mercoledì 4 agosto 2010

I rischi dell'austerità e degli investimenti obbligazionari.

James Montier ha fatto un ottimo lavoro nel riassumere le (buone) ragioni addotte dai critici della politica dell'austerità di bilancio in questo fase della ripresa (se di ripresa si può parlare...) economica. Vi consiglio di leggere le sue argomentazioni che vi ho riportato qui sotto: le troverete molto interessanti.
Peraltro condivido largamente l'opinione di Montier sulle prospettive di medio-lungo periodo delle obbligazioni:  In accordance with our 7-year forecasts, we generally think that bonds are a lousy investment – although possibly not as a speculation. Ben Graham said, “An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and a satisfactory return. Operations
not meeting these requirements are speculative.” Judged from a long-term perspective in which inflation must be a concern, bonds look exceptionally unattractive.
However, if deflationary pressure builds as a result of theAusterians, then bonds could well be a good speculation.
How does a long-term value manager like GMO deal with this conundrum?
Generally, we simply can’t bring ourselves to own bonds at the yields on offer in most markets today.
However, that doesn’t mean we are ignoring the short-term risks. So whilst we are generally
inclined to be short nominal duration across portfolios (as suggested by the 7-year forecasts),
we have been adding nominal duration. How can one add nominal duration when bonds are overpriced?
Doesn’t this imply that we are betraying our value investing credentials?
 Thankfully, no. There are a couple of bond markets that are still essentially at fair value
(based on our measures): Australia and New Zealand both offer government bonds that look to be fairly priced. Are we happy about buying fair-priced bonds? Of course not. We are happy only when we buy cheap assets.  However, these fair-priced bonds provide us with some useful insurance, without
which our portfolios would be exposed to intensifying short-term deflation pressure. If deflation does arise, most likely we will be on the look-out for longer-term insurance against inflation. Ultimately, I suspect that is where we will end up. (And remember, the time to purchase insurance is when no else wants it as  it’s likely to be cheap.) 

GMO - James Montier - Is Austerity the Road to Ruin

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