America’s long-term “balance sheet numbers” just continue to get progressively worse.  Unfortunately, since the stock market has been soaring and the GDP numbers look okay, most Americans assume that the U.S. economy is doing just fine.  But the stock market was soaring and the GDP numbers looked okay just prior to the great financial crisis of 2008 as well, and we saw how that turned out.  The truth is that GDP is not the best measure for the health of the economy.  Judging the U.S. economy by GDP is basically like measuring the financial health of an individual by how much money he or she spends, and I will attempt to illustrate that in this article. Read More
Japan urban land prices are back to levels last seen in the 1980s.  You have to ask if there are parallels to our current condition.  The first point we all have to agree on is that both economies had extraordinarily large real estate bubbles.  For the United States the answer to this assumption is a big yes.  We can run off a check list of how our real estate markets run similarities:
“Historically, the average bear market has lasted only 71 days,” he says. “As a result, most investors miss a major part of a market rebound when they shift into defensive sectors. They are slow to shift out of these defensive sectors and typically will lag overall market returns. We seek to consolidate into selected high-quality growth companies during market corrections.”
A secular bear market lasts anywhere between five and 25 years. The average length is around 17 years. During that time, typical bull and bear market cycles can occur. But asset prices will return to the original level. There is often a lot of debate as to whether we are in a secular bull or bear market. For example, some investors believe we are currently in a bear market that began in 2000.
Although the goal of reducing human-caused wildfires has never changed, the tagline of the Smokey Bear campaign was adjusted in the 2000s, from "Only you can prevent forest fires" to "Only you can prevent wildfires". The main reason was to accurately expand the category beyond just forests to include all wildlands, including grasslands. Another reason was to respond to the criticism, and to distinguish 'bad' intentional or accidental wildfires from the needs of sustainable forests via natural 'good' fire ecology.[72]
In 2012, NASA, the U.S. Forest Service, the Texas Forest Service, and Smokey Bear teamed up to celebrate Smokey's 68th birthday at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The popular mascot toured the center and recorded a promotional announcement for NASA Television. NASA astronaut Joe Acaba and the Expedition 31 crew chose a plush Smokey doll to be the team's launch mascot, celebrating their trip to the International Space Station. During his tour about 250 miles above Earth, Smokey turned 68 years old.[60]

First, ours is an old and over-extended bull market, one that has been pumped up by truly massive Fed infusions of capital into big banks so that they could become solvent again and even buy stocks so that there will be “trickle-down” to the overall economy and the wealthy. Now the Fed wants to withdraw from its position as “sugar-daddy”. The Fed’s new resolve is clearly bearish for the market. How can it not be?

*** Reviewing yet another of the government’s attempts to revive the economy, Christopher Byron writes (in MSNBC): “…the stimulus being proposed – roughly $100 billion at last tally – is utterly trivial when measured against the collapsed stock values in the tech sector. [It] doesn’t even offset the $450 billion in lost value in a single company – Cisco Systems, Inc.”
This is just the beginning of a long trip that will take us to South America (where we get to see a financial crisis underway in Argentina)… Germany (where we hope to find out more about how Germans are preparing to tighten up at the European Central Bank)… and Bermuda, where we are scheduled to give a speech to a group of readers at the Legacy Investment Summit. Read More
DHB has done several an article on Culver City and the surrounding areas. Don’t doubt that the RE spring summer season will want the affluent-esque Culver RE participant to push this area up during this time. If you can wait, do so. Don’t get mixed up in with the buying season this year. I would think we’ll see some interesting price drops in the still bubble areas this fall/winter. Of course I’m a guy stashing away money in a rent free place just watching, reading, learning and waiting.
Our US Regime Model, a quantitative framework for stock-picking, suggests we are in the mid to late stages of the market cycle and in this stage, momentum is the best way to invest. As contrarian value investors, this is not an easy call to make. But if this bull market is closer to over, our analysis of factor returns indicates that late-stage bull markets have been dominated by stocks with strong price momentum and growth, while value, analyst neglect, and dividend yield have been the worst-performing factors.
By a very wide margin, this is the most optimistic that Americans have been about the future since I started The Economic Collapse Blog in late 2009.  Even though the middle class is shrinking, 102 million working age Americans do not have a job, and we are now 21 trillion dollars in debt, most people are feeling really good about things right now.  Especially among Republicans, there is an overwhelming consensus that the United States is starting to head in the right direction and that better times are ahead.  As a result, so many of the exact same people that were “prepping” while Barack Obama was in the White House are now partying now that Donald Trump is president. Read More
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/PeterSchiff/reviews/Look Carefully at the Price IndexThe GDP number came out yesterday; 3/5% did slightly beat the consensus of 3.3%, but remember, for a while the Atlanta Fed was looking for a print in the 4's. But the New York Fed was at 2.2%, so the print was much higher than ...…
The Pecora hearings, as they became known (after their lead counsel, Ferdinand Pecora), revealed the seamier side of Wall Street during the bull market: the involvement of leading firms and bankers in the manipulation of share prices, the dumping of unseasoned securities on an innocent public, the fleecing of the firms’ own clients, the preferential distribution of shares to favored friends, and so on.
Despite persistent faith in the U.S. dollar and assurances that rate hikes will continue into 2019, gold has plenty of room to take back its losses and make new gains, reports an article on Newsmax. Barron’s contributor Andrew Bary notes that gold’s lower prices come at a time when global inflation is bound to go up as governments look to deal with mounting sovereign debt. Read More
Erik:     Now this massive, massive accumulation of debt in the United States – people like you and I can say this is crazy, the rate that it’s happening at – but, holy cow, look at China. I mean, they’re in a whole different category of rate of accumulation of national debt. It seems to me like they’re trying to almost race the United States to who can get more over-indebted faster.
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I think the above answers the question, the real economy is gone. Everything, including services can be done abroad or in-shored into cheaper markets (see N Carolina, Texas, etc). Thus, this mile high RE market, Boston to DC or San Fran to LA/SD, is simply not sustainable w/o a lot of foreign investors catching the knife in these post-bubble years.
A related mainstream truth is rising rates will cause high stock market valuations to fall. In fact, recently, both Bill Gross and Jeffrey Gundlach have commented on the level of 10-year Treasury rates and why they are destined to go higher. Gundlach even went further, suggesting that if 10-year rates were to rise above 2.63% (currently 2.55%), stock prices would begin to fall. Read More

SmokeyBear.com’s current site has a section on “Benefits of Fire” that includes this information: “Fire managers can reintroduce fire into fire-dependent ecosystems with prescribed fire. Under specific, controlled conditions, the beneficial effects of natural fire can be recreated, fuel buildup can be reduced, and we can prevent the catastrophic losses of uncontrolled, unwanted wildfire.” Prescribed or controlled fire is an important resource management tool. It is a way to efficiently and safely provide for fire’s natural role in the ecosystem. However, the goal of Smokey Bear will always be to reduce the number of human-caused wildfires and reduce the loss of resources, homes and lives.[74]
I deplore the tax cut that has passed Congress. It is not an economic policy tax cut, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with supply-side economics. The entire purpose is to raise equity prices by providing equity owners with more capital gains and dividends. In other words, it is legislation that makes equity owners richer, thus further polarizing society into a vast arena of poverty and near-poverty and the One Percent, or more precisely a fraction of the One Percent wallowing in billions of dollars. Unless our rulers can continue to control the explanations, the tax cut edges us closer to revolution resulting from complete distrust of government. Read More
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..
Let's spin the time machine back to the late Middle Ages, at the height of feudalism, and imagine we're trying to get a boatload of goods to the nearest city to sell. As we drift down the river, we're constantly being stopped and charged a fee for transiting one small fiefdom after another. When we finally reach the city, there's an entry fee for bringing our goods to market. Read More
The timing of any credit crisis is set by the rate at which the credit cycle progresses. People don’t think in terms of the credit cycle, wrongly believing it is a business cycle. The distinction is important, because a business cycle by its name suggests it emanates from business. In other words, the cycle of growth and recessions is due to instability in the private sector and this is generally believed by state planners and central bankers.

*** The markets…presumably reacting to a calculated recall of the 30-year T-bill…leapt. The Dow gained 188 to close at 9263. The Nasdaq climbed 56 points to 1424. (By the way, the Daily Reckoning scorekeepers, Eric Fry and Bill Bonner, have both jetted off for Vegas where the Agora Wealth Symposium is in full swing. Here in Paris, we’re carrying on as usual, though our breaks down at Le Paradis seemed to have grown in length a bit…)
Traffic in Knoxville, Tennessee, can be a bear anytime, but in late spring the slowdowns on Neyland Drive are often caused by Canada geese. — Joelle Anthony, Audubon, November-December 2004 True, the rally has been around the corner since Memorial Day. But bears have dominated market sentiment for so long since the Federal Reserve Board raised interest rates last February, that traders feel the market is headed for a major tectonic shift … — Anthony Ramirez, New York Times, 19 July 1994 Hikers in the woods are far more likely to wear a bell to deter bears than to take precautions against bees. But bears kill two to seven people in North America annually, bee stings kill 600 to 900. — Allan J. Davison, Chemical & Engineering News, 15 Mar. 1993 a mother bear and her cubs The bears outnumbered the bulls on Wall Street today.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/PeterSchiff/reviews/The Catalyst is Rising Interest RatesOctober is just one week old and the carnage on Wall Street has already begun. I wonder if the October complacency is beginning to be shaken with the down move that we see. Now, the Dow Jones is not down very much; in fact, ...…

One of the major indicators that a bear market may be on the way is the yield curve. While the yield curve is currently flattening out, and not inverting, by sitting at around 0.2%, it is right on the edge. When the yield curve is flat, that means that the 2-year spread and the 10-year spread for bonds (in the case of the U.S. Treasury yield curve) are around the same -- basically, that the long-term interest rates aren't much better than the short-term interest rates (which they ideally should be). Given that interest should be higher for lending the government money over a long time (giving up the opportunity to do other things with your money like invest in stocks), an inverted yield curve is a sign of danger and a possible bear market. 


Robert Mueller is supposed to be investigating Russiagate, which has been shown to be a hoax concocted by former CIA director John Brennan, former FBI director James Comey, and current deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. As Russiagate is a hoax, Mueller has not been able to produce a shred of evidence of the alleged Trump/Putin plot to hack Hillary’s emails and influence the last presidential election. Read More


In 2017 we absolutely shattered the all-time record for retail store closings in a single year, and this year it looks like we are going to shatter the record once again.  In fact, there are some that are projecting that up to 9,000 retail stores could close by the time that we get to the end of this calendar year.  Already, the amount of retail space that has shut down is simply jaw-dropping.  If you total up all of the retail store closings that have been announced so far in 2018, it accounts for 77 million square feet of retail space.  Let that number sink in for a bit.  Many shopping centers and strip malls around the country already have a post-apocalyptic feel to them, and more “space available” signs are going up with each passing day. Read More
The causes and characteristics of bear markets vary, but most financial theorists agree that economic cycles and investor sentiment both play a role in the creation and momentum of bear markets. In general, a weak or weakening economy -- indicated by low employment, low disposable income, and declining business profits -- ushers in a bear market. The existence of several new trading lows for well-known companies might also indicate that a bear market is occurring. It is important to note that government involvement affects bear markets. Changes in the federal funds rate or in various tax rates can encourage economic expansion or contraction, ultimately leading to bull or bear markets.

Once upon a time, there was a little-known energy company called Enron. In its 16-year life, it went from being dubbed America’s most innovative company by Fortune Magazine to being the poster child of American corporate deceit. Using a classic recipe for book-cooking, Enron ended up in bankruptcy with jail time for those involved. Its shareholders lost $74 billionin the four years leading up to its bankruptcy in 2001.
Total sales in November rose 0.9% from a year ago to 1,393,010 new vehicles, according to Autodata, which tracks these sales as they’re reported by the automakers. Sales of cars dropped 8.2%. Sales of trucks – which include SUVs, crossovers, pickups, and vans – rose 6.6%. Strong replacement demand from the hurricane-affected areas in Texas papered over weaknesses elsewhere. As always, there were winners and losers. Read More

The Federal Reserve meeting last week, where the central bank raised interest rates for the fifth time in the last 15 months and signalled two more are on the way by the end of the year, should have breathed new life into the bears. Instead, bonds rallied, in part, as chairman Jerome Powell downplayed the risks of faster inflation and stocks tumbled. But, a close look at the Fed's rate forecast reveals that the difference between its call for a total of three increases this year and four amounted to one estimate on the central bank's "dot plot".
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