Could the consensus view of a “no recession” scenario be wrong? As portfolio managers, this is the question we ask ourselves daily. Since the lows of last October, the technical backdrop has improved markedly, as discussed last week in “Bear Trap.” To wit:
“Our most critical bullish signals are the short- and intermediate-term Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicators. We post this weekly chart in our website’s 401k plan management section. Both sets of weekly MACD indicators have registered buy signals from levels lower than during the financial crisis. The market has also broken above both weekly moving averages and, as noted above, held the long-term bullish trend line.”
While the technical backdrop continues to confirm and reaffirm a bullish trend supporting the “no recession” scenario, there remain substantial risks to that view. Such risks, as was seen with Silicon Valley Financial (SVB) last week, can arise quickly, turning previously bullish sentiment quickly bearish.
What happened with SVB is a result of tighter monetary policy extracting liquidity from the banking system. In an upcoming article, I quoted Thorsten Polleit from The Mises Institute, stating:
“What is happening is that the Fed is pulling central bank money out of the system. It does this in two ways. The first is not reinvesting the payments it receives into its bond portfolio. The second is by resorting to reverse repo operations, in which it offers “eligible counterparties” (those few privileged to do business with the Fed) the ability to park their cash with the Fed overnight and pay them an interest rate close to the federal funds rate.”