Bill Gross: Economy is headed for credit supernova

Still, investors cannot simply surrender to their entropic destiny. Time may be running out, but time is still money as the original saying goes. How can you make some?

(1) Position for eventual inflation: The end stage of a supernova credit explosion is likely to produce more inflation than growth, and more chances of inflation as opposed to deflation. In bonds, buy inflation protection via TIPS; shorten maturities and durations; don’t fight central banks – anticipate them by buying what they buy first; look as well for offshore sovereign bonds with positive real interest rates (Mexico, Italy, Brazil, for example).

(2) Get used to slower real growth: QEs and zero-based interest rates have negative consequences. Move money to currencies and asset markets in countries with less debt and less hyperbolic credit systems. Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Canada are candidates.

(3) Invest in global equities with stable cash flows that should provide historically lower but relatively attractive returns.

(4) Transition from financial to real assets if possible at the margin: Buy something you can sink your teeth into – gold, other commodities, anything that can’t be reproduced as fast as credit.

(5) Be cognizant of property rights and confiscatory policies in all governments.

(6) Appreciate the supernova characterization of our current credit system. At some point it will transition to something else.

We may be running out of time, but time will always be money.

Speed Read for Credit Supernova

1) Why is our credit market running out of heat or fuel?

a) As it expands at a rate of trillions per year, real growth in the economy has failed to respond. More credit goes to pay interest than future investment.

b) Zero-based interest rates, which are the result of QE and credit creation, have negative as well as positive effects. Historic business models may be negatively affected and investment spending may be dampened.

c)  Look to the Japanese historical example.

2) What options should an investor consider?

a) Seek inflation protection in credit market assets/ shorten durations.

b) Increase real assets/commodities/stable cash flow equities at the margin.

c) Accept lower future returns in portfolio planning.

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