January 12, 2008
They are betting too that debt deflation will overwhelm the effects of near-zero interest rates across the G10 and nullify a £2,000bn fiscal blast in the US, China, Japan, Britain, and Europe.
Above all, they are betting that the Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke will fail to print enough banknotes to inflate the US money supply, despite his avowed intent to do so.
Yields on 10-year US Treasuries have fallen to 2.4pc – a level that was unseen even in the Great Depression. This is “return-free risk”, said bond guru Jim Grant.
It is much the same story across the world. Yields are 1.3pc in Japan, 3.02pc in Germany, 3.13pc in Britain, 3.26pc in Chile, 3.47pc in France, and 5.56pc in Brazil.
“Get out of Treasuries. They are very, very expensive,” said Mohamed El-Erian, the investment chief at the Pimco, the world’s top bond fund, in a Barron’s article last week.
It is lazy to think that China, Japan, the petro-powers and the surplus states of emerging Asia will continue to amass foreign reserves, recycling their treasure into the US and European bond markets.