There is little doubt that bond investors are excited about Asia, and they are usually happy to tell you why. "It is the future, they say. Sure, that is hard to disagree with. "It is where the smart money is moving." OK, that seems largely correct. "It is a safe haven." Hmm, not so fast.
The market cannot be an effective haven if it lacks independence, and the recent performance of Asias credit market has underlined the extent to which Asian credit dances to tunes playing in Europe and the US.
That was not a problem when those tunes were breezy, feel-good hits. But now the music coming from the Western world more closely resembles grimy drum and bass, Asian investors are having little fun keeping in step.
These investors know that deals cannot really stay liquid unless a sizeable amount of European and US accounts are buying a bond in the secondary market. They also know that bullish trading during Asian hours can be entirely blown away by bad overnight sessions in Europe or the US.
This comes as no surprise. The world is an increasingly connected place, and Asias investor base is too small to do anything but react to flows from other continents.
But it does undermine all of those arguments strong arguments about the fundamentals of Asia, about the movement of capital to the region, and about the rise of China and the effect it will have on surrounding countries.Asian citizens and investors undoubtedly have some good times ahead of them, but the region is far from a haven from the problems in the rest of the world. Decoupling has been proved once again to be a dud. It will be many years before Asias bond market is anything but a vassal.