The increase in JGB yields has been quite furious, as you can see from the chart below. Note that the increase in the immediate aftermath of earthquake/tsunami/nuclear-meltdown disaster of March 2011 was buried in the noise in the chart. More important than the fast rise is that this is happening after the Bank of Japan announced unprecedented qualitative and quantitative easing, as part of three-arrow Abenomics, including an estimated JGB purchases of 80 trillion-plus yen.
JGB Eight-Year, 15-Year and 30-Year Yields From Jan. 1, 2008 to Now
Why doesn't the market want to front-run the Bank of Japan? There are two possible reasons:
- Inflation expectations are higher. This would be exactly what the Bank of Japan wants. Unfortunately, as Goldman Sachs research recently showed (via ZeroHedge), the inflation expectation remains mostly flat, at less than 1% out to 2016 after taking into account the planned consumption tax increase in April 2014.
- The market is worried about the risk of BoJ losing control of the yield curve. This is nonsensical at first glance: They'd just print more money and buy up JGBs. But in reality there's another limit to how much BoJ can buy: the repo market. As recently happened in the U.S., banks may run out of Treasuries as collateral if the central bank monetizes too much. This severely disrupts banking and money market operations.
- massive mark-to-market losses,
- sharply increased risk reserve requirements heavily dependent on JGB volatility, and
- collateral squeeze.
Or, if you're prepared to take some pain, potentially a lot for a long time, follow Kyle Bass and be early on the widow-maker trade, in exchange for the potential reward of being early on the biggest trade of the century. At the time of publication, Peng had no positions in securities mentioned. Follow @BoPengNY This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.