While the Liberal International Order and its institutions are credited with the relative peace the world has enjoyed since 1945, Niall says, “That's a very implausible argument.” He believes the world has been more peaceful because of the will and capacity of the US to be the principal guarantor of the system. This is often referred to as Pax Americana, in which the US employed its overwhelming military power to shape and direct global events.
Well Danny – let me tell you something. There are many, many other people out there who are intelligent and REFUSE TO BE TAKEN TO THE CLEANERS. Real estate is WAY overpriced in many areas, so if you say that we basically “need to pay at least 97% of the asking price,” I say you are the epitome of an UN-professional. You do not have the best interests of you buyers at heart. You only have your own selfish interests in mind.
I’ll admit I was somewhat skeptical when you claimed it was the “best conference,” but after last year, I couldn’t praise the SIC enough to my colleagues. (I think they actually got tired of me talking about it.) As a principle, I try NOT to attend the same events but rather experience new and different forums. However, I couldn’t resist returning for the SIC and have once again talked the ears off my fellow traders on the desk.
Even Jack Bogle himself, founder of Vanguard and one of the earliest proponents of buy-and-hold index investing, sidestepped much of the Dotcom bubble in his personal portfolio and has spoken about this before. He noticed, correctly, that the S&P was utterly, ridiculously, overvalued, while bonds were reasonably-priced. So, he actively reduced his equity exposure substantially, especially because at his advanced age he wanted to avoid a major stock market crash.

JOIN PETER at the New Orleans Investment Conference https://neworleansconference.com/conference-schedule/ 831 Point Rout in the Dow Jones Industrial Average If you listened to Friday's podcast, I mentioned that I thought I would probably be doing a lot of podcasts this week. I did one yesterday, and I am doing another one today because my feeling about the stock market was confirmed today with an 831 point rout in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, down 3.15%. This is the biggest decline that the Dow has had since that 1000+ point drop that we had in February. I think it is maybe the third biggest down day ever, point-wise. Percentage-wise it's not even close. NASDAQ Down Over 4% The DJIA actually did a lot better than a lot of the other averages. The Dow Jones transports were down just over 4%; 445 points. the NASDAQ was down over 4% as well - 315 points. Weakness across the board in the stock market today. And it's not just the homebuilders and the autos. I've been talking about those sectors as leading indicators and, yes, many of those stocks made new 52-week lows today as well. But they were not the worst performers on the day. Financials Helped Lead the Declines The financials were helping to lead the decline. Again we have Morgan Stanley at a new 52-week low, down 3.3%. Goldman Sachs down 3.6%, a new 52-week low. But really, the biggest losers on the day were the tech stocks. These have been the stand-outs. This is what has been holding up the market - the FAANG stocks, all of these technology infotech stocks - and a lot of people were actually describing them irrationally as a "safe havens". I couldn't believe it when people were saying that tech stocks were the new "safe havens". When you hear stuff like that, you know you're close to the end. FAANG Stocks Selling in After-Hours Trading If you look at what some of these darlings did today, and I'm looking at the after-hours prices, too, because they're selling. More selling is going on now, after the bell. But look at NVIDIA, down over 9%, Amazon down 7.3%, Netflix down 10% on the day. AMD down 11% - Twitter down almost 9%, Apple down 5.5%, Intel 4.5%, Cisco, 4.7%, Facebook down almost 5%. this is basically one day plus an hour of aftermarket trading.
“Excess liquidity usually leads to the misallocation of capital, masking any balance sheet constrains. As this tide of excess liquidity recedes, it reveals the misallocation of capital and the mispricing of risk,” Nedbank CIB strategists Neels Heyneke and Mehul Daya write in a note. And this is particularly the case for excess dollar-liquidity in the Emerging Markets (EMs).
Felix Zulauf was a member of the Barron’s Roundtable for about 30 years, until relinquishing his seat at our annual investment gathering in 2017. While his predictions were more right than wrong, it was the breadth of his knowledge and the depth of his analysis of global markets that won him devoted fans among his Roundtable peers, the crew at Barron’s, and beyond. Simply put, Felix, president of Zulauf Asset Management in Baar, Switzerland, always knew—and still knows—better than most how to connect the dots among central bankers’ actions, fiscal policies, currency gyrations, geopolitics, and the price of assets, hard and soft. Read More

Quite simply, I think stock investors looked at the surfacing of real problems in their favorite FAANG stocks and, so, failed this time to find any fun in the frivolous fiction of government factoids. GDP reportage has been fake for years, and it is no less fake under Trump than under any other president. Fake is where you find it. You can find it as much on Fox as on CNN.  Read More


By now, hopefully, Americans have put two and two together and figured out that it isn’t the Chinese government that will pay for Trump’s tariffs, but the Chinese consumer. Much like the American government will not pay for China’s tariffs, it will be the American consumer. Those costs are passed on directly to the public in the form of higher cost of goods. Read More
So when the sky really starts to fall, smart places for serious money could be a simple money market (cash equivalent).  You won't make much, but at least you won't lose anything either!  Think of it like a lightning storm over a football field where your investments are the players on the field.  Sometimes it's best to put your team in the locker room so no one gets hit by lightning!

Very timely, thanks. And trust Monevator to have warned of this ages ago. I too have a friend who buys these but as day trades (naughty, I know). But when we met up in the pub the other night after work he seemed very pleased with himself and his returns, though he sticks to bank stocks (I know..) Having said that, bank stocks for the next 6-12 months seem quite the trend amongst bankers now, at least in the States..

The NASDAQ 100 is surging today following the Democrats retaking the House. The reason for the rally? Just days ago, President Trump threatened to file anti-trust cases against the big tech companies and claim they were monopolies. Investors believe that the Democrats will neutralize that threat in the near-term. As tech surges higher, investors should be ready to pull the trigger on the short side when price hits $178.00. This is a major technical resistance and all technical chart…


Unlike the last credit crisis when the dollar rose sharply in a general panic for safety, on the next crisis, the dollar is likely to fall substantially. The reason is that foreign ownership of dollar investments (typically in US Treasuries) appears greatly overextended, and an additional $4 trillion of liquidity is in the wrong (non-US) hands. This is likely to be unloaded during a general credit crisis, driving the dollar lower. Read More
Interest rate rises remain a key reason for a bear market, though there is a greater danger when they are unexpected. In its analysis on U.S. bear markets since 1929, looking at 10 major bear markets since 1929, JP Morgan Asset Management offered three other potential causes for a bear market: recession, commodity spike and extreme valuations. Of these, recession and commodity prices are more influential than extreme valuations.
It was a "binary" stock market for 5 years, and as the monster rally went on, it became even more so as more and more equity sub-sectors and asset classes faded away, with "the market" powered by fewer and fewer large-cap growth stocks. Investors either won big investing in large-cap Tech and growth, or you went nowhere with value funds, emerging markets, and small and mid-cap investing styles.
good article, Doc. It kind of reminds me of a point Mish made a while back about exponential functions and the dangers of apparently small imbalances over time. Basically, if wages are increase slightly slower than inflation (which is bound to happen when the CPI is as cooked as it has been for several decades), the effects will become massive over time. For instance, if real inflation was 4.5% while median wages increase, let’s say, 3.5% per year in the same time, most people will say it’s not a big deal. Just a penny on a dollar. But if this is consistently the case for 25 years running, that $25,000/year job would now be pulling in about $59,000 but the $75,000 house purchase back then would now be demanding about $225,000. The d-to-i ration to maintain the same household on the same job, then, moved from 2.4 to over 3.0. Another 5 years down the road and it’ll up to 3.2. But if those 5 years are between 2008 and 2013, the chances of maintaining any momentum in wages is slim. Adjusted for inflation, everyone I know working the private sector is actually losing ground versus inflation, even with the rare down year factored in. I won’t pronounce it dead just yet, but the American dream certainly is taking a pounding.
I’ve been asked to comment on the most recent market decline. My initial reaction was, markets go up and they go down. America is a great country but the US Constitution doesn’t guarantee always-rising markets. I sat down and I wanted to write a reassuring message. I wanted to express my empathy. Somehow, I found that my reservoir of empathy was empty: After recent decline the market is still up twenty-something percent from the beginning of 2017.
The millions of people that have lost their home and will lose their home are probably in households with children in many cases.  Some may be in college and looking to buy in ten years.  The notion that housing is always a great investment runs counter to what they saw in their lives.  Will they even want to buy as many baby boomers put their larger homes on the market to downsize?  Will they clear out the shadow inventory glut?  Now I’m not sure how things are in Japan but many of our young households here are now coming out with massive amounts of student loan debt.
As Benjamin Westerman, CPA/PFS, CFP® in St. Louis, MO explains, many investors look to bond holdings and cash during a market downturn. “Bonds are your 'sleep at night' money that is protected during a bear market, while you wait for your investment portfolio to recover. In addition, if you have any money on the sidelines or are still in the accumulation/savings phase of your life, this is a great opportunity to invest in equities while stocks are on sale.”
This system, defined as the Liberal International Order, is the framework of rules, alliances, and institutions that is credited with the relative peace and prosperity the world has enjoyed since 1945. So, if the order has lost support, will the world plunge into beggar-thy-neighbor protectionism? Worse, without the threat of military intervention by the US and its allies, will regional powers start to challenge one another?
ANSWER: The entire world has NEVER been on the gold standard simultaneously. Asia was on a silver standard while the West was on a gold standard. Above is the first coin struck in Hong Kong in 1866 which was the Hong Kong Dollar. The West struck Trade Dollars during the 19th century to pay for goods from Asia and they were silver – never gold. Here is an example of both the British and American trade dollars used in payments particularly with China. The Spanish 8 reals Americans called Pillar Dollars and slicing this up into pieces like a pie gave rise to the term for a Piece of Eight – 2 bits, 4 bits, 8 bits a dollar.  Read More

The first chart comes from my friend, John Hussman, and shows his margin-adjusted version of the cyclically-adjusted price-to-earnings ratio. This improved version of the CAPE ratio (improved because it has a greater negative correlation with future 12-year returns) shows equity valuations have now surpassed both the dotcom mania peak in 2000 and the 1929 mania peak. Read More
Maybe you suspect a bear market will start because the bull market has run on too long. Question One—is there a “right” time a bull market needs to last? No! There is no “right” length for a bull market. As bull markets run longer than average in duration, there is normally a steady stream of folks who say a bull market must end because it’s too old. (Read more on this phenomenon in Markets Never Forget.) That isn’t right. They all end for their own reasons and will end eventually—but age isn’t among them. People started saying the 1990s bull market was too old in 1994, only about six years too soon. “Irrational exuberance” was first uttered in 1996—again, way too early. Bull markets can die at any age.

Beginning in 2010, central banks around the world turned from being net sellers of gold to net buyers of gold. Last year official sector activity rose 36 percent to 366 tonnes – a substantial increase from 2016. The top 10 central banks with the largest gold reserves have remained mostly unchanged for the last few years. The United States holds the number one spot with over 8,000 tonnes of gold in its vaults – nearly as much as the next three countries combined.

The drastically slowing economy is threatening both corporate earnings growth and the bull market. If GDP grows at an anemic 2% average annual rate through 2019 and a 1.8% rate longer term, as forecasted by the Federal Reserve (per the Wall Street Journal), stock prices are likely to lose steam and tumble. Five famed investors see a bear market around the corner, and recently gave their views on how the downturn will begin and how low it might go, as reported by Money.com, a division of Time Inc. The five include Tom Forester, Jim Rogers, Marc Faber, Bill Gross and Rob Arnott.

Jim:      Well, Jay Powell has one commanding credential. And that credential is the absence of a PhD in economics on his resume. I say this because we have been under the thumb of the Doctors of Economics who have been conducting a policy of academic improv. They have set rates according to models which have been all too fallible. They lack of historical knowledge and, indeed, they lack the humility that comes from having been in markets and having been knocked around by Mr. Market (who you know is a very tough hombre).
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