniversary of the 2009 stock market bottom, but there’s little celebrating among retail investors. General speaking, individual investors fled from the stock market in 2008 and 2009 for the perceived safety of the bond market, a trend which didn’t abate until late 2010.
But with yields rising and concerns mounting about budget deficits at all levels of government, the question begs: Are bonds still safe?
If by “bonds” you mean U.S. Treasuries, the answer is a resounding “no”, according to Bill Gross, founder and co-CIO of PIMCO, which has about $1.2 trillion of assets under management.
“The Treasury market typifies perhaps the most overvalued area of the bond market,” Gross says.
In the accompanying video, Gross discusses the theme of his most recent monthly strategy piece: “Who will buy Treasuries when the Fed doesn’t?”
Specifically, Gross worries about the end of the Fed’s QE2 program, slated for June 30. “If someone has been buying $1.5 trillion worth of Treasuries and now doesn’t buy $1.5 trillion worth of Treasuries, it’ll affect yields on the upside.”
‘D-Day’ for Debt
Debt, debt and more mounting debt is plaguing countries around the globe.
In the U.S., states across the country face a collective $125 billion shortfall for fiscal 2012, while Congress is facing a budget gap nearly 10 times that size.
PIMCO founder Bill Gross — one of the world’s largest mutual funds managers, who focuses mostly on bonds — has previously said that if the United States were a corporation, no one in their right mind would lend us money. For the last decade, we’ve been “relying on the kindness of strangers” to help cover our debts, he tells Aaron Task in the accompanying clip.
By “strangers” he is referring to our foreign counterparts, like China for example. Basically, for years Americans have spent their hard-earned dollars on less-expensive Chinese made goods. With great gratitude, China turned around and used all those dollars to buy up U.S. Treasuries and other dollar-denominated assets.
But now after years of reckless spending, America’s debt level is nearing a breaking point and can no longer rely on foreign capital as a last resort. “When a country reaches a certain debt level, confidence in that country’s ability to repay that debt becomes jeopardized,” says Gross, citing the work of Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart in This Time Is Different.