In 1952, the songwriters Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins had a successful song named "Smokey the Bear" which was performed by Eddy Arnold.[10] The pair said "the" was added to Smokey's name to keep the song's rhythm.[11] During the 1950s, that variant of the name became widespread both in popular speech and in print, including at least one standard encyclopedia, though Smokey Bear's name never officially changed.[12] A 1955 book in the Little Golden Books series was called Smokey the Bear and he calls himself by this name in the book. It depicted him as an orphaned cub rescued in the aftermath of a forest fire, which loosely follows Smokey Bear's true story. From the beginning, his name was intentionally spelled differently from the adjective "smoky".
The problem, though, is that for every downward move that actually turns into a bear market, there are dozens of times that the market reverses course and climbs higher. Selling after the initial stage of a brief panic and waiting to buy back your stocks after it runs its course will usually force you to pay more, eating into your long-term returns.
Economic cracks big enough to drive a car industry into are opening up all over the globe. Trade gaps are opening up between major allies. Widening spreads between the dollar and other currencies are shredding emerging markets. As we start into summer, these cracks and several others described below have become big enough to get everyone’s attention, just as I said last year would become the situation.
The second important institutional change is the growth in the mutual fund industry since the mid-1980s, which resulted from the changes in the retirement plans as well as from the individual small investor’s demand for an inexpensive means of acquiring a diversified investment in the capital markets. Households’ investment in stock and bond mutual funds (not including those held indirectly through pension funds) grew from about 1% of total financial assets in 1984 to 9% in 2002. To be sure, with the increased prominence of pension funds and stock and bond mutual funds, direct holdings of stocks and bonds as a share of financial assets has declined from about 37% in 1960 to 22% in 2002. Nevertheless, the potential cost advantage and portfolio diversification available through financial intermediaries facilitates household investment in stocks and bonds. Therefore, the availability of pension and mutual funds should tend to work in consort with the underlying economic fundamentals affecting households’ demand for stocks going forward.

To the surprise of many investors, the precious metals have rallied while the broader markets continue to sell-off.  Currently, both gold and silver are solidly in the green while the major indexes were all the red following a huge sell-off yesterday.  The Dow Jones Index has lost nearly 1,000 points in the past two days while the gold price is up nearly $25.
6) Dangerous Monetary Policy. Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner, ladies and gentlemen. The current trajectory of monetary policy depicts either a complete lack of understanding at the FOMC of the current environment, or the overt intent to purposefully slow economic growth. I am honestly perplexed by the inability to learn, reason and adapt at this level.
In this article I point to the pressures on the Fed to moderate monetary policy, but that will only affect the timing of the next cyclical credit crisis. That is going to happen anyway, triggered by the Fed or even a foreign central bank. In the very short term, a tendency to moderate monetary policy might allow the gold price to recover from its recent battering.
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.
Meeker provided an eloquent defense of short sales. He argued that the bears stabilize prices by providing liquidity and creating demand – by covering their shorts – in a falling market. Shorting was not illegitimate, in his view. “A short sale,” wrote Meeker, “represents a debt contracted in goods rather than money.” In this it was similar to many other business contracts.

Every public pension fund in the country is catastrophically underfunded, especially if strict mark-to-market of the illiquid assets were applied. Illinois has been playing funding games for a few years to keep its pension fund solvent.  In Kentucky, where the public pension fund is on the verge of collapse, teachers are demanding a State bailout. Read More
That definition does not appear in any media outlet before the 1990s, and there has been no indication of who established it. It may be rooted in the experience of October 19, 1987, when the stock market dropped by just over 20% in a single day. Attempts to tie the term to the “Black Monday” story may have resulted in the 20% definition, which journalists and editors probably simply copied from one another.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook. 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, ...…
The fundamental drivers for Gold and the US Dollar are similar and that is why they typically trend together. Negative and/or falling real rates drive Gold and the same drives the greenback though with respect to differentials between the other competing currencies. When real rates are rising or strong in the US that is bearish for Gold and bullish for the US Dollar. The opposite is also true. And with the US Dollar being the global reserve currency, it naturally competes with Gold, which is an alternative. All being said, history as well as recent action suggests that weakness in the stock market is more crucial to Gold’s future than weakness in the US Dollar.  Read More

In 2010, McKinsey looked at 24 advanced economies that became extremely over-indebted. [The findings] show that an indebtedness problem cannot be solved by taking on additional debt. McKinsey says that a multi-year sustained rise in the savings rate, what they term austerity, is needed to solve the problem. As we all know, in modern democracies, that option doesn’t seem to exist.
Wild rumors spread of bear raids, of fabulous profits made by short-sellers, and of political conspiracies hatched by foreigners interested in bringing down the market, the dollar and the U.S. economy. In early 1932, the Philadelphia Public Ledger maintained that “European capitalists had supplied much of the cash needed to engineer the greatest bear raid in history. These proverbially open-handed and trusting gentleman had accepted the leadership of New York’s adroit Democratic financier, Bernard Baruch.” Baruch, the best known short-seller in the country, shrugged off the charge.
So listening to Prager and he’s interviewing Kimberly Strassel. It’s amazing the pretzels people twist themselves into to avoid believing the most obvious motive behind all this. She actually still thinks it’s possible that the FBI and the DOJ legitimately thought Cater Page was a foreign agent and that the FBI justified using the fake dossier to save America. I mean c’mon where do they get these people, comic books? This was a complete waste of time and why Prager had her on is beyond me. She’s also is reserving judgement on motive.
There’s a paradox at the heart of global finance. The U.S. share of the world economy has drifted lower for decades, and now President Trump is retreating from the American chief executive’s traditional role as Leader of the Free World. Yet the U.S. dollar remains, as the saying goes, almighty. “American exceptionalism has never been this stark,” Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging markets and chief global strategist for Morgan Stanley Investment Management, said at a Council on Foreign Relations symposium on Sept. 24. Read More
Thank you for visiting the homepage of this five-part series on the individuals and ideas shaping my worldview. I have gained a lot of knowledge from these truly great minds, and the purpose of this series is to share what I have learned with you, my readers. I’m confident that the writings that follow will help you better understand the trends shaping the future of financial markets, and our economy.
This reliance on US strength hasn’t been a problem for the past seven decades, but times are changing. Since the financial crisis, the US has been less willing to bear the costs needed to be the guarantor of the international order. Niall highlights the inaction over Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, and the “little more than cosmetic” strikes against Syria as signs that the US is starting to take a more ambivalent approach to global conflicts.

After a little bit of a lull, the international currency crisis is back with a vengeance.  Currencies are collapsing in Argentina, Brazil, India, Turkey and other emerging markets, and central banks are springing into action.  It is being hoped that the financial chaos can be confined to emerging markets so that it will not spread to the United States and Europe.  But of course the global financial system is more interconnected today than ever before, and a massive wave of debt defaults in emerging markets would inevitably have extremely serious consequences all over the planet. Read More

“Back in the heyday of the old Soviet Union, a phrase evolved to describe gullible western intellectuals who came to visit Russia and failed to notice the human and other costs of building a communist utopia. The phrase was “useful idiots” and it applied to a good many people who should have known better. I now propose a new, analogous term more appropriate for the age in which we live: useful hypocrites. That’s you and me, folks, and it’s how the masters of the digital universe see us. And they have pretty good reasons for seeing us that way. They hear us whingeing about privacy, security, surveillance, etc., but notice that despite our complaints and suspicions, we appear to do nothing about it. In other words, we say one thing and do another, which is as good a working definition of hypocrisy as one could hope for.”—John Naughton, The Guardian Read More
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.

The methods and procedures by which municipal debt is issued are governed by an extensive system of laws and regulations, which vary by state. Most bonds bear interest at either a fixed or variable rate of interest, which can be subject to a cap known as the maximum legal limit; some bonds may be issued solely at an original issue discount, or 0% coupon. If a bond measure is proposed in a local election, a Tax Rate Statement may be provided to voters, detailing best estimates of the tax rate required to levy and fund the bond. In cases where no election is held, depending on applicable local law, voters may be entitled to petition the approval to referendum (i.e., a public vote) within a specified period of time; bonds are typically not issued prior to the expiration of any such referendum period.

As longtime readers know, my work aims to 1) explain why the status quo -- the socio-economic-political system we inhabit -- is unsustainable, divisive, and doomed to collapse under its own weight and 2) sketch out an alternative Mode of Production/way of living that is sustainable, consumes far less resources while providing for the needs of the human populace -- not just for our material daily bread but for positive social roles, purpose, hope, meaning and opportunity, needs that are by and large ignored or marginalized in the current system. Read More
That concludes the fifth and final installment in this series. I hope you have enjoyed reading my insights into these “big ideas” as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Although it’s over, I do have something special to send you in the coming days. It’s a personal video message that I just finished recording. Think of it as a stepping stone to taking these “big ideas” to the next level. I’ll tell you more about it in my series recap email, tomorrow.
The Kindle version has a lot of errors. I have the hardback of this book and it is a lot cleaner then the Kindle Version. First it's listed as a John Clark Book. It's not. Look at the Hardback. Second, there are more spelling errors/ formatting errors then seems possible. I think Clancy is turning over in his grave over this. For instance several chapters, sentences and words start out with an extra letter or the the wrong letter as this real example here. "Fit was a wark night . . ." Instead of "It was a dark night." It doesnt detract from the amazing story, it just makes it a little annoying as you read along, especially as you reach the end and realize just how many errors there are. I have a first edition hardback that doesn't have that many errors. Not sure what happened. But you should enjoy it as long as you don't mind the errors. Enjoy!
Still, bear market rallies may seem as if they are a rising bull market, but until the market shows gains of 20% from the bear market low, it can't be considered a bull market. And, while bear markets occur during the contraction phase of the business cycle, bull markets typically happen when the business cycle is expanding (shown by several indicators, like lower inflation and increased employment, among others). 
Take your time! I was in your shoes 6 months ago. I thought I should take advantage of the low interest rates at the time, but since learned lower home price is better than low interest rates. (interest rates and home price are basically inversely proportional) At best, home prices will stay the same through this year. Read this blog, see a ton of homes, learn about housing, loans, the home buying process, curbing your emotions, etc…
Years ago when analysts used the term “globalist, there was an immediate recognition among liberty advocates as to who they were referring to. This was back when the movement for small government, the non-aggression principle and true free markets was small but growing. These days, it’s difficult to gauge how many liberty groups there are or even if they know what small government and the non-aggression principle represent, let alone what makes a “globalist” a globalist.
Pension funds need an annual average of 6,6% income growth to pay for their promises. Over the last decade, they are getting less than 0,5%. Millions of retirees need to cover for this shortfall in their pension funds, and sell their financial assets, littl by little. It will become structural and widespread, as demographics will further strengthen in this direction (more retirees needing additional funds, and less working people saving for retirement).

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.
When the financial media continuously repeat an opinion as fact, it spawns a mainstream narrative, which produces a powerful effect on investor psychology. One mainstream narrative, repeated with certainty, is low interest rates cause high stock market valuations, which is supported by the public statements of investment luminaries such as Warren Buffett.
Boneparth said that, based on his recent moves, the most likely explanation for the surge into bond funds is rebalancing. "We've been watching 5 to 10 percent of portfolios that have created built- in risk over the past few years and now are moving out of equities and back into fixed income," he said. "You're probably seeing a lot of that take place at the retail level."

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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

Our family would like to thank you for Heath’s recent financial aid award letter. However, we are very concerned with the results. Our expected family contribution dropped from $20,365 in 2016-17 to $6,987 for the 2017-18 school year, yet the award package left us with an additional need of over $8,500. The reduction in this year’s EFC is due to a reduction in assets, plus the fact that we will be sending two students to college during the 2017-2018 year. In spite of these changes, however, the amount of the current award is essentially the same as the award for 2016-17.

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Take your time! I was in your shoes 6 months ago. I thought I should take advantage of the low interest rates at the time, but since learned lower home price is better than low interest rates. (interest rates and home price are basically inversely proportional) At best, home prices will stay the same through this year. Read this blog, see a ton of homes, learn about housing, loans, the home buying process, curbing your emotions, etc…
Bill Pawelec taught me the meaning and importance of predictive programming. As a result, I am going to reveal a partially redacted, but very relevant email from a member of my audience about the extreme relevance of predictive programming. And then I am going to allow the predictive words of my late friend, CIA contract agent and former Air Force Intel operative, Bill Pawelec, who revealed what is coming and I fear we will not have to wait very long this to happen.
Americans are now so polarized that they “no longer share basic sympathies and trust, because they no longer regard each other as worthy of equal consideration.” Codevilla blames the progressives and their attitude of moral superiority, but his explanation is independent of who is to blame. I blame both sides. The Constitution and our civil liberties took a major hit from the “conservative” Republican regime of George W. Bush.  Read More
The past two years have seen a rather aggressive change in corporate policies toward the very customers they used to covet. Not long ago, CEOs tended to keep their political views mostly in the closet. Companies remained publicly neutral because their goal was first and foremost to make money. When they wanted to influence politics or social norms, they bought politicians — you know, the good old-fashioned way. The big banks still do this by funneling cash to both Republicans and Democrats alike
Unfortunately today’s markets have evolved to the point where the latest political decree can significantly impact what happens. And along those lines, there’s been ample speculation that the powers that be may be planning a financial reset. With many feeling that gold and silver will be reset higher, while perhaps much of the global debt is somehow cancelled out (keep in mind U.S. president Donald Trump does have extensive experience with the bankruptcy code). Read More
I don’t wish to get too deep into the weeds here, but to explain this, you have to look to the money multiplier. The money multiplier is the amount of money that banks generate with each dollar of reserves. Due to the over-indebtedness of the economy—or more precisely, the lack of “savings”—the multiplier has plunged from 12.1 in 1985, to 3.6 today.
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

"The most remarkable flows are into bonds," said David Santschi, CEO of Trimtabs, which provided CNBC with the preliminary fund flow data, which also show strong flows into U.S. equity and international equity portfolios this month. "Bond funds are down in the past four months," he said. "The biggest mispricings in the world today are in bonds, not stocks."
Figure 2 depicts how households reallocated their assets during the current bear market (2000:Q3 to 2002:Q4). Household equity holdings (adjusted for inflation) fell by over 43%. As in the 1970s, households responded in part by shifting their wealth from financial assets to tangible real assets, with the value of housing in their portfolios rising 15%. Within their financial assets holdings, they also once again sought the safety and liquidity of monetary assets, which rose in value by 14%, with only a modest increase in bond holdings.
The golden Colossus of Trump looms over the national scene this summer like one of Jeff Koons’s giant, shiny, balloon-puppy sculptures — a monumental expression of semiotic vacancy. At the apogee of Trumpdom, everything’s coming up covfefe. The stock market is 5000 points ahead since 1/20/17. Little Rocket Man is America’s bitch. We’re showing those gibbering Asian hordes and European café layabouts a thing or two about fair trade. Electric cars are almost here to save the day. And soon, American youth will be time-warping around the solar system in the new US Space Corps! Read More

Throughout the ages, whenever an empire has begun its inevitable collapse, no country has ever woken up and reversed the process. In every case, the government rides the decline to the bottom. And, along the way, a series of policies is invariably undertaken to save those in government in the downward rush. These policies are always at the expense of the populace. Read More

Market data provided by: Interactive Data Corporation. Commodity and historical index data provided by: Pinnacle Data Corporation. Unless otherwise indicated, all data is delayed by 15 minutes. The information provided by, Inc. is not investment advice. Trading and investing in financial markets involves risk. You are responsible for your own investment decisions.

So…do your homework before making a move in the stock market. Many of the companies (like HAS, STZ, JNJ, AAPL, DIS…and many others) are perfectly priced. But, if you’re looking for growth (and have the stomach for some volatility)… NVDA, PAYC, AMZN, NFLX, SHOP are worth the gamble (although I’m personally waiting for some of those stocks to find a RSI bottom, from panic sellers or simply a pullback, before buying more). btw: After years of retail being oversold…M and KSS may be ready for a comeback (another two stocks on my current watch-list that I would have avoided five years ago.) This market can be a wonderful buying opportunity if you do your homework regarding a company’s fundamentals and wait for the RSI to reach oversold territory. (I usually watch for the start of the bounce back to be certain).
ANSWER: You are correct, that concerns over U.S.-Russian relations, coming talks on the Korean Peninsula, action in Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attacks and uneasiness over trade conflicts would normally be the battle cry to buy gold.  Traditionally, this would form a cocktail of geopolitical uncertainty that would lead to screams buy gold! The uncertainty has not led to support for gold. They are proving to be a narrative that no longer seems to be factors for the bulls. Read More

Erik:     I want to come back to something you said earlier where you described if Treasury yields were to double that would obviously double the government’s cost of debt service. And the cost of debt service was about the same as it is now, ten years ago. But it was half as much debt. So with twice as much debt, if we go back to ten-years-ago Treasury yields, we would double the cost.