Judging by how urgently Goldman’s research department is trying to get the bank’s clients to sell treasuries, Goldman’s prop traders must have a desperate bid for duration in anticipation of what probably will be a historic deflationary shock. It started a month ago when Goldman calculated that the US debt supply will more than double from $488bn to $1,030bn in 2018.
Then last Friday, Goldman revised its 10-year bond yield forecasts by around 20bp across the board – in part due to revised growth and inflation expectations – and now projects 3.25% for US Treasuries, 1.0% for Bunds, 2.0% for Gilts and 10bp for JGBs (the bank kept the peak level of Treasury yields in this cycle unchanged at 3.5-3.75%). Its full old vs new projection matrix is shown below:
Now, in yet another note meant to prompt selling of Treasurys (and buying of stocks that Goldman’s co-head of equities admitted last week he is all too willing to sell), overnight Goldman’s economist team wrote that “Federal fiscal policy is entering uncharted territory” after Congress “voted twice in the last two months to substantially expand the budget deficit despite an already elevated debt level and an economy that shows no need for additional fiscal stimulus.”
As a result of this historic expansion in U.S. borrowing during a period of economic growth, alongside rising bond yields, Goldman predicts a surge in the cost of servicing American debt, and goes so far as to warn that the current US fiscal trajectory would lead to catastrophe: “the continued growth of public debt raises eventual sustainability questions if left unchecked.”
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What has so spooked Goldman, which rhetorically asks “what’s wrong with Fiscal Policy?” is that “US fiscal policy is on an unusual course.
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