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).
Given the outsized effect that monetary tightening is having on the economy, will the Fed be able to continue on its current tightening program? How are stocks and bonds likely to perform in this environment? And how will the coming wave of retirees, which will significantly increase mandatory spending, affect the measures I discussed in this letter?
Hard science, like physics, has rules you can’t break. The law of gravity makes for very specific physical behavior that can be mathematically modeled. Economists want us to believe that their own models are as reliable as the law of gravity. But the real world is a complex, dynamic, out-of-balance mess that doesn’t fit inside anyone’s model. You can’t model a system that is as chaotic and unpredictable as an economy in an Excel spreadsheet or even in the latest and greatest statistical software.
Phil is a hedge fund manager and author of 3 New York Times best-selling investment books, Invested, Rule #1, and Payback Time. He was taught how to invest using Rule #1 strategy when he was a Grand Canyon river guide in the 80's, after a tour group member shared his formula for successful investing. Phil has a passion educating others, and has given thousands of people the confidence to start investing and retire comfortably.

This system, defined as the Liberal International Order, is the framework of rules, alliances, and institutions that is credited with the relative peace and prosperity the world has enjoyed since 1945. So, if the order has lost support, will the world plunge into beggar-thy-neighbor protectionism? Worse, without the threat of military intervention by the US and its allies, will regional powers start to challenge one another?


Lower incomes, more debt, and less job security.  What this translated to in Japan was stagnant home prices for 20 full years.  We are nearing our 10 year bear market anniversary in real estate so another 10 is not impossible.  What can change this?  Higher median household incomes across the nation but at a time when gas costs $4 a gallon, grocery prices are increasing, college tuition is in a bubble, and the financial system operates with no reform and exploits the bubble of the day, it is hard to see why Americans would be pushing home prices higher.
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2008 had already had more than its share of financial turmoil. In the months leading up to 9/15/2008, Bear Stearns, Fannie/Freddie, and AIG had already had major blowouts. The stock markets were very itchy and everyone was on edge. Most who worked in the industry knew it was just a matter of time until something much more systemic took place. Up until this time, the contagion had been mostly limited to the US, with some minor external collateral damage. We were both heavily involved in the financial/economic landscape at this time. Andy was running his investment advisory and economic consultancy firm and Graham was a strategy analyst for a major G7 central bank. We had already both come to independent conclusions that this was going to be a long emergency as coined by James Kunstler. This was not going to be a 3 or 6-month event and then it would be roses and cherries and cream for the whole world. Read More
What effect will a bear market in bonds have on equities? That depends. If bond yields rise above a certain level, equity risk premiums will start to look less attractive. Higher rates also push up interest costs for corporations, although the bank's analysts say interest rates would have to increase by 100 basis points in the U.S. and 250 basis points in Europe before they become a noticeable drag on earnings.
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”—Thomas Paine, December 1776
Dow Ending a Down Week on a Positive NoteThe Dow managed to finish a down week on a positive note; the Dow Jones was up about 55 points - 24,270-ish is where we closed. Although intra-day, we were up better than 250 points, so most fo the losses came toward the end of the day, as the Dow was not able to hold on to all those gains. It held on to ...…
Tensions are incredibly high in the United States right now. I realized that over the past three years, I’ve written that they’re “at an all-time high” far too many times. So, I’ll just say, they’re high enough that all hell could break loose at any moment given the right (wrong) application of fuel to the flame. The number one thing you can do for this situation to keep your family safe is to be prepared for lockdown.
Following a recent barrage of negativity from former Lehman trader and current Bloomberg macro commentator, Mark Cudmore, who warned that stocks are likely to continue sliding as a short squeeze in bonds sends yields lower, overnight his Bloomberg Markets Live colleague and macro commentator, Garfield Reynolds, echoed Cudmore's growing pessimism, urging readers to "Rest Up This Easter Because Markets Face an Ugly Q2"  and that "the worst for markets is yet to come" for four reasons he lists below.

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]
All day today the presstitute scum at NPR went on and on about President Trump, using every kind of guest and issue to set him up for more criticism as an unfit occupant of the Oval Office, because, and only because, he threatens the massive budget of the military/security complex by attempting to normalize relations with Russia. The NPR scum even got an ambassador from Montenegro on the telephone and made every effort to goad the ambassador into denouncing Trump for saying that Montenegro had strong and aggressive people capable of defending themselves and were not in need of sending the sons of American families to defend them. Somehow this respectful compliment about the Monenegro people was supposed to be an insult. The ambassador refused to be put into opposition to Trump. NPR kept trying, but got nowhere. Read More
POST YOUR REVIEW OF THIS PODCAST ON iTunesVoting Responsibly for FreedomI am "pro" young people because I want them to grow up in a free country. I want them to have every opportunity to be as prosperous as possible. Democracy is actually an enemy of freedom. Young people have a better chance to achieve their goals if the 18-19-20 year old gene ...…

The world economy has been living on borrowed time since the 2006-9 crisis. The financial system should have collapsed at that time. But the massive life support that central banks orchestrated managed to keep the dying patient alive for another decade. Lowering interest rates to zero or negative and printing enough money to double global debt seem to have solved the problem. But rather than saving the world from an economic collapse, the growth of debt and asset bubbles has created a system with exponentially higher risk. Read More


The rise in European yields is to some degree a reversal of the bizarre situation in which bond markets found themselves several weeks ago. The European Central Bank's quantitative easing program created a supply shortage for bonds, and in some cases yields fell deep into negative territory. They remained negative even as the Eurozone economy was showing signs of recovery and inflation expectations were rising. The sharp increase in yields in recent days could be seen as an overdue correction.
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