The biggest risk to markets have always been policy mistakes by central banks and/or governments. The risks are rising as confusions about inflation abound. The reality is Central banks have tripped themselves – by assuring us inflation was transitory, they’ve pretty much nailed on its permanence!
There are many very clever investment firms – Baillie Gifford takes a long view to recognise and consider the future and trends, while Bridgewater is taking a view on inflation and rates. But, what if the most important factor likely to drive long-term returns proves to be the destabilising consequences of the last 10-years of interest rate repression and the distortion of rules, regulations and fads? These could prove the “no-see-ems” that tumble markets!
Fed Head Jerome Powell set the market wagging y’day, triggering a mini-taper tantrum in bonds and stocks when he revealed no immediate rate hike but the possibility/likelihood of 2 rate rises in 2023. Bonds and Stocks fell. Bonds are unlikely to get much better in coming months – unless we see a market wobble that forces Central Banks to intervene, or something that creates a flash flight to quality. We are now in new market phase – the correlation between bonds and equities is looking vulnerable to a reversal when the free money that’s fed the rally since 2010 dries up! This is getting….. “interesting”.