Bonds: The Most Popular Trade on Wall Street (w/ AK)

AK: On this show, we’ve talked a lot about trade wars,
monetary policy and their effect on markets, especially the bond markets. If you’ve been paying
attention to the financial news, then of course, you’ve been bombarded by bond market coverage. You might
have seen that our boy Stan Druckenmiller said in an interview with the Economic Club of New York that he
went from 93% invested to net flat and bought a bunch of Treasury after reading one of Trumps infamous trade
wars tweets. Well, he isn’t alone in that opinion. Today, we’re going to explain why everybody is talking
about Treasuries. And it’s all going down on this week’s episode of Real
Vision’s The One Thing What’s going on, investors? AK here. So, Druck bought
Treasuries for protection. In his own words, he’s not trying to make money. He’s just
not trying to play the game. Buying Treasuries for their safety seems to be a fear
driven action, but the emotions of fear and greed are curious partners in crime, and some traders are
looking at Treasury through a greedier prism. Raoul Pal, the CEO of Real Vision, recently wrote a report
for the Macro Insiders called Buy Bonds, Buy Dollars, Wear Diamonds, where he
adds conviction to his bond position. Raoul Pal explain that guys like Druckenmiller and Soros
make a majority of their wealth during the down part of the business cycle. That’s when people
don’t want to own bonds, but they need to own bonds. Dr. Komal Sri-Kumar sat down with Real Vision and
expressed similar thoughts. He argued that slowing growth in the trade wars would push
the market into US Treasuries, which would bring yields down. He discussed the
relationships between bond yields and bond prices and talk about where he thinks Treasuries will go. KOMAL SRI-KUMAR: Namely, trade wars are going to be good
for US Treasuries, and then low inflation is going to be very good for it as
well. And the expectation of low economic growth is also a
positive. Think about what a nominal bond yield is. It is a summation of your expectations on inflation and
what you think is going to happen to growth. If real growth is going to be very high, you will be
prepared to pay a very high interest rate, and I will demand a high interest rate to lend to you. And that is not only with respect to the private sector
individuals, but with the US Treasury as well. And I took the position that despite the Trump tax cuts
around Christmas of 2017, yes, you will have a few quarters of growth pickup. But
that’s a sugar high. Just because you have a sugar high and your energy level
goes up, that doesn’t mean you’ll become an individual with
permanently high energy for the rest of your life. Similarly, here, I thought it would happen to two or three
quarters and then fall off. Sure enough, that seems to be happening right now. AK: So, the sugar high is wearing off. If you look at the
chart of the US 10-Year Treasuries, Kumar has been spot on. Normally, coming off a tax break
would push Treasury prices lower and yields higher. Because of the increase in fiscal deficits, tightening
monetary policies and worries about global growth. Despite that, as a wise man once said in the land of the
blind, the one-eyed man is king. And in the context of the rest of the world’s weakness
compared to the US, 2% return looks pretty good. In Germany, you actually have to pay the government to
hold the German bond. That’s why US Treasuries are still king despite an
increase in supply and deteriorating economic condition. Dr. Kumar discussed this further. KOMAL SRI-KUMAR: Yes, the US fiscal deficit has increased.
And that is not a good thing. And therefore, they have to issue more Treasuries. But
look what the market is saying. Despite that, the yield is going down. And the reason for
that is that there is an immense amount of global demand that is coming from different sources. Even the threat that the Chinese may sell some of their
Treasuries as a retaliatory measure in the trade war has not caused the yields to go up. So, the private
German, the private French person and the private Asian investor is going to say I’m going to seek refuge in US
Treasuries. So, it basically, it looks like a bulletproof situation
for US Treasuries right now. AK: Despite of supply increase, there’s still safety in US
Treasuries compared to the rest of the world. Mark Newton came on Real Vision last week to give a trade
idea with a less binary view on bonds. Experienced traders like Newton can sometimes spot the
bottom or even catch a falling knife on its way down. Newton broke down his forecast for US Treasuries. MARK NEWTON: It’s really right near 2% is going to be very
key, not only psychologically, but also it lines up with a few other technical factors.
So, I would really be a seller of Treasuries into that 2.01 to 2.06 yield area thinking that yields
stop there and turn back higher. If we get under 2%, then you would obviously, stop that
out. JUSTINE UNDERHILL: How high do you see yields going? MARK NEWTON: Well, I think probably, initially, we can
move up at least 20 or 30 basis points from there. So, it’s not a big move, a lot needs to be done. We need to get up over 2.40 to have conviction that yields
can start to trend higher. So, for me right now, it’s about trying to really buy a
dip in yield or in this case, sell Treasuries as yields get that low. Over 2.40, you can make a more meaningful case for a
larger yield rally. That would be a breakout of the entire downtrend. Very similar to what I was speaking of in the S&P, getting
up over 2800 structurally would be important. JUSTINE UNDERHILL: And would this be in the same September
timeframe? MARK NEWTON: I do believe that’s possible, just because
they’ve trended very similar. Yeah, so if we can start to see yields make a stand. Right now, I have a little bit more conviction that
equities are closer than Treasury yields, but it’s unlikely that we’re going to see one take off and
see the other just sit there just given the degree that they have all moved lower
together. AK: So, first off, those were all trade ideas, not
investment advice, so take it all with a grain of salt. The true value in those clips is seeing how professionals
build their trading and investing process to reach their own conclusions. They should give you an
idea about how the market at large is thinking about Treasuries and how the pros are positioning themselves to
profit. So, when legends like Druck join the party and they agree
with pros like Pal, Kumar, and Newton, then it’s time to pay attention whether you agree with
their thesis or not. If you want to help building or refining your process so
you could identify profit opportunities like this, then make sure you subscribe to Real Vision. I’ll talk to
you next week.

9 thoughts on “Bonds: The Most Popular Trade on Wall Street (w/ AK)

  1. AK… I just can't quit you! This camera/backdrop is also a great look for you.

  2. Oh yeah, Treasury bonds. Buy that 10 year and reap that 2.15% windfall. What a fantastic asset class!

  3. worst trade idea on the planet rn is to bet that usa will be ok in the future.

  4. wait till the fed shits on the dollar with ZIRP and QE4 and all these bondbuyers are getting negative real returns

  5. This explanation of treasury yields is psychotic. Bonds are dollars. Literally ! And if it people flocking to the treasury that pushes the yield down then what if the fed doing buying treasury bonds (i.e quantitative easing). If people buying now is what pushes down then people selling also pushes the yield down. If you dont believe, then what happens to the bonds that were bought 20 to 30 years that will mature today when yields 20 to 39 years ago were in the double digits.

  6. If the US keeps driving
    bond yields down to allow
    them to make debt payments –
    it also traps investors into
    huge losses if rates are forced
    up by the market.

    Demand for bonds can change
    quickly making investors want
    higher rates to commit funds.

    Even if the FED buys bonds to
    keep yields low, it will just increase
    its balance sheet.

  7. Interest on excess reserves gives me a 6 and a half hour raging hard on ? BILLS for me BONDS for you! Xoxo.

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