Friday, April 22, 2016

Gundlach on negative rates and Trump winning the White House

I went to this article to see exactly what Gundlach had to say about interest rates which is:

Why don’t negative interest rates work?Negative interest rates are designed to fight deflation. But they are the very definition of deflation: Your money is disappearing. As an investor, you are going to have less money in the future than you have today with negative interest rates. That’s deflation! So negative interest rates are deflationary and they are tremendously negative for monetary velocity. For instance, in Japan they’re issuing huge amounts of high denomination Yen notes. That’s because of negative interest rates people don’t want to put their money in the bank and they don’t want to invest in Yen denominated bonds. That’s why I think eventually you are going to get helicopter money.

This was instructive to me because I am trying to justify my gut feeling that negative rates are really really perverse.

He did talk about Trump:

So who do you think will win the race for the white house?Trump is going to win. I think Clinton and Sanders are both very poor candidates. I know the polls are signaling the opposite. But the polls said the opposite four years ago, too.
How would the financial markets react should Trump win?In the short term, Trump winning would be probably very positive for the economy. He says a lot of contradictory things and things that are not very specific. But he does say that he will build up the military and that he will build a wall at the border to Mexiko. If he wins he’s got at least to try those things. Also, he might initiate a big infrastructure program. What’s his campaign slogan? Make America great again. What that means is let’s go back to the past, let’s go back to the 1960s economy. So he might spend a lot of money on airports, roads and weapons. I think Trump would run up a huge deficit. Trump is very comfortable with debt. He’s a debt guy. His whole business has had a lot of debt over time and he has gone bankrupt with several enterprises. So I think you could have a debt-fuelled boom. But the overall debt level is already so high that you start to wonder what would happen after that.
How do you explain that a guy like Trump might actually win the election?His popularity is very similar to the popularity of unconstrained bond funds. About two or three years ago, unconstrained bond funds became the most popular thing in the United States retail market and in the institutional market probably, too. Because when investors analyzed all the bond segments they were familiar with, they didn’t like what they saw. They didn’t like treasuries, they were scared of the Fed, they didn’t like traditional strategies. So, if everything you think you know looks unattractive, you go for something that you have no idea about. And that’s an unconstrained bond fund. The thinking was: «Don’t even tell me what you are doing, I do not want to know. Because if I know, I won’t like it. » The same is true with respect to the elections: «Don’t give me a traditional candidate. Give me someone who I have no idea what he is going to do» – and that’s basically Donald Trump.
He also talked about debt levels and the attitude about debt among other things.  This is a really good interview and I recommend reading it.

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