The Phaserl


How the Liquidity “Delusion” Leads to a Crash

by Matthew Kerkhoff,

They were just about all there at the Las Vegas SkyBridge Alternatives Conference, or SALT: Daniel Loeb, T. Boone Pickens, and of course George Papandreou, who in March 2011 as Greek prime minister had produced one of the funniest official Eurozone lies ever when he reassured those that were being shanghaied into bailing out Greece: “We will pay back every penny.”

A couple of thousand others were there, including John Paulson, who made billions after betting against bonds backed by subprime mortgages using credit default swaps. “Hedge fund stars,” the New York Times called them. One of these “stars” was Ben Bernanke who, in his function as Fed Chairman, has done more for these hedge funds stars than anyone else, ever, period.

They all have one thing in common: They’re going to ride this Fed-gravy-train all the way to the end. They’re going to max out this rally in stocks and bonds and real estate and what not, though the oil-price crash has knocked a serious dent into their shiny veneer. And they’re going to add to their gains to the very last minute, fully leveraged, fully aware that this won’t last, totally cognizant that this is artificial and that its end is drawing closer. Then, at the first rate increase or whatever other sign they might see that the gravy train starts derailing, they’ll jump off.

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