Most people that make their living in the investment and finance world are familiar with the phrase “flight to safety.” It means that when markets are volatile and prices are plunging, investors look to “safe harbors” in the storm, often lower-risk, core investments, and the safest of all are generally U.S. Treasuries or cash.
But have you ever heard the phrase “flight from safety”? Or, put another way, moving out the risk curve. When everyone wants to be in the perceived safe markets, and the competition for investments in those markets grows and leads to multiple bids and rising prices, then there is a point where the price paid for that safety becomes too much, and investors leave the market. The risk of paying too much becomes greater than the risk of missing out on buying what is perceived to be a safe core asset.
There is evidence that a rotation like this is taking place in infrastructure markets.
For example, China’s sovereign we