What Keeps Bank of America Up At Night

It has been a painful, bruising intellectual exercise for BofA’s HY credit strategist Michael Contopoulos, who after starting off 2016 uber-bearish, was – together with every other money manager and advisor – taken to the woodshed, and forced to flip bullish, kicking and screaming, and advising BofA clients to buy the same junk bonds he told them to sell just a few months prior. Now, thanks to Trump, he may be finally seeing a glimmer of the bearish light returning, and in a note published this morning, Contopoulos asks whether the US is looking at a replay of 2014 and 2015, when as a reminder, a false dawn turned out to be an ugly dusk, and forced first the BOJ, then the ECB to intervene aggressively with even more QEasing.
As BofA admits, “the last two weeks have further underpinned our belief that the market has had misplaced optimism in the new administration’s reform agenda, while we find more and more evidence that suggests the macro environment echoes that of 2014 and 2015. Meanwhile, the market environment has closely tracked that of late 2013 and early 2014, when expectations for higher rates, low defaults and strong fundamentals caused a bid for risk that sent yields to sub-5% until geopolitical risks shocked investors (a plane being shot down over Ukraine). Once cracks were exposed in 2014, and illiquidity concerns replaced a FOMO (fear of missing out) attitude, the ensuing collapse in crude left investors woefully unprepared for the troubles of the next year and a half.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 25, 2017.