Julian Robertson sees the pink elephant, and publicly called out the 2008 fiasco. Now he can't figure out how the US and several other countries will avoid triggering hyperinflation with the amount of money they're printing (I can't either). He's noticed that no one is buying long bonds (who would?) and buyers for short ones have dwindled to a few usual suspects. This guy, pun intended, bears watching. He has placed big bets on shorting treasuries and appeared on CNBC to help talk them down:
The US is too dependent on Japan and China buying up the country's debt and could face severe economic problems if that stops, Tiger Management founder and chairman Julian Robertson told CNBC.A clever person concerned about hyperinflation and wanting to make a financial killing would use exchange-traded funds to go long on 2-year Treasuries and short on 10-year Treasuries, which is probably something like what Julian Robertson is doing.
"It's almost Armageddon if the Japanese and Chinese don't buy our debt,” Robertson said in an interview. "I don't know where we could get the money. I think we've let ourselves get in a terrible situation and I think we ought to try and get out of it."
Robertson said inflation is a big risk if foreign countries were to stop buying bonds.
“If the Chinese and Japanese stop buying our bonds, we could easily see [inflation] go to 15 to 20 percent,” he said. “It's not a question of the economy. It's a question of who will lend us the money if they don't. Imagine us getting ourselves in a situation where we're totally dependent on those two countries. It's crazy.”
Robertson said while he doesn’t think the Chinese will stop buying US bonds, the Japanese may eventually be forced to sell some of their long-term bonds.
“That's much worse than not buying,” he said. “The other thing is, they're buying almost exclusively short-term debt. And that's what we are offering, because we can't sell the long-term debt. And you know, the history has been that people who borrow short term really get burned.”