No idea who wrote this, but read it:
So can the US stay placid when the rest of the world turns chaotic? Highly doubtful. There’s a market phenomenon in which one investment play blows up and forces those on the wrong side of the trade to dump their liquid assets to raise cash — which causes the high-quality assets to fall as much or more than the junk. As Noland notes, the world’s premier liquid asset is the Treasury bond.
If the developing world’s need to raise cash is a factor in the recent spike in US interest rates, this implies a feedback loop in which rising US rates further destabilize emerging markets, forcing the sale of more Treasuries, and so on. Can the Fed stop this? Not unless it wants to buy up not just all the newly-issued Treasuries as it does now, but the trillions of dollars of bonds that might be dumped once things really get going.
It’s important to understand that we’re here because for years the developed world in general and the US in particular have been exporting their problems to the developing world via monetary policy. We fund our overspending by creating a bunch of new dollars, many of which flow beyond our borders looking for higher yields. They land in, say, Brazil, pushing up both local asset prices and the exchange rate of the real. So individual Brazilians see their cost of living rise while Brazilian exporters are priced out of global markets. This is the currency war that Brazil’s government has been complaining about.
Then the hot money flows back out, causing a different set of problems for a country that has spent the past decade trying to adjust to excessive capital inflows. The result: some seriously fragile banks and over-leveraged companies and investors, any of which could trigger a nationwide crisis.
The same general process is at work in other major emerging markets, with each in its own way now posing a threat to the global financial system — at the pinnacle of which sit the S&P 500 and the Treasury market, looking an awful lot like Southern California real estate circa 2007.