1. Following the referendum decision on Friday, as expected GBP sold off 10%+, the FTSE plummeted in a similar fashion and global risk assets sold off across the board, but FTSE/ Risk recovered a significant amount of those losses into Fridays close and for the rest of the next week.. So what happened to BREXIT?
- Such behaviour would lead you to believe that the Brexit decision was all just a bad dream, with much of the price action confined to Friday alone - rather where I had expected the decision on Friday to start a cascade of risk-on asset selling, as the brexit backdrop provides the perfect impetus to trigger the risk-off fear for the wider global risks e.g. US Election, Global growth, China Debt - and, ofc , the Brexit Macro economic spill-over itself.
Why did we witness this Risk Recovery Paradox?
1. I think the main reason that risk managed to avoid carrying its bid bias into this week from Friday was PM David Cameron's decision early on Friday/ Monday to 1) Resign in October and 2) Refuse to sign the Article 50 which formally/ actually starts the Brexit Negotiations - the net effect is that brexit risks have been shifted into 2017 (or never) rather than present, thus providing investor confidence to buy risk at its Friday discount (why not) and take bets on a Brexit no show (illustrated by a buoyed GBP which imo should have fallen more).
- What this combination of events now means is that Brexit now trades as a function of Political possibility rather than as a certainty because 1) By resigning in Oct and refusing to start the negotiations now, it means that Brexit itself is put on hold until at least October. Further, the fact that the above is the case, the whole "Brexit" likelihood is brought into question in itself as 1) How likely is the new PM in Oct going to sign the article 50 as soon as they get into office? I think VERY unlikely, its career suicide to start such a volatile process immediately when in office so that means the Brexit Negotiations are pushed further out and likely into 2017 (66.66% chance it occurs in 2017 now from odds-checker). 2) Will Brexit go ahead at all? I think Brexit absolutely is unlikely, as the new PM wont want the economic and political uncertainty that will follow - especially as the vote didnt happen under their leadership - imo its more likely that the new PM will forgo the blame onto Previous PM Cameron and/ or call for a re-referendum or scrap the idea completely and instead offer a solution to solve the "leave" voters problems e.g. Bid to fix EU immigration.
2. Worldwide Central Banks supportive/ Dovish statements - All Major CB have offered their support if their economy calls for it as a result of Brexit - namely the front-end of the FOMC's rate hike curve was severely flattened ( Dec or 2017 hike now likely) and the BOE Gov Carney put 250bn in and 25bps of Int rate cuts on the cards - the net effect of these actions has been to smooth investor fear, and allow risk to rally, as low rates and has no doubt been the biggest driver for stocks in the last 8 years - the FTSE's recovery was/ is 100% underpinned by the BOE stance imo .
3. And the most interesting possibility is that - Investors don't believe in this risk-rally, instead it is just a micro unfolding that will eventually unravel, forcing risk to sell-off in the near future. And by looking at the stability of Gold , Bonds and Yen, this argument does carry alot of weight and is something ive been watching all week. All risk-off assets have traded flat/ higher, despite risk rallying - when risk-on and risk-off assets FAIL to maintain their negative correlation (as they are failing to do now, and are actually slightly positively correlated as they both rise) it usually means the rally is being undermined by a longer-term macro view - since liquidity is a 0 sum game in the long run, all assets cant grow at the same time, either risk must sell-off or