πŸ”΄ Stock Market Shock from Liquidity Risk (w/ Josh Wolfe)


I think about this as Illiquidity which is a word that I use often. Yeah, which is the opposite of liquidity. You’ve got the yield curve You’ve got 13 trillion dollars of negative yielding interest rates, which I think is unprecedented in four millennia You’ve got an enormous amount of people that in the US I think 60 percent of buyers of government debt are retail which is about double what it was You know a few years ago. And by the way that 13 trillion dollars of negative yielding debt was zero five years ago Yeah, so people are pushed out on the yield curve You have a lot of people are saying the aging population aging population and what do people historically do the narrative is let me buy Debt, you know typically the percentage of my portfolio that should be allocated to To fixed income should be roughly proportionate to my age. So your 60-year old you’ve got 60 plus percent in debt fixed income 40% maybe in inequities in mutual funds the portion that’s in debt is at record low historic yields So you had a million dollars or two million dollars in savings as a retiree? And you were making fifty or sixty thousand dollars a year now you’re making ten So what do you do you go out on the yield curve? So maybe you’re in fixed income instruments or mutual funds or ETFs that have some slightly higher yield than you think your principal protected So you were looking for your return on principal the probability has grown that the return of principal is actually not there. Yeah Why you might have stuff mixed in just like you did with the subprime? You know going back 10 years ago that is not actually investment. Great Things might have been rated as investment grade But they’re not and all of a sudden you see a 10% decline and you see this in Europe That’s this is happening now, hto h2o ironically named completely illiquid I think the private portion of this Was 9% of assets that they had marked at nav and then it dropped down to 2% Which means Probably it’s really 50 basis points Yeah And so significant value impairment and then you have the human behavioral reaction which is to start pulling funds Funds out of these funds So if you have that in the fixed income world where the liquid is a mismatch because you’d get money out for a while before it stops, you have the illusion of liquidity because you have daily trading and and and ETFs and you know, They’re marked on a daily basis, but the underlyings suddenly might be a liquid And so I think that there’s a real risk of permanent impaired which is the true measure of risk of principle So if that happens and retirees start saying wait a second, you know what let me go to cash Let me get out of these bond funds that I thought was safe. You know that creates a problem Well, they also might need to sell out of equity funds now in both asset classes You’ve had a shift from passive from active to passive So I actually think it’s a great time probably for active managers who can actually do security selection and determine because the simple algorithm For all of these things was dollar in buy And now it’s gonna be dollar out sell which means some of the good stuff is gonna be sold indiscriminately So people are pushed out on the yield curve They’re taking more and more illiquidity risk, and they don’t realize it now You think about who the marginal buyer is on the equity side? You’ve also had record amount of Corporations that are buying back stock the last time that corporate buybacks Eclipsed corporate capex was two thousand eight ten years ago and that’s happening again now and that was right before Crisis and then hitting the March 2009 lows now Yeah, our we didn’t set up for you know history were repeating if it doesn’t rhyme I don’t know but it certainly, you know peak valuations that you’ve seen over the past ten years and you to argue Well relative to interest rates, you’ve got, you know S&P yield that 4.6 percent ten-year at two, you know, maybe the values there Maybe it’s not but then you look at the illiquid side and I and not just on the bonds and not just on equities and people selling but My world is venture capital and here you have You know a marginal buyer on the public equities who maybe was the corporation buying back its own stock Yeah in my world. The marginal buyer is two kinds one You’ve got soft Bank, which is setting a you know, irrational price They have an enormous amount of money to put to work and have put to work Pricing up their own stock and we’ve talked on real vision before about this in the past with Mike And so so I think that they have created irrational Comps that other people have referenced to that have said artificially high prices that are almost equivalent To leverage because a 10% or 20% down around wipes out everybody in that capital structure stack the second thing that I think you have Is looking at some of the marginal buyers which were foreigners. Now if you take life sciences and biotech a year ago you had about a billion six a billion seven of Chinese money that went into US biotech companies out of a total about twenty billion dollars of life Money that went in first six months of this year you have about 700 million dollars So about half a billion dollars of capital that compared to last year is not there So suddenly VCS are looking around and saying okay who’s gonna be pricing out my series? BCD pre-ipo rounds you have a handful of people who potentially are bag holders Maybe these are the Bailey Giffords or the Fidelity’s that are doing these pre IPO. Rounds. Why are they doing that? Because the returns were in the pre IPO financings but then you look at the pre IPO companies that are now going IPO so uber and lyft and Potentially we work, you know, these are the darling unicorns and many of these have not held up Well, some have zoom has done very well, others have been disasters, but you look again at Softbank and you say okay They’ve got these illiquid stakes through the vision func And they try to do what after these things went public rather than just selling the stock They tried to issue debt have issue debt Four billion dollars secured by the garden stake or the uber stake to retail investors And then the underlying we work originally we’re gonna put 16 billion dollars in they put a few billion dollars in and they priced up Their own paper, you know valuation I’ve got my own tinfoil hat theory about why they’re doing that to serve as collateral against mothership indebtedness we work now going IPO gonna issue four billion dollars of debt before they go public because there’s nothing more that people love than a More indebted company before they go public now The biggest counter is people will say well compare this moment to the 2000 bubble when you had all these you know phony Valuations at least companies now have revenue which is true because I bought it back then you just had eyeballs you had no dollars No revenue, but the problem is in spite of all of this revenue. You still have no profits so if you have all of this revenue growth But it’s unprofitable and it’s really driven by the kindness of strangers who are the providers of the capital I think a lot of people are overestimating the potential profitability these companies So so one of the other very interesting things, of course is you have this mismatch between capex and buybacks But capex is a good measure of corporate investment activity and so buybacks now eclipsing corporate capex capex Potentially declining at a time when interest rates are as low as they’ve been in many many years It doesn’t bode well for the economy and it comports with your view of recession it also comports with your view which I think is an excellent one of Real volatility and risk amongst the European banks. I’m just looking at the situation we talked about on the on the corporate side the amount of trip will be debt, you know, it’s it’s it’s so enormous now and it’s basically five companies that eight hundred Billion dollars is five companies. That’s AT&T Dell GM Ford and GE and by the way, every one of those companies is not a company that a cutting-edge Early-stage entrepreneur engineer would ever want to go and work for no now the amount of indebtedness, right? Has served asset growth and you could argue as fuelling operations But look at GE now in my world GE I predicted was going to divest of their corporate venture portfolio Because whenever you see corporate venture activity, it’s almost always counter cyclical indicator right when peak corporate VC starts happening They feel like they’re late to the game. They look at their brethren They see that money is being made at least in paper marks CEO says, you know, I think we should be doing corporate VC activity. The board says yay Then all of a sudden they see one of their brethren say wait a second These guys haven’t had any liquidity their divest in their portfolio The secondary funds come in they buy things that’s 70 80 cents on the dollar the day that GE Announced that they were gonna divest their VC portfolio. We got contacted by a very large prominent buyout fund that said, Hey, do you want a team and take a look at this? and I think that there’s going to be portfolio after portfolio of Corporate venture that starts getting divested so that they can free up cash for liquidity But to your point all that trip will be indebtedness. I mean, these are companies that are dinosaurs. Yeah, there’s real Structural risk that they’re going to be disrupted by the next guard and it’ll be dead my fear with this as well Is it is anybody gets downgraded which they will in the next recession, they’ll get downgraded and the junk bonds here There’s two different owners. So it’s the pension system that owns the triple because it’s still investment great as soon as it goes out It’s not owned by them at all, right, but jump on guys, so there’s no liquidity There is a the sellers and there’s basically no ability to bind that much Downgrade stuff and I fear it knocks on into your world Because illiquid lip knocks on into a liquid and we saw this in 2008 is hedge funds became the cash machine where they could be So they all had to gate Then all the private equity guys were trading. I remember I was helping out a family office and they were Selling out of stuff at 30 cents on the dollar which was good stuff, but they just desperate for liquidity Well, this was again going back, you know, just like 2008 was the time relative today when corporate buybacks at CD capex 2008 was when BMP gated those three hedge funds exactly and now was the start of the catalyst and that’s what I saw with this h2o and Yemen yeah and Neal Woodford is like okay. This is interesting because You’re sarsens to see liquidity issues and that’s what it was and that’s why I thought if you mean like that I’ve got to get Josh about this because there’s a liquidity event going on and people are saying that Isolated and they were isolated with BMP and then it was the money market funds And it just started moving around tells you there’s not enough dollars in the system and instead of over time from a simple macro standpoint Even to the layman if you’re pushed out on the yield curve and money is being printed and money’s available and you go into this Higher illiquid stuff now you’ve taken cash that was meant to help bail system promote growth You’ve put it into a liquid stuff and now it’s trapped And the question is who is the incremental buyer and all of these things? So in my world, who is the incremental buyer, is it the crossover hedge fund? Is it the growth equity investor? Are that the Tigers and co twos and you know, the tiger cubs that are doing private companies Is it Softbank when that capital starts to dry up? We have a liquidity crisis Yeah, so massively liquidity in the case of the bond funds You know that the Allah quiddity comes when you have these things that you think are investment grade that turn out not to be in the case of the mutual funds you Have a liquidity when suddenly everybody starts selling and people think that the underlying that they’re able to get out of So I agree with you. I think that this is a substantially underreported under-recognized risk

25 thoughts on “πŸ”΄ Stock Market Shock from Liquidity Risk (w/ Josh Wolfe)”

  1. don't know how the interviewers not burst out laughing when listening to these clowns.

    want yield?
    go to Hungary!

    NOT A PROBLEM.

  2. thank you Josh Wolfe for wearing socks, I cringe when imagining the funk odor Raoul Paul must deal with after a day at the office

  3. Alot of money is going to disappear in the drop. Cash assets as well as debt will disappear. The Federal debt will not disappear. A lot of cash is sitting on the sidelines ready to buy deals. Don't count on any of that cash bailing out distressed sellers who think they are entitled to it though.

  4. So how did we get here? Years and years of bankers sticking it up our ass. And why won't they be around in the future? They will. Until WE the people start prosecuting these people it will always be this way.
    I'm not a financial guru…I'm a machinist… I don't have a portfolio… I've got a gun safe with silver bullion in it. And when the SHTF… I wont be concerned about my paper money.

  5. If I had money (or investments for that matter) it appears that I would be very worried. I 'm pretty happy I don't….. i think…..hmmm.

  6. This is what I see . The US economy is booming . Europe is not doing so well and they have negative interest rates . So people are moving their money liquid assets to the USA . At lest there is some interest ie 2% and the US dollar is strong and safe . So Money pours into the USA making liquid assets more available for use . America prospers even more from the new liquidity . Also to consider is the 50Billion per month of tightening that the Fed has done over the past months and is now stopping . They may even ease . So that is more liquidity to come .

  7. If you are over 60 forget about the return. Take out the principal amount and start living on it. At least your money is in your hand.

  8. All that Josh speaks of is the culmination of artificially low interest rates, and QE. The distortions created by the fed are very significant, and i believe will lead to a very significant down turn.

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