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.
Municipal bonds may be general obligations of the issuer or secured by specified revenues. In the United States, interest income received by holders of municipal bonds is often excludable from gross income for federal income tax purposes under Section 103 of the Internal Revenue Code, and may be exempt from state income tax as well, depending on the applicable state income tax laws. The state and local exemption was the subject of recent litigation in Department of Revenue of Kentucky v. Davis, 553 U.S. 328 (2008).
Now, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t throw in my own two Satoshis: Dr. D claims that “..everyone has an equal opportunity to solve the next calculation..”, but while that may perhaps have been sort of true at the very start, it isn’t now. It’s not true for the computerless or computer-illiterate, for those too poor to afford the electricity required by bitcoin mining, and for various other -very large- groups of people. Read More
After appointing a municipal advisor, bond issuers recruit a syndicate of legal professionals to serve as the financing team's bond counsel. The counsel works to verify the legal details of the issuance and ensure that the issuing agency is complying with all applicable laws and regulations. As the formal legal advisor for the deal team, the bond counsel will typically draft core documentation relating to bonds, including loan agreements, indentures, and other critical documents. Along these lines, the bond counsel is also tasked with reviewing and advising on any legal issues that might arise, and interpreting how tax laws affect the issuance. For instance, the bond counsel will decide if an issuance is exempt from state or federal taxes.
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."
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
There’s simply no single answer to the question: What causes a bear market? It might be monetary conditions, yield curve shifts, surpluses, a sector implosion, excess demand reverting or bad legislation impacting property rights. But it likely won’t be what it was last time. Two bear markets in a row rarely start with the same causes because most investors are always fighting the last war and are prepared for what took them down last time.
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.
And it isn't just expectations of future inflation that are changing - current inflation is picking up as well. In the U.S., annual core inflation (less food and energy) currently sits at 1.8 percent - up from 1.6 percent in the 12 months through January - and wages are rising. Even if oil prices remain flat over the next 12 months, year-over-year inflation comparisons in the Eurozone will turn positive in the fourth quarter, with expectations of annual inflation of 1.6 percent. As has happened in the U.S., Credit Suisse also thinks that investors may soon start questioning just when the ECB will taper quantitative easing. That, too, would be bad for bonds. Without the ECB as a big-time buyer, the supply of bonds will increase, pushing down prices.
When the financial media continuously repeat an opinion as fact, it spawns a mainstream narrative, which produces a powerful effect on investor psychology. One mainstream narrative, repeated with certainty, is low interest rates cause high stock market valuations, which is supported by the public statements of investment luminaries such as Warren Buffett.
Of these four potential causes, tightening by the Federal Reserve remains the key risk. Bond markets clearly believe this, as seen in the flattening of the yield curve (where long-dated bonds move lower, until they achieve a similar level to short-dated bonds). An inversion of the yield curve has generally been a sign of recession and usually pre-dates a bear market by around six months. We’re not there yet, but we are edging closer.
Since the closing of the gold window by Nixon there have been prominent and persistent voices which warned that fundamentally flawed financial system conditions would lead to long term catastrophe for the US and global economy. Those voices reached a crescendo during the serial market crises of 2000-2011. Now, after a 9 year rise in US stock markets, such cautionary narratives are difficult to find. Fears of debt bubble collapse scenarios have given way to complacency and the blanket assumption that central banker machinations have all the angles covered.
Anya Parampil reports on the US stock market downturn which began on Wednesday, finding that the mini-crash has rippled throughout international markets. Anya talks to Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, and Bart Chilton, Host of RT’s Boom Bust, to discuss what’s behind the meltdown and whether or not it could evolve into something to more severe.
Historically, municipal bonds have been one of the least liquid assets on the market. While stocks can be bought and sold within seconds on exchange platforms, given the current absence of widespread secondary market platforms for the exchange of stocks, municipal bonds are much harder to maneuver. At the same time, the minimum investment amounts for stocks are typically <$500 and about $1000 for CDs and money markets; in comparison, municipal bonds have higher average buy-in minimums of $5000. These minimum investment amounts previously barred many individuals from investing in bonds.
On the anniversary of finding Smokey Bear in the Capitan Gap fire, Marianne Gould from the Smokey Bear Ranger District, Eddie Tudor from the Smokey Bear Museum and Neal Jones from the local Ruidoso, New Mexico radio station created "Smokey Bear Days" starting in 2004. The event celebrates the fire prevention message from the Smokey Bear campaign as well as wilderness environment conservation with music concerts, chainsaw carving contests, a firefighter's "muster" competition, food, vendors and a parade. The "Smokey Bear Days" celebration is held in Smokey's hometown of Capitan, New Mexico the first weekend of May every year.
The rhetoric in the United States is heating up and we’re sounding anything but…well…united. It seems to most media pundits like we are too far down the path to Civil War 2.0 to turn back now. Activists are laying siege to government offices. Threats toward people who disagree are growing in ferocity. It’s ugly and getting uglier. It’s a powder keg that is about to erupt. (Here are some thoughts on what a full-fledged Civil War might look like.) Read More
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
Given the underwriter's role as a price marker, they also serve as a strategic partner to the issuing team, analyzing market conditions and trading, to help decide how and when the bonds should be sold. In many cases there will be a co-manager who works with the underwriter to help provide the capital to buy the issuance. In large issuances, the underwriter(s) will often put together a syndicate or selling group. This would consist of a group of bond salespeople who are skilled in the art of determining the right price for an issuance and a group of investors who’ll be willing to buy those bonds.
Since January, gold futures speculators have been trending from extremely bullish to scared short. And in the week ending last Tuesday (the most recent data available) they appeared to capitulate, adding a massive number of short positions while marginally cutting their longs. They’re now about as close to neutral as they’ve ever been. Based on the history of the past decade this is hugely bullish, since speculators tend to be wrong when they’re fully convinced they’re right. Read More
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/PeterSchiff/reviews/Relief Rally Post-MidtermsThe elections are over and the Blue Wave was averted and the Dow Jones rose 545 points today to celebrate that fact and the NASDAQ was up 194 points, 2.64%; Russell 2000 up 26 points, about 1.67% . Now you may be wondering why there w ...…
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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.
This study tends to support the general notion that now is the time for investors to be asking questions about the viability of the long term trend. It also supports the analysis that the bull market started in the 2011 time frame. It shows us consistently that it is the trend from 2011 that traders need to keep a watchful eye upon as well as the 50 week EMA. From a trading point of view, it's quite helpful to have some clear criteria for recognizing the end of a trend. In that light, while there is likely to be a rally in the primary indices, when that comes it is likely that some key sectors will not participate or will participate marginally. The same underperforming sectors are likely to break down first, giving advanced warning that the general market will be soon to follow.
JOIN PETER at the New Orleans Investment Conference https://neworleansconference.com/conference-schedule/ 831 Point Rout in the Dow Jones Industrial Average If you listened to Friday's podcast, I mentioned that I thought I would probably be doing a lot of podcasts this week. I did one yesterday, and I am doing another one today because my feeling about the stock market was confirmed today with an 831 point rout in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, down 3.15%. This is the biggest decline that the Dow has had since that 1000+ point drop that we had in February. I think it is maybe the third biggest down day ever, point-wise. Percentage-wise it's not even close. NASDAQ Down Over 4% The DJIA actually did a lot better than a lot of the other averages. The Dow Jones transports were down just over 4%; 445 points. the NASDAQ was down over 4% as well - 315 points. Weakness across the board in the stock market today. And it's not just the homebuilders and the autos. I've been talking about those sectors as leading indicators and, yes, many of those stocks made new 52-week lows today as well. But they were not the worst performers on the day. Financials Helped Lead the Declines The financials were helping to lead the decline. Again we have Morgan Stanley at a new 52-week low, down 3.3%. Goldman Sachs down 3.6%, a new 52-week low. But really, the biggest losers on the day were the tech stocks. These have been the stand-outs. This is what has been holding up the market - the FAANG stocks, all of these technology infotech stocks - and a lot of people were actually describing them irrationally as a "safe havens". I couldn't believe it when people were saying that tech stocks were the new "safe havens". When you hear stuff like that, you know you're close to the end. FAANG Stocks Selling in After-Hours Trading If you look at what some of these darlings did today, and I'm looking at the after-hours prices, too, because they're selling. More selling is going on now, after the bell. But look at NVIDIA, down over 9%, Amazon down 7.3%, Netflix down 10% on the day. AMD down 11% - Twitter down almost 9%, Apple down 5.5%, Intel 4.5%, Cisco, 4.7%, Facebook down almost 5%. this is basically one day plus an hour of aftermarket trading.
Fortunately, we do not have to make predictions right now. We can hedge by shorting the weakest stocks and we can adjust to changes in the technical evidence as needed. This is what I prefer. At the bottom, we should see bullish divergences of new DJI lows: (1) volume should pick up on rallies instead of declines, (2) closes should be above openings and (3) price downtrend-lines will then be broken. How far down the DJI will be at this point, when our Peerless system start giving Buys, I cannot say. But that’s what I am waiting for. Whatever the news is then, the Peerless Divergence-Buys will probably be a good time to buy. At least, that is what history shows. We are not at that point now. So, we have to be very careful about believing the first bounce up right now.
The most valuable bubble empirically for the purpose of our elucidation has to be the Mississippi bubble, whose central figure was John Law. Law, a Scotsman whose father’s profession was as a goldsmith and banker in Edinburgh, set up an inflation scheme in 1716 to rescue France’s finances. He proposed to the Regent for the infant Louis XIV a scheme that would be based on a new paper currency. Read More
Between tax legislation and cryptocurrencies, there’s been little interest in much else. As for tax cuts, it’s an inopportune juncture in the cycle for aggressive fiscal stimulus. And for major corporate tax reduction more specifically, with boom-time earnings and the loosest Credit conditions imaginable, it’s Epic Stimulus Overload. History will look back at this week - ebullient Republicans sharing the podium and cryptocurrency/blockchain trading madness - and ponder how things got so crazy. Read More
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.
The need to minimize the cost of distance has caused businesses and individuals to cluster around urban areas. This trend began during the Industrial Revolution 250 years ago, when millions of people moved to cities to work in factories. As Karen notes “Cities are dense urban hubs that minimize the cost of moving raw materials, labor and finished goods.”
It seems a lot of the otherwise sellers hold off selling and banks being very slow releasing REOs. They seem to think market will improve in San Diego in the next few months or later. Many of the ones on the market are so over priced they don’t go anywhere and price reductions are slow to come. There is definitely a stalemate between sellers and buyers in San Diego market.
In the last BullBear Market Report we took an in depth look at the very long term index charts and considered the possibility that a secular market shift could be approaching. This examination was prompted by the parabolic action in the major US market indices, Dow Jones 30 and S&P 500, from November 2016 through January 2018. During that parabolic run, upper trendline resistance was continually broken while lower trendlines increased their angles of ascent following each minor pullback. On the Dow monthly and quarterly charts, the major long term trend channels going back to the 1932 or 1949 market price lows were either breached to the upside or nearly approached from below, depending on the charting of the channel. Investor expectations ran hot in anticipation of the tax reform bill and even hotter after it was enacted. The Dow ran nearly 50% higher and SPX leapt almost 40% in that time and was followed, as parabolic runs always are, with a dramatic collapse in February of this year. Since all of this occurred in the context of a very long term Elliott Wave (V) count (the fifth wave of a move considered to be its final), it seemed appropriate to crack open the discussion on the potential for an eventual (though not immediate) epic bear market turn. Price and technical action since that time has continued to beg the question, and a current consideration of the technical evidence would, on balance, lead to the conclusion that the current bull market is in its latter stages. Given that the setup is for an either long term bear market (correcting the bull market that began in 2011) or very long term bear market (correcting the entire secular period from 1949), it's more likely that the topping process has only just begun and that the bull wave has yet to fully complete. Having said that, the probability is that upside will be relatively limited and that any further rallies will be subjected to selling distribution on an ongoing basis. The charts tend to suggest that bull market conditions may drag out another 10-24 months before shifting into a bear market. Supporting these conclusions are significant developments in other areas of the financial markets and the domestic and global economies, including:
First, market timing is difficult and often unreliable. But the anonymous author behind the brilliant Philosophical Economics blog (his Twitter handle is Jesse Livermore, the name of a legendary investor of the early twentieth century who made and lost millions and committed suicide in 1940) came up with a terrific method. It’s well worth your while reading his post In Search of the Perfect Recession Indicator.
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Great question. We are certainly in a confirmed market correction. The Four Horsemen have been released by the titans of doom. So are we in the early stages of a bear market? Is this just another selloff, as in February and April? Market movement is far more violent now that human decision-makers play a far less significant role in price discovery. Hey, humans were too slow for the big players. Well, you reap what you sow.
Sometimes bear markets happen because the market decides economic fundamentals simply can't support stock prices. An example is the post-2000 U.S. bear market, when the Internet and telecom bubbles burst. And sometimes it's because economic facts change in ways that make investors change their mind: the 2007-2009 bear market, as the housing market tanked, is the best recent example.
Already rising for two weeks, following the Geithner announcement the DJIA had its fifth-biggest one-day point gain in history. "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. 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. 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". 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.
The past few days have highlighted nervous investors are sensitive to policy changes by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, widely viewed as the most accommodative central banks in the world. Treasurys came under pressure earlier in the week after the Bank of Japan trimmed its monthly buying of long-dated government paper, drawing speculation that the move could herald a tapering to its assets purchases.
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.
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.
George is well versed in several areas, so I’m sure we will get into many intense discussions on topics ranging from technology to finance to economics. Yet, George is only one of the speakers that attendees will get to hear and meet. I really hope you can be there to experience it in person, with me. If you’re ready to learn more about the SIC 2018, and the other speakers who will be there, you can do so, here.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/PeterSchiff/reviews/FAANG's Took a Big Bite Out of the MarketAnother Monday, another big down day for the U.S. stock market, it is turning out to be one hell of a quarter; not all of the declines happening in October. But as I said earlier, it doesn't have to be in October for th ...…