Many will compare this week’s market downdraft to the bout of market tumult back in early-February. At the time, I likened the blowup of some short volatility products to the June 2017 failure of two Bear Stearns structured Credit funds – an episode marking the beginning of the end for subprime and the greater mortgage finance Bubble. First cracks in vulnerable Bubbles. Back in 2007, it took 15 months for the initial fissure to develop into the “worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.”
I posited some months back that tumult in the emerging markets marked the second phase of unfolding Crisis Dynamics. I have argued that the global government finance Bubble, history’s greatest Bubble, has been pierced at the “periphery.” More recently, the analytical focus has been on “Periphery to Core Crisis Dynamics.” I’ve chronicled de-risking/deleveraging dynamics making headway toward the “Core.” This week the “Core” became fully enveloped, as the unfolding global crisis entered a critical third phase.
Today’s backdrop is altogether different than that of February. For one, back then “money” was flowing readily into the emerging markets – too much of it “hot money.” “Risk on” was still dominant early in the year. Speculative leverage was expanding, with resulting liquidity abundance on an unprecedented global scale. With such a powerful global liquidity backdrop, a fleeting dislocation in U.S. equities proved no impediment to the hard-charging U.S. bull market.