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Mad, Mad, Mad, MAD World: News in Charts

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Global Outlook – Mad, Mad, Mad, MAD World: News in Charts

Alarm bells are ringing for economic fundamentalists such as Fathom Consulting.

Asset prices look increasingly out of step with fundamentals, and in some cases they look downright bubbly. And other geopolitical developments are similarly alarming. One might even describe them as…

Mad:

Equity prices in developed economies, and specifically in the US, are more than one standard deviation higher than their long-run average in relation to nominal GDP.

Mad:

The Nasdaq has again played its part, posting an even greater degree of fundamental overvaluation than the S&P 500. Its degree of overvaluation in relation to nominal GDP is now close to its dotcom bubble high.

Mad:

Government bond prices across the developed world are at all-time highs. Bond prices have been increasing consistently since the 1980s, with a series of global shocks driving that move.

Total central bank assets across the developed world now stand at over $14 trillion, having increased by about $10 trillion since the recession.

Over the same period, the new issuance of government debt has increased dramatically right across the G5. All else the same, you would expect such an increase in government debt to result in higher government bond yields (lower prices).

However, short rates have fallen to the lower bound and QE has been introduced, mopping up almost all of the value of new issuance of government debt across the major developed economies. It is no surprise, therefore, that the price of government bonds has increased over the same period, by around 18%.

Is it possible for there to be a bubble in government bond prices in the world’s leading developed economies? Unlike other asset markets, there is no realistic question about the long-term risk attached to the underlying asset. Economies do not go out of business. However, they do default and, while a hard default is unlikely for these economies, a soft default via inflation and/or financial repression is not.

Bubbles in asset prices can arise, and can burst, without necessitating a complete collapse in the value of the underlying – in this case a hard default.

Put another way: is there any threshold for bond prices beyond which we would call a bubble? If such a threshold exists, we have surely passed it. The bubble emerges as follows: the major central banks entered the market for government bonds in 2009 and have bought $1 trillion a year since then. They were committed to buying no matter the price. In addition, there are other parties who are obliged by regulation to hold large quantities of government debt from the major developed economies.

For the remaining free agents in bond markets, the rational step is to buy, safe in the knowledge that, for the time being, there is always another buyer out there who will pay more. That implies we should be concerned about the impact of a reversal in QE – if we’re in a bubble, that could burst it.

MAD:

Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) was something we all hoped we had left behind in the 1980s. But now it is back. The only way we can sleep soundly in the current geopolitical environment is in the knowledge that possession of nuclear weapons will not result in Armageddon as long as the logic of MAD holds. No sane person would ever press the button. But, for MAD to work, all parties have to believe that every other party might press the button.

MAD fails if everyone is rational and is perceived as such. But it also fails if anyone is actually mad. At present, markets appear sanguine about the risks around North Korea (Equity investors are not worried about a US/China trade war): let us hope they are right.

This is genuinely uncharted territory: here be dragons!

News and Commentary

Gold prices touch two-week high amid subdued U.S. dollar (Reuters.com)

Gold extends gains after latest Fed meeting minutes (Reuters.com)

Dollar Falls, Stocks Hit Record as Fed Seen Dovish (Bloomberg.com)

Russian central bank may boost gold trading on Moscow exchange (Reuters.com)

China will 'compel' Saudis to trade oil in yuan – Economist (CNBC.com)


 

3 Reasons World Could Turn Its Back on the U.S. Dollar (CNBC.com)

Bitcoin Is "Evil" and a Bubble; Higher Taxes Are Good – Krugman Interview (Bloomberg.com)

THE UNKNOWN FUNDAMENTAL: This Will Push The Silver Price Up Much Higher (SilverSeek.com)

Yellowstone Supervolcano May Rumble to Life Faster Than Thought (NationalGeographic.com)

Scientists find gold worth $2 million in Swiss sewage (CNN.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

12 Oct: USD 1,294.45, GBP 977.96 & EUR 1,092.26 per ounce

11 Oct: USD 1,290.20, GBP 978.62 & EUR 1,091.90 per ounce

10 Oct: USD 1,289.60, GBP 977.77 & EUR 1,094.61 per ounce

09 Oct: USD 1,282.15, GBP 976.23 & EUR 1,092.01 per ounce

06 Oct: USD 1,268.20, GBP 970.43 & EUR 1,083.93 per ounce

05 Oct: USD 1,278.40, GBP 969.28 & EUR 1,086.51 per ounce

04 Oct: USD 1,275.55, GBP 960.87 & EUR 1,085.11 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

12 Oct: USD 17.20, GBP 13.06 & EUR 14.50 per ounce

11 Oct: USD 17.15, GBP 13.00 & EUR 14.51 per ounce

10 Oct: USD 17.12, GBP 12.98 & EUR 14.53 per ounce

09 Oct: USD 16.92, GBP 12.86 & EUR 14.41 per ounce

06 Oct: USD 16.63, GBP 12.73 & EUR 14.20 per ounce

05 Oct: USD 16.66, GBP 12.64 & EUR 14.19 per ounce

04 Oct: USD 16.83, GBP 12.67 & EUR 14.29 per ounce

Recent Market Updates

- Young Guns of Gold Podcast – ‘The Everything Bubble’

- London House Prices Are Falling – Time to Buckle Up

- Perth Mint Gold Coins Sales Double In September

- Survey shows UK and US Pensions Crisis is Imminent

- Gold Investment In Germany Surges – Now World’s Largest Gold Buyers

- Yahoo Hacking Highlights Cyber Risk and Increasing Importance of Physical Gold

- Safe Haven Silver To Outperform Gold In Q4 And In 2018

- Plan For Run On The Pound

- Russia Gold Rush Sees Record Reserves For Putin Era

- China Catalyst To Send Gold Over $10,000 Per Ounce?

- Gold Matches S&P 500 Performance In First 3 Quarters; Up 12% 2017 YTD

- Gold Standard Resulted In “Fewer Catastrophes” – FT

- Financial Advice From Man Who Made $1+ Billion in 1929 – Importance Of Being Patient and “Sitting”

Important Guides

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

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