The current sell-off comes as a shock to investors who have grown accustomed to the eerie market calm and steady gains during much of the administration of President Trump. But this volatility is something you should get used to because it’s more typical of the advanced stages of a bull market, says Robert Bacarella, founder and chairman of Monetta Financial Services, who helps manage the Monetta Fund MONTX, -0.52%  and the Monetta Core Growth Fund MYIFX, -0.67%
Three of the four worst bear markets coincided with lengthy recessions. The bear markets of 1929, 1973 and 2007 were accompanied by long recession periods. The perfect example is 1929 bear market, when the three-year-long depression drove the market down by 86%. The exception is 2000 bear market, which was mainly caused by the dot-com bubble burst despite a mild recession in 2001.

Sometimes the condition occurs completely by chance when you’re born, like my case. — Sarah Valenzuela, SELF, "My Congenital Disorder Confuses a Lot of Trainers, So I Have to Be My Own Fitness Expert," 9 Nov. 2018 So Ruby used massive amounts of data from Ancestry.com to investigate the role of genes in the lifespans of more than 400,000 people born in the 1800s and early 20th century. — Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Genetics play less of a role in lifespan than we thought," 8 Nov. 2018 Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, born in Detroit to Palestinian parents, and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, who arrived in the United States from Somalia at 14, won their House races, becoming the first Muslim women elected to Congress. — Mary Jordan, The Seattle Times, "Record number of women appear headed for Congress," 6 Nov. 2018 But companies born in democracies sometimes display their values, as when social networks cite the First Amendment in drafting their policies around content moderation. — Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Google walkout offers a playbook for successful corporate protests," 2 Nov. 2018 If someone were born in northern Greece or Anatolia, the strontium signal would be different from that of Iron Gates natives. — Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 The new royal baby, whose name has yet to be made public, is the seventh grandchild for Princess Caroline (the third born in 2018), and the great-grandson of Grace Kelly. — Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Princess Grace's Granddaughter Charlotte Casiraghi Gives Birth to a Baby Boy," 24 Oct. 2018 When you're born into the royal family, things are naturally...different. — Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Will Meghan Markle And Prince Harry’s Baby Be Born At Home? Plus, Other Bizarre Royal Birthing Rules," 15 Oct. 2018 Here are some quick facts to know about the key term: 1) Heteronormativity starts SUPER young A lot of people are victims of heteronormativity before they're even born because of the strange cultural phenomenon of gender reveal parties. — Megan Lasher, Seventeen, "Everything You Need To Know About 'Heteronormativity'," 4 Oct. 2018
"A downtick in bonds is not same as a downtick in equities," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial. He said even in previous rate increase environments, when bond income is received and reinvested, that can keep returns in positive territory and help investors get through fixed-income volatility. "Maybe it is the end of a 30-year bull run in bonds, but I still think if rates rise gradually, most diversified fixed income portfolios should fair OK."

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
The corollary is that investors should bet on what they think will happen over the medium to long term, stripping out their inclination to guess what other investors will do this week or this month. If you think electric cars are going to take over the world, for example, it might well be smart to snag some Tesla while it's on sale, if you can afford to wait for the bounce back.
After a period of excellent returns since 2008, Gilts will no longer be a profitable investment and those investors that ventured into Gilts as a way of increasing income from cash could get a nasty surprise when they realise how sensitive Gilt prices are to changes in yield.  With the 10 year yield at just 1.3% compared to an inflation rate of 3.1%, those investors are already suffering a loss in real terms.  But if we get an adjustment back to a positive real yield, the capital loss will be extremely damaging to prices.  For long dated securities, losses could be in excess of 20% for a movement in yield of just 1% and that would be just the start of the adjustment.  That recovery period could stretch into years.
Municipal bonds are securities that are issued for the purpose of financing the infrastructure needs of the issuing municipality. The financed infrastructure needs vary greatly but can include schools, streets and highways, bridges, hospitals, public housing, sewer, water systems, power utilities, and various public projects. Traditionally, municipal bonds are issued and sold to bond holders through a complex network of financial and legal professionals.
But this time it didn't work. The market had been retreating for days and then tumbled 724 Dow points yesterday allegedly on the Donald's $50 billion tariff assault on the China trade. Not surprisingly, the overnight follow-through in Asia was downright bloody with Shanghai down 3.4%,the Nikkei lower by 4.5% and China's NASDAQ equivalent off by more than 5%. Read More
The best advice I can give is to determine your proper asset allocation, which is one that properly balances your tolerance for risk with your long-term objectives. Stick with it through the good times and bad, and be sure to rebalance periodically if your portfolio drifts significantly from your target asset allocation. If you tend to react to bear markets (after the fact, by definition) by selling stocks, then you should consider hiring a financial advisor whose coaching can help you avoid these actions—they are detrimental to your long-term financial well-being.
Financial and precious metals expert Egon von Greyerz (EvG) vaults gold for clients at two secret locations on two continents. EvG is sounding the alarm about record breaking global risk and warns, “With this risk, people have to take insurance. This business is not a business, it is a passion, and I have a passion to help the few people that see the risks. . . . I think your best wealth preservation will be gold.”
There has never been a more fiscally clueless team at the top than the Donald and his dimwitted Treasury secretary, Simple Steve Mnuchin. After reading the latter's recent claim that financing Uncle Sam's impending trillion dollar deficits will be a breeze, we now understand how he sat on the Board of Sears for 10-years and never noticed that the company was going bankrupt.
Conventional economics holds that it is incentives—carrots and sticks—which drive individual economic actors to do what they do, and thus leads to economic growth. Although incentives are important, they are not the main driver of growth. The Neanderthal in his cave had the same incentive to eat and access to the same raw materials as we do today. Yet, our economy is vastly more advanced, why?
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]
Dr. D: You have to understand what exchanges are and are not. An exchange is a central point where owners post collateral and thereby join and trade on the exchange. The exchange backs the trades with their solvency and reputation, but it’s not a barter system, and it’s not free: the exchange has to make money too. Look at the Comex, which reaches back to the early history of commodities exchange which was founded to match buyers of say, wheat, like General Mills, with producers, the farmers. But why not just have the farmer drive to the local silo and sell there? Two reasons: one, unlike manufacturing, harvests are lumpy. To have everyone buy or sell at one time of the year would cripple the demand for money in that season. This may be why market crashes happen historically at harvest when the demand for money (i.e. Deflation) was highest. Secondly, however, suppose the weather turned bad: all farmers would be ruined simultaneously. Read More
JOIN PETER at the New Orleans Investment Conferencehttps://neworleansconference.com/conference-schedule/Illusion will be Replaced with Harsh RealityThis is dangerous stuff. This is the same thing thing that was being said when George Bush was President. Just because you're a Republican you don't have to claim that anything that was done by anot ...…
This chart does a simple comparison of Osaka condo and Tokyo condo prices which does not reflect the entirety of the Japanese housing market.  Yet the path seems very similar.  Large areas with a real estate frenzy that hit high peaks and have struggled ever since.  In fact, if we look at nationwide prices we realize that Japan has seen a 20 year bear market in real estate:
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 central bank and investment banks have the power to crash the market right before the midterm elections to influence voting. I have seen this pattern repeated with both Ronald Reagan and George Bush, and we could be seeing it repeating once again for Donald Trump. The Fed and its dealer banks battle against Republican administrations, especially when they hold both houses of Congress, too.
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Enjoy the good times while you can because when the economy BLOWS UP this next time, there is no plan B.  Sure, we could see massive monetary printing by Central Banks to continue the madness a bit longer after the market crashes, but this won’t be a long-term solution.  Rather, the U.S. and global economies will contract to a level we have never experienced before.  We are most certainly in unchartered territory.
BTW, in this, the VA with its 0 downpayment loans has 1 (yep 1) REO, FHA with its 3 1/2% down had 1 (yep 1 REO), Freddie has 4 REOs and Fannie has 14. The other 50 or 60 REOs are the product of Wall St and securitization. Here it is NOT the government-backed 0 -3 1/2% down loans that are defaulting. Not is it the loans by the community banks – they have only 2 or 3 between the 3 -4 community banks here. What is defaulting are the loans written by the Big Banksters and sahdy otufits like OptionOne, Countrywide etc – most of which those lenders kept and a smaller number they peddled to Fannie/Freddie who are making them take them back.
Now that may work in a gently trending market. It has not worked at certain times and junctures in which both stocks and bonds decline together. So my sense is that there’s a lot of money in risk parity and that a forceful rise in interest rates, a steep decline in bond prices, is going to force liquidation of some part of the risk parity portfolios.
But I want to add some good news for the market. Fortunately, there are big technical differences between now and 1929. The market does not show the extremes signs of internal weakness that it showed back then, or in 1937, 1973, 2000 or 2008 when other tops were made. So talk of a huge Crash I would not take seriously. Still, a 20% decline seems much more likely than not. Will it stop there if the computers that dominate the market start doing what they did in October 1987? I would not count on it. I would not want to bet that Wall Street has learned the lessons from that year. It has been too profitable for Wall Street to forget all those lessons.
Myriad changes to the financial structure have seemingly safeguarded the financial system from another 2008-style crisis. The big Wall Street financial institutions are these days better capitalized than a decade ago. There are "living wills," along with various regulatory constraints that have limited the most egregious lending and leveraging mistakes that brought down Bear Stearns, Lehman and others. There are central bank swap lines and such, the type of financial structures that breed optimism. Read More
Good short-term returns, moreover, increase egos, and complacency comes into play. One of the biggest reasons is that the information is all there transparently, so there is no such thing as a free lunch. Remember, all the information about companies is publicly available and there are people whose job it is to look at this information and weight the pros and cons of all that information.
With an unemployment rate recently as low as 4.3% and an expansion more than 8 years long, we are clearly very close to the end of this cycle. What we know from history is that stock market valuations become more and more inflated, relative to earnings, over the course of every business cycle. Recessions begin typically a year after the unemployment rate bottoms, but bear markets start in much closer proximity to the cycle's peak. I dont think this time will be different.
I suspect it began with the top in Bitcon and the other 1300-1400 related pseudo currencies back in December. I did an interview in the first week of December where I said Bitcon was in a bubble. I believed it would do the same thing every other bubble in history did. It was going to crash and take all the money of most of the investors. The piece was posted on the 10 th of December. When I did the interview, Bitcon had been going virtually straight up for months and was about $16,858, a new high. Read More
A few weeks ago the DJI became over-bought, but not by as much as we normally expect to see at tops, while at the same time showing very bearish volume and Accumulation Index divergences. Immediately afterwards, we started seeing day-after-day weakness at the close following earlier intra-day strength. This first cluster of technical conditions set up the decline. Now the sell-off has been confirmed by (1) the Hourly OBV Line on the DJI making new lows ahead of the DJI itself , (2) by the increase in down-day volume above the previous day’s volume and (3) the steady 10 day streak of red “candle-sticks” on the daily SPY (SP-500) chart.

“This may seem old-fashioned, but there are skills to be learned when kids aren’t told what to do,” said Dr. Michael Yogman, a Harvard Medical School pediatrician who led the drafting of the call to arms. Whether it’s rough-and-tumble physical play, outdoor play or social or pretend play, kids derive important lessons from the chance to make things up as they go, he said. Read More
Relaxed is how an asset management office should be because if you know what you are doing, you can be pretty sure that you will do well in a certain time horizon. However, the reason behind the relaxed atmosphere at Vanguard isn’t because they know what they’re doing, it’s because they do absolutely nothing. Let me elaborate, out of the $4 trillion of assets under management, about $3 trillion is invested in passive index-based strategies. Investing in passive index-based strategies means investing in a little bit of everything and letting the market decide how much you’ll buy of what as the indexes are weighted by market capitalization. So Vanguard invests around $2 billion a day of new investors’ money mostly into companies like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and smaller amounts into smaller companies.

Pater Familias is Latin for “father of the family or eldest male in a family or owner of the family estate”.  This past week having just turned 60 I am reminded of my role as head of my little family.  My own father, partner and friend died a little over 6 years ago but somehow turning 60 has reminded me of the responsibility I have for my family as well as my extended family.  As my regular readers know I just returned from Tartas France a couple of months ago where I traced my family back 9 generations.  For some reason the older I get the more important family history becomes.  A lot of responsibility goes with the being the pater familias. Read More
Rate and Review This Podcast on iTunesDow Swings More Than 900 PointsWell we didn't have a Black Monday today, but we did have a pretty big selloff, especially if you measure the decline from the early morning pop to the late afternoon drop. I think it was better than a 900 point selloff. Earlier this morning the Dow Jones was up about 350 poin ...…
What if real estate prices remain the same for another decade?  As I look at economic trends in our nation including the jobs we are adding, it is becoming more apparent that we may be entering a time when low wage jobs dominate and home prices remain sluggish for a decade moving forward.  Why would this occur?  No one has a crystal ball but looking at the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program, growth of lower paying jobs, baby boomers retiring, and the massive amount of excess housing inventory we start to see why Japan’s post-bubble real estate market is very likely to occur in the United States.  It is probably useful to mention that the Case-Shiller 20 City Index has already hit the rewind button to 2003 and many metro areas have already surpassed the lost decade mark in prices.  This is the aftermath of a bubble.  Prices cannot go back to previous peaks because those summits never reflected an economic reality that was sustainable.  A chart comparing both Japan and U.S. housing markets would be useful here.
Debt, my man, debt. In the rush to FIRE economy how could anything be better than DEBT? Particularly if you get the debtors to re-contract for that debt, and more, every so many months, resetting the terms of their interest payback to the beginning of the curve each time? As Ron said, this was all Monopoly money…that people agreed to pretend was real. The problem with speculation is that once you have more than a few people dancing atop the Milk the Suckers ponzi pyramid, it ceases to be a pyramid shape….
But what about your question?  What if the weight of the evidence leans toward the market rolling over into a full-fledged bear market (-20% or more drop in value)?  After all, it happens every 7-10 years and the average market crash is right around -42%.  Who wants to participate in watching their hard-earned retirement portfolio lose almost half its value?!
Categories: Fictional characters introduced in 1944Public service announcement charactersAmerican mascotsCartoon mascotsFictional bearsFictional gamekeepers and park rangersFictional firefightersFire preventionPublic service announcements of the United StatesUnited States Forest ServiceWildfire ecologyBear mascots1976 animal deathsNational Zoological Park (United States)
The Peerless Stock Market Timing system of automatic trading that I use has given what I call a “near Sell S9”. The “Peerless Sell S9” I invented has a pretty amazing track record. Here are recent examples. But there were many more in earlier years. October 1987 July 1990 July 1998 January 2000 February 2001 May 2002 July 2007 December 2007 March 2008 May 2008
The bear markets of the last 50 years have had many different causes. Sometimes it's an external shock, often caused by politics—the 1973-74 correction set off by the rise of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is an example, as is a 1990 bear market set off by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. So, too, was the 1982 bear instigated by the Federal Reserve, which raised interest rates to punishing levels in a successful bid to crush inflation.
Now that the raging robo-traders have tagged a double top at 2897 on the S&P 500 it isworth remembering that the booming stock market is the greatest Fake Bull in history. It is entirely a function of massive central bank liquidity injections into the financial system that have transformed Wall Street and other global trading venues into virtual gambling casinos.

It is difficult to find the words to describe just how serious America’s trade war with China is becoming.  As you will see below, the two largest economies on the entire planet are on a self-destructive course that almost seems irreversible at this point.  The only way that this trade war is going to come to a rapid conclusion is if one side is willing to totally submit and accept an extremely bitter and humiliating defeat on the global stage, and that is not likely to happen.  Read More


To be sure, with human nature being what it is, thinking about a bear market is the last thing most of us are inclined to do right now. With the S&P 500 SPX, +1.55%  just 1.5% below its all-time high, and some other indexes having already eclipsed their previous all-time highs from earlier this year, we’re more inclined to be celebrating than planning for the worst.
There are two crucial factors why silver will increase more in value than gold during the next financial meltdown.  These factors are not well known by many precious metals analysts because they focus on antiquated information and knowledge.  While several individuals in the precious metals community forecast a much higher Gold-Silver ratio during the next financial crash, I see quite the opposite taking place.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/PeterSchiff/reviews/Strong Dollar Policy?There used to be a lot of talk about the so-called Strong Dollar Policy. We had the Strong Dollar Policy when Bill Clinton was President, George Bush; I guess when Barack Obama was President, as well. I've talked about it, I've written abo ...…
For Smokey’s 40th anniversary in 1984, he was honored with a U.S. postage stamp that pictured a cub hanging onto a burned tree. It was illustrated by Rudy Wendelin.[50] The commercial for his 50th anniversary portrayed woodland animals about to have a surprise birthday party for Smokey, with a cake with candles. When Smokey comes blindfolded, he smells smoke, not realizing it is birthday candles for his birthday. He uses his shovel to destroy the cake. When he takes off his blindfold, he sees that it was a birthday cake for him and apologizes.[51] That same year, a poster of the bear with a cake full of extinguished candles was issued. It reads, 'Make Smokey's Birthday Wish Come True.'[52]
Municipal bonds have much higher interest rates compared to their FDIC-insured counterparts: CDs, savings accounts, money market accounts, and others. Over the last five years, the average interest rate return on municipal bonds has hovered around 4.5%,[16] while CDs of similar lengths have been at 1.5%.[17] Among other factors, this is a result of the longer, fixed return periods. Unlike stocks and other non-dated investments, municipal bonds have fixed rates and are far less liquid. As a general rule, municipal bonds with longer time to maturity have higher coupon rates.
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..
Experienced market participants know that when all fear (or conversely, optimism) has been extinguished it is time to take a hard look at the contrarian view. In this report we will study the long term technical view of markets and set aside any assumptions about the future.  Technical analysis is both a science and an art, and applying appropriate measures of each, let's tune into the message of the markets with an open mind.
I wonder if one approach for your nervous friend would be to allocate say 10% of his portfolio to such a short, but to ask his broker/platform to trigger the purchase when the FTSE has dropped to a certain price (almost like a spreadbet). At the time of writing the FTSE100 is 5827, so the trigger could be a price of 5700 or whatever number scares your friend. I think one problem is working out the relationship between the FTSE’s value and the short ETF’s price.
Ten-year Treasury yields jumped 13 bps this week to 2.48%, the high going back to March. German bund yields rose 12 bps to 0.42%. U.S. equities have been reveling in tax reform exuberance. Bonds not so much. With unemployment at an almost 17-year low 4.1%, bond investors have so far retained incredible faith in global central bankers and the disinflation thesis.
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT - Free Report) manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives for construction, resource, and energy and transportation industries. The company has a Zacks Rank #2. In the last 60 days, 11 earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings rose 8.4% in the same period. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year is 44.6% and 69.3%, respectively.
Now think about it. The best borrowers are the ones who are solvent and haven’t defaulted regardless of their submergence and can’t get a short sale approved because they are financially solvent – they were just unfortunate enough to get caught up in the false market created by the banksters. They are the victims of a false market contrived by the banksters by mislabeling sub-junk loans as AAA and sticking them in low risk investment funds around the world. Why would you want to reward them for their fraud by being their slave?
Peoples’ enthusiasm is understandable: From 1965 to 2017, Buffett’s Berkshire share achieved an annual average return of 20.9 percent (after tax), while the S&P 500 returned only 9.9 percent (before taxes). Had you invested in Berkshire in 1965, today you would be pleased to see a total return of 2,404,784 percent: an investment of USD 1,000 turned into more than USD 24 million (USD 24,048,480, to be exact). Read More
It seems unfair that the earnest polymath Elon Musk should go broke in the electric car business while Kylie Jenner becomes a billionaire at age 20 hawking lip gloss on Snapchat, but that’s how the American Dream rolls these late days of empire. Perhaps the lesson here, for all you MBA wannabes, is that Mr. Musk could switch his production facilities from cars to lip gloss. Of course, to successfully market his new line of cosmetics on social media, Elon might have to consider sexual “reassignment” surgery — unless he could persuade American men via Facebook and Twitter, that lip enhancement boosts male self-esteem almost as much as the purchase of a Ford F-450 pickup truck at a laughable fraction of the cost. Read More
In 2014, the campaign celebrated Smokey’s 70th birthday, with new birthday-themed television, radio, print, outdoor, and digital PSAs that continued the 2013 campaign “Smokey Bear Hug.” The campaign depicted Smokey rewarding his followers with a hug, in acknowledgement of using the proper actions to prevent wildfires. In return, outdoor–loving individuals across the nation were shown reciprocating with a birthday bear hug in honor of his 70 years of service. Audiences were encouraged to join in by posting their own #SmokeyBearHug online. The campaign also did a partnership with Disney’s Planes that same year.[61]

It may seem counterintuitive, but there's plenty of support for the argument that investors are actually doing the right thing by moving into bonds. It is annual portfolio rebalancing season and, given the huge gains in all stock markets around the world last year, portfolio allocations between stocks and bonds would have moved well away from target weightings.
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I’ve read all of Matt Kratter’s books. Why? I used the simple but powerful strategies in Covered Calls, Rubber Band Stocks, Monthly Cash Machine, and Rocket Stocks. The Options strategies realized an annual yield exceeding 12% coupled with Stock Equity strategies yielding an annualized 90%. I simply followed the strategies because I’m a novice, not the brightest bulb. These strategies were adequate for advancing stock markets but there are now signs of an approaching market in decline. The BEAR has been observed prowling so I read Matt’s newest selection Bear Market Trading Strategies. I’m now informed, ready for the declining markets and am enthused. Matt has again gifted his readers with his talent of deconstructing the complex so a rational novice may continue to conservatively place trades. He advises on how to avoid negative-carry and using Options cautiously, trading with the trend. Matt advises of the dangers and promotes rationality and caution. He tells you the best times to buy and sell using simple highest price/closing price indicators. Then Matt tells the reader how to determine when the Bear is returning to the den. He devotes a chapter on how to short momentum stocks using the simple 50 and 200 day moving averages and provides historical data as confirmation. Matt wraps up by providing a strategy of buying certain stocks that other investors are selling. There are strategies in this book that I would be uncomfortable with but there are other strategies that I am comfortable with. I’ll choose and carefully implement those comfortable strategies and, given my past profitable experiences with Matt’s books, I’ll make a few nickels. ...and be sure to view Matt's videos!
Our analysis continues today with this research of a potential Short Squeeze in the SPX and other broader markets.  As you are probably well aware, we have been nailing the markets with our detailed analysis for quite a while.  Our Advanced Analytical tools have called nearly every move.  Nearly two weeks ago we called a massive market bottom to form in the US markets – well before just about anyone else even saw a bottom formation. In fact, we have already banked 10% profit on the first half of our best-cherry-picked setup for subscribers and it’s continuing to rally more.
Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, municipal advisors gained an increasingly important role in overseeing financial and legal circumstances surrounding the issuance of bonds.[14] The municipal advisor serves as a fiduciary for the municipal issue, taking care of all of the assets and finances involved in the issuance process. Legally, the advisor is obligated to represent the interests of the issuer and serve as a source of financial advice. This entails offering advice on structuring, selling, and promoting bonds, as well as serving as the central liaison between other members of the financial team, especially the underwriters and credit rating agency. Although municipal financial advisory services have existed for many years, municipal advisors have played a key role in the bond issuance process since the Securities and Exchange Commission enacted the Municipal Advisor rule in 2014, which prohibits certain communications between issuers and broker-dealers unless one of four exceptions is met, one being that the issuer has retained an Independent Registered Municipal Advisor ("IRMA").[12]
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."

“Title I” FISA surveillance of U.S. citizens is the most intrusive, exhaustive and far reaching type of search, seizure and surveillance authority, permitting the FBI to look at every scintilla of Mr. Page’s life.  All communication, travel and contact can be opened and reviewed.  All aspects of any of Mr. Page’s engagements are subject to being secretly monitored.   This is an entirely different level of surveillance authority, the highest possible, and has nothing to do with FISA-702 search queries (Title VII) of U.S. persons.


I bought this book in early 2011. Finally read it all. This book, while obviously aimed at a way of investing the author has specialized in, is well written. And anyone who lives on a fixed income has been long aware of the actual inflation rate. Of course, it is too late to do anything about incompetent or ineffectual IRA managers, but this is one of the few books I have read that made sense to me and offered even a little hope. I don't swallow it whole, because I am out of my depth, but it is obvious he knows a lot and apparently is successful at it.
The issuer of a municipal bond receives a cash purchase price at the time of issuance in exchange for a promise to repay the purchasing investors, or their transferees, (the bond holder) over time. Repayment periods can be as short as a few months (although this is very rare) to 20, 30, or 40 years, or even longer. The issuer typically uses proceeds from a bond sale to pay for capital projects or for other purposes it cannot or does not desire to pay for immediately with funds on hand. Tax regulations governing municipal bonds generally require all money raised by a bond sale to be spent on capital projects within three to five years of issuance.[13] Certain exceptions permit the issuance of bonds to fund other items, including ongoing operations and maintenance expenses in certain cases, the purchase of single-family and multi-family mortgages, and the funding of student loans, among many other things.

Goldberg said that investors who continue to hold longer-term bonds should expect fluctuations and, if they look closely at statement this year, losses in the bond holdings. But it's not a reason to sell. And most retail investors aren't in bonds for the total return (i.e., performance) anyway. But they do need to understand that the market mechanics are much stronger for stocks than bonds now.
The bear market of the 1970s, like the current bear market, was preceded by a long period of economic expansion. From the economy’s trough in 1961:Q1 to the peak in 1969:Q4, productivity growth averaged a strong 3.4% per year and inflation remained low—in the 2% to 3% range. As Figure 1 shows, the stock market anticipated this expansion, coming off a low in 1960:Q4 and reaching a peak in 1968:Q4. Over that period, the inflation-adjusted value of the S&P 500 increased by 7.8% per year; however, households’ inflation-adjusted net worth (total assets minus total liabilities) lagged behind somewhat, growing at an average annual rate of 6.1%.
Bulls are not killed off easily, They are strong, fierce and have real staying power. And this is what should be expected at a top of a secular bull market. Injured or weakened, the bull will still go on which is the case with many stock markets. Whilst some markets have peaked globally, others show strength. A week ago markets were ruffled by major falls, Was that the signal for the end of a multi decade bull or was it just another brief correction before the bull breaks out to much higher levels? With a further fall this week, the Dow is now down 2,000 points in October which certainly confirms that the bull is seriously injured, maybe fatally? Read More
Murphy also included the District of Columbia in his research, and found it had a psychopathy level far higher than any other state. But this finding is an outlier, as Murphy notes, as it’s an entirely urban area and cannot be fairly compared with larger, more geographically diverse, US states. That said, as Murphy notes, “The presence of psychopaths in District of Columbia is consistent with the conjecture found in Murphy (2016) that psychopaths are likely to be effective in the political sphere.”
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.
It is human nature to allow emotions such as fear, greed and egotism get in the way. Overconfidence is one of the biggest killers of portfolios. Barber and Odean in a 2000 paper show that “after accounting for trading costs, individual investors underperform relevant benchmarks. Those who trade the most realize, by far, the worst performance. This is what the models of overconfident investors predict” (http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu...)
With the Fed now reducing the size of their balance sheet by $30 billion per month, and the European Central Bank scaling back bond purchases by $20 billion per month, this dynamic is going to change, radically. There will be a shift from a $250 billion net demand in 2017, to a $550 billion net supply in 2018. As the below chart shows, that is quite a large swing.

The result is banks and their attending insiders are a de facto Committee of Central Planners in the great Soviet style. What is fashionable and exciting to them can happen, and what they dislike or disapprove of for any reason can never happen. And once on a completely fiat system, this is how capital is allocated through our entire system: badly. Read More

It seems unfair that the earnest polymath Elon Musk should go broke in the electric car business while Kylie Jenner becomes a billionaire at age 20 hawking lip gloss on Snapchat, but that’s how the American Dream rolls these late days of empire. Perhaps the lesson here, for all you MBA wannabes, is that Mr. Musk could switch his production facilities from cars to lip gloss. Of course, to successfully market his new line of cosmetics on social media, Elon might have to consider sexual “reassignment” surgery — unless he could persuade American men via Facebook and Twitter, that lip enhancement boosts male self-esteem almost as much as the purchase of a Ford F-450 pickup truck at a laughable fraction of the cost. Read More

Given the outsized effect that monetary tightening is having on the economy, will the Fed be able to continue on its current tightening program? How are stocks and bonds likely to perform in this environment? And how will the coming wave of retirees, which will significantly increase mandatory spending, affect the measures I discussed in this letter?


Now, entrepreneurial creativity and innovations are not going to make it into any models that economists can concoct. Because we simply do not have the tools to model that kind of complexity. Let’s dive into George’s theory of “an economics of disorder and surprise that could measure the contributions of entrepreneurs,” and extrapolate out what it means for us.
Has anything actually changed in the past two weeks? The conventional bullish answer is no, nothing's changed; the global economy is growing virtually everywhere, inflation is near-zero, credit is abundant, commodities will remain cheap for the foreseeable future, assets are not in bubbles, and the global financial system is in a state of sustainable wonderfulness.

The nearly decade-long U.S. economic expansion may look a little long in the tooth, but it is not about to end due to old age. Economic expansions need a catalyst that triggers a downward spiral of consumer and business retrenchment. The most common recession catalyst for the United States has been the collision of rising interest rates with heavy debt loads, corporate valuations that appear to have run ahead of free-cash-flow generation, or both. Add trade tensions and geo-political uncertainties, which may work to slow global growth, and it seems like the current situation has the potential to trigger a recession. Read More
When all four of these pieces of information are observed together, they provide a pretty good sense for how much risk exists in the market at any given time.  If the long term trends are up, every pullback (-3-5% drop or so) and every correction (-5-15% drop or so) should be treated as a clearance sale - an opportunity to buy at short-term low/discounted prices - and an opportunity to rotate out of lagging asset classes and sectors and into stronger ones.
When TBTFs are allowed to mark to market their securitized assets, they have little to no incentive to liquidate other non-performing assets on their books, including underwater mortgages, notes, etc. Banks are in no rush to offload inventory, as that would simply cause another panic out of their SIVs. And so long as FASB allows mark to model, they will continue to leak out shadow inventory. Sorry, but I don’t buy your premise on iota.

The chart formation built in the course of the early February sell-off and subsequent rebound continues to look ominous, so we are closely watching the proceedings. There are now numerous new divergences in place that clearly represent a major warning signal for the stock market. For example, here is a chart comparing the SPX to the NDX (Nasdaq 100 Index) and the broad-based NYA (NYSE Composite Index). Read More
This book will make self investors think about how to allocate their own investments. Markets have really fallen apart since the book went to press. Of course commodity sectors, international and emerging markets have fallen as much or further and the dollar has risen. I think Peter Schiff's analysis deserves a lot of merit and the selloffs in the overbought commodities and emerging markets areas gives investors a great opportunity to reanalyze their own portfolios. Great read!
The sneaky thing about Amazon’s increased dominance in so many key aspects of our lives is that much of the perniciousness is hidden. No one’s going to tell you about all the retailers who have gotten pressured or destroyed via its tactics while you’re happily clicking “add to cart” and smiling about 2-day free shipping. In this sense, it can be best compared to the evils of factory farming. Most people just simply have no idea about the immense damage going on behind the scenes as they indulge in incredible convenience and what looks like a good deal.
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). 
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
Lower incomes, more debt, and less job security.  What this translated to in Japan was stagnant home prices for 20 full years.  We are nearing our 10 year bear market anniversary in real estate so another 10 is not impossible.  What can change this?  Higher median household incomes across the nation but at a time when gas costs $4 a gallon, grocery prices are increasing, college tuition is in a bubble, and the financial system operates with no reform and exploits the bubble of the day, it is hard to see why Americans would be pushing home prices higher.
In just the past few years, global asset values have risen to the biggest bubbles in history. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be a concern to the market because most people believe they are getting richer. However, rapidly rising digital riches can easily turn into digital losses, just as quickly. But, this will likely remain a secret until the major fireworks begin in the markets by the this fall or within the next 1-2 years.
While the EU’s handling of the financial crisis hasn’t been good for business, I believe their mismanagement of the migrant crisis will prove to be their real downfall. According to Frontex, the EU border surveillance agency, over the course of 2015 and 2016, more than 2.3 million illegal crossings into Europe were detected. This influx of migrants hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Assuming that the decline from the January-2018 peak is a short-term correction that will run its course before the end March (my assumption since the correction’s beginning in late-January), the recent price action probably is akin to what happened in February-March of 2007. In late-February of 2007 the SPX had been grinding its way upward in relentless fashion for many months. Read More
Silver prices peaked in 2011. The descent has been long and tedious. Perhaps silver prices made an important low on September 11, 2018, like they did on November 21, 2001 at $4.01. That long-term low was twenty cents below the price on September 11, 2001, the day the twin towers fell at free-fall acceleration, which marked the beginning of the silver bull market that launched prices upward by factor of 12.
With the massive net short position in both gold and silver Comex paper precious metals, offset by the historic net long position of the “commercials” (banks, mining companies, users, hedgers), numerous rumors are swirling around the precious metals market. For certain, the availability of physical gold bars in London that can be delivered to the large eastern hemisphere buyers who demand delivery is growing tight.  Apparently the retail silver coin/bar market is starting to feel supply strains. Read More
Municipal bonds have much higher interest rates compared to their FDIC-insured counterparts: CDs, savings accounts, money market accounts, and others. Over the last five years, the average interest rate return on municipal bonds has hovered around 4.5%,[16] while CDs of similar lengths have been at 1.5%.[17] Among other factors, this is a result of the longer, fixed return periods. Unlike stocks and other non-dated investments, municipal bonds have fixed rates and are far less liquid. As a general rule, municipal bonds with longer time to maturity have higher coupon rates.

The 5 percent down is not all that risky for fund investors because the quality of the borrowers is high and the fact that the Freedom Note would pay down to $294,557 by only the third year; while with the Slave Note, your balance is $654,809 by the third year. So with the Slave Note, after 3 years your balance has reduced by $45,190 or 6 percent while with the Freedom Note, even though the rate is over twice the Slave Note, it reduces its balance by $44,233 or 13% – yes 13 percent!
I suspect there’s a hidden agenda behind the announcement in The Wall Street Journal op-ed by former Hillary Clinton aide Mark Penn that the Ole Gray Mare is actually eyeing another run for the White House in 2020. No, it’s not just that she would like to be president, as she averred on video last week in a weak moment, or that she has decided late in life to go full Bolshevik policy-wise. It is to establish her in the public mind as a serious candidate so that when she is indicted a hue-and-cry will arise that the move is a purely political act of revenge by the wicked Trump. 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.
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