Epsilon Theory Professional
I think Jay Powell and the Fed have locked themselves into a two to three year commitment to treating inflationary pressures as “transitory”, just like an NFL GM and organization lock themselves into supporting a “franchise” quarterback they draft in the first round.
And that’s pretty exciting for a discretionary alpha-oriented investor like me.
I think we are hitting an inflection point in a thirty-year globalization trade and a forty-year deflation trade at the same time that the Lex Greensills and Masayoshi Sons of the world have had 13 years to build their scams to the breaking point.
The game is afoot!
Is the collapse of Greensill Capital a Madoff Moment for the unicorn market? Honestly, if you had asked me a few weeks ago, I would have told you that a Madoff Moment was impossible in our narrative-consumed, speak-no-evil market world of 2021. Now I’m not sure.
If you think that market-world fundamentally changed over the past week or two, you are absolutely correct. The market narrative has shifted significantly, as every macro event will now be judged against a backdrop of “does that increase or decrease the chances of market-negative action by the Fed” as opposed to the decade-long dominant backdrop of “does that increase or decrease the chances of market-supportive action by the Fed”.
I am increasingly thinking that both a Covid-recovery world AND a perma-Covid world are inflationary worlds, the former from a demand shock and the latter from a supply shock to the biggest and most important single asset market in the world – the US housing market.
For the past 20+ years, the real-world model for economists to understand unexpected deflation was Japan.
If the risk today is unexpected inflation, what’s the real-world model for that?
No one thinks their Super Bowl commercial is a dud going into the game, but only one or two will come out as the commercial that everyone knows that everyone knows was really special and witty and effective.
It’s the same with Wall Street narratives.
The South African variant virus (501.V2) is not nearly the immediate threat to the United States as the UK variant virus (B117). But 501.V2 has the potential to create a far more powerful narrative – vaccine resistance – that can have a greater market impact than the more pressing issues of B117.
More and more, I think the variant viruses create a tradeable event for markets,
If B117 becomes the dominant SARS-CoV-2 strain in the United States, that is a profoundly deflationary, risk-off, dollar higher, flight to safety event.
I don’t believe that ANY of this is priced into markets.
Legacy Monitor Archive (Pre-January 2020)