While the Liberal International Order and its institutions are credited with the relative peace the world has enjoyed since 1945, Niall says, “That's a very implausible argument.” He believes the world has been more peaceful because of the will and capacity of the US to be the principal guarantor of the system. This is often referred to as Pax Americana, in which the US employed its overwhelming military power to shape and direct global events.
“The declining cost of distance has the potential to trigger a major lifestyle shift away from city centers, similar in scope and impact to the US suburban exodus between 1950 and 1980. Based on that scenario, we would expect the move out of US urban centers between 2010 and 2025 to rise to about 6% of the population per decade, or up to 24 million people in total by 2025.”
There are always cycles. The current cycle started at the bottom of the Great Recession and will last “until central banks put on the brakes,” said Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, in an interview with Bloomberg. “We’re in a perfect situation, inflation is not a problem, growth is good, but we have to keep in mind the part of the cycle we’re in.”
After a little bit of a lull, the international currency crisis is back with a vengeance. Currencies are collapsing in Argentina, Brazil, India, Turkey and other emerging markets, and central banks are springing into action. It is being hoped that the financial chaos can be confined to emerging markets so that it will not spread to the United States and Europe. But of course the global financial system is more interconnected today than ever before, and a massive wave of debt defaults in emerging markets would inevitably have extremely serious consequences all over the planet. Read More
I called up the still-living co-author of it, Dick Sylla. He was a professor of financial history at NYU Stern. I said: Richard, I have read many but not every page of your magnificent narrative. Tell me, in the 5,000 year recorded history of interest rates, have there ever before been substantially negative nominal bond yields. Not Treasury bill yields, mind you, but bond yields.
The Smokey Bear campaign has been criticized by wildfire policy experts in cases where decades of fire suppression and the indigenous fire ecology were not taken into consideration, contributing to unnaturally dense forests with too many dead standing and downed trees, brush, and shrubs often referred to as "fuel". Periodic low-intensity wildfires are an integral component of certain ecosystems that evolved to depend on natural fires for vitality, rejuvenation, and regeneration. Examples are chaparral and closed-cone pine forest habitats, which need fire for cones to open and seeds to sprout. Wildfires also play a role in the preservation of pine barrens, which are well adapted to small ground fires and rely on periodic fires to remove competing species.
However, other indicators suggest an intermediate-term bottom is in place. Bullish sentiment among ordinary investors is even lower than that seen at the 2009 market lows, while Merrill Lynch’s latest monthly fund manager survey shows institutional investors are holding more cash than at any time since 2001 – an “unambiguous buy” signal, says Merrill. Allocations to equities have plunged to levels unseen since the market bottoms of mid-2011 and mid-2012. All this indicates last week’s rally may have legs. However, a multi-week or even a multi-month rally would not mean the danger has passed. Fat Pitch blogger Urban Carmel last week noted there were seven bear market rallies in 2008-09, with three lasting six to eight weeks. Stocks always gained a minimum of 7-8 per cent, twice bouncing by at least 20 per cent.
Here is a question for any and all of you that have ever purchased a lottery ticket or played the slots or bet on a horse: If you had proof that the outcomes were all rigged, would you still play? If someone showed you a video of pit bosses stacking decks or tampering with dice, would you ever enter that establishment again? If your wife or mother or employer knew that you would constantly blow your paychecks in a rigged casino, would you ever be able to face them? The answer to all of the above-mentioned scenarios is a resounding "NO!" Yet millions of people (albeit that figure is rapidly shrinking) are still committing many hundreds of millions of dollars every week to the Crimex Casino, which has now proven that every single input into determining prices for gold and silver (Bitcoin, too) is completely controlled by the bullion banks, the Crimex bosses and the regulators. Read More
These two early pieces of legislation against short- selling reveal a common theme in the history of the bears. Bubbles occur when speculators drive asset prices far above their intrinsic value. The collapse of a bubble is frequently accompanied by an economic crisis. Who gets the blame for this crisis? Not the bulls, who were responsible for the bubble and the various frauds and manipulations perpetrated to keep shares high, while cashing in their profits.
First, momentum stocks are not done getting hit. As psychology turns more bearish, fewer investors are willing to bet that trees will grow to the sky at uber-hot (pun intended) public companies like Tesla Motors and Netflix. Each is down roughly 22 percent from 52-week highs. So, investors trying to make quick money should avoid momentum names. Second, timing the bottom of a correction or bear market is next to impossible. Guessing that $100 is the floor for Netflix, for example, is a dicey business; there really is no way to know what other investors are thinking in real time.
It should be clear to you now, the “unwind” has begun. Jim and I tried to tell you this a couple of months back, now there is absolute evidence. Look at real estate in many parts of the world. Australia, China, London, Vancouver, New York and now even San Francisco. The most important thing to look at is “volume”, as price always follows. Read More
I often say that every great thinker has one “big idea.” George’s information theory of economics certainly qualifies as one of those. You’ve likely heard me mention how important exposing yourself to these big, powerful ideas is. Well, that’s exactly what I aim to do with my Strategic Investment Conference. I have invited George to speak at the SIC 2018 in San Diego, this coming March.
Wild rumors spread of bear raids, of fabulous profits made by short-sellers, and of political conspiracies hatched by foreigners interested in bringing down the market, the dollar and the U.S. economy. In early 1932, the Philadelphia Public Ledger maintained that “European capitalists had supplied much of the cash needed to engineer the greatest bear raid in history. These proverbially open-handed and trusting gentleman had accepted the leadership of New York’s adroit Democratic financier, Bernard Baruch.” Baruch, the best known short-seller in the country, shrugged off the charge.
In spite of not normally looking back, I have had a look at a Newsletter that I wrote in July 2009 when gold was just over $900 and the Dow 9,100. It was called “The Dark Years are here” and received quite a lot of attention at the time. This was at the end of the sub-prime crisis when the Dow had just declined by 60% and gold had risen from $250 in 1999 to $925. Read More
Last week, we shined a spotlight on a crack in the monetary system that few people outside of Switzerland (and not many inside either) were aware of. There is permanent gold backwardation measured in Swiss francs. Everyone knows that the Swiss franc has a negative interest rate, but so far as we know, Keith is the only one who predicted this would lead to its collapse (and he was quite early, having written that in January 2015).
Blind faith in the U.S. dollar is perhaps one of the most crippling disabilities economists have in gauging our economic future. Historically speaking, fiat currencies are essentially animals with very short lives, and world reserve currencies are even more prone to an early death. But, for some reason, the notion that the dollar is vulnerable at all to the same fate is deemed ridiculous by the mainstream.
As with many other industries, the reality of supply and demand impacts every aspect of the financial market. It is predicted that in 2018 the United States Treasury will have net new issue of $1.3 trillion in treasury bonds and the national debt will continue to rise. This new influx of debt will need to be purchased by the market, but the Federal Reserve is reducing the amount that it’s purchasing – their bond holdings will decrease by 10% over the next year. International buyers will become an even more important cog in the wheel, and David comprehensively explores the global supply and demand structure on this episode of Money For the Rest of Us. You also don’t want to miss his bear market investment suggestions, so be sure to listen.