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Charts that matter: Money expansion keeps bulls running

Bull markets thrive on liquidity. Thanks to central banks buying up bonds, there’s no shortage of money sloshing through the global financial system. Indeed, the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch monthly survey of investors reveals a record high (net 16 per cent) of investors saying that “they are taking above-normal levels of risk in their investment’’. With US equities and credit sitting at lofty levels — what some dub the Icarus trade — the measured pace of Federal Reserve tightening is not presenting a headwind. Longview Economics makes the point that M1 money is growing at an annualised rate of 8 per cent and note that in the past a negative M1 tends to occur between six and 18 months ahead of a recession, also marking the time when bull runs top out. For now, liquidity remains the key driver of the Bull Run and in that context, M1 among other financial and credit indicators warrant watching, says Longview.

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