How long could deflation last? What about bonds?

NASDAQ:TLT   Ishares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF
As most commodities are currently collapsing, it is very hard to keep believe that inflation is going to go higher from here. June could be the first month with a negative MoM CPI print, but it probably won't be the last. As deflation is taking inflation's seat, bonds have been looking attractive for some time. Essentially we got a blow of top in yields (capitulation bottom in bonds), and now bonds are rallying. It's totally normal as bonds took out the lows, and are now showing major strength at a time where the dollar is strong, while commodities, stocks and real estate looking weak.

The truth is that there is no escape from a major global recession. Commodities could fall a lot more until Central banks reverse course. There is too much debt and the only way to get out is by printing, while all the rate hikes will only eventually result in a crash. It's just that rate hikes have a delayed effect and most investors haven't realized what is coming yet.

Is the inflation story over? I don't think so. We are just in a very a nasty recession, that could lead to a deflationary collapse. Essentially a liquidity crunch that would cause investors to capitulate, and then force the Fed to step in to save the system. There is no way the Fed will hike rates more than 0.5-1% from here, and there is no way the Fed won't be forced to cut rates and resume QE by June 2023. The bond market reversing like this is an indication that the Fed is about to make a mistake by raising rates once or twice in the next few months, as bond yields are already coming down.

It's interesting that bond yields rose more than in 2018 before they reversed and fell below the Fed Funds Rate (FFR), yet FFR is currently 0.75% lower than when the Fed paused in 2018. Could easily see FFR getting down to 0 in the next 12-24 months as the financial system faces collapse yet again, but I don't see bond yields going as low as they did during Covid.

What I see is long duration bonds going up to the key breakdown zone, around 130-135 on TLT or bond yields going up to 2.4-2.6% before moving higher again. Essentially I do see a major deflationary episode ahead, I do believe bonds can go up, I don't believe the Fed will ahead of the problem and that there isn't much they can do. However at the same time I don't believe that the inflation story is over, as I do see higher inflation coming once we are done with this episode. Why? Because a lot of production of stuff will go offline, while governments print a ton of money to save the system. Less goods, more money... No way inflation won't happen again. The debt bubble is popping and long term this is inflationary.

So far we've seen bonds divergence from their long term trends, first with a blow off top, and then with a rapid decline that swept the lows. Could we get back into the main trend? It's possible, but I don't think so. All I see is a similar retest to what we go in 2021, where bonds broke down and then retested the breakdown level before going lower. TLT will fill the gap and then decide where it wants to go. Definitely wouldn't be surprised if bonds chopped in a certain area for a while, but ultimately I think we are going lower. Of course we could go lower even during a deflationary period, as everyone is liquidating whatever they can. If people need dollars, they will sell anything for them, including dollars. At the moment bonds are still very attractive, yet this doesn't mean that if people need cash they will hesitate to sell them.


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