This reminds me of something else I was thinking about this morning. I was trying to think about a good analogy to the way the markets currently seem so dependent on Fed action/intervention. The thing that came to mind was Taleb’s turkey problem….for 1,000 days a turkey gets fed by a butcher. Every day that goes by the turkey gets more and more confident that this butcher is nice and is looking out for its well being. Until day 1,001 (a few days before Thanksgiving) when the butcher kills the turkey. The turkey was most confident in the thought that the butcher would always feed it and do good for it at the point just before the butcher delivered the Black Swan to the turkey (Black Swan for the turkey, not a Black Swan for the butcher). The markets seem to be acting similar to the turkey in response to the Fed, its equivalent of the butcher. The lesson: Don’t be a turkey.
Michael Lewitt is one of my favorite credit analysts. If I want to know what is happening in the credit markets, one of my first calls is to Michael. He has been doing deep dives into some rather esoteric markets as well as traditional bonds over the course of his career, and he really understands what is happening under the surface.