Wirt­schaft und Finanzen: Eine andere Sicht auf 2018

Vor Kurzem habe ich meine Thesen für 2018 vor­ge­stellt. Wohl wissend, dass dies ein fast unmög­liches Unter­fangen ist und meine per­sön­liche Leistung im letzten Jahr nicht berau­schend war. Hier nun ein Beitrag vom Asset­ma­nager Gavekal, den ich schon mehrfach zitiert habe:
Wird die Bank of Japan aus der Politik bil­ligen Geldes aussteigen?
  • „In recent years, the BoJ has been the most aggressive central bank, causing government bond yields to stay anchored close to zero across the curve, while acting as a buyer of last resort for equities by scooping up roughly three quarters of Japanese ETF shares. Yet, while equities have loved this inter­vention, Japanese insurers and banks have had a tougher time. Indeed, a chorus of voices is now calling for the BoJ to let the long end of the yield curve rise, if only to stop regional banks hitting the wall.“
    Fazit: Es ist ja kein neues Problem insofern, wird die Notenbank es wirklich ändern.

Quelle: Gavekal

  • „(…) the short yen trade is popular on the premise that the BoJ will be the last central bank to stop quan­ti­tative easing. But what if this isn’t the case? There are, after all, pros and cons to keeping an uber-easy monetary policy, as shown below.“
     Fazit: Das ent­schei­dende Pro fehlt die anhal­tende Staats­fi­nan­zierung erfordert wei­teres QE.

Quelle: Gavekal
Wird die Inflation deutlich anziehen?

  • „(…) we, as a firm, have taken a broadly defla­tionary view of the world. A key factor for this over the past 15 years has been excess manu­fac­turing added by China, tog­ether with mil­lions of workers leaving the coun­tryside year after year to try their luck in cities. (…) But is the situation now changing?“
     Fazit: außer, es gelingt, die Arbeits­kräfte in Afrika zu mobi­li­sieren und zu qua­li­fi­zieren. Denkbar.


Quelle: Gavekal

  • „Very little went into manu­fac­turing capacity, which may explain why the price of goods exports from China has, after a five-year period, shown signs of breaking out on the upside.(…) if China’s export prices do rise in a con­certed manner, it will happen when inflation data in the likes of Japan, the US and Germany are moving nor­thward.“
     Fazit: was dann natürlich die Zinsen treiben würde und damit die Finanz­märkte gefährden.

Quelle: Gavekal
Warum spielt Inflation eine Rolle?

  • „The real reason I worry about inflation today is that inflation has the potential to seriously disrupt the happy policy status quo that has under­pinned markets since the February 2016 Shanghai G20 meeting. (…)  after a big rise in foreign exchange uncer­tainty – trig­gered mostly by China with its summer 2015 deva­luation, but also by Japan and its talk of heli­c­opter money, and by the violent deva­luation of the euro that fol­lowed the eurozone crisis – the big financial powers acted to calm foreign exchange markets (…).“
     Fazit: Man könnte auch sagen, man hat den Abwer­tungs­wettlauf gestoppt oder eine Pause eingelegt.


  • „(…) the People’s Bank of China may well be the new Bun­desbank (…) for a Chinese tech­nocrat, the Tian­anmen uprising of 1989 only hap­pened because food price inflation was running at above 20%. For this reason, the one central bank that can be counted on to be decently hawkish against rising inflation, or at least more hawkish then others, is the PBoC.“
     Fazit: Das ist doch mal ein neuer Gedanke. Ver­stehe ich auch. Doch dann wäre es doch kein Infla­ti­ons­problem für China und die Welt, weil die Chi­nesen gegen­takten. Und die chi­ne­sische Währung würde dann auf- und nicht abwerten, was auch gut wäre. Alles paletti also.


  • Oder? „First, rising inflation would lead to lower valua­tions for most asset prices. Secondly, higher inflation would likely trigger a tighter monetary and fiscal policy in China. Thirdly, a tighter China threatens the cozy Shanghai Agreement which has pre­vailed since 2016. And how can one hedge against this threat? In 1987, bunds ended the year among the world’s best per­forming asset classes. Of course, history never repeats itself; but if it ends up rhyming, owning short-dated ren­minbi-deno­mi­nated bonds may be an obvious port­folio cushion’“.
    Fazit: warum eigentlich nicht. Allemal besser als Bundesanleihen.

Was macht die Fed?

  • „In the first sce­nario, events unfold fairly pre­dic­tably and the Fed stays on its pro­mised path. In this case, global cur­rency vola­tility stays muted (Fazit: denkbar). In the second sce­nario, the US embarks on a huge sti­mulus, prompting the Fed to tighten monetary policy aggres­sively (Fazit: halte ich für unwahr­scheinlich). Mean­while, other central banks con­tinue to sit on their hands. is triggers big capital inflows from the rest of the world into the US and pushes the dollar higher. The third sce­nario sees the world expe­rience some kind of shock (take your pick from a bad Italian election, a bank crisis in China, a Saudi-Iran war, a North Korea war or a poli­tical crisis in the US) and the Fed responds with more QE (Fazit: halte ich für eine echte Mög­lichkeit). Finally, the fourth sce­nario sees the Fed deliver the pro­mised monetary policy tigh­tening, but inflation acce­le­rates and the rest of the world tightens more aggres­sively than expected (Fazit: unwahrscheinlich).“


  • „In the first two sce­narios, the US dollar will likely rise, either a little, or a lot. In the latter two sce­narios, the dollar would likely be very weak. So if this ana­lysis is broadly correct, shorting the dollar should be a good tail risk policy. If the global economy rolls over and/or a shock appears, the dollar will weaken. And if global nominal GDP growth acce­le­rates further from here, the dollar will also likely weaken. Being long the dollar is a bet that the current investment envi­ronment is sustained.“
     Fazit: Hm, oder man hält einfach an einem diver­si­fi­zierten Port­folio fest?

Ölpreis als Risiko

  • „(…) funding these invent­ories takes money, which is how a US$20/barrel move in the oil price can have a big impact on the global liquidity situation. After all, if the price of oil is US$60/bbl, then oil invent­ories will immo­bilize around US$600bn in working capital. But if the price drops to US$40/bbl, then the working capital needs of the broader energy industry drops by US$200bn.“
    –  Fazit: Das leuchtet mir ein, war mir aber so nicht bewusst. Wir hätten also eine dop­pelte Wirkung auf die Liqui­dität, zum einen aus dem ver­än­derten geld­po­li­ti­schen Umfeld, zum anderen aus dem Ölpreis.


  • „Simply put, the more money the Fed sucks out of the system, and the more that is tied up in the energy complex, the less is available to push up asset prices. On this score, it should be noted that excess money supply in the US is dece­le­rating (see chart below).“
     Fazit: was aber klar gegen die Börse spricht.

Quelle: Gavekal

  • Should oil prices con­tinue to rise, the resulting change in the liquidity situation could leave markets vul­nerable. It follows that energy stocks may be a decent hedge for port­folios. (…) if oil prices do creep higher (…) then energy stocks will provide a but­tressing effect against a very dif­ferent investment environment.“

Weshalb Gavekal-Inves­toren sich fol­gende Fragen stellen sollten:
„1) Is the recent oil price breakout a sign of more strength to come? (…) I am inclined to own energy stocks as a hedge against a further rise in oil prices; a rise which will suck up excess liquidity and so cap gains in hitherto hot asset classes. I also like energy stocks as a hedge against a big geo­po­li­tical shock as I worry that Saudi and Iran are one big ter­rorist event away from going at each other’s throats.“
 Fazit: Das wäre in der Tat ein schlechtes Signal für alle Märkte, weil bei einem solchen Schock die Wirt­schaft in eine Rezession fällt. Ob da die Ölaktien noch helfen?
„2) Will inflation sur­prise on the upside in 2018? (…) everyone in every investment com­mittee meeting these days is a defla­tionist. (…) Which pro­bably means that the deflation forever thesis is, by now, most likely fully baked into most asset prices? (…) It should also be ack­now­ledged that since the eurozone crisis of 2011-12 few modern eco­nomies have added much pro­ductive investment capacity. (…) So if global growth con­tinues on its current syn­chro­nized path, isn’t the risk that this lack of investment in new capacity ends up causing demand to out­strip supply? If so, then a sell-off in global bond markets is likely, along with all long- dated assets (espe­cially growth stocks with limited profits). For­t­u­nately, hedging against such an event is fairly easy as finan­cials around the world should, in this even­tuality, see steeper yield curves rapidly translate into better profits.“
 Fazit: Aber was ist mit den stei­genden Aus­fällen, weil die Zombies dann nicht mehr können?
„(3) Will China tighten more aggres­sively in 2018? (…) the most obvious hedge would be Chinese government bonds, deno­mi­nated in ren­minbi, yielding 4%. In case of further Chinese tigh­tening, such bonds may be as useful to port­folios as bunds were in 1987.“
 Fazit: wie oben schon geschrieben, nicht von der Hand zu weisen.
„(4) Will Japan tighten monetary policy? (…) at some point poli­cy­makers will need to be seen doing some­thing in response to the bitcoin mania. The second is that Japan tends to play ball with Ame­rican requests and [though] a mer­can­tilist pre­sident wants wins on trade, that won’t be easy with an under-valued yen. The third is that regional banks are starting to really struggle, with the simplest fix being a yield curve stee­pening. (…)  investors (…)  should (i) remove yen hedges/short posi­tions, (ii) rotate equity port­folios from high flying exporters to long-suf­fering domestic finan­cials and (iii) press bets on Japanese domestic real estate.“
 Fazit: Ich zögere, weil ich an die hohen Staats­schulden denke, die zunächst mone­ta­ri­siert werden müssen.
„(5) Will the Fed con­tinue to tighten monetary policy? (…)  loose fiscal policy and tight money typi­cally trigger a de-rating of equity markets. And this is the policy mix we seem to be heading towards.“
 Fazit: Kann sein, auch hier bin ich skep­tisch. Aber darin liegt ja gerade der Wert abwei­chender Meinungen.
„(…) investors who ans­wered yes to the above ques­tions may want to start building cushions in their port­folios against shocks. These cushions may be a greater exposure to energy stocks, financial stocks, ren­minbi bonds, the yen, rotating away from US growth stocks and towards value stocks, or simply buying puts on US equities.“
 Fazit: in sich eine kon­sis­tente Logik.
Gavekal: „The ques­tions for the coming year“, 15. Dezember 2017

 Dr. Daniel Stelter / www.think-beyondtheobvious.com