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做空日本时机已到? Hedge funds say this time shorting Japan will succeed

来源:www.en369.cn  作者:英语作文网  时间:2012-12-03  

做空日本时机已到? Hedge funds say this time shorting Japan will succeed

Why would a hedge fund manager be interested in adult diapers? They are a clue to what growing numbers of hedge funds are now seeing as the next big trade: the bursting of Japan’s bond bubble.
为何对冲基金经理会对成人尿布感兴趣?答案是,成人尿布是判断日本国债泡沫是否行将破裂的线索——有越来越多的对冲基金正将这个泡沫的破裂视为下一桩大买卖。
This year, sales of adult diapers in Japan eclipsed sales of infant ones for the first time; a neat statistic that captures the huge demographic challenge the country faces – one big factor of several that bears believe are behind a crisis set to break in the coming months.
今年,日本成人尿布的销量首次大幅超过婴儿尿布。这一明确的统计数字突显出日本面临的巨大人口挑战——看空日本国债的人士认为,几个月内日本定将爆发一场危机,而人口挑战就是这场危机的几大致因之一。
“What did Bernie Madoff’s titanic Ponzi scheme teach the world?” asks Kyle Bass, a Dallas-based hedge fund manager who has garnered a wide following for his contrarian – sometimes borderline apocalyptic – views, in his letter to investors this month.
驻达拉斯的对冲基金经理凯尔•巴斯(Kyle Bass)上月在致投资者的信中问道:“伯尼•马多夫(Bernie Madoff)的巨大庞氏骗局让世人明白了什么?”巴斯因其逆向投资观点而吸引了大批追随者,尽管他的观点有时显得危言耸听。
“A key takeaway should have been that you can make outlandish promises for the future as long as you maintain one key ingredient: more victims entering the scheme than exiting.”
巴斯写道:“世人应该已经明白了至关重要的一点,即只要你能确保一个关键条件——落入骗局的受害者比走出的多——你就可以针对未来许下离谱的诺言。”
His point is simple: social security costs in Japan have been rising steadily. The retirement age is 65. And the peak years for Japan’s birth rate were the four from 1947.
他的论点很简单:日本的社保成本一直在稳步上升。日本人的退休年龄是65岁,而始于1947年的四年是日本出生率的巅峰期。
Japan is finally facing its reckoning, Mr Bass says, driven by insuperable demographic forces and triggered by a worsening current account – which has for the first time slipped into deficit – after years of widening debt to gross domestic product and falling government revenues.
巴斯表示,在这方面,日本终于将迎来“算总帐”的一天。这个问题是由不断恶化的经常账户引发的:多年来,日本债务相对国内生产总值(GDP)的比例不断扩大,政府财政收入不断下滑,日本经常账户首次出现赤字。无法克服的人口因素又对问题的加剧起到了推波助澜的作用。
And yet, we have been here before. Betting against Japan has been a persistent hedge fund favourite.
然而,这并不是什么新鲜的论点。长期以来,对冲基金一直都喜欢做空日本。
David Einhorn, founder of Greenlight Capital, for example, has been short Japan one way or another since 2009, and shorting the yen has been a failed trade for many of the world’s most seasoned macro hedge funds four years running.
例如,绿光资本(Greenlight Capital)创始人戴维•艾因霍恩(David Einhorn)自2009年起就一直以这样那样的方式做空日本。而对世界上许多经验极为丰富的宏观对冲基金来说,它们做空日元的交易迄今已连续四年折戟沉沙。
As if to underscore the point, Japanese government bond yields reached historic lows this week. As SocGen analysts have written, expecting them to rise seems tantamount to “chasing rainbows”.
仿佛是为了让人们更清楚的看到这一点,日本国债收益率上周达到历史低点。对此法国兴业银行(Société Générale)的分析师写道,指望日本国债收益率上升看起来就相当于是在“追逐彩虹”。
Jun Ishii, chief fixed-income strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley, describes an “unshakeable JGB absorption structure”, whereby the gap between loans and deposits at banks is filled by government bonds. Current data suggest the banks have plenty of room to buy more, he says. “We see no indication at all that the desire to buy JGBs on dips is weakening.”
三菱日联摩根士丹利(Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley)首席固定收益策略师石井纯(Jun Ishii)描绘了一种“无法动摇的日本国债吸收机制”,在这种机制下,银行存贷缺口由国债填补。石井纯表示,当前数据显示,银行仍有足够空间购买更多国债。“我们还没发现逢低买入日本国债的意愿有减弱的迹象。”
All of which is not deterring new hedge fund bear converts.
这一切并不能阻止新对冲基金转投空方阵营。
“We believe that things really are now set to shift,” says Christopher Rigg, a life-long Japan expert who runs a new dedicated Japan-short fund at UK-based activist Audley Capital. “We think it is all coming together now.”
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Mr Rigg’s thesis is more moderate than Mr Bass’s: he says a catalyst for change will be the Japanese elections, set for December 16, which look set to usher in Shinzo Abe, head of the Liberal Democratic party, as prime minister.
一生都在研究日本问题的专家克里斯托弗•里格(Christopher Rigg)表示:“我们认为形势真的就要发生改变,现在已经万事俱备了。”里格目前在总部位于英国的奥德利资本(Audley Capital)掌管一支专门做空日本的新基金。
“Abe is defined by his desire for growth,” Mr Rigg notes. “It’s quite obvious that he wants the Bank of Japan to be more aggressive.”
里格的论点要比巴斯的更为温和:他表示,定于12月16日举行的日本大选将成为形势改变的催化剂,这次的大选有望将自民党(LDP)党魁安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)送上日本首相宝座。
With the governor and two deputy governors of the BoJ set to be replaced early next year, an Abe administration could lead to a permanently more dovish BoJ, Mr Rigg says, which would be likely to break new ground in quantitative easing by buying foreign bonds.
里格指出:“安倍以渴望推动经济增长著称。很明显,他希望日本央行(BoJ)采取更为激进的措施。”
Mr Rigg expects such a development could push JGB yields as high as 2 per cent – nowhere near the 6 or 7 per cent catastrophists see but enough to make short sellers huge profits.
他表示,由于日本央行明年初将更换行长及两名副行长,安倍任内可能会产生一个长期偏鸽派的日本央行,它很可能会采取通过购买外国债券来实行量化宽松的全新举措。
“There are some people who look at the debt dynamics of Japan and go ‘oh boy’ – people who think this is a Greek-type situation with yields at 6 per cent. I’m not saying that it can’t happen but we don’t think it will,” he says.
里格预计,这种变化可将日本国债收益率推高到2%,虽然距日本崩溃论者预计的6%到7%还很远,但足以令做空者大赚一笔了。
And nor, crucially, do hedge funds need it to in order to make big returns.
他表示:“有些人看到日本的债务态势就大喊‘天哪’——他们认为这里的形势和希腊一样,国债收益率将达6%。我不是说这完全不可能发生,我们只是认为它不会发生。”
Audley tells potential investors in the Japan fund to expect triple-digit percentage gains – based on current futures prices against Japanese debt – if its thesis is proved correct.
而且关键问题在于,对冲基金也不需要这么高的国债收益率才能获取丰厚回报。
It is precisely the asymmetry of the Japan trade, as much as the fundamentals behind it, that is now making it so attractive to hedge funds once more.
奥德利告诉那支专门做空日本的基金的潜在投资者,根据当前的日本国债期货与现货价格之比,基金的回报率有望达到三位数——前提是事实证明奥德利的论点是正确的。
“Japan’s situation is such that the question is no longer ‘why bet against it?’ but ‘why not?’” says one portfolio manager at a large global macro firm. The cost of taking out puts on Japanese bonds is negligible. The upside huge.
正是这种成本与回报的不对称(及其背后的基本面因素),使得做空日本国债的交易又一次对对冲基金产生了巨大的吸引力。
It might, nevertheless, prove to be a long trade, and one peppered with uncertainties.
一位大型全球宏观投资机构的投资组合经理表示:“日本目前的形势是:问题已不再是‘为什么要做空日本?’,而是‘为什么不做空?’。”买入日本国债看跌期权的成本可以忽略不计,潜在回报却是巨大的。

不过,这一交易最终可能会是一场“持久战”,而且充满不确定性。

译者:简易
 

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