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corporate debt

  • Mon, Feb 27, 2017 - 03:40pm



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    corporate debt

I am with you on the property bubble.  Property values are underpinned by debt.  If the debt breaks the wrong way (i.e. deflation), it could get ugly.

I also agree with you about BRExit and the GBP and that disagreeable 20% move.  If you had gold, you were happy though.  Not only did gold rally, it rallied really hard in GBP.  Armstrong feels that GBP might actually be a modest safe haven when the Euro goes tits up.  Scotland should wait for a couple years before bailing out.

I credit Armstrong with the bond analysis.  If you look at what happened during the 1930s depression, there were a huge swath of countries that ended up defaulting on their debts.  England and France, to name two.  They were over-indebted because of the war – but today, we've had no war, but they're maxed out anyway.

And with "no growth" on the horizon…

Armstrong pointed out that sovereigns historically have defaulted pretty frequently, while the AAA-rated debt has an expected default rate of less than 1%.   You get a payout from bankruptcy from a corporate; you may get almost nothing from a sovereign.  The JNJ bonds I was talking about?  They yield 3%, and are rated higher than US treasury bonds.

When things get tough, sovereigns also play nasty tricks on their bondholders like unilaterally extending maturities.  That 3-month T-bill is now a 30 year bond.  Surprise!  Corporates can't do that.  They actually have to follow the rules.