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A historic global bond-market crash threatens liquidation of the world’s most crowded trades, says BofA

A historic global bond-market crash threatens liquidation of the world’s most crowded trades, says BofA

‘If the bond market does not function, then no other market functions, really,’ say Ben Emons of Medley Global Advisors 

A newspaper headline is shown after the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919. Global bonds are in one of their worst bear markets since the treaty went into effect in 1920, establishing the terms for peace at the end of World War I.

SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF DENVER

Global government-bond markets are stuck in what BofA Securities analysts are calling one of the greatest bear markets ever and this is in turn threatening the ease with which investors will be able to exit from the world’s most-crowded trades, if needed.

Those trades include positions in the dollar, U.S. technology companies and private equity, said BofA strategists Michael Hartnett, Elyas Galou, and Myung-Jee Jung. Bonds are generally regarded as one of the most liquid asset classes available to investors. If liquidity dries up in that market, it’s bad news for just about every other form of investment, other analysts said.

Financial markets have yet to price in the worst-case outcomes for inflation, interest rates, and the economy around the world, despite tumbling global equities along with a selloff of bonds in the U.S. and the U.K. On Friday, the Dow industrials DJIA, -1.62% sank almost 500 points and flirted with a fall into bear-market territory, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -1.72% stopped short of ending the New York session below its June closing low.

U.S. bond yields are at or near multiyear highs. Meanwhile, government-bond yields in the U.K., Germany, and France have risen at the fastest clip since the 1990s, according to BofA Securities.

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