With So Many False Starts, What Will True Risk Aversion Look Like
• There have been many tumbles from various 'risk-sensitive' assets these past years without true aversion
• Attempting to divine the one catalyst that changes the tides can be very difficult against complacency
• The level of correlation from dispirate markets may offer the best signal for genuine deleveraging
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What form will the first move of the next inevitable risk aversion phase take? Over the years, there have been many red herrings that looked otherwise convincing: the Treasury flash crash (October 2014), the Taper Tantrum (July 2013) and the US debt ceiling standoff (August 2011) just to name a few. Each led to sharp declines for assets (US Treasuries, emerging markets, the S&P 500 respectively) typically considered benchmarks for speculative appetites. Yet, in each case, fear did not spread effectively to the rest of the financial system. Complacancy is a strong barbiturate against otherwise high-profile event risk. Ultimately, focus may be better served on the fallout of sentiment rather than attempting anticipation by monitoring a variety of catalysts. And, the best signal may be correlation. We revisit the look and feel of the inescapable risk aversion that will one day sweep the market in this weekend Strategy Video.
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