Stanley Druckenmiller and Bill Gross are two of the most accomplished individuals in the investment world.
Druckenmiller is a hedge fund legend and Gross is dubbed the ‘King of Bonds.’ A discussion of who is ‘better’ is beside the point. They do, however, hold opposite opinions on the US Treasuries market.
Gross has blasted the Federal Reserve’s policy of QE2, going so far as calling it a Ponzi scheme. He said Treasuries prices are inflated by the Fed’s massive purchases. When these purchases stop on June 30, 2011, he isn’t sure if anyone can step up to fill the buying void.
Gross doesn’t want to stick around to find out. He exited his Treasuries position in favor of debt from emerging market countries with better growth stories and more solid public finances. In fact, he has shorted Treasury-related securities since March.
Druckenmiller (a registered independent), on the other hand, has been long US Treasuries probably since at least January 2011. He is bullish on government spending reform efforts by people like Republican Representative Paul Ryan.
He said Ryan said “some serious things that I hadn't heard in a long time, in a WSJ article.
With the debt ceiling approaching, Druckemiller hopes Republicans like Ryan will take the opportunity to force Democrats to make more spending cuts concessions. He doesn’t even care if the US technically defaults on its debt by delay raising the debt ceiling (as a bargaining chip to reduce spending) – he said the market would “welcome a technical default in exchange for fundamental reform.”
Druckenmiller’s biggest fear is that the Republicans blink first in the game of debt ceiling brinkmanship and allow Democrats to continue to spend out of control.
So far in 2011, Druckenmiller and Treasury bulls have been right. However, the end of QE2 in June 30, 2011 could spell a turning point in the Treasury market and vindicate bears like Gross.
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