07/10/2017 - John Mauldin: A Crisis Of Historic Proportions Is Bearing Down On Us

“Think of all the dollar-denominated debt owed by various emerging-market governments and businesses. Higher US rates will strengthen the dollar and make that debt costlier to service, almost certainly causing some defaults. In today’s highly leveraged markets, the pain caused by those defaults will quickly spread to lenders in Europe, Japan, and the US. You might respond that more stringent capital requirements mean today’s banks are better able to withstand such scenarios. That’s partly true. It’s also true that the bank executives hate those requirements and are working assiduously to loosen them. These banks are also far larger than they were in 2008. Yes, they pass the Fed’s stress tests, but the Fed can’t test every possible adverse scenario. Generals always fight the last war. The next crisis probably won’t originate in residential mortgage loans. It will come from somewhere else, and we have no idea whether the banks are actually ready for it. You and I can’t control whether banks are ready, but we can control whether we are ready. I am working on a number of fronts to help you. My brief time away convinced me beyond any doubt that a crisis of historic proportions is once again bearing down on us. We may have little time to prepare. We definitely have no time to waste.”

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