Pro Perspectives 5/27/20

May 27, 2020

Stocks continue to hang around the big 200-day moving average in the S&P 500. 

The strength today was thanks to even more global stimulus.  This time from a combined $2 trillion of additional government spending/aid coming down the pike from Europe and Japan. 

This puts global fiscal stimulus at about $11 trillion, in response to the crisis.  That has come in the form of direct budget support, public sector loans and equity injections (backstops) and guarantees.   

That's more than 12% of GDP.  And that doesn't include the money created by central banks.

The question is, who will be the buyer of net new government debt issuance, when the entire world is deficit spending and creating more, less valuable paper currency? The buyer will be global central banks (of their own debt) – the buyer of last resort.  This means even more and less valuable currency will be sloshing around the world.  

As we've discussed, this is all a recipe for reduced buying power, of the money in your pocket, which translates into higher asset prices (stocks among them).

Now, let's talk about the building path to confrontation between China and the U.S. …

It's been a long and rocky path, which has included three decades of economic war.  Is something bigger coming, perhaps the seeds of which sowed by the virus? 

China's overt move to control Hong Kong looks like the tipping point.  Pompeo told Congress today that the U.S. no longer recognizes Hong Kong as autonomous from China.  There are some dominos that are lined up to fall.  

Keep an eye on the lynchpin:  The Hong Kong dollar. 

The currency peg in Hong Kong has been under pressure in for some time.  And now the risk of capital flight has just hit the most intense levels.  Chinese (and global money) leaving Hong Kong, in search for a safer haven, will be too much for the central bank in Hong Kong to fight off.  If they let the peg break, it will set off a domino effect — maybe another Asian Crisis like moment.