Economic cracks big enough to drive a car industry into are opening up all over the globe. Trade gaps are opening up between major allies. Widening spreads between the dollar and other currencies are shredding emerging markets. As we start into summer, these cracks and several others described below have become big enough to get everyone’s attention, just as I said last year would become the situation.

Investing legend Bill Miller said in his latest letter to investors this week, "I believe that if rates rise in 2018, taking the 10-year treasury above 3 percent, that will propel stocks significantly higher, as money exits bond funds for only the second year in the past 10. ... Bonds, in my opinion, have entered a bear market," Miller wrote, but he added, "one that is likely to be benign for the next year or so."
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.
Michael Wilson, the chief U.S. equity strategist at Morgan Stanley (MS - Free Report) , added that “over the past two months, the U.S. equity market has moved decidedly more defensive and value is showing more persistent performance versus growth.” This move toward defensive sectors and value strategies indicated that the market is concerned about growth fading later this year and next.
This reliance on US strength hasn’t been a problem for the past seven decades, but times are changing. Since the financial crisis, the US has been less willing to bear the costs needed to be the guarantor of the international order. Niall highlights the inaction over Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, and the “little more than cosmetic” strikes against Syria as signs that the US is starting to take a more ambivalent approach to global conflicts.
Already rising for two weeks, following the Geithner announcement the DJIA had its fifth-biggest one-day point gain in history.[40] "Tim Geithner went from zero to hero in a matter of just a few days" and reported that Bank of America stock led banking stocks with 38% one-day gains.[41] On March 26, 2009, after just short of three weeks of gains which frequently defied the day's bad economic news, the DJIA rebounded to 7924.56. A rise of 21% from the previous low, this met the technical requirements to be considered a bull market.[42] A Wall Street Journal article declared, "Stocks are on their strongest run since the bear market started a year and a half ago as investors continue to debate whether the economy and the markets have finally stabilized".[43] Bloomberg noted the Obama administration's successes included the sale of $24 billion worth of seven-year Treasury notes and pointed out that March 2009 was the best month for the S&P 500 since 1974.[44]
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In our regular gold trading alerts, we focus on the short- and medium-term outlook and we rarely discuss the very long-term issues or price targets. The reason is simple – the long-term issues and price targets don’t change often, so usually there’s little new to say about them. Consequently, it’s been a long time since we last discussed our view on gold’s explosive upside potential. In fact, it’s been so long that those who do not take the time to read our analyses thoroughly and those who have been reading them for only a short while may think that we are bearish on gold in the long run. Or that we’re perma-bears. Naturally, it’s nonsense and those who have been diligently following our articles know it. What we’re aiming for is to help investors position themselves to make the most of the upcoming rally in the precious metals market and one of the best ways to do it is to help people prepare for the final bottom in gold. Read More
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
6) Dangerous Monetary Policy. Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner, ladies and gentlemen. The current trajectory of monetary policy depicts either a complete lack of understanding at the FOMC of the current environment, or the overt intent to purposefully slow economic growth. I am honestly perplexed by the inability to learn, reason and adapt at this level.
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.
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.
Forester is the founder and chief investment officer of the firm that bears his name. He finds nearly every S&P industry sector to be overvalued, and points out that the last two market crashes were sparked by the bottom falling out of a single sector. In the year 2000 it was technology, and in 2008 it was financials. In 2008, he radically reduced his exposure to bank stocks to 5 percent of his portfolio ahead of the crash at a time when financial stocks made up 20% of the S&P 500 index. His prescient move allowed his fund to become "the sole long-only mutual fund in the U.S. to gain in 2008," per Institutional Investor as quoted by Money.
It’s important to keep in mind that the mining stocks have been sold to levels well-below their intrinsic value – in the case of larger-cap producing miners. Or their “optionality” value – in the case of junior mining companies with projects that have a good chance eventually of converting their deposits into mines. “Optionality” value is based on the idea that junior exploration companies with projects that have strong mineralization or a compliant resource have an implied value based on the varying degrees of probability that their projects will eventually be developed into a producing mine. Read More
Why has real estate been such a drag on the overall Japanese economy?  First, Japan’s unemployment rate stabilized after these bubbles burst but it shifted to a large temporary or contract based employment economy.  One third of Japanese workers operate under this new world.  Relatively low security with employers and this has spiraled into lower income and money to finance home purchases.  The fact that the U.S. has such a large number of part-time workers and many of the new jobs being added are coming in lower paying sectors signifies that our economy is not supportive of the reasons that gave us solid home prices for many decades.  I think this is a key point many in the real estate industry fail to emphasize.  How can home prices remain inflated if incomes are moving lower?
6) Dangerous Monetary Policy. Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner, ladies and gentlemen. The current trajectory of monetary policy depicts either a complete lack of understanding at the FOMC of the current environment, or the overt intent to purposefully slow economic growth. I am honestly perplexed by the inability to learn, reason and adapt at this level.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/PeterSchiff/reviews/Trump Suffers Huge Double BlowYesterday, two key people - one the President's former campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted of multiple counts of serious financial crimes, and later that day, Michael Cohen, the President's personal attorney, copped a ple ...…
Jonathan H. Adler, Professor at Case Western University School of Law, noted, regarding George W. Bush’s secret policy for the NSA to access everyone’s phone-records, that “The metadata collection program is constitutional (at least according to Judge Kavanaugh),” and he presented Judge Kavanaugh’s entire published opinion on that. Kavanaugh’s opinion stated that the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution could be shoved aside because he thinks that the ‘national security’ of the United States is more important than the Constitution. Kavanaugh wrote: Read More
On Tuesday, March 10, Vikram Pandit the CEO of Citibank, said that his bank has been profitable the first two months of 2009 and was currently enjoying its best quarterly performance since 2007. On March 12, Ken Lewis, CEO of Bank of America, declared that bank had also been profitable in January and February, that he didn't foresee the bank needing further government funds, and that he expected to "see $50 billion in 2009 pre-tax revenue". The announcements caused multi-day rallies with double-digit percentage gains for a number of stocks both in and outside of the banking industry.[33][34]

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.
A bear market is traditionally defined as a period of negative returns in the broader market to the magnitude of between 15-20%, or more. During this type of market, most stocks see their share prices fall, often substantially. There are several strategies investors employ when they believe that this market is about to occur or is occurring, and they typically depend on the investor's risk tolerance, investment time horizon and objectives.

After the financial crisis and bear market of 2008-09, the Employee Benefit Research Institute did a study of how typical Americans fared with their retirement plan accounts at work. The study found that the average 401(k) account balance plunged by more than 25% during 2008, reflecting stock ownership in most plans. But those who kept participating consistently through 401(k) contributions reaped the rewards of the recovery, as the median balance rose at an impressive 16% annual pace over the four years following the bear market low.
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.
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
good article, Doc. It kind of reminds me of a point Mish made a while back about exponential functions and the dangers of apparently small imbalances over time. Basically, if wages are increase slightly slower than inflation (which is bound to happen when the CPI is as cooked as it has been for several decades), the effects will become massive over time. For instance, if real inflation was 4.5% while median wages increase, let’s say, 3.5% per year in the same time, most people will say it’s not a big deal. Just a penny on a dollar. But if this is consistently the case for 25 years running, that $25,000/year job would now be pulling in about $59,000 but the $75,000 house purchase back then would now be demanding about $225,000. The d-to-i ration to maintain the same household on the same job, then, moved from 2.4 to over 3.0. Another 5 years down the road and it’ll up to 3.2. But if those 5 years are between 2008 and 2013, the chances of maintaining any momentum in wages is slim. Adjusted for inflation, everyone I know working the private sector is actually losing ground versus inflation, even with the rare down year factored in. I won’t pronounce it dead just yet, but the American dream certainly is taking a pounding.
Our US Regime Model, a quantitative framework for stock-picking, suggests we are in the mid to late stages of the market cycle and in this stage, momentum is the best way to invest. As contrarian value investors, this is not an easy call to make. But if this bull market is closer to over, our analysis of factor returns indicates that late-stage bull markets have been dominated by stocks with strong price momentum and growth, while value, analyst neglect, and dividend yield have been the worst-performing factors.
Mallen cites consumer confidence levels near all-time highs and third-quarter GDP growth projections at a healthy 3.3%. Mallen also notes the spread between high-yield corporate bonds and 10-year U.S. Treasury notes remains relatively contained at around 3.6 percentage points. Normally this spread blows out when severe trouble lies ahead for the economy and stocks.
In this article I point to the pressures on the Fed to moderate monetary policy, but that will only affect the timing of the next cyclical credit crisis. That is going to happen anyway, triggered by the Fed or even a foreign central bank. In the very short term, a tendency to moderate monetary policy might allow the gold price to recover from its recent battering.
The “agreement” Ramsey sees comes from a number of major equity indexes hitting new highs at the same time. Not only have the Dow DJIA, +1.46% S&P 500 SPX, +1.55% Nasdaq COMP, +2.06% and Russell 2000 RUT, +1.21%  been hitting repeated records of late, but so have a number of closely watched sectors, including transports DJT, +1.04% utilities DJU, +0.59%  (which hit a record in September), and financials XLF, +2.08% which are trading at a 10-year high.

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


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.
Dark Ages is not a silly username—it is a compelling fear that we are repeating the mistakes of all great civilizations, with arrogance that we can merely crush nations that will not continue to take our paper for their tangible goods. I don’t know whether folks dismiss this ranting as nonsense or actually are concerned that this is where we are headed. I cannot imagine a rainbow behind this cloud, although I was in North Carolina recently and saw a beautiful rainbow to the east, while death and destruction were occurring underneath that storm.
The Market is a Fractal - the word coined by Benoit Mandelbrot who discoverd the structures in which the whole is echoed in its parts and sub-parts, yet remaining the same no matter how much they are blown up or shrunk down...Fractals used in motion picture animation to created the surface of the moon from a repeating pattern, just as Armies of Thousands can be simulated from a group of 12 men repeated over and over on the battlefield...the lower degree fractals are previews of the whole, they are often echoed inversely as shown above in green...as Mandelbrot stated all charts scale the same, without the legend you dont know if you are looking at a Daily or Monthly chart as above & below
But as Sam Stewart of Seven Canyons Advisors points out, it’s never the clock that brings an end to an economic cycle. “It’s always excesses,” he says. Stewart sees “a hint” of excess here and there. But nothing like what we saw leading up to the housing-related market crisis 10 years ago. The kind of excesses that typically bring down the economy and the market may still be years away, he says.

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.


And more to the point, even though tech has on average done well over the last 20 years, most tech firms have gone bankrupt. Buying the market and a broad basket of companies isn’t speculating. It is just assuming that, like always, in the long-term, the biggest 100-200-300 companies in the US or elsewhere will be worth more money in 10-20-30 years than today.

During the bear market a heavy debate ensued as to whose fault the falling market was. The political parties were heavily divided during this period.[10] For the most part there were three camps: ones that simply blamed the economy, others that wanted to pin the passing Bush Administration and others that wanted to push the blame on the newly arriving Obama Administration.
Dick Meyer of NPR believes that "the idea of blaming one person for the downfall of the economy with a gross domestic product of about $14 trillion, powered by 300 million people and engaged in complex global commerce is nuts — whether that person is Bush, Obama, Alan Greenspan, Bernard Madoff, Osama bin Laden or the editors of opinions at The Wall Street Journal."[14]
Falling consumer confidence. This is generally one of the last dominoes to drop leading up to a bear market, partly because people are too stubborn to think any economic party could possibly end, and partly because they don’t have the data or the skill to analyze what’s going on behind the scenes. In other words — consumers are usually “the last ones to see it coming.”
Long term, total returns come from 3 places: changes to mcap to gdp ratio, gdp growth rates (including inflation), and dividend yields. Assuming GDP grows at 2.5% a year, inflation comes in a 2% a year, and dividends stay at 2% (any dividend growth comes from GDP growth, no double counting allowed), it would take 8 years of flat market growth (ie stocks be goin nowhere) for the GDP ratio (also known as the “Buffet Indicator”) to return to normal. How likely is that, when a much easier path would be for an immediate 40% drop and some slow growth after that?
The disability payment and stock option distribution are one-time events which unfortunately inflates the family’s actual ability to contribute to Julie’s education. The disability payment has to provide care for the rest of John’s life, he is currently 53. The stock distribution was used to purchase living quarters that included making the home handicapped ready. This was necessary since his only income is Social Security and his wife earns $14,000 per year. It would be impossible to qualify for a mortgage.
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.
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.
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 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.”


Bear markets don't announce themselves.  They just happen.  They begin with a sell-off when that most folks dismiss as a brief correction.  As they deepen, the question then becomes how far down will it go.  From my many decades of experience, it's been obvious that most investors are so shocked by what's going on that they do nothing.  Or, at the point of greatest pain (the bottom), they sell.  Very few have the fortitude to view the situation unemotionally and move their money to where the best opportunities are.  During bear markets, the best opportunities are in stocks, since the sell-off has reduced values to much more attractive levels.  But it's the rare investor who has the courage to buy in.  Most are paralyzed by fear.  
ANSWER: The entire world has NEVER been on the gold standard simultaneously. Asia was on a silver standard while the West was on a gold standard. Above is the first coin struck in Hong Kong in 1866 which was the Hong Kong Dollar. The West struck Trade Dollars during the 19th century to pay for goods from Asia and they were silver – never gold. Here is an example of both the British and American trade dollars used in payments particularly with China. The Spanish 8 reals Americans called Pillar Dollars and slicing this up into pieces like a pie gave rise to the term for a Piece of Eight – 2 bits, 4 bits, 8 bits a dollar.  Read More

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
A new survey of 375 US chief financial officers, which is in the latest Financial Analysts Journal, found earnings’ “misrepresentation” tended to be large, approximating to 10 per cent of reported earnings. Usually, companies exaggerate earnings, although profits are deliberately lowballed in a third of cases; by establishing “cookie jar reserves” that reduce current profits, firms can later boost earnings by releasing reserves.
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Like the Doctor, I think home prices are resetting to fundamentals. When you lose your equity suddenly you don’t care if prices fall another 30 to 40 percent. With this growing contingent of negative equity homeslaves approaching critical mass you may see the following solution arise to reset home prices so our economy can regain its stability as people will have more money available for other parts of their budget that is now being confiscated for the Too Big To Fails.

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


Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. The company has a Zacks Rank #1. In the last 60 days, 15 earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings increased 7.3% in the same period. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year is 14.3% and 9.5%, respectively.
In 2005, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) said section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) which requires chief executive officers to certify the accuracy of financial statements caused capital flight away from the U.S. stock market.[18] Later in 2008, Paul said that the government bailouts of badly run corporations was rewarding bad behavior and punishing good behavior, and that it prevented resources from being allocated away from inefficient uses to more productive uses, and that this lowered the overall amount of wealth across the entire economy.[19]

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 ...…

Economic cracks big enough to drive a car industry into are opening up all over the globe. Trade gaps are opening up between major allies. Widening spreads between the dollar and other currencies are shredding emerging markets. As we start into summer, these cracks and several others described below have become big enough to get everyone’s attention, just as I said last year would become the situation.
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.
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