While the surge in the greenback since July has turned up in all sorts of economic data, much of it not good, the big one may have just landed.
Expectations may have been pushed to later this year for when the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike interest rates, but a repeat of another steep sell-off in emerging market stocks appears unlikely as much has already been priced in - and because of the stronger dollar.
It's starting to get difficult to keep track of the reasons for big selloffs, especially when the bond market and stock market engage in an all-out barf-fest simultaneously. The markets remain in a vacuum. Major earnings don't start for a few more weeks, and the key employment data isn't out for another week as well. That has left a bit of a void, which investors are filling with concerns about the dollar (if it's strengthening, it hurts earnings; if it's weakening, it's because of worries about the economy) and worries about the economy.
The International Monetary Fund will decide later today whether to approve a big package of bailouts for Ukraine - provided the country, struggling with a weak economy, a sharp decline in oil prices and a conflict with Russia, can figure out a way to get about $15 billion from its creditors. Ukraine would have to keep its debt-to-GDP low enough so that the IMF doesn't feel like it's sticking its neck out too far.
Alexis Tsipras is not for turning, not yet anyway.
Speaking in parliament on Sunday night the new Greek premier said he would not accept an extension to Greece's current bailout, something the euro zone is urging him to do, and stuck with austerity-ending pledges such as giving free food and electricity to those who need it, reinstating civil servants who had been fired as part of bailout conditions and raising the minimum wage. Privatisations have already been halted.
Borrowing in dollars is like playing "Russian roulette", India's central bank chief Raghuran Rajan said on Bloomberg TV this week.
When Bill Gross shocked the investment world on Sept. 26 by storming out of Pimco, the most prominent bond investor in the world didn’t stop leaving people stunned.
It was later revealed by Reuters that Gross had paid an unlikely visit to his fiercest rival: Jeffrey Gundlach.
For two decades, the two had no relationship or interaction at all, even though their personas were intertwined, compared and contrasted often in the financial media and by other bond market players. (Morningstar named Gross "Fixed Income Manager of the Decade" in 2010, an award for which Gundlach was a finalist. Then in 2011, Barron's magazine anointed Gundlach as the new King of Bonds.)
Gross not only unexpectedly departed his firm for under-the-radar Janus Capital but also considered joining Gundlach’s DoubleLine Capital. Gundlach said the so-called “Dream Team” didn’t work out but “you never know what will happen in the future.”
Overall, the gesture by Gross officially affirmed the investment world’s long-held view that Gundlach had been anointed the new Bond King.
What follows are excerpts of my hour-long interview – unfortunately, not on the north loggia of Gundlach's Los Angeles home -- about Gundlach’s investment calls (old and news ones), his competitors, the future of fixed income and his firm’s fifth year anniversary which was celebrated on Sunday.