We are barely out of the gates in 2018 and the S&P 500 is up over 4%. From just looking around me it is clear entrepreneurs and consumers are optimistic about the future. For much of the last decade the general public wouldn't touch equities with a ten foot pole. Now people are taking on debt to buy as much cryptoassets as possible. I don't share this optimism and primarily look for investments outside of the U.S. and in special situations and investments that may have low or negative correlation to the general direction of the market. Seven reasons why I want to be very careful going into 2018: Read More
Build America Bonds are a taxable municipal bond created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that carry special tax credits and federal subsidies for either the bond holder or the bond issuer. Many issuers have taken advantage of the Build America Bond provision to secure financing at a lower cost than issuing traditional tax-exempt bonds. The Build America Bond provision, which expired on January 1, 2011, was open to governmental agencies issuing bonds to fund capital expenditures.[9][10][11]
"We expect both a deterioration in earnings quality and a peak in organic growth in 2018," Mike Wilson, Morgan Stanley's chief US equity strategist, wrote in a client note. "The bear market in valuations has already begun and supports our overall view that the next cyclical bear market in US equities may have already begun, but is being masked by an index price level that has fallen only 12% thanks to the adrenaline shot to EPS from tax."
Silver soared recently and white metal’s rally was accompanied by a huge volume. Those who are new to the precious metals market will probably immediately view this as bullish as that’s what the classic technical analysis would imply. Silver is not a classic asset, though, and classic measures often don’t apply to it. One way to check the real implications of a given development is to examine the previous cases and see what kind of action followed. That’s what we’re going to do in today’s free analysis. Let’s start with silver’s daily chart. Read More

The rise of protectionism has serious implications for investors. We have become used to companies being able to break into new markets and the idea of “multinational corporations.” This may not be the case going forward. Investors will have to pay a lot more attention to where the companies they choose to invest in operate, and where their sales come from. In short, protectionism is on the rise and investors must prepare accordingly.
Assuming that the decline from the January-2018 peak is a short-term correction that will run its course before the end March (my assumption since the correction’s beginning in late-January), the recent price action probably is akin to what happened in February-March of 2007. In late-February of 2007 the SPX had been grinding its way upward in relentless fashion for many months. Read More
They've promised full pensions to their workers. But they aren't putting aside enough money — or generating high enough returns — to fulfill those future obligations. Soon, they'll have to cannibalize current workers' pension contributions to pay retirees. Young and middle-aged government employees will likely never receive the retirement benefits they're counting on.
Appeal Case – “As you know I needed to appeal but was not sure of the best approach. I was surprised when you told me you only accept certain appeals because you want to make sure they are valid appeals. Now I understand your process and your appeal expertise. I am so happy my appeal was valid, your service is the best investment I have ever made.” – Sophia H. – Arizona [Appeal Award $11,000]

Back in mid-December, when the stock market’s valuation and the mood of investors hit its high, the S&P 500 was trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.9, based on expected earnings for the next four quarters. Since then, while stocks are up, they haven’t nearly kept pace with earnings growth, which is on track to climb 25 percent this year. The result: Stock market valuations have plummeted, falling well past correction territory, which is typically considered a drop of 10 percent. At one point on Tuesday, the weighted valuation of the stocks in the S&P 500 fell to as low as 15.6, or down 17 percent from the December high. The S&P’s P/E ended the day at 15.9.
Major international comparisons have long concluded that Americans’ ability to effectively utilize mathematics is inadequate. Such conclusions divide students, parents, teachers and administrators into camps that share little more than blaming others for the problems. However, it is unclear whether all the finger-pointing indicates a real desire to overcome our innumeracy. In fact, we systematically misuse numbers to distort reality because we want to fool ourselves, making our ineptitude no surprise.
While the EU’s handling of the financial crisis hasn’t been good for business, I believe their mismanagement of the migrant crisis will prove to be their real downfall. According to Frontex, the EU border surveillance agency, over the course of 2015 and 2016, more than 2.3 million illegal crossings into Europe were detected. This influx of migrants hasn’t gone unnoticed.
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.
Unlike the last credit crisis when the dollar rose sharply in a general panic for safety, on the next crisis, the dollar is likely to fall substantially. The reason is that foreign ownership of dollar investments (typically in US Treasuries) appears greatly overextended, and an additional $4 trillion of liquidity is in the wrong (non-US) hands. This is likely to be unloaded during a general credit crisis, driving the dollar lower. Read More
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 ...…
Peter Schiff is an economist, financial broker/dealer, author, frequent guest on national news, and host of the Peter Schiff Show. He follows up his daily two-hour show with a weekly podcasts focusing on weekly economic data analysis and unbiased coverage of financial news, both in the U.S. and global markets. As entertaining as he is informative, Peter packs decades of brilliant insight into every news item. Join the thousands of fans who have benefited from Peter's commitment to getting the real story out every week.

Rate and Review This Podcast on iTunesThanks to Listeners for 400 Episodes of The Peter Schiff Show PodcastFor those of you who say that Peter Schiff does Podcasts when the Dow is down, Dow Jones was up 547 points today. This is my 400th episode of the Peter Schiff Show Podcast. I want to take a moment to thank my audience - everybody who has b ...…
Globalization has been bad for these sections of society because it changed the relative value of capital and labor. When capital and goods could flow freely between the US and emerging market countries, the value of labor in the US fell dramatically. Today, we are at a point where labor share of income has fallen to an all-time low of 57%. That means a growing fraction of the gains have been going to capital, and those who have it.
Over the past four decades, globalization has enabled the transfer of millions of jobs from the US to various emerging-market countries. It changed the relative value of capital and labor all over the world. The top earners started getting a larger share of their income from investments than from their labor. They own the “means of production,” and the producers did increasingly well from the ’70s forward. 
First, ours is an old and over-extended bull market, one that has been pumped up by truly massive Fed infusions of capital into big banks so that they could become solvent again and even buy stocks so that there will be “trickle-down” to the overall economy and the wealthy. Now the Fed wants to withdraw from its position as “sugar-daddy”. The Fed’s new resolve is clearly bearish for the market. How can it not be?
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.

Beginning in 2010, central banks around the world turned from being net sellers of gold to net buyers of gold. Last year official sector activity rose 36 percent to 366 tonnes – a substantial increase from 2016. The top 10 central banks with the largest gold reserves have remained mostly unchanged for the last few years. The United States holds the number one spot with over 8,000 tonnes of gold in its vaults – nearly as much as the next three countries combined.


Surely last week this foundering nation finally reached Peak Social Justice Warrior Bullshit with The New York Times hiring of genocide-for-white-people advocate Sarah Jeong, 30, as an op-ed writer on tech matters. Apparently, one angle of the tech world Sarah Jeong overlooked was the mile-wide Twitter trail of messages she left over the past ten years declaring that white people should be “canceled out,” “made to live underground like groveling goblins,” or this pungent one from the Reinhard Heydrich playbook: “Oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men.” Read More
The governments of Australia and Canada have taken measures to curb foreign ownership of real estate. New Zealand has taken this a step further by outright banning foreign ownership of real estate. In Europe, there have been several “behind the border” restrictions enacted by countries, which are designed to bolster domestic industries. Thus, it seems to me even the most liberal of countries are realizing globalization has overshot.
Japanese asset price bubble 1991 Lasting approximately twenty years, through at least the end of 2011, share and property price bubble bursts and turns into a long deflationary recession. Some of the key economic events during the collapse of the Japanese asset price bubble include the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the Dot-com bubble. In addition, more recent economic events, such as the late-2000s financial crisis and August 2011 stock markets fall have prolonged this period.
Embrace uncertainty – Anyone who doesn’t follow this momentous maxim in coming years is likely to get one unpleasant shock after the next. Because the stable progression of the world economy since WWII is now coming to an end. What should have been a normal cyclical high in the next year or two, is now going to be the most massive implosion of a bubble full of debts and inflated assets. The system has been “successfully” manipulated for decades by central banks, certain commercial banks, the BIS in Basel and the IMF for the benefit of a small elite. Read More
Eighth Interest Rate HikeAs expected, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the eighth time, today. The rate is now 2 to 2.25 percent, so I guess the midpoint is 2.125%. The move was highly anticipated, of course, even I expected the Fed to raise rates. At this point I had been expecting that for some time ever since the Fed first began ...…

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.
First, ours is an old and over-extended bull market, one that has been pumped up by truly massive Fed infusions of capital into big banks so that they could become solvent again and even buy stocks so that there will be “trickle-down” to the overall economy and the wealthy. Now the Fed wants to withdraw from its position as “sugar-daddy”. The Fed’s new resolve is clearly bearish for the market. How can it not be?
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

The truth is California has been living off phony home equity gains for 40 years. Nothing was ever produced to create this money, Nothing. But, they all spent this counterfit cash into the economy like it was real. California has flourished under this scheme of ever increasing Real Estate prices, but the free ride is over. Now they’ll have to learn how to actually produce something to have prosperity.
When a brushland, woodland, or forested area is not affected by fire for a long period, large quantities of flammable leaves, branches and other organic matter tend to accumulate on the forest floor and above in brush thickets. When a forest fire eventually does occur, the increased fuel creates a crown fire, which destroys all vegetation and affects surface soil chemistry. Frequent and small 'natural' ground fires prevent the accumulation of fuel and allow large, slow-growing vegetation (e.g. trees) to survive.
Whether it's stated or not, one source of the inchoate outrage triggered by Russian-sourced purchases of adverts on Facebook in 2016 (i.e. "meddling in our election") is the sense that the U.S. is sacrosanct due to our innate moral goodness and our Imperial Project: never mind that the intelligence agencies of all great powers (including the U.S.) meddle in the domestic affairs and elections of other nations, including those of allies as well as geopolitical rivals-- no other great power should ever meddle with U.S. domestic affairs and elections. Read More

I remember when America was a free country. You could get on an airliner without an ID. Driving licenses didn’t even have photos. If a friend was coming through your city on a flight and had a few hours layover, you could meet them inside the airport for lunch or dinner. You could meet friends, children, and relatives at the gate or see them off at the gate. Parents could actually put children on the plane and grandparents could take them off.
But this strategy requires knowing when to sell, and bear markets can be very difficult to predict. As Ryan Miyamoto, a CFP® in Pasadena, CA, explains, “Selling at a loss is your biggest threat. A bear market will test your emotions and patience…The best strategy to control your emotions is to have a game plan. Start by creating a safety net that is not invested in the market. Seeing your accounts go down will be a lot easier if you know you have adequate cash on hand.”
Beyond all this, there is the impulsiveness of our beloved President Trump who actually does what he says he would do in his campaign. Until the end of January 2018, Wall Street thought he could be controlled and would only do the things they approved of. But Trump has his own agenda. So, now Wall Street has no choice but to worry about a trade war that could easily escalate. Why do you think so many of Trump’s advisors have recently left or been fired? They wanted him to be more cautious. But Trump wanted to keep the faith with his base and put tariffs up on steel, etc. to protect American manufacturing. Never mind, the consequences of Smoot-Hawley in 1930 when Europe was already suffering. N ever mind, the fact that so very much of what we buy in the US now comes from China. We cannot possibly start to make all the things we now import. Never mind, how much consumer prices will rise. And never mind the fact that successful sales of US Treasuries to finance our national debt depends on China. Trump’s economic nationalism is a very abrupt change from the last 30+ years of internationalism. Wall Street has grown rich and fat on such internationalism. Stock prices, especially for the big multi-nationals in the DJIA and the NASDAQ can only make adjustments to Trump’s tariffs by declining. Even if Trump backs away from his tariffs’ plan, Wall Street cannot feel quite safe. Trump has shown he wants to get votes in the “Rust-belt” at Wall Street’s expense. Horrors!
Historically, many things have been used as money. Cattle have been used as money in many societies, including Roman society. That’s where we get the word “pecuniary” from: the Latin word for a single head of cattle is pecus. Salt has been used as money, also in ancient Rome, and that’s where the word “salary” comes from; the Latin for salt is sal (or salis). The North American Indians used seashells. Cigarettes were used during WWII. So, money is simply a medium of exchange and a store of value. Read More

In 2008 through 2011, new public service announcements (PSAs) featuring Smokey rendered in CGI were released.[57] In 2010, the PSAs encouraged young adults to “Get Your Smokey On” – that is, to become like Smokey and speak up appropriately when others are acting carelessly.[58] In 2011, the campaign launched its first mobile application, or app, to provide critical information about wildfire prevention, including a step-by-step guide to safely building and extinguishing campfires, as well as a map of current wildfires across America.[59]
Early in 2018, we detailed Bridgewater's massive short bet against Europe, peaking at a record total short against the EU's biggest companies of around $22 billion. At the time we noted that, since Bridgewater is not known for picking individual stocks, the manager’s position was the result of a view on the wider economy according to James Helliwell, chief investment strategist of the Lex van Dam Trading Academy.
Michael J. Panzner, author and 25-year Wall-Street veteran, says that "the real reasons behind the sell-off ... include the bursting of history's biggest housing bubble, which triggered a shockwave of wealth destruction that has wreaked widespread havoc throughout the economy, as well as the unraveling of a multi-trillion-dollar financial house of cards built on greed, ignorance, and fraud."[15]
A very long and unnecessarily drawn out novel which included too much detail about war planning and the various weapons used. U.S. casualties were unrealistically low. Author did not recognize the U.S. National Missile Defense system. Not believable that the Russians would allow the Chinese to retreat from their soil without retribution. I read the book to the end to find out what would happen; it held my attention. This book is not up to Clancy's past books for credibility.
It wasn’t the RNC. It was the Free Beacon and was directed at at least a couple of Republican primary candidates beyond just Trump. When it became clear that Trump was going to win the nomination they withdrew from the process. That is when the DNC (Hillary’s campaign) took over and then along with Fusion GPS brought in Steele to compile what is now known as the dossier. Two completely separate processes which the media always tries to conflate.
The shares slumped -6.88% after dropping as much as -10% at the lows after the company’s CEO, in an interview with CNBC yesterday, failed to reassure market fears about a weakening financial position. The CEO suggested that the company will now urgently sell assets to address leverage and its precarious liquidity situation whereby it will have to rely on revolvers - and the generosity of its banks - now that it is locked out of the commercial paper market. Read More
The indicator I use to get a broader, real-time measure of inflation is the New York Fed’s Underlying Inflation Gauge (UIG). This gauge captures sustained movements in inflation from information contained in a broad set of price, real activity, and financial data. In December, the UIG hit its highest level since August 2006, as the below chart shows.
This all seems pretty gloomy. There is one key element missing, however, and that is exuberance. Bear markets usually start when there has been a mania of some kind. Bitcoin might count, but it remains a small area of financial markets, and elsewhere there is relatively little enthusiasm in evidence. There is no "suspension of disbelief" in mainstream equity markets, which would suggest that there could be further to run if some of the immediate concerns were allayed.
The 2000-02 bear market environment was similar. In short, a decent market bounce was overdue but it’s too early to write off the bears. Rough start not a bad omen Prior to last week’s bounce, there was much gnashing of teeth regarding how stocks had endured one of their worst starts to a year. Investors are still scarred by 2008, when early declines proved a foretaste of further bloodletting. But, an early-year bruising is not an inherently ominous affair, says an LPL Financial note. It found 19 cases where stocks endured heavy losses during the first six weeks of the year; on average, stocks returned 5.3 per cent over the remainder of the year, with positive returns ensuing in 58 per cent of occasions. In fact, 2008 is an exceptional case: over the last 40 years, it was the only time where a rough beginning to a year was followed by double-digit losses. There continues to be much chatter about 2016 being 2008 redux but a “sizable drop from here for the rest of the year”, says LPL, “would be extremely rare”.
You never know, at any point in time, if you are in a bear market. A bear market—commonly defined as a period in which a given stock index has dropped at least 20% from a peak—can only be identified after the fact. Until the market has dropped 20% from a peak, you are not yet in a bear market. Once it’s dropped 20%, you can say that you were in a bear market, but you still have no idea where the market’s going next of if you are in what will later be viewed as a bear market. Every uptick is potentially the end of a bear market and the beginning of a new bull market.
First, ours is an old and over-extended bull market, one that has been pumped up by truly massive Fed infusions of capital into big banks so that they could become solvent again and even buy stocks so that there will be “trickle-down” to the overall economy and the wealthy. Now the Fed wants to withdraw from its position as “sugar-daddy”. The Fed’s new resolve is clearly bearish for the market. How can it not be?

It's true that Treasuries rallied last week, as yield-starved foreign investors poured into the market following the Fed's rate decision and equity markets tumbled on the Trump administration's tariffs targeting Chinese exports. But the most telling part of the action was the 10-year Treasury yields only managed to drop a measly three basis points on the week as the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 1400 points in its worst decline in more than two years.
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