Now the similarities are closely aligned in terms of banking policy.  Our Federal Reserve followed a more aggressive path than Japan in bailing out our large banks.  Yet all this did was make the too big to fail even bigger and exacerbated underlying issues in our economy.  Four full years into the crisis and we are still dealing with a massive amount of shadow inventory.  Remember the initial days when the talk was about working through the backlog of properties in a clean and efficient manner?  Whatever happened to that?  Banks operate through balance sheet accounting and it has made more sense to pretend the shadow inventory has somehow maintained peak prices while chasing other financial bubbles in other sectors.  Not a hard way to make money when you can borrow from the Fed for virtually zero percent.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B - Free Report)	, through its subsidiaries, engages in insurance, freight rail transportation, and utility businesses. The company has a Zacks Rank #2. In the last 60 days, three earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings increased 12.5% in the same period. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year is 76.4% and 68.9%, respectively. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The mirage that we are still in a strong bull market, and not on the brink of a bear one, has more to do with this year’s fast-rising earnings than a sharply falling stock market, which is typically what leads investors to run for safety. The classic definition of a bear market is when a stock market average such as the Dow or the S&P 500 has dropped 20 percent from its highs. But that’s probably not the best one. The more important factor to consider when gauging whether investors are feeling upbeat about stocks, and, by extension, the economy, is what they are willing to pay for the earnings that those companies generate.
usage: Since the latter part of the 18th century, a distinction has been made between born and borne as past participles of the verb bear. borne is the past participle in all senses that do not refer to physical birth: The wheat fields have borne abundantly. Judges have always borne a burden of responsibility. borne is also the participle when the sense is “to bring forth (young)” and the focus is on the mother rather than on the child. In such cases, borne is preceded by a form of have or followed by by: She had borne a son the previous year. Two children borne by her earlier were already grown. When the focus is on the offspring or on something brought forth as if by birth, born is the standard spelling, and it occurs in passive constructions and in adjective phrases: My friend was born in Ohio. No children have been born at the South Pole. Abraham Lincoln, born in Kentucky, grew up in Illinois.
While $1 billion may not sound like much when compared with the Peoples’ Bank of China total holdings of US Government debt of more than $1 trillion or to the US Federal debt today of over $20 trillion, it’s significance lies beyond the nominal amount. It’s a test run by both governments of the potential for state financing of infrastructure and other projects independent of dollar risk from such events as US Treasury financial sanctions. Read More
I think of velocity as a machine which money has to go through to produce economic activity. If the machine is on a low setting, it doesn’t matter how much money you put in—you won’t get growth. The falling velocity of money, which is at its lowest point since 1949, is another reason why growth has remained subdued in the post-financial crisis world.

Just like the gold rushes of California between 1848 and 1855, Canada’s Klonike of 1896 to 1899, and Western Australia’s of the 1890s, the world is experiencing a frenzy to obtain mining rights in pursuit of today’s “gold,” namely rare earth minerals. Used for components of electric vehicle batteries, mobile telephones, flat-screen televisions, flash drives, cameras, precision-guided missiles, industrial magnets, wind turbines, solar panels, and other high-tech items, rare earth minerals have become the type of sought-after commodity that uranium and plutonium were during the onset of the atomic age.  Read More
A common refrain was a preference for non-US assets, particularly in equities given the run-up in American stocks and the earlier stage of economic recovery in Europe. The Fed could exit from its days of stimulus too fast, choking off the economic recovery and crimping profit growth. A few worried about the possibility for an inverted US yield curve when short-term rates rise above long-term levels, which sometimes are seen as a precursor to a recession.
A month ago, I noted that prevailing valuation extremes implied negative total returns for the S&P 500 on 10-12 year horizon, and losses on the order of two-thirds of the market’s value over the completion of the current market cycle. With our measures of market internals constructive, on balance, we had maintained a rather neutral near-term outlook for months, despite the most extreme “overvalued, overbought, overbullish” syndromes in U.S. history. Read More
Brokers are the intermediate step between the underwriter and the actual bond holders, the cement-and-pavement financial professionals who answer orders for bond purchases. In most cases, underwriters will communicate and sell their maturities through multiple brokers. The broker seeks to distribute their bonds from the underwriter at a small percentage profit. Given the current legacy systems of the bond market, the distribution and sale of bonds is an exceptionally manual process requiring tremendous labor overhead and paperwork. As such, most municipal bond brokers only sell to high net worth individuals and organizations seeking to buy large quantities of bonds. Many of the people with direct ties to the impacted communities are therefore unable to contribute to their local governments, given little to no access to the profitable bond market.

Investing in stock drives the production of better goods and services, but currency isn’t a commodity which will depreciate due to the nature of its own decay. It’s not a service which could lose its public appeal in a few years. Intellectual property is a closer metaphor, but a dollar will still never hold intrinsic value, ironically, unless it is one day viewed as an antique. Read More

Eventually, probably when a recession comes along and crushes corporate earnings, it will become clear that earnings and the high valuations attached to them are unsustainable. When that happens, the same unsophisticated investors blindly plowing their money into the market will panic and rush to the exits similarly to what happened in 2001 and 2008/2009. Therefore, we can expect a minimum 50% drop in the S&P 500 and long term returns—I’m talking about 20 to 30 years—below 4% per year given that the S&P 500 earnings yield is 3.83%.’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]
Inflation is directly responsible for the price increase of everything. That doesn’t mean that all commodities or financial instruments go up in unison, they don’t. But soybeans or silver are not inherently more valuable today than they were a hundred years ago. What has changed is the value of the dollar, not the commodity. Markets search constantly for the correct price. That is why prices go up and prices go down. The market never quite knows what is the right price for anything so it searches until buyers and sellers are satisfied with price and make a transaction. Read More
Economists’ forecasts today, with very few exceptions, are a waste of time and downright misleading. In 2016, we saw this spectacularly illustrated with Brexit, when the IMF, OECD, the Bank of England and the UK Treasury all forecast a slump in the British economy in the event the referendum voted to leave the EU. While there are reasonable suspicions there was an element of disinformation in the forecasts, the fact they were so wrong is the important point. Yet, we still persist in paying economists to fail us. Read More
In his book, “1984”, George Orwell envisioned a future crushed by the iron grip of a collectivist oligarchy. The narrative told of the INGSOC Party which maintained power through a system of surveillance and brutality designed to monitor and control every aspect of society.  From the time of the book’s release in 1949, any ensuing vision of a dark dystopia depicting variations of jackboots stomping on human faces, forever, has been referenced as being “Orwellian”.  This is because Orwell’s narrative illustrated various disturbing and unjust conceptualizations of control, crime, and punishment. Read More

I often say that every great thinker has one “big idea.” George’s information theory of economics certainly qualifies as one of those. You’ve likely heard me mention how important exposing yourself to these big, powerful ideas is. Well, that’s exactly what I aim to do with my Strategic Investment Conference. I have invited George to speak at the SIC 2018 in San Diego, this coming March.
It’s been 30-weeks since the last 6-month low (December). The intermediate cycle has averaged about 23-weeks, so we are well overdue for a bottom. Interestingly, while gold crashed nearly 10% in 2-months, gold miners remained relatively stable. Currently, they linger just 6% below their April highs; their resilience should not be ignored. It speaks of a hidden energy that once loose, should deliver brilliant gains. Read More

In 2008, gold was taken from $1020 to $700 and silver was pounded from $21 to  $7 during the period of time that Bear Stearns, Lehman and the U.S. financial system was collapsing.  The precious metals were behaving inversely to what would have been expected as the global financial system melted down.   Massive Central Bank intervention was at play.
The public pension fund system is approaching apocalypse.  Earlier this week teachers who are part of the Colorado public pension system (PERA) staged a walk-out protest over proposed changes to the plan, including raising the percentage contribution to the fund by current payees and raising the retirement age.   PERA backed off but ignoring the obvious problem will not make it go away.
Of course, all of those ships have sailed. We live in a reality where past fiduciary mistakes are “corrected” by amplifying those same mistakes, as if the solution to having our heads buried in the sand is that we just haven’t buried them deeply enough; that maybe the tsunami created by generations of criminal, federal, financial mismanagement and unsustainable promises will disappear if we can just duck around this next corner and close our eyes long enough. Read More
At the time of publication, Michael Brush had no positions in any stocks mentioned in this column. Brush has suggested AMZN and GOOGL in his stock newsletter Brush Up on Stocks. Brush is a Manhattan-based financial writer who has covered business for the New York Times and The Economist Group, and he attended Columbia Business School in the Knight-Bagehot program.
"Less central bank liquidity support as we near the end of an economic cycle should bring higher volatility as risk assets and markets lose some of their ability to absorb shocks. Our call is not for a simultaneous and large repricing across risk assets, but for a bear market that rolls through different assets and sectors at different times with the weakest links (Bitcoin, EM debt and equities, BTPs, funding spreads, base metals, and early cycle industries like home builders and airlines) being hit first/hardest."
Dr. D: The money, the unaccountable, uninhibited release of tokens can do more than just buy centuries of hard labor in seconds, it‘s also a method of control. Banks, our present issuers of money, can approve or destroy businesses by denying loans. They can do this to individuals, like denying loans to unpopular figures, or to whole sectors, like gun shops. They can also offer money for free to Amazon, Facebook, and Tesla, which have no profitable business model or any hope of getting one, and deny loans to power plants, railroads, farms, and bridges as they fall into the Mississippi. 
POST YOUR REVIEW OF THIS PODCAST ON iTunesVoting Responsibly for FreedomI am "pro" young people because I want them to grow up in a free country. I want them to have every opportunity to be as prosperous as possible. Democracy is actually an enemy of freedom. Young people have a better chance to achieve their goals if the 18-19-20 year old gene ...…
Just like a secular bull market, a secular bear market is one that lasts between five and 25 years. And while the average length of a secular bear market is about 17 years, there may be smaller bull or bear markets within it. Still, the average bear market is much shorter -- usually under a year -- and so definitions of what constitutes a secular bear market vary. 
Economic effects of the September 11 attacks (2001) Stock market downturn of 2002 Chinese stock bubble of 2007 United States bear market of 2007–09 Financial crisis of 2007–08 Dubai debt standstill European debt crisis 2010 Flash Crash 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami (Aftermath) August 2011 stock markets fall 2011 Bangladesh share market scam 2015–16 Chinese stock market turbulence 2015–16 stock market crash 2016 United Kingdom EU referendum (Aftermath) 2018 Cryptocurrency crash
Listen to him say….”THESE ARE THE FACTS.” This video is very entertaining and very informative. It shows you how much of a shyster these real estate agents can be. He says “there’s a whole bunch of us (realtors) out there who know real estate – it’s what we do for a living. We’re licensed and WE HAVE TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, BY LAW. Boy, what a shyster.
As I mentioned above, when there is a strong consensus on a topic, it almost always pays to seek out an independent view. While automation will render some jobs obsolete in the coming decades, I believe it will also create a lot of opportunities. Karen and Macro Trends’s groundbreaking research into the declining cost of distance has convinced me of that.
The indicator I use to get a broader, real-time measure of inflation is the New York Fed’s Underlying Inflation Gauge (UIG). This gauge captures sustained movements in inflation from information contained in a broad set of price, real activity, and financial data. In December, the UIG hit its highest level since August 2006, as the below chart shows.
Early in 2018, we detailed Bridgewater's massive short bet against Europe, peaking at a record total short against the EU's biggest companies of around $22 billion. At the time we noted that, since Bridgewater is not known for picking individual stocks, the manager’s position was the result of a view on the wider economy according to James Helliwell, chief investment strategist of the Lex van Dam Trading Academy.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook. 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 fundamental principal of information theory is that all information is surprise; only surprise qualifies as information. Sound familiar? George recognized the tie between entrepreneurial surprise and information theory: “Claude Shannon defined information as surprise, and Albert Hirshman defined entrepreneurship as surprise. Here we have a crucial tie between the economy and information theory. For the first time, it became possible to create an economics that could capture the surprising creativity of entrepreneurs.
Blind faith in the U.S. dollar is perhaps one of the most crippling disabilities economists have in gauging our economic future. Historically speaking, fiat currencies are essentially animals with very short lives, and world reserve currencies are even more prone to an early death. But, for some reason, the notion that the dollar is vulnerable at all to the same fate is deemed ridiculous by the mainstream.
For context, consider the last three bear markets. The most recent one, which lasted for 517 days from October 2007 to March 2009, saw a whopping 57% plunge in the S&P 500. During the 929-day bear market from March 2000 to October 2002, the benchmark lost 49%. And during the relatively brief, 101-day period from August to December 1987, the index tumbled 34%.
It’s not a coincidence that populism emerged as a political force in both the 1920s–1930s, and again today. In each case, people at the bottom could tell the economy wasn’t working in their favor. The best tool they had to do something about it was the vote, so they elected FDR then, and Trump now. Two very different presidents, but both responsive to the most intensely angered voters of their eras.
There’s no dispute that at least some, if not a great deal, of information in the anti-Trump “Steele dossier” was unverified or false. Former FBI director James Comey testified as much himself before a Senate committee in June 2017. Comey repeatedly referred to “salacious” and “unverified” material in the dossier, which turned out to be paid political opposition research against Donald Trump funded first by Republicans, then by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
In today's low interest rate environment, equity is being retired by many companies through stock buybacks. Many mergers are still being done with debt...since it is less expensive than issuing stock. Also, I would argue that the value of a well run company with good finances and a rising dividend stream is far greater, per se, than it has been historically.
Publisher’s Note: If you’re not averaging double-digit percentage gains on your investments, it’s worth your time to check out Nicholas Vardy’s portfolio strategy. You can learn about his two most recent recommendations — both up over 50% in just the last few months — along with his favorite “wealth-compounding machine” — here in his updated research report. Click here to keep reading.
So many top professionals in the financial industry are sounding the alarm about a coming stock market crash right now.  And there certainly have been rumblings in 2018 – not too long ago we had a three day stretch that was called “the tech bloodbath”, and during that time Facebook had the worst day for a single company in stock market history.  But we haven’t seen the really big “crash” yet.  Many have been waiting for it to happen for several years, and some people out there are convinced that it is never going to come at all. Read More
In his book, “1984”, George Orwell envisioned a future crushed by the iron grip of a collectivist oligarchy. The narrative told of the INGSOC Party which maintained power through a system of surveillance and brutality designed to monitor and control every aspect of society.  From the time of the book’s release in 1949, any ensuing vision of a dark dystopia depicting variations of jackboots stomping on human faces, forever, has been referenced as being “Orwellian”.  This is because Orwell’s narrative illustrated various disturbing and unjust conceptualizations of control, crime, and punishment. Read More
In essence, if you are going to war, make sure the costs of war is borne by the enemy, not your own people. Instead of saying, “trade wars are good and easy to win”, Mr. Trump would be wise to follow the ancient general’s advice. Winning a trade war is not so easy, history shows that tariffs which are like taxes will hurt his own people in many ways. Read More
[A] new economics—the information theory of capitalism—is already at work. Concealed behind an elaborate apparatus, the theory drives the most powerful machines and networks of the era. Information theory treats human creations as transmissions through a channel—whether a wire or the world—in the face of noise, and gauges the outcomes by their surprise. Now it is ready to transform economics as it has already transformed the world.
In the biggest move, the gauntlet has been cast by the Chinese as they challenge the U.S. petrodollar, with the formal announcement of a March 26th start for gold-backed-yuan oil futures trading.  Asian secret society sources say the Year of the Dog, which is just starting, usually brings volatility (in this case presumably in the financial markets) before things settle down into a new normal as the year progresses. Read More
Michael J. Panzner, author and 25-year Wall-Street veteran, says that "the real reasons behind the sell-off ... include the bursting of history's biggest housing bubble, which triggered a shockwave of wealth destruction that has wreaked widespread havoc throughout the economy, as well as the unraveling of a multi-trillion-dollar financial house of cards built on greed, ignorance, and fraud."[15]
Monetary policy also continues to support economic growth because the real federal funds rate (after inflation) is zero, points out Darrell Riley, a strategist at T. Rowe Price. “The economy has a lot of momentum going into next year and monetary policy is still stimulative,” he says. “The economic cycle may go longer than we think. And a lot longer than we think.”
I have had a request from Mrs Macleod to write down in simple terms what on earth is going on in the world, and why is it that I think gold is so important in this context. She-who-must-be-obeyed does not fully share my interest in the subject. An explanation of the big picture is also likely to be useful to many of my readers and their spouses, who do not share an enduring interest in geopolitics either. 
While that’s not the highest level of P/E ratio ever compared to the late 1990s, the median price-to- sales ratio is at the highest level ever at 2.5 times. That’s about three standard deviations above the norm. You don’t have to be a math whiz to know that three standard deviations are way outside of normal bounds. Bad things happen when the rubber band is stretched that far.

I’m not sure if the Liberal International Order will end in war, but the current state of affairs can’t last much longer. Globalization has jumped the shark, and as a result, we are seeing a powerful backlash from those who have been hurt by it. There is no way to predict how this situation will unfold. But I know that I want to be the first to hear about any developments, because they have serious implications for financial markets and the societies we live in.

Per the latest COT report (note: this references the August 21st COT Report), the hedge fund (Managed Money) net short position in Comex paper gold was 90,000 contracts – by far a record short position for the hedge fund trader category. Conversely, the bank net long position (Swap Dealers) in Comex paper gold was close to an all-time high. It’s not quite as high it was in December 2015.
The Washington Post ran a semi-humorous obituary for Smokey, labeled "Bear", calling him a transplanted New Mexico native who had resided for many years in Washington, D.C., with many years of government service. It also mentioned his family, including his wife, Goldie Bear, and "adopted son" Little Smokey. The obituary noted that Smokey and Goldie were not blood-relatives, despite the fact that they shared the same "last name" of "Bear".[36] The Wall Street Journal included an obituary for Smokey Bear on the front page of the paper, on November 11, 1976,[31] and so many newspapers included articles and obituaries that the National Zoo archives include four complete scrapbooks devoted to them (Series 12, boxes 66-67).[37]
A bear market rally is a trend that tends to trick investors into thinking the bull market is on the rise again -- but is, in fact, an upward trend where the stock market posts gains for a couple days or weeks but drops again. There may be several bear market rallies within a regular bear market, but an upward trend can't be considered a bull market until market prices rise 20% or more. 
They have been calling for that time-frame since 2008. I really wish there were some accountability with economists, politicians, etc that make these kinds of predictions. It seems to me that they are all trying to, intentionally or just incompetently, by grabbing straws out of thin air, boost the economy by touting nonsensical optimistic predictions to get people to spend and buy houses.
Yes, first-quarter gross domestic product projections have fallen after weak readings on retail sales and other key data, but the Fed is confident that any slowdown will be temporary, stating simply that "the economic outlook has strengthened recently". With that, the Fed is acknowledging the strength of the prior three quarters, as well as the likely benefits from the recently enacted tax reform and massive deficit spending.