The millions of people that have lost their home and will lose their home are probably in households with children in many cases.  Some may be in college and looking to buy in ten years.  The notion that housing is always a great investment runs counter to what they saw in their lives.  Will they even want to buy as many baby boomers put their larger homes on the market to downsize?  Will they clear out the shadow inventory glut?  Now I’m not sure how things are in Japan but many of our young households here are now coming out with massive amounts of student loan debt.
A campaign featuring Smokey and the slogan "Smokey Says – Care Will Prevent 9 out of 10 Forest Fires" began in 1944. His later slogan, "Remember... Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires" was created in 1947 and was associated with Smokey Bear for more than five decades.[6][7] In April 2001, the message was officially updated to "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires."[6] in response to a massive outbreak of wildfires in natural areas other than forests (such as grasslands), and to clarify that Smokey is promoting the prevention of unplanned outdoor fire versus prescribed fires.[8][4] According to the Ad Council, 80% of outdoor recreationists correctly identified Smokey Bear's image and 8 in 10 recognized the campaign PSAs.[9]
America’s long-term “balance sheet numbers” just continue to get progressively worse.  Unfortunately, since the stock market has been soaring and the GDP numbers look okay, most Americans assume that the U.S. economy is doing just fine.  But the stock market was soaring and the GDP numbers looked okay just prior to the great financial crisis of 2008 as well, and we saw how that turned out.  The truth is that GDP is not the best measure for the health of the economy.  Judging the U.S. economy by GDP is basically like measuring the financial health of an individual by how much money he or she spends, and I will attempt to illustrate that in this article. Read More
As of early March 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 20% since the inauguration of President Barack Obama (less than two months earlier), the fastest drop under a newly elected president in at least 90 years.[26] Editorials in the Wall Street Journal by the editorial staff and Michael Boskin, one of George H.W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisors, blamed this on Obama's economic policies.[27][28][29]
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..
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.
In any event, fixing to borrow upwards of $1.2 trillion in FY 2019, Simple Steve apparently didn't get the memo about the Fed's unfolding QT campaign and the fact that it will be draining cash from the bond pits at a $600 billion annual rate by October. After all, no one who can do third-grade math would expect that the bond market can "easily handle" what will in effect be $1.8 trillion of homeless USTs: Read More
Hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones, in an interview with Goldman Sachs, predicted a rise in inflation and a surge in the 10-year Treasury yield. Noted bond investor Bill Gross recently said the bear market in bond prices has begun. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC on Monday he believes long-term investors should buy stocks over bonds.
Russiagate originated in a conspiracy between the military/security complex, the Clinton-controlled Democratic National Committee, and the liberal/progressive/left. The goal of the military/security complex is to protect its out-sized budget and power by preventing President Trump from normalizing relations with Russia. Hillary and the DNC want to explain away their election loss by blaming a Trump/Putin conspiracy to steal the election. The liberal/progressive/left want Trump driven from office. 
Such behavior is rare, however. To illustrate, consider the several hundred stock market timers monitored by my Hulbert Financial Digest. These are professionals, needless to say, rather than amateurs like the rest of us. It’s their job to identify market tops and bottoms, which is yet another way of saying that they will be more heavily exposed to equities at those bottoms than at tops.
Based on an analysis of the allocation of household assets over the whole 14-year bear market, it appears that the realignment of household assets took about six years, from 1968 to 1974. Figure 2 indicates how the inflation-adjusted values of assets in the households’ portfolios changed during that period. (Note that stock and bond totals include direct holdings as well as indirect holdings through mutual funds and pension funds.) Total financial assets fell by 7.5%, led by a 60% drop in equities. In the face of the weak stock market, households shifted into housing, which rose by 21% in value, and into monetary assets (that include cash, bank deposits, and money market mutual funds), which gained 24% in value. Bond holdings were little changed.
Not even a full minute into an interview with Alex Jones of Info Wars, Schiff says “it’s not a good thing” that the economy is going to crash and burn. “Unfortunately, that’s what Trump has inherited from Obama. But it’s not even really just Obama, it’s the federal reserve. It’s the monetary policy that has been passed like a baton from Clinton to Bush to Obama and now to Trump. And we’re near the end of the game and unfortunately, Trump’s gonna be the fall guy.  This thing is all gonna collapse while he’s president.” Read More
I have preached, in fact I have over-preached, on staying agile in tough markets. Remember, when the beat-down comes your way, I want you all to cover the P/L on your screen with a post-it. This one little trick is something I do myself. By doing this, the trader allows him or herself to make tough, reasoned decisions without the constant distraction that one's profit/loss number can be.

The world is familiar with FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google), then came FAANG, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google. But are you familiar with BANNG? We would like to introduce to the world a countercyclical group of stocks that could be the biggest winners if FAANGs lose. BANNG = Barrick Gold, Agnico Eagle, Newmont Mining, Newcrest Mining, and Goldcorp. They are the collection of gold stocks that would appear in all the major gold stocks ETFs, major indices in their respective countries. They have the liquidity, market cap, dividends, along with being the group of some of the largest gold miners in the world. Barrick and Newmont are the largest gold miners in the world. Both FAANG and BANNG stocks are in a global equity fund managers MSCI ACWI Index (All Country World Index). Read More
It could be the arrival of a “sudden stop”. As I explain in Escape from the Central Bank Trap (BEP, 2017), a sudden stop happens when the extraordinary and excessive flow of cheap US dollars into emerging markets suddenly reverses and funds return to the U.S. looking for safer assets. The central bank “carry trade” of low interest rates and abundant liquidity was used to buy “growth” and “inflation-linked” assets in emerging markets. Read More
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.

A bull market is the opposite of a bear market. It's when asset prices rise over time. "Bulls" are investors who buy assets because they believe the market will rise. "Bears" sell because they believe the market will drop over time. Whenever sentiment is "bullish," it's because there are more bulls than bears. When they overpower the bears, they create a new bull market. These two opposing forces are always at play in any asset class. In fact, a bull market will tend to peak, and seem like it will never end, right before a bear market is about to begin.

Furthermore, at their December meeting, the Fed hinted that they are willing to let inflation run a little over their 2% target. Although they upgraded GDP growth, their forecast for three hikes in 2017 remained unchanged. Given that Janet Yellen once said, “To me, a wise policy is occasionally to let inflation rise even when inflation is running above target,” this is no surprise.
Rankin/Bass Productions, in cooperation with Tadahito Mochinaga's MOM Production in Japan, produced an "Animagic" stop motion animated television special, called The Ballad of Smokey the Bear, narrated by James Cagney.[68] It aired on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1966 as part of the General Electric Fantasy Hour on NBC.[69] This same day, a Smokey Bear balloon was featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, so it was advertised as "Thanksgiving is Smokey Bear Day on NBC TV." [69] During the 1969–1970 television season, Rankin/Bass also produced a weekly Saturday Morning cartoon series for ABC, called The Smokey Bear Show.[70] This series is animated by Toei Animation in Japan.
For context, consider the last three bear markets. The most recent one, which lasted for 517 days from October 2007 to March 2009, saw a whopping 57% plunge in the S&P 500. During the 929-day bear market from March 2000 to October 2002, the benchmark lost 49%. And during the relatively brief, 101-day period from August to December 1987, the index tumbled 34%.
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.

It often happens that gold and silver prices hit low points in June and December, before rallying sharply. The reason is not hard to understand: traders at the bullion banks close their books at the year and half-year ends and are almost certainly instructed by their superiors to reduce their trading positions to as low a level as possible. This is because the banks wish to report balance sheets that reflect low risk exposure for the purpose of making regulatory returns. Read More

Rather than write on a planned topic, I received at least 20 e-mails yesterday on the same subject so had to switch gears. The e-mails were all panicky because an analyst who works in the precious metals industry suggested that silver will not perform as gold will in the coming reset. I feel the need to address this because I believe it is faulty analysis and may have motivation behind it. I will not name the analyst but can be easily discerned.
4. While 5% real annual return doesn’t seem like much, it is a highly stable and secure return. How would stocks fair in that same time frame? Taking into account a 2% annual inflation rate, you would need a 7% nominal annual return on stocks to keep up with a 5% real return on a house. What if inflation goes to 4% or higher? Can you imagine a sustained nominal return on stocks of 9% or higher (to achieve a 5% real return on stocks)??
He is, in addition, the author of a pair of political biographies: John Adams: Party of One, a life of the second president of the United States (Farrar, Straus, 2005) and Mr. Speaker! The Life and Times of Thomas B. Reed, the Man Who Broke the Filibuster (Simon & Schuster, 2011). His new biography of Walter Bagehot, the Victorian man of letters and financial journalist, will be published in 2018.

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


In a world based on fake paper and fake electronic money as well as fake asset values, the real significance of gold has got lost. With endless credit expansion and money printing, all asset prices have exploded and investors have made fake profits that seem real. But the imminent secular downturn of debt and asset markets as well as the world economy will reveal how unreal these profits were as 90% or more of all the paper wealth in the world will go up in smoke. So investors should now prepare for the biggest wealth destruction in history and also the biggest wealth transfer. Read More
It’s not a coincidence that populism emerged as a political force in both the 1920s–1930s, and again today. In each case, people at the bottom could tell the economy wasn’t working in their favor. The best tool they had to do something about it was the vote, so they elected FDR then, and Trump now. Two very different presidents, but both responsive to the most intensely angered voters of their eras.

In essence, if you are going to war, make sure the costs of war is borne by the enemy, not your own people. Instead of saying, “trade wars are good and easy to win”, Mr. Trump would be wise to follow the ancient general’s advice. Winning a trade war is not so easy, history shows that tariffs which are like taxes will hurt his own people in many ways. Read More
One famed investor who has explored this question is “Bond King” Jeffrey Gundlach. The man needs no introduction, but I’ll give him one anyway. Jeffrey is the CEO of DoubleLine Capital, where he manages $116 billion—and has a stellar track record. Jeffrey has outperformed 92% of his peers over the last five years. His flagship DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund (DBLTX) has also outperformed its benchmark by a wide margin over the same period.
In the 9th largest economy in the world, the financial markets are crashing, and in the 21st largest economy in the world the central bank just raised interest rates to 65 percent to support a currency that is completely imploding.  Whilethe mainstream media in the United States continues to be obsessed with all things Kavanaugh, an international financial crisis threatens to spiral out of control.  Stock prices are falling and currencies are collapsing all over the planet, but because the U.S. has been largely unaffected so far the mainstream media is mostly choosing to ignore what is happening.  But the truth is that this is serious.  The financial crisis in Italy threatens to literally tear the EU apart, and South America has become an economic horror show. Read More

“The distinction [between globalization and technology] is arbitrary. What distinguishes the technological revolution is precisely that things like iPhones could be designed in California but made in China. The paradox of the Liberal International Order is that it made a lot of technology affordable, while at the same time destroying manufacturing jobs.”
Before we dive in, I want to make clear that the goal of this letter is not to say whether liberal internationalism is good or bad, or defend the backlash against it. My objective is to highlight the current state of the order and give insight into Niall’s argument behind why he believes it is over. As investors, it is imperative we understand this trend because it has major implications for financial markets we need to think about. With that being said, let’s dive straight in.
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.
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.”
John Hussman wrote a must-read essay titled:  “Three Delusions:  Paper Wealth, A Booming Economy and Bitcoin (link).”   The crypto/blockchain delusion has exceeded the absurdity of the dot.com and housing bubble eras.   I was shorting fraud stocks happily in both eras.  I’m short a company  now called Riot Blockchain.  If you look at its description in Yahoo Finance, it bills itself as a developer of technologies applied to animal (“non-human”) medicine.  It recently changed its name to Riot Blockchain from Bioptix Inc.  Prior to calling itself Bioptic Inc, it called itself Venaxis. Read More
I have had an interesting life, in the course of my retirement from business; my retirement happened somewhat by chance, in the year 1988; one Friday evening I presided a meeting of a group directors of Elektra, a Mexican company the property of my father and myself. We had had some 500 of these meetings in past years; they took place every two weeks. My son Richard was present, having been with the company since 1980. (He had arrived in 1980 from Dallas, Texas, looking for a post at Elektra, after being fired from his job  – he had called his supervisor a fool, if not something worse. He was probably right in his judgment of his superior officer’s decisions, but of course saying what you think is not the best way to get along in business). Read More

(= carry) burden, arms → tragen; gift, message → bei sich tragen, mit sich führen; to bear away/back → mitnehmen/mit (sich) zurücknehmen; (through the air) → fort- or wegtragen/zurücktragen; the music was borne/borne away on the wind (liter) → die Musik wurde vom Wind weiter-/weggetragen; he was borne along by the crowd → die Menge trug ihn mit (sich)
For investors looking to maintain some positions in the stock market, a defensive strategy is usually taken. This type of strategy involves investing in larger companies with strong balance sheets and a long operational history, which are considered to be defensive stocks. The reason for this is that these larger, more stable companies tend to be less affected by an overall downturn in the economy or stock market, making their share prices less susceptible to a larger fall. With strong financial positions, including large cash holdings to meet ongoing operational expenses, these companies are more likely to survive downturns.
As a savvy investor, you should be especially wary of inappropriate holdover patterns from the long Bull Market. Perhaps you sense that it may be time to take back control of your finances, in the same way legendary hedge fund manager, George Soros, came out of retirement to rescue his own fortune. Like him, you will be able to sleep soundly, knowing your living standards are secure. 
In 2008, gold was taken from $1020 to $700 and silver was pounded from $21 to  $7 during the period of time that Bear Stearns, Lehman and the U.S. financial system was collapsing.  The precious metals were behaving inversely to what would have been expected as the global financial system melted down.   Massive Central Bank intervention was at play.
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.
The benchmark Shanghai composite closed officially in bear market — referring to a decline of at least 20 percent from recent highs — on Tuesday. The smaller Shenzhen composite moved into bear market territory in February this year. The Shanghai and Shenzhen composites were down around 22 percent and 26 percent, respectively, from their 52-week highs, as of Asia afternoon trade on Wednesday.
Still, there are a lot of unknowns. Would millions of Americans switching from urban to rural living ignite a baby boom and cure our demographic problems? It’s certainly not out of the question. After all, birthrates are substantially higher in rural areas. Plus, families could dramatically reduce their cost of living by moving out of cities, allowing them to feed more mouths.

Niall Ferguson is a senior fellow at Stanford University, and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies at Harvard, where he served for twelve years as a professor of history. Niall is one of the finest economic historians on the planet; but he isn’t only an academic. What many people don’t know is that he works with a small group of elite hedge fund managers and executives as the managing director of macroeconomic and geopolitical advisory firm, Greenmantle.


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]
Two important institutional changes since the late 1960s also have affected the composition of financial asset holdings of households. One is the growing prevalence of pension funds. Since 1960, the share of financial assets that pension funds comprise grew from a little under 7% to 27%. This growth has been due in part to the introduction of 401k, 403b, and Keogh accounts that have allowed households to make tax deductible contributions to retirement plans with significant control over the disposition of those investments. In addition, many large employers have switched from defined-benefit to defined-contribution retirement plans, again allowing households to decide how much of their retirement funds to invest in the stock market. These changes began to accelerate in the 1970s. Prior to these changes, many businesses either adopted “pay-as-you-go” pension plans with no significant contributions to the stock market, or restricted their investments to ultra-safe assets, such as government securities.

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.
Niall Ferguson is a senior fellow at Stanford University, and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies at Harvard, where he served for twelve years as a professor of history. Niall is one of the finest economic historians on the planet; but he isn’t only an academic. What many people don’t know is that he works with a small group of elite hedge fund managers and executives as the managing director of macroeconomic and geopolitical advisory firm, Greenmantle.
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 entire defense sector reports this week. At least the big guys do. Margin compression and the potential for lost contracts weigh heavy on these stocks right now. This is one area where I will be slow to withdraw amid weakness. Domestic and allied monies intended for this space will not draw down in a Cold War environment. Lockheed Martin (LMT) reports this morning. The numbers should be good. However, the firm has a number of deals in place with Saudi Arabia. My plan is to wait for the call before doing anything stupid. Boeing (BA) , General Dynamics (GD) , and Northrop Grumman (NOC) all report tomorrow morning, while Raytheon (RTN) will go to the tape on Thursday morning.
In the current issue of Grant’s we have in the headline of the front pages today “Xi Jinping’s Poisoned Chalice.” This is the Xi Jinping (whose name I think I am butchering in pronunciation) is of course the new president for life. And our sense is that one-term presidencies in China are better than two terms, and that better than either would be emigration. So we think that Xi Jinping is the president for life in the wrong country.
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