Former Bond King Short U.S. Bonds, Sees 'Operation Twist' in Fed's Future

Former Bond King Short U.S. Bonds, Sees 'Operation Twist' in Fed's Future

Former Bond King Short U.S. Bonds, Sees 'Operation Twist' in Fed's Future © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim – Unlike some investors, former Pimco Chief Executive Bill Gross is not waiting around for clues from the Federal Reserve or its Chairman Jerome Powell for his next big trade as the former bond king said he is betting that rates will increase and the Fed will be forced to step up bond buying to keep rates under control.

Gross reportedly said he is short United States 10-Year and United States 30-Year Treasuries, betting the Federal Reserve will be forced to step and buy bonds as inflation is on the road to 3% to 4%. Gross has been bearish on negative on Treasuries for years. In a tweet on Jan. 9, 2018, he said: "bond bear market confirmed today."

"I have a hunch that what was known as Operation Twist in the late 40s after World War Two and the Fed trying to keep interest rates down by buying 10s and longer bonds that Operation twist may be in our future where the Fed is limited to about $1 trillion in outright spending, and would begin to spend more on 10s, 20s and 30's to keep long interest rates down," Gross said in a Bloomberg interview.

He also speculated that the Fed may have already initiated operation twist – a monetary policy tool previously used by the Fed in the past to lower long-term interest rates by buying and selling U.S. Treasuries of different maturities – following the recent spike in bond yields during the last weeks.

But the man who reigned over the bond market for over four decades when rates interest rates were ranging at 15% to 20% continues to cast his eye over the Reddit-linked trading action that has captivated global attention. Gross, seemingly unfazed by the angst directed at short-sellers like Melvin Capital, said he is still short GameStop Corp (NYSE:GME) after revealing last month that he made about $10 million on the bearish bet.

"[R]ight now the borrowing rate on shorting shares for Gamestop is only one and a half percent which indicates no real squeeze or no pressure and so with volatility of 400% annualised you need see a doubling of the price in order to lose money. I think it is a perfect opportunity for option sellers not buyers," Gross said.

Gross initially took up the position after seeing the stock double overnight following Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk's tweet of "Gamestonk!!" on Jan. 26. "Why would the market double overnight when Musk does “Gamestonk!!”? What does it mean? Half of this I’m oblivious to. It’s almost like I’m an idiot, but I didn’t think that was right. Musk is a little devil," Gross said in an interview with Citywire last month.

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