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Maybe, but people who actually know what they're talking about have only been saying it recently.



> citation needed


A year ago the markets zeitgeist was "synchronised global growth". Then it was "narrowing term spread on bond yields". Now it's "China and European growth slowdown" and "US Q1 earnings softness".

Getting off the news headlines, market prices for the last couple of years were broadly consistent with Fed interest rate projections -- slow but consistent rate raises last year and in 2017. That is no longer the case. Now the Fed has backed off the pace of raises and is (IIRC) projecting zero or one for the rest of the year, and markets are projecting rate cuts for the first time in a long time. If people think the Fed will need to cut rates, it's because they think inflation will be down, likely due to lower wage pressures from a softer labour market etc.

Other things: some market indicators have "gotten better". P/E multiples and similar metrics were historically high and have trended down (both due to price drops and earnings increases.) Blame interest rates rising last year IMO, why wouldn't ratios be high when rates are low? They're still high, but not worryingly so.

TBH I don't give much thought to the Chicken Littles. Maybe we'll have a technical recession this year or next, maybe due to trade, maybe due to China or Germany, but for the moment I think people in the markets broadly agree that things are long-run pretty healthy. Famous last words, I guess.


What's the trigger?


Pension, student and auto debt, I'd guess.


It's worth noting that since the collateralized housing debt scandal of the Global Financial Crisis, approximately nothing changed in regulation, and credit card and auto debt securitization has taken off in its place. Investors still want to put their money somewhere.

Who is the Lehman Brothers of the new securitized debt? That meltdown is coming.


Unlikely, either because of guarantees (student) or too small (auto loans). It’ll be the corporate bond market getting spooked, and a crunch when anyone running on cheap debt can’t service or refi it without default.


US auto loans have a total of 1.1 trillion outstanding, writing that off wouldn't affect the markets at all or increase the cost of debt?


That collateral is easily repo’d and disposed of. Think Rent A Center. The margins on the vehicles being sold make up for estimated losses.


https://www.pionline.com/article/20181101/ONLINE/181109968/l...

https://www.mercatus.org/bridge/commentary/pension-crisis-yo...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-17/the-stude...

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/02/subprime-car-...

I think multiple sectors of underfunded pension, student debt and auto debt all coalescing at once is the problem, not any one of them individually. You're also negating that folks defaulting, massively hinders their ability to move in the financial system. And yes, you can put cars back into the system the same way you can put houses back into the system, but it doesn't matter if no one wants cars.


> You're also negating that folks defaulting massively hinders their ability to move in the financial system.

Quite the contrary. Lenders will lend to you immediately after bankruptcy because you can't default again for seven years, for example. If you have bad credit, you can still get credit! Just at a higher interest rate. I am familiar with lenders who will get you a mortgage the day after foreclosure for 200-250 basis points over conventional rates (6-6.5% versus 4%, in this case).

Economic drag due to student loan debt that can't be discharged is a separate issue (with those debtors delaying or opting out entirely of home ownership and/or children). Pensions will get dumped onto the Pension Guarantee Corp with a reduced benefit payment to those entitled to such, and any federal debt will get inflated away through the Fed (not great, but what happens when you have your own central bank).

As I said, I think the only "great unwind" or credit crunch in the near future is corporate bonds.


What lenders you are specifically referring to?


Subprime credit cards: https://www.cardrates.com/advice/list-of-subprime-credit-car...

Subprime auto lenders: https://www.cyberleadinc.com/subprime-auto-lenders/

Nonprime mortgage lenders: https://www.nonprimelenders.com/lenders/

Prime = good borrower. Subprime/nonprime = not a good borrower.

Just quick examples, lots more out there. It is incredibly difficult not to qualify for credit entirely. Someone, somewhere will lend to you at an interest rate in accordance with your risk profile. Investors are hungry for returns.


Oh boy, ok. Just making sure that's what you'd say. Good luck out there pops.




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