The Kavanaugh hearing underscored another eerie condition in contemporaryUSA life that offers clues about the combined social, economic, and political collapse that I call the long emergency: the destruction of all remaining categorical boundaries for understanding behavior: truth and untruth, innocent and guilty, childhood and adulthood, public and private. The absence of real monsters to slay, has become the party devoted to sowing chaos, mainly by inventing new, imaginary monsters using the machinery of politics, the way the Catholic Church manufactured monsters of heresy during the Spanish Inquisition in its attempt to regulate “belief.” Read More


We have very few people left worldwide who actually lived through the Great Depression.  While I have been told many stories by my grandparents of what it was like to live through the 1930’s and 1940’s, I clearly do not have first-hand experience.  Yet, I would assume that I still have a better understanding of that time period than most of the people reading my words today. Read More
The post-millennials have arrived. As the oldest millennials turn 37, demographers have designated a new generation for those born after 1996, Generation Z. The oldest members of this cohort just graduated from college and had their first (legal) alcoholic beverages. As they wind their way through college, post-millennials will change higher education, just as previous generations did. 
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Total sales in November rose 0.9% from a year ago to 1,393,010 new vehicles, according to Autodata, which tracks these sales as they’re reported by the automakers. Sales of cars dropped 8.2%. Sales of trucks – which include SUVs, crossovers, pickups, and vans – rose 6.6%. Strong replacement demand from the hurricane-affected areas in Texas papered over weaknesses elsewhere. As always, there were winners and losers. Read More
By the end of June 2011, the Fed had only reached its half-way mark in money printing. It was shortly thereafter that the Fed had implemented its “operation twist.” Operation twist consisted of selling the Fed’s short term holdings and using the proceeds plus extra printed money to buy Treasuries at the long-end of the curve – primarily 10-yr bonds. Read More
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?

Phil Town is an investment advisor, hedge fund manager, 3x NY Times best-selling author, ex-Grand Canyon river guide and a former Lieutenant in the US Army Special Forces. He and his wife, Melissa, share a passion for horses, polo, and eventing. Phil’s goal is to help you learn how to invest and achieve financial independence. You can follow him on google+, facebook, and twitter.


This week, gold rose slightly on balance, while silver maintained its climb out of a deep pit. In early-morning European trade today (Friday) gold was trading at $1199, up $7 from last Friday’s close. Silver was unchanged on the week at $14.50, but as can be seen on our headline chart, silver’s relative performance since the mid-September lows is encouraging.
Early on, people who knew a lot about FISA pointed out that the FBI’s investigation of “russia collusion” was not a criminal investigation but a counterintelligence investigation. I guess the rules for each type are different. For example, in a counterintelligence investigation the goal could be to identify all of the members of a given spy network etc. So, perhaps Page was simply their Trojan Horse / excuse to spy on many many people.
The west line theory states that the shipping center of the world moves in a westward direction slowly over the centuries. It started in the mid east and has moved west through the Mediterranean, Europe, North America and now sits over Asia. A shipping center usually implies a production center as well giving that area great wealth. The U.S. was the previous shipping and production center in the world. We now find ourselves on the back end of prosperity and all that it entails. 

This is money borrowed by (usually individual or “retail”) investors against their existing stocks to buy more stocks. Investors tend to do this when markets are rising and using leverage seems like an effortless way turbocharge their gains. But eventually the market turns down, leaving stock portfolios insufficient to cover related margin debt and generating “margin calls” in which brokers demand more money and/or start liquidating customer portfolios. This sends the market down sharply and indiscriminately, as fairly-valued babies are dumped along with overvalued bathwater. The result: a quick, brutal bear market. Read More

The most recent drop puts stock prices, even after more than two weeks of losses, only back to where they were in July of this year. And yet, we may be much closer to panic territory than it appears. Based on valuations, all it would take for stocks to enter a bear market would be a 5 percent drop in the S&P 500 from here. At the low on Tuesday, when the S&P 500 was down 60 points, the market was within 90 points of that threshold.
In 1979, President Carter's administration ceased diplomatic recognition of the government in Taiwan as independent of mainland China, as the U.S. and China normalized relations. The Chinese government has a "One China" policy, where the role of Taiwan is concerned. As for Taiwan, the "island province" is more than autonomous, the island has its own government and its own head of state.

Very few Americans have any significant savings today. Most live on credit and those with savings have it stored in financial instruments that will be wiped out as the bankers collapse the system to hide the theft they have been involved in for decades. Those who think they will retire with their IRA, pensions or social security will find them all gone never to return leaving them with no means to care for themselves. Read More


*** “As events in the Mideast and Afghanistan heat up and the economy melts down,” writes John Myers in the Resource Trader Alert, “flight-to-quality becomes more of a necessity than a choice. And if today’s paper flight-to-quality alternatives like the dollar and U.S. Treasuries lose their allure, investment demand for metals – like silver – could renew and pay off big for investors.”

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.
The biggest of all BIGGER story aspects to the HPSCI Memo, in all coverage, has been overlooked by all Main Stream Media.  The Department of Justice FBI FISA request was for “Title I” surveillance authority.  This is not some innocuous request for metadata exploration – the FBI said American citizen Carter Page was a “foreign agent of a hostile foreign government”; the FBI was calling Carter Page a spy.

I recently ran across a terrific chart in Grant’s Interest Rate Observer that got me thinking about Hyman Minsky and The Financial Instability Hypothesis. After remaining relatively unknown during the course of his lifetime, Minsky really came to fame in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis as his hypothesis helped to explain what left most economists baffled: the fundamental cause of the crisis. Clearly, though, he has been forgotten just as quickly because, considering where we stand today, it’s obvious the economists with the greatest power to prevent another crisis have still not adopted his insights into their frameworks. Read More


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
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.

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...)
The United States is effectively bankrupt, but that doesn’t matter to the GOP. Once evangelists of fiscal responsibility and scourges of deficit spending, Republicans today glory in spilling red ink. The national debt is now $20.6 trillion, greater than the annual GDP of about $19.5 trillion. Alas, with Republicans at the helm, deficits are set to continue racing upwards, apparently without end. Read More
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Some may argue that a healthy labor market in the past couple of years in contrast to the dark days of the Great Recession will certainly help the broader market gain traction. After all, the unemployment rate remains below the 4% mark for the past several months, weekly jobless claims touch a 49-year low and wage growth hits the fastest pace since 2009.
We have written numerous times before about how the East is preparing for a return to some form of a gold standard while the West tries to hang on to a dying system of debt based fiat currency.  And with the heads of the IMF and Bank of England are both signalling that the world is well underway towards the transition to a new global financial system, the battle lines are being drawn as to which side will win out.
A bear market occurs when the major indices continue to go lower over time. They will hit new lows. More important, their highs will be lower than before as well. The average length of a bear market is 367 days. The conventional wisdom says it usually lasts 18 months. Bear markets occurred 32 times between 1900 and 2008, with an average duration of 367 days. They typically happened once every three years.
Exceptional Bear's guidance is an optimal tool to capably oversee the investment decisions of outside managers.  Once you understand this Market, facilitated by candle charts in color, represent market history, the wrong asset classes, become readily evident. By subscribing to Exceptional Bear,you'll be learning invaluable investment skills, which will allow you to "get it" on a deep level. The foundation of our methodology is the most advanced and refined version of RN Elliott's legacy - New-Wave Elliott™.  
I think you need to look at how the population is growing. Only 1 group is growing and if you look at the high school and college graduation rates of that group it spells real trouble for our future prosperity as a society. Hopefully at some point they assimilated into our culture, but if they continue with the culture they came from that doesn’t emphasize education then it will only increase our welfare state. These people aren’t going to buy a lot of homes if they can’t graduate from High School and in the end it will mean spend more money on prisons and there will be even less for housing. I’m also curious if they fiasco of the last 20 years has anything to do with why Japan’s birth rate has gotten so low. If you really feel that each generation is going to have to lower their standard of living and your kids would be worse off than you and your parents wouldn’t that impact your decision to have kids at all?
This yearly ritual has become part of the news cycle, and the inequality it exposes has ceased to shock us. The very rich getting very much richer is now part of life, like the procession of the seasons. But we should be extremely concerned: their increased wealth gives them ever-greater control of our politics and of our media. Countries that were once democracies are becoming plutocracies; plutocracies are becoming oligarchies; oligarchies are becoming kleptocracies. Read More
Capitalism is not chiefly an incentive system but an information system. The key to economic growth is not acquisition of things by the pursuit of monetary rewards, but the expansion of wealth through learning and discovery. The economy grows by accumulating surprising knowledge through the conduct of the falsifiable experiments of free enterprises.
"We believe 2018 marks the beginning of a wide trading range (2400-3000) that could last several years. While the price damage may not be extreme at the index level, it may feel and look a lot like a bear market. We think this "rolling bear market" has already begun with peak valuations in December and peak sentiment in January. We have a mid-June 2019 target for the S&P 500 of 2,750," Wilson says.
First, ours is an old and over-extended bull market, one that has been pumped up by truly massive Fed infusions of capital into big banks so that they could become solvent again and even buy stocks so that there will be “trickle-down” to the overall economy and the wealthy. Now the Fed wants to withdraw from its position as “sugar-daddy”. The Fed’s new resolve is clearly bearish for the market. How can it not be?

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
It is unlikely that many were swayed by Meeker’s argument. The politicians certainly were not. However, the Senate investigation into Wall Street, intended to uncover the nefarious activities of the shorts, found little to go on. A list of 350 leading bear speculators presented to the committee contained only one familiar name…Having no luck with the bears, the investigation turned its attention to the bulls of yesteryear. This was much more fertile ground.
Sorry this is all over the place, but there are multiple converging streams here. And as DHB constantly reminds us, there is absolutely no reason to believe that in an economy built on gambling, scamming, and computer automated profit skimming, ANYTHING is going to accrue bubble-type benefits to just you and me, anytime soon. Least of all your house.
This week we saw the beginning of the implosion of one of the most crowded trades in the world.  We’re talking, of course, about the short VIX trade.  I say “the beginning” because the short VIX trade is multi-faceted and has deep roots in the business cycle that we’re in.  Like most stories in the market, you need to back up from the tree-line in order to get a view of the forest rather than the trees. 

One of the most commonly asked questions among market participants and non-participants alike is, “What will cause the stock market to stop rising?” Normally, investors would be thrilled at the prospect of a perpetual rise in equity prices. Yet, with so few direct participants nowadays compared to former years, there is a growing desire among many for a major decline which will allow non-participants to buy stocks at a much lower price. As we’ll discuss in this commentary, that scenario will likely remain a pipe dream for an extended period before it ever becomes a reality. Read More
Historically, municipal debt predates corporate debt by several centuries—the early Renaissance Italian city-states borrowed money from major banking families. Borrowing by American cities dates to the nineteenth century, and records of U.S. municipal bonds indicate use around the early 1800s. Officially the first recorded municipal bond was a general obligation bond issued by the City of New York for a canal in 1812. During the 1840s, many U.S. cities were in debt, and by 1843 cities had roughly $25 million in outstanding debt. In the ensuing decades, rapid urban development demonstrated a correspondingly explosive growth in municipal debt. The debt was used to finance both urban improvements and a growing system of free public education.

Today by far the deadliest weapon of mass destruction in Washington’s arsenal lies not with the Pentagon or its traditional killing machines. It’s de facto a silent weapon: the ability of Washington to control the global supply of money, of dollars, through actions of the privately-owned Federal Reserve in coordination with the US Treasury and select Wall Street financial groups. Developed over a period of decades since the decoupling of the dollar from gold by Nixon in August, 1971, today control of the dollar is a financial weapon that few if any rival nations are prepared to withstand, at least not yet. Read More
Water in faults vaporizes during an earthquake, depositing gold, according to a model published in the March 17 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience. The model provides a quantitative mechanism for the link between gold and quartz seen in many of the world's gold deposits, said Dion Weatherley, a geophysicist at the University of Queensland in Australia and lead author of the study. Read More
JOIN PETER at the New Orleans Investment Conferencehttps://neworleansconference.com/conference-schedule/Democrat Women Screaming in AgonyBrett Kavanaugh, over the weekend was confirmed by the Senate, and there were some Democrat women in the gallery watching the vote and they were just screaming in agony; that this was such a terrible thing. I ...…
This Economic Letter compares the current shift in assets with a similar shift that occurred during the long bear market of the 1970s. In particular, I ask whether the shift associated with today’s bear market is likely to last as long as the shift during the earlier one; that portfolio realignment occurred over six years, from 1968 to 1974 and was not substantially reversed until after the stock market began to rally in 1982. The answer arguably depends on some important differences between the two episodes: In the 1970s, the economic environment was characterized by low productivity growth and high inflation; today’s economy, in contrast, is expected to maintain a relatively high rate of productivity growth in the near term and low inflation. The improved fundamentals today should be more favorable for corporate earnings and stock prices and thus bring a quicker end to households’ recent shift away from stocks. In addition, the financial market innovations and regulatory changes over the past two decades that have lowered households’ transaction costs of participating in the capital markets should continue to favor stock ownership.
One new factor in today's market is that there is a constant inflow of incremental money from pension and individual retirement plans well in excess of whatever may have existed in the past. Also, in past rising markets, new equity supply would be forthcoming through equity offerings and equity mergers when prices started to indicate a rich valuation.
Regardless of their exact beginnings and ends, bear markets typically have four phases. In the first phase, prices and investor sentiment are high, but investors are beginning to take profits and exit the market. In the second phase, stock prices begin to fall quickly, trading activity and corporate earnings fall, and positive economic indicators are below average. Investor sentiment also gets more pessimistic and some investors panic. Market indices and many securities reach new trading lows, trading activity continues to decrease, and dividend yields reach historic highs. In the third phase, prices and trading volume increase somewhat as speculators enter the market. In the fourth and final phase, stock prices continue to fall, but they do so at a slower pace. As investors find prices low enough and as they react to good news or positive indicators, bear markets often eventually give way to bull markets.
The Trimtabs CEO said that, even accepting the argument about annual rebalancing and the fact that an aging demographic has greater need for income investments, investors could choose to go into cash or cash equivalents instead of bonds likely to go down in value. Some bank certificates of deposit are now yielding as much, in some cases more, than Treasurys. "There are other asset classes than stocks and bonds," Santschi said. "There's cash, real estate, commodities, precious metals."
The first chart comes from my friend, John Hussman, and shows his margin-adjusted version of the cyclically-adjusted price-to-earnings ratio. This improved version of the CAPE ratio (improved because it has a greater negative correlation with future 12-year returns) shows equity valuations have now surpassed both the dotcom mania peak in 2000 and the 1929 mania peak. Read More
Check which signs of Imperial decline you see around you: The hubris of an increasingly incestuous and out-of-touch leadership; dismaying extremes of wealth inequality; self-serving, avaricious Elites; rising dependency of the lower classes on free Bread and Circuses provided by a government careening toward insolvency due to stagnating tax revenues and vast over-reach--let's stop there to catch our breath. Check, check, check and check.
4. The new car sales cycle has probably peaked and will head much lower in coming years. The auto industry accounts for about 2.9% of GDP and directly employs 1.7 million people with many more jobs supported indirectly. A slump in the auto industry will become a drag on overall economic growth in the U.S. The subprime auto loan default rate is rising to near the high levels caused by the financial crisis and will probably go much higher.
It's true that Treasuries rallied last week, as yield-starved foreign investors poured into the market following the Fed's rate decision and equity markets tumbled on the Trump administration's tariffs targeting Chinese exports. But the most telling part of the action was the 10-year Treasury yields only managed to drop a measly three basis points on the week as the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 1400 points in its worst decline in more than two years.
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