If only the meltdown in Turkish assets could serve as a cautionary tale for global markets, Breslow continues, then it might be a painful lesson for Turkey but a cheap and valuable one for investors elsewhere used to ignoring the risks embedded in their portfolios.
Don’t count on it.
It won’t be long before you hear either one of two things.
- That tensions have eased, carry is compelling and get in on the party while it’s getting started again.
- Or cries that we need the central banks to be more involved in markets and sort this whole thing out. Come home, we still love you.
Either way, prudent investing won’t be making a comeback any time soon and we can get used to this episode being one in a long line of periodic dramas. As long as the suffering happens “over there”, this will be seen as theater but not tragedy.
Bad economic policies, bad politics, pathetic liquidity when things get tough, lazy positioning by those who should know better and those that have no business having positions, a complete misunderstanding of where and why alleged contagion should be felt and various banks being over-exposed to markets without the proper hedges have all been top of the mind today. Destined to be forgotten forthwith.
Or, more accurately, all of this is purged from the zeitgeist because it doesn’t suit the narrative in a world addicted to carry, that wants to believe banks are comfortably capitalized, stress tests test for the right things and liquidity will be there when it’s actually needed.
You’ll notice that yesterday morning, when the dollar surged over 10 percent against the lira and then pared the bulk of it, all in the space of about 30 minutes, you were told the lira market is broken rather than we just had another flash crash. Can’t resurrect that old fear.
With the world engaged in constant strife and what appears to be a vicious zero-sum game, ignorantly investing in markets we don’t understand comes at a price. Turkey gives you a first-hand look at the future.
The iShares MSCI Turky Invstbl Mrkt Indx Fnd (TUR) fell $2.49 (-11.62%) in premarket trading Monday. Year-to-date, TUR has declined -50.71%, versus a 6.53% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
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