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柏瑞投资多元资产全球主管Michael J. Kelly:如何看待中美两国的经济前景和投资未来?

2023-11-27 21:00


近日,全球财富管理论坛•2023上海苏河湾大会在上海市静安区隆重召开。柏瑞投资多元资产全球主管Michael J. Kelly出席“全球经济形势展望与投资未来”主题论坛并发表主题演讲。

Michael J. Kelly围绕中美两国的经济展望以及两国市场定价情况分析发表了观点,他表达了对中国股权市场的信心,并认为美国当前经济处于被高估的状态。他表示,目前新兴市场的名义GDP增长率快于发达市场,但是很多经济体过度依赖刺激政策,导致目前流动性逐渐枯竭,对此他建议,市场和经济面临不断变化的环境,不同时间要采取不同的策略。同时,他肯定了中国实施的可持续性政策,认为中国是全球资本市场最稳健的国家之一,中国经济发展吸取了国外经验和历史经验,要继续稳住基本面,做好准备应对西方的软衰退以及东方的复苏,采取循序渐进的刺激政策。
今年是柏瑞投资第二次受邀参加全球财富管理论坛举办的大会。我们非常感谢组委会的邀请。我们认为,在理解和信任度普遍下滑的情况下,这一点极为重要。因此,我们认为像全球财富管理论坛这样的组织和上海苏河湾大会这样的活动具有极高的建设性。
首先,我们认为,最重要的事情是试图理解那些已经反映在市场价格中的观点。当您认为事情会有所不同时,这种观点会有什么问题?我们解读市场定价的方式就是努力理解我们所说的两个全球性终极。
美国和中国显然是迄今为止最强大的两个经济体。我们认为,其他所有的经济体都在其中一个或另一个国家的轨道上,或者两者兼而有之。因此,我将重点关注这两个经济体的经济前景,以及市场对其预期的定价。

美国经济已经过热,估值过高

据我们所知,市场对中国的前景较为悲观。如果从中国以外的地区来看,答案确实如此。许多西方人会说,中国戳破了自己的房地产泡沫,中国地方政府没有为收入损失做好财政准备,导致资产负债表出现问题。许多人认为,中国面临着资产负债表衰退的巨大风险,并将这一局面与日本持续32年的资产负债表衰退相提并论。
在美国,许多人也表示,美国正经历一个特殊时期。美国在人工智能方面拥有领先优势和先进技术。尽管有人预测美国经济会陷入衰退风险,但目前美国经济正在加速发展。
市场共识所关注的各个方面都存在真实的因素,但柏瑞投资目前就共识方面存在一些巨大的意见分歧。
首先,我们在去年九月开始就看好中国股市。我们认为市场中存在太多悲观情绪。每个遭受了新冠疫情的国家都经历了艰难的经济复苏过程。许多国家在货币和财政方面提供了一系列支持措施,而封锁时间越长,经济复苏所需的时间也会越长。我们看到中国没有像其他国家一样,在某一季度里快速复苏,但也没有出现什么严重问题。这是因为中国的刺激措施已经相对温和,而封锁期也相对较长。中国社会更关心老年人群体,他们花了更长的时间来解除封锁。但我们认为从这一角度来看,中国市场将需要漫长的时间来实现经济增长。
我们来详细讨论一下。当我们审视西方(尤其是美国)时,很多“美国例外论”的说法是准确的。美国是一个出色的技术生态系统,在其经济中蕴含着巨大的激励机制。这些都是其好的方面。但我们要向大家介绍的是,当前的美国是如何连续多年过度刺激经济,这也是其看似为“美国例外论”的原因之一。美国的确已经过度刺激经济。目前,美国经济已过热,美国经济目前已估值过高。
而当我们放眼东方,我们看到的情况截然相反。我们看到的是定价极具防御性的市场。当然这也有一些问题,但在许多地区(特别是亚洲),制造商一直饱受出口问题的困扰。这是因为美国的消费品市场恢复非常缓慢,而为了清理库存,制造业向消费者市场的销售量一直远远低于需求量。这种情况持续了整整一年,现在已接近尾声。因此,当这一切结束时,亚洲制造商将从中获益良多。

中国陷入资产负债表衰退了吗?

但我想先从资产负债表的衰退说起。目前,中国尚未陷入资产负债表衰退,但无法排除这种风险。在这方面,中国可以借鉴日本的经验教训。
但是,我们不推荐这样做。因为日本花了32年的时间才走出资产负债表衰退的危机,而且我们认为日本政府在前22年的政策推行不当,前22年的大部分政策反映了日本仍停留在繁荣时期的心态和因此带来的教训。
日本经历的20世纪70年代和80年代的繁荣时期,导致其在政策实施上形成了某些习惯和思维方式。对于这一点,我会详细谈一谈。而当时代发生变化时,日本仍在延续这种习惯和思维方式。在我们看来,这就是日本花了很长时间才走出困境的原因。
最终,在2013年,日本迎来了安倍首相和中央银行行长黑田东彦,他们彻底改变了政策以提高消费者对市场的信心。
我将其称之为“战胜悲观主义”。一旦长期处于低迷的环境中,缺乏信心本身就会成为问题。对此,他们迎难而上。由于问题积压了太长时间,他们最终用了十年时间才得以解决。
但我想说的是,金融危机之后,美国实际上也陷入了资产负债表衰退。这些图表说明了这一点。左边的图表最上面的那条线,代表家庭债务与可支配收入的比率。在图表中部,这一比率持续攀升,并在金融危机时达到峰值。金融危机爆发时,杠杆率过高,人们信心不足,随之而来的是信心大跌,人们因此开始大量储蓄,并大幅度削减开支。这在经历了房地产或其他不景气时期后非常常见。
所以,在大约六年后,由于政府加强了财政政策和货币政策,去杠杆化结束了。
现在大家没有听到过认为其是资产负债表衰退的说法,但在当时,很多人都说这是长期性经济停滞,其实这只是房地产泡沫破灭后的去杠杆化。
但在那之后,美国的经济增长依然缓慢。虽然美国在前六年非常积极、迅速地调整了政策,并采取了正确的政策组合,但在接下来的时间内却向经济施加了巨大的监管负担,导致经济发展缓慢。因此,他们对前半期的处理是正确的,而对后半期的处理则是错误的。
实际上,中国正处于一个非常有利的位置。现在,中国在房地产领域的处境与日本或美国并无太大不同,中国可以借鉴其他经济体的成功经验和失败教训

关于利率结构

我还想借此机会谈谈利率结构。在下图右侧,可以看到美国自二战以来的投资情况和每一轮的投资周期。在图表最右侧,那条蓝线代表金融危机后的投资情况。当客户去杠杆化且经济增长缓慢时,投资也会放缓。
那么,我们对储蓄和投资了解多少呢?这就要弄清楚所处的利率制度的关键所在。当储蓄冲动较强时,每个人都在去杠杆化,储蓄率上升,导致投资冲动减弱,利率就会下降。为了使这些力量达到平衡,利率必须大幅下降。在这种情况下,央行还实施了量化宽松政策,使利率降至最低点。
今天,许多人都在谈论投资前景,为什么利率大幅度上涨?完全相反的情况是什么?现在,虽然储蓄率提高,但储蓄额一整年都在持续下降。尽管利率很高,但人们却没有储蓄冲动,人们想要消费。而在右图中,投资冲动是指那条橙色线,这是自中国加入世界贸易组织(WTO)以来最强劲的投资期。
中国加入世界贸易组织后,美国和西欧将大量资本密集型产业外包给中国,但是对中国的投资热情较低。供应链回流会带来什么,气候又会带来什么?尽管进行了大量的气候投资,但气候投资仍存在3万亿美元的缺口。因此,现在的储蓄冲动较低,而投资需求较高。这是导致利率不断上升的重要原因。我们来深入探讨一下这个问题。
我们正处在一个截然不同的时期。美国目前仍在汲取金融危机后的教训,美国的刺激政策仍然太快。因此,在这张图的中间,可以看到在疫情期间,财政赤字在衰退期间不断扩大。
这就是美国通常发生的情况——经济衰退、税收减少、为摆脱衰退的支出增加,这很正常。但在图表右侧,赤字在扩大,这很不寻常。我们已经有50年没有看到财政赤字扩大了。这是由于美国已经沉迷于刺激政策,而今年的很多非正常增长,很大程度上是财政刺激的结果。
但是,这有什么错呢?我们的经济在增长。这难道不是一件好事吗?这是美国联邦债务图。
如果剔除中央银行持有的联邦债务,不仅是美联储,中国、日本等全球各国的中央银行都持有大量的美国国债作为外汇储备。如果剔除这一部分,再次观察价格敏感的国债持有者占GDP的百分比,就会得到这样的结果。图表左侧是1903年的情况。由于沉迷于财政支出,美国开始通过财政支出来刺激经济增长。
美国为什么要这么做呢?美国是世界上最强大的国家,拥有技术优势,还有其他各种优势,但自金融危机以来,自疫情爆发以来,美国沉迷于财政支出。而图表右侧是国会预算办公室的预测数据。
国会预算办公室预测:财政支出将失控,这也是利率大幅上升的另一个原因。在前面的演讲中,我所指的是私人储蓄和私人投资,但现在,政府也正在耗尽所有的储蓄,因为他们沉迷于此。
这种情况会产生很多影响。大家可能听过一种说法,即美国经济具有超乎寻常的韧性。因为在利率较低的时候,所有这些公司都将其债务变成了长期的,而且是非常长期的债务。这些公司对利率上升并不敏感。家庭的情况也是如此,如果在低利率时期拥有了房子,几乎所有家庭都会选择30年期的抵押贷款。
那么,利率敏感点在哪里呢?美国70%的工作岗位都属于小型企业。这些企业拥有250名员工或更少的员工。由于企业规模太小,金融机构都不愿与它们打交道。
我们并不真正了解这方面的情况,但是有些调查数据可供参考。当询问他们贷款利息是多少时,会得到这条绿色的线,但在询问他们对自己的生意有多少信心时,情况恰恰相反。
想象一下,随着利率的上升,信心这一数据会急剧下降。因此,这种沉迷于借贷、沉迷于刺激政策的做法,对这些提供了70%就业岗位的小企业而言,造成了非常大的伤害。
这将在明年的某个时候付出代价,今年市场普遍较为乐观。这是源于全球供应链压力指数——这是美联储提出的一个指数,用于追踪疫情期间全球供应链压力的影响。
在图表左侧,这一指数被设定为在疫情之前,而且应该在零附近波动。而实际情况确实如此。在疫情爆发后,全球供应链压力指数显示了许多供应能力不足和成本压力的情况。最近显示的情况是这一指数急剧下降,市场对此表示乐观;而且,如果这种情况能够持续下去,市场会更加欢欣鼓舞。但是,大家可以看到,该指数数值现在低于以往任何时候,这意味着供应端的改善可能已经过头了。
我们刚刚在一周前公布了第一个通胀数据,而这一数据又开始上升。我们认为,在今年余下的大部分时间里,通货膨胀率将继续上涨;而大家必须知晓,市场中潜藏的因素是希望通货膨胀率将继续下降
下图是对美国通胀的长期看法。如果只看商品,就是下面这条线;而服务业体现在较高的这条线上。目前商品的表现很有意思。在图表左侧,在柏林围墙倒塌后,东西德统一,这实际上是全球化的开始。在此之前,商品的正通货膨胀率通常约为1%,可以在图表左侧看到这一点。
到中国加入世贸组织时,商品价格通常为负,从而抑制了通货膨胀。现在,如果我们将这些商品价格完全“脱钩”,结束全球化,通货膨胀率将回升到1%。市场并没有对此进行定价。市场认为,我们一直看到的供应方面的韧性将会持续下去。这种可能性是存在的,但这并非我们柏瑞投资的观点。
在过去的15年里,美国市场和发达市场的表现都极为出色。同样,这其中有很多是真实的基本面因素,即一个良好的激励机制。这一机制激励了许多创新,而这些创新在许多技术领域都拥有巨大优势。
然而,图表左侧可以看到新兴市场的名义GDP增长率在持续下降,而发达市场的名义GDP增长率在持续攀升。而这种攀升在很大程度上是由于政府过度沉迷于刺激措施。美国一直在不停地过度刺激。
实际上,右侧的图表才是我希望大家关注的。要记住,中国对自己的市场过于悲观,而对美国市场过于乐观。
右侧的图表非常简单。这一图表显示了发达市场资产负债表增长率与名义GDP增长率的对比。这是每个市场为期12个月的增长率。可以看到发达市场的增长速度一直稳定地保持在零以上。
这一切都是从本·伯南克开始的。本·伯南克采取了自由货币政策,始终让资产负债表增长率远远超过名义GDP的增长速度,然后这在珍妮特·耶伦时期到达了峰值。珍妮特·耶伦正在采取应对危机的政策,并在尚未出现危机时将其变为永久性政策,不断地扩大资产负债表,使其增长速度远远超过名义GDP的增长速度。
现在,这种政策有助于提高流动性、降低利率,并提高市盈率。但是,当新冠疫情引发全球混乱时,亚洲的通货膨胀率并没有上升,因为亚洲并没有实行这种量化宽松政策。
通胀率的上升有目共睹,但那些实行量化宽松政策的经济体,他们的通胀率要高得多。因此他们知道必须开始收缩所有过剩的流动性。如果看向右图的右侧,就会发现流动性的收缩即将结束。美国国会很难批准更多的刺激政策,国会目前已陷入僵局。来自财政和货币过度刺激的大量超额市场回报已经实实在在地结束了。
因此,我想重申的是,西方国家的市场估值过高,市场已经被过度刺激了。西方国家在错误的环境中使用了错误的公式,现在正处于一个过热的环境中,并在过热的环境中刺激经济。所以当时代变化时,我们要寻找那些与时俱进的市场。

放眼东方

我们在去年9月份投资中国的原因之一是,我们认为到11月份,中国将不再实施“动态清零”政策,新一届的政府班子将会推行新的政策,他们会想改变现状。
“动态清零”政策已经取消。政府与技术有关的问题已得到解决。抵押贷款的首付款已经降低。我们与地方政府进行了反复磋商,最后对债务进行了再融资。对于这11个月来说,这已经是很大的变化了。
尽管目前市场非常担心中国没有像以前那样大规模地出台经济刺激措施,但这其实是一项更为可持续的政策。
而且,我们仍然有利好因素。受疫情的影响,市场定价非常混乱。在未来几年内,企业将重新开始营业,这会为经济带来助力。
现在,我想说明的是,政策模式一直是“走走停停”。在某些经济体中,“走走停停”的政策是合适的。
这就是我提出的不同环境下经济政策如何有效施行的原则:当经济处于繁荣阶段时,在试图抵制过度膨胀的繁荣经济、泡沫经济时,大多数经济体都会采取“走走停停”的政策,即稍微实施一些刺激措施,但很快就会撤销。
这就是日本22年来的做法。这在20世纪七八十年代的经济繁荣时期颇为有效,日本当局认为这是正确的方式,因此坚持这种做法。直到过了22年,环境发生了变化,安倍晋三和黑田东彦才表示:“我们必须改变政策。”
我们非常喜欢中国的一点就是,中国很务实,会通过实验进行学习,放眼全球来学习经验并汲取教训。那么中国会立即采取正确的措施吗?如果会,那么中国将是唯一成功的国家。但我认为,中国花费的时间会比日本的22年更少,甚至会比美国的六年少得多。
从根本上说,当市场过于自信时,政府必须尽快撤销政策,必须要抑制投机心理;当市场信心不足时,政府必须坚持政策,必须让每个人都知道,政府会在市场需要时尽最大努力提供帮助。
马里奥·德拉吉在任欧洲央行行长时最终表示,“不惜一切代价”,安倍晋三和黑田东彦最终表示,“我们将打败悲观主义”,我预计中国最终也会采取类似的政策。与此同时,中国的经济情况已经开始好转。我们已经看到了经济复苏的萌芽。这真是太棒了。由于担心政府会突然取消政策,市场并没有给予回报,但我认为这种担忧是不必要的。
我来中国时听到的是,政府已经在探索如何把更多的资金引入到先进制造业,以及如何找到取代房地产行业的经济增长点问题。因此,我预计在2024年会看到很多这方面的举措。政策不会撤销,这是世界上最宽容的估值,其中包含了最悲观的情绪。因此,我们认为会有很多好事发生。
下面是最后一张图。储蓄与投资的紧张关系形成了一个完全不同的制度。在西方,当经济过热时,市场通常表现不佳,而西方目前正处于经济过热的状态。
因此,我们的策略之一是到东方市场去,去市场受到政策严格限制的地方。政府的财政政策必须逐步撤销刺激措施,货币政策已经开始撤销刺激措施,价格已经非常高昂。我们还要进入那些政策正在努力促进经济增长和流动性且估值较低的领域。
这听起来很简单。我相信,如果您想在接下来的几个月里掌控好每一个小波折,事情就不会那么简单了。但一年后,如果您邀请我们回来,我非常确信,中国将拥有世界上最好的股票市场之一。
我要再次感谢大家,邀请我们第二次参加全球财富管理论坛的会议。我期待着明年再来。

英文演讲全文

This is PineBridge’ second year here. And so we thank the Forum for inviting us. Again, we think it’s exceedingly important when understanding this is low as it is. And trust is as low as it is. So, organizations like this and forums like this, we find very, very constructive.
I’m going to talk today about, first of all, what are the most important things to do in our view, is to try to understand the view that’s already priced into the markets. And then what’s wrong with that view where you think things will differ? So, the way we read how markets are priced, and we are very focused in trying to understand what we call the two global bookends.
Obviously, the United States and China are by far the most powerful economies. And we think every other economy is in the orbit of one or the other, or some combination. So, I’m really going to focus really on the economic outlook for these two economies, as well as what their markets are saying is priced into the view.
To us, we did hear that people are very pessimistic on China. If you’re looking outside of China, that is true. Many people on the West would say that China popped their own property bubble. The local governments were not prepared financially for the loss of revenue, leading to balance sheet issues. And many say that China is at substantial risk of a balance sheet recession. And they compare it to Japan’s balance sheet recession that lasted 32 years.
In the United States, many people also say that the US is facing a period of exceptionalism. They have leads and technology that leads in AI. The economy at the moment is accelerating despite all the predictions that it’d be in recession.
At PineBridge, well, there’s true elements of everything that the consensus is looking at. But we have some very substantial differences of opinion with consensus at the moment.
First of all, we became bullish on the China equity market in last September. We think there’s far too much pessimism built into the market. Every single country that went through COVID had a rough exit from COVID. Many used substantial help in terms of monetary and fiscal. And there is a relationship between how long you are locked down and how long it will take to recover. And so we don’t see anything, like many others, that there was a one quarter recovery, and something is seriously wrong, because the stimulus has been much gentler, the period under lockdown was longer. This society here was much more concerned about their elderly. They took much longer to unlock. But we think it will be a long runway now of growth from that purpose.
So, let us go through some of this. When we look at the West, particularly the United States, much of this exceptionalism is accurate. It’s a wonderful technology ecosystem, tremendous incentives built into the economy. That’s all good things. But we’re going to step you through how the United States at the moment has overstimulated for years on end, which is one reason for what appears to be exceptionalism. So, it’s overstimulated. At the moment, it’s overheating. At the moment, it’s overvalued.
And when we look East, we see the opposite. We see markets that are extraordinarily defensively priced. There certainly are issues, but many areas, particularly Asian manufacturers have been suffering in their exports, because consumer goods in the United States have been very slow and manufacturing sell through into consumer markets have been running well-well-well-below demand to clear inventories. It’s been going on all year long. And it’s almost over. And so Asian manufacturers will benefit quite a bit when this is over.
But first, I’d like to start with this balance sheet recession. And at the moment, China is not yet in a balance sheet recession. And there are risks that that could happen. You could either look to Japan, for lessons learned.
We tend not to do that. Because it took Japan 32 years to get out of their balance sheet recession. The first 22 years, we think the policy was misapplied. Much of the policy for the first 22 years reflected the mentality and the lessons of the boom times in Japan.
The boom times in the ‘70s and ‘80s led to certain habits and thinking of how Japan implemented policy — I’ll talk more about it — and they continue that on when the times changed. And that’s why, in our view, it took so long to get out.
Eventually, in 2013, we had Prime Minister Abe, Chief Central Bank, Kuroda, who completely changed policies for a depressed confidence level.
I called it defeating defeatism. Once you’re in a depressed environment for a long time, lack of confidence itself becomes the problem. And they took it head on. It still took them 10 years, because they let it fester so long.
But what you see here is, I’m going to suggest that the United States actually, after the financial crisis was also in a balance sheet recessions. And so these charts illustrate this. If you look at the chart to the left, you’ll see the top line, household debt service to disposable income. In the middle of the chart, it was going up. That was the peak, that was the financial crisis. There was too much leverage, too much confidence coming into the financial crisis. And then confidence came way down. And as a result, people saved a lot more. They delivered a lot more. That’s very, very common in the wake of a property, you know, bad period.
So, if you look at that chart, though, that only lasted six years, because there was stepped up fiscal policies, there was stepped up monetary policies, and the deleveraging was over after about six years.
Now, you didn’t hear that it was a balance sheet recession. Many, at the time, were saying this was secular stagnation. How silly! It was just a deleveraging after a property bubble went burst.
But the US was still slow after that. While it did adjust policy, the first six years very aggressively, very quickly, with the right mix, the following period added tremendous regulatory burden to the economy that kept the period slow. So, they handled the first half of that correctly, the second half of that incorrectly.
China is actually in a great advantage. Now that they’re in a situation that’s not that different than what Japan had or the United States had with respect to the property sector. And they can look what’s worked in other economies, what’s not worked in other economies.
I’m also going to use this to talk about the interest rate structure. To the right hand side, you see investment in the United States and every cycle of investments since the World War Two. And the cycle to the far right, that blue line, that is after the financial crisis investment. When your customer was deleveraging and slow, investment was slow.
Now, what do we know about savings and investment? Well, that’s the big thing to figuring out the interest rate regime you’re in. When the savings impulse is very high — everyone is deleveraging, the savings rates going up — and the investment impulse is very weak, rates are going to drop. And they have to drop a lot to equilibrate those forces. Into that environment, the central bank also added QE and brought rates slamming to the floor.
Today, many people are saying on the investment outlook, why are interest rates going up so much? What’s the exact opposite? Right now, savings have gone up. And savings keep running down all year long. Despite rates being high on savings, there’s no savings impulse today. People want to spend today. And the investment impulse is this orange line on the right chart. It’s the strongest period of investment, really since before China entered the WTO.
When China entered the WTO, the United States and Western Europe outsourced a lot of capital intensity to China. And the investment appetite was low. What comes along with reshoring supply chains, what comes along with climate? There’s a $3 trillion lack of climate investment despite all the climate investments. So right now, savings impulse, very low; investment needs very high. This is the big reason that interest rates keep rising. But we are going to continue developing this.
We’re in a very different period. And the United States at the moment is still applying lessons that were right for that period after the financial crisis. We still stimulate too quickly. And so in the COVID period, in the middle of this chart, you can see the fiscal deficit widening in recession.
That’s what usually happens in the United States. You go into recession, the tax revenue goes down, the spending to get out of the recession goes up. Very normal. But on the right side, you’ll see this deficit widening. And this is very unusual. We have not seen a fiscal widening in 50 years. So, this is the United States has become addicted to stimulus. And a lot of this exceptional growth, this year, is happening because of a fiscal thrust.
Now, what’s so wrong with that — we’re growing? Isn’t that a great thing? Here is the federal debt.
If you strip out the federal debt that’s held by central banks-- Not only the Federal Reserve, China, Japan, sort of all the central banks in the world have held a lot of treasury debt for foreign currency reserves. If you take that out, and you look at price sensitive owners of treasuries as a percentage of GDP, this is what you see. And the left hand side of that chart is 1903. We are starting, because of our addiction, to fiscal spending to create growth.
Why are we doing that? It’s the strongest country on Earth. We have technology advantage. We have this advantage, this advantage. But we become addicted since the financial crisis, since COVID, to fiscal spending. And now the right hand side is the projection by the Congressional Budget Office.
They’re projecting: It’s going to spin out of control. This is another reason why interest rates are going up so much. Before I was talking about private savings and private investments. But here now, the government is draining all the savings, because they become addicted to this.
There are implications of that. You will also hear: The United States economy is extraordinarily resilient. Because all these companies when interest rates were so low, termed out their debt. Very long-term debt. They’re not sensitive to rates going up. Same with households. If you owned a house when rates were low, almost all households termed out the debt and took on 30-year mortgages.
So where’s the interest rate sensitivity? 70% of the jobs in the United States are small-small-business. 250 employees or less, too small for financial annums to talk to.
We don’t really know what’s happening with that. But there are surveys. And when you ask them, what are you paying for your interest on your loans, you see the green line. And that’s the inverse of what you ask them: How confident are you in your business?
I don’t show that now. But imagine that plummeting as the interest rates are rising. So this addiction to borrowing, addiction to stimulus is really, really hurting small business, which is where 70% of the jobs are.
And this will pay for some time next year. Markets have been very, very happy this year. Because the supply chain pressures-- This is an index that the Federal Reserve came up with to track the impact of the COVID global supply chain pressures.
And you can see to the left, this index was set to-- See, before COVID, it should be oscillating around zero. And it was. And then with COVID, the supply chain pressures created a lot of inability to supply and cost pressures. What’s been happening more recently is a dramatic decline. And markets have celebrated that. And they should if it can continue. But what you see on that index is it’s now lower than it’s ever been. Which means the supply side improvements probably have overshot. Probably!
We just had our first inflation number, a week ago, that began ticking up again. In our view, inflation is going to continue ticking up for much of the rest of the year. You have to know what is embedded in markets. Markets are embedding the expectation that inflation will keep coming down and down and down.
Here’s a very long-term view of inflation in the United States. If you only look at goods, that’s the lower line. And service is the higher line. Now, goods are interesting. To the left, after the Berlin Wall fell, and East and West Germany unified, and it was really the beginning of globalization. Before that goods used to run at about a 1% positive inflation rate. You can see on the left side of the chart.
By the time China enters the WTO, goods’ prices are normally negative, holding down inflation. Now, if we completely decouple those goods prices, we end globalization, they’re going to go back up to 1%. Market is not pricing in anything like that. It thinks this supply side resilience that we’ve been seeing is going to continue and continue. It might, but that’s not our view at PineBridge.
And here’s the last chart that I think, to me, at least, pulls it all together. Our markets and the developed markets have massively outperformed for the last 15 years. And again, a lot of it is real fundamentals. A great incentive system. It’s rewarded a lot of innovation. A big edge in a lot of technologies.
However-however-however, if you look to the left, you see emerging market growth, it has been coming down. Green Line, develop market growth, it has been going up. A lot of the going up has been the addiction to stimulus. We’ve been overstimulating and over stimulating and over stimulating.
To the right is actually the chart that I want everyone to focus on. And remember this, you’re all too pessimistic on your own markets and you’re too optimistic on US markets.
The chart to the right is very simple. It looks at how fast developed markets increase their monetary base in comparison to how fast their nominal GDP grows. And it’s a 12-month run rate of each. And you can see, the green line has been very, very consistently growing above zero.
And it began with Ben Bernanke, which is on the right side. This is Ben Bernanke coming in with free money. He is constantly growing the monetary base much, much faster than GDP, and then it spikes, that’s Janet Yellen. Janet Yellen is taking crisis orientated policy and making it permanent when there’s not a crisis, and just continuously growing the balance sheet, massively faster than nominal GDP.
Now, this helped the liquidity, and it helped lower interest rates, and it helped to raise PEs. But when the global disruption occurred to COVID, while Asia’s inflation didn’t go up, as much as those in Asia was not practicing this quantitative easing.
Those economies that practice that, everyone saw inflation go up, but they went a far higher, far higher. So they know now, they have to start shrinking all of this excess liquidity. So, if you continue to the right, you’ll see that the shrinkage of liquidity is ending. It’s very hard in Congress to get any more stimulus approved. Congress is gridlocked. So, a lot of the excess market return that came from excess stimulus, fiscal excess stimulus monetary, it’s over. It’s over.
So, again, the West have very expensive markets. And they have overstimulated. And they’re applying the wrong formula to the wrong environment. They’re in an overheating environment and they’re stimulating into an overheating environment. So when the times change, we look for markets where people are changing with the times.
One of the reasons we bought into China in September is we did think that by November zero COVID would be left, there’d be a new team, it would be their policies, they would want to start changing things.
COVID Zero has been removed. The issues that the government had with technology have been settled. Down payments on mortgages have been lowered. We’ve had several iterations with local government. Debts being refinance. This is a lot in 11 months.
It’s a lot! So, right now, markets are very, very worried that China isn’t stimulating as much as they’re used to. Well, it’s a much more sustainable policy.
And we still have the tailwind. And you will have a tailwind from business re-opening for several years, as a result of COVID, and the markets are priced very disruptive.
Now, what I’m showing here is that the pattern of policy has been very Stop & Go, has been very Stop & Go. Stop & Go is appropriate in some sorts of economies.
When you’re in a booming economy-- So, this is the Michael Kelly rule of what works in different environments. When you’re trying to resist overinflated booming economies, bubbly economies, most people have Stop & Go policies, give a little bit, but pull it back very quickly.
And this is what Japan did for 22 years. It worked during the boom times of the ‘70s and ‘80s. And they became so comfortable that that was the right way. They continued doing it, continue doing it. And it took 22 years when the environment changed before Abe and Kuroda said, “We have to change policy.”
What we like about China having come here a long-long-time, it’s practical, it learns by experimenting, it looks around the world, it learns lessons. Will they get it right immediately? If they do, they’ll be the only country that did. But I think they’re going to do it a lot faster than 22 years. And I think they’re going to do it a lot faster than six years.
So, essentially, when you have overconfident markets, you have to take away the policy as soon as you can, because you’re trying to dampen those animal spirits. When you have underconfident markets, you have to stick with policy, you have to let everybody know the government will be helping as long as it takes.
And Mario Draghi eventually in Europe said, “Whatever it takes,” Abe and Kuroda eventually said, “We’re going to defeat defeatism,” and these are the kinds of policies that I expect, eventually, China will operate. Meanwhile, things are already getting better. Green shoots are happening. Congratulations! That’s terrific. Markets aren’t rewarding it, because they’re worried you’re gonna yank the policy away. I doubt it.
All I here when I come here is the government is already trying to figure out how do we funnel more money into advanced manufacturing, how do we replace that property sectors’ issue for growth. So, I expect to see a lot of that in 2024. Policy is not going to be yanked away. This is the most forgiving valuation in the world. There’s most pessimism built into this. And so we think that a lot of good things can come out of that.
My last chart-- I’m sure I’ve run over time, even more now. But let’s go one more. So, again, these savings versus investment tensions to find regimes-- We’re in a different regime. In the West, when you’re in an overheating regime, markets generally don’t do well. The West is in an overheating regime.
So, this is why part of our strategy is to go East, go East, go where markets are very restrained by policy. Fiscal has to gradually start taking away the stimulus. Monetary is already taking away the stimulus and prices are already outrageously expensive. And go to areas where policy is trying to nurture growth, trying to nurture liquidity, and valuations are very low.
And it sounds very simple. And I’m sure it won’t be that simple if you care about navigating every little twist and turn over the next couple of months. But a year from now, if you invite us back, I’m very comfortable that China is going to have one of the better stock markets in the world.
With that, I’m going to thank you again for inviting us for a second year. I look forward to coming back next year.
(本文仅代表作者观点,不代表论坛立场。)
责任编辑:张柯柯

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