Monday, 23 November 2009

The Next Bubble: Disclaimer and Disclosure

Believing or disbelieving in the bond bubble seems to have become a political choice, at least in the United States. I can’t recall such a degree of partisan frenzy in the debate over previous bubbles such as housing, tech stocks or commodities. And for good reason: any discussion of bond prices and interest rates leads inevitably to a discussion of budget deficits and Fed/Treasury policy, which – unlike say dotcom valuations – is ideologically fraught territory.

So, in the interests of full disclosure, and for what it’s worth: I am not a US citizen or resident, I do not pay US taxes or receive US benefits, I am not currently connected with the US financial industry (except as an external observer and generic investor), and I do not support any US political party. In short, I have no dog in this race.

All I want to do is understand what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen, insofar as (and no further than!) it helps me as a trader and investor. And my current understanding, based I hope on unbiased analysis, is that we are in the middle of a bond bubble. I think that interest rates may go lower over the short term, but that they will go higher – significantly higher! – over the medium to long term. My portfolio is positioned accordingly. If I get my predictions correct, I will make money; if I get them wrong, I will lose money. It’s as simple as that.

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