Research from Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff shows that when a country’s government debt-to-GDP ratio stays over 90% for more than five years, its economy loses around one-third of its growth rate. Lacy also points out that “the longer the debt overhang persists, the relationship between economic growth and debt becomes nonlinear.” This is happening to the US today with the economy growing at only half its long-term growth rate.
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.
Murphy also included the District of Columbia in his research, and found it had a psychopathy level far higher than any other state. But this finding is an outlier, as Murphy notes, as it’s an entirely urban area and cannot be fairly compared with larger, more geographically diverse, US states. That said, as Murphy notes, “The presence of psychopaths in District of Columbia is consistent with the conjecture found in Murphy (2016) that psychopaths are likely to be effective in the political sphere.”

Every college publication on the market states your university meets about 95% of its student’s need, and we have seen award letters sent to high school seniors in our area substantiating this number. We would like to request that Anywhere University reward Heath, a current student with a 3.4 GPA, an award package equal to, or better than, an incoming freshman. It will be financially difficult for us to continue to send Heath to Anywhere University without an increase in financial aid.

The level of panic that we witnessed on Wall Street on Wednesday was breathtaking.  After a promising start to the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average started plunging, and at the close it was down another 608 points.  Since peaking at 26,951.81 on October 3rd, the Dow has now fallen 2,368 points, and all of the gains for 2018 have been completely wiped out.  But things are even worse when we look at the Nasdaq.  The percentage decline for the Nasdaq almost doubled the Dow’s stunning plunge on Wednesday, and it has now officially entered correction territory.  To say that it was a “bloodbath” for tech stocks on Wednesday would be a major understatement. Read More

Tom Clancy's books have always been a favorite. I loved Jack Ryan, and I know he was a central figure in this novel as well. However, it appears I no longer have the patience to read until it becomes interesting for me to continue. Couldn't keep up with the characters, and although I hate to say this, I was just plain bored. A book is "good" for me if it is difficult to put down.
The satan-worshipping Khazarian mafia is in a frenzy of fear as military tribunals loom.  As a result, they are offering the world (as if it were theirs to give) to China in exchange for protection, according to Gnostic Illuminati and Asian secret society sources.  In addition to this, they are threatening to unleash pandemics, blow up the Yellowstone Caldera, set off a massive EMP attack, and cause other mayhem in a futile effort (as these attempts will be neutralized) to blackmail themselves out of the reach of long-delayed justice.  Also, they are carrying out a foolish and widely derided smear campaign to derail the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. 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.
2. Assuming NO appreciation on the house, and ignoring my monthly home payments (only looking at initial deposit (investment) and my ending house value 30 years from now), I get approximately 5% real return in almost every scenario on the initial deposit. Varying inflation from 0% to 10% annually has wide impacts on nominal rates and final house values (assuming house keeps up with inflation), but the real value stays almost 5% annually in most case.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast wherever you listen.Turkey is the Epicenter of Emerging Market ConcernsRight now, the epicenter of the concerns about the emerging markets is coming from Turkey. What is the problem with the Turkish lira? Turkish President Erdogan is veering off into some very dangerous territory with his stance with the Central Ban ...…
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.
I have been following Peter Schiff for awhile now. As a result of his first book, I was able to get my retirement out of US stocks before the Oct '08 crash. With this book, I was able fine tune my financial plans and investments and help a number of friends do the same. In the midst of the worst economic mess since the Great Depression, I haven't lost any wealth (I am up 2% overall in the past 6 months) and I am poised to take advantage of further downturns. You can read all the books you want but none of it will do any good unless you ACT, and this book gives you a good plan of action. It is easy-to-read and understand, and Peter's writing style is no-nonsense, sprinkled with some humor. He clearly has a firm grasp of Austrian economics and the crisis we find ourself in. A great read that you will pass around to friends.
A few days after we reported that the investment vehicle of Sweden's most powerful family, the Wallenbergs, has begun preparations for the next global crisis, concerns about the future have spread to one of China's largest state-backed asset manager which runs about HK$139 billion ($18 billion) in assets, and which said it was preparing to sell shares in as many as 30 stocks on concern that valuations worldwide have peaked. Read More
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

I have tried to explain this concept many times before but never had a chart to do it with. Please note the start date of the chart is 1971, this is not by any coincidence as that was the year the U.S. dollar became fully fiat and backed by nothing but “faith”. Before getting started, it is important to understand what August 15, 1971 really meant and why Nixon took us off the gold standard. The obvious is because with France and other nations demanding conversion of dollars into our gold, it would have only been a few short years before our stockpile was completely depleted. Read More

In the months ahead, knowing that you can depend on us to guide you through Market turbulence will be most reassuring. In this market, Buy & Hold can only lead to financial ruin. When stressed, we humans tend to fall back on strategies that worked in the past, despite a vastly differing market environment than any time since 1929. With Exceptional Bear, you choose which asset-class ETFs to employ, and which to exclude. 
You’ll keep wasting money on expired put options (like spending insurance premiums), and it will drag down your returns during bull markets. Then during a bear market, you might get a nice payout when one of your recent round of put options finally becomes valuable, but it might not make up for all the expired put options you already paid for, depending on how long you’ve been doing it.
As Benjamin Westerman, CPA/PFS, CFP® in St. Louis, MO explains, many investors look to bond holdings and cash during a market downturn. “Bonds are your 'sleep at night' money that is protected during a bear market, while you wait for your investment portfolio to recover. In addition, if you have any money on the sidelines or are still in the accumulation/savings phase of your life, this is a great opportunity to invest in equities while stocks are on sale.”
Ironically it is not completely divided between East and West, as a few European governments have been hedging their bets by repatriating their gold from offshore over the past few years.  But the race to accumulate gold has been primarily relegated to a few countries such as Russia, China, India, and Turkey, where combined they hold very powerful 'Trump Cards' as their economies, and along with the rest of the BRICS nations, make up 40% of the world's population. Read More
“What a difference a day makes”! Well we didn’t get the sun and the flowers like in Dinah Washington’s song but more like storm and showers. For the ones who don’t remember Dinah, Amy Winehouse made a more recent version of the song. Last week I warned investors again, in the strongest tone possible, of the risks in markets. So what triggered it? Was it the Fed’s interest rise? Or was it the trade war with China? Or maybe it was Kavanaugh?
“The big lesson of history is that we have run the experiment of hyper-globalization before. In the late 19th century, many of the forces we are seeing [today] were at work: International migration reached levels we have begun to see again, the percentage of the US population that was foreign born reached 14%, and free trade and international capital flows reached new heights. At the time, the 1% were tremendously happy. Unfortunately, they underestimated the backlash that happens when globalization runs too far. The populist backlash [in the late 19th century] was just the beginning of a succession of crises that culminated in 1914 with WWI. War can be global too, and we will know the Liberal International Order has failed when it does what the last one did, and that is to produce a major conflict.”

Erik Townsend welcomes Jim Grant to MacroVoices. Erik and Jim discuss new Fed governor Powell, treasury yields and how far the FED go before something breaks. They discuss his outlook on inflation, gold, junk bonds, China and the drivers of long term debt cycles. They reflect on History and what happened when the FED did not bail out the banks in 1920 and considerations on what actions the US government can take to deal with the debt.
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.
But this time it didn't work. The market had been retreating for days and then tumbled 724 Dow points yesterday allegedly on the Donald's $50 billion tariff assault on the China trade. Not surprisingly, the overnight follow-through in Asia was downright bloody with Shanghai down 3.4%,the Nikkei lower by 4.5% and China's NASDAQ equivalent off by more than 5%. Read More

Peter Schiff has been saying for weeks this is a bear market. Well, now even Pres. Trump has said investors may see some short-term pain in the stock market. But the president says it will all be worth it because we will get long-term gain, referring to the benefits we’ll reap when we win the trade war. In his most recent podcast, Peter said that’s not how it’s going to play out. Read More


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.”
Velocity can also tell us about the long-term direction of bond yields. As velocity is a main determinate of nominal GDP, and yields track nominal GDP, Lacy believes that the secular low for interest rates are not in hand: “In my view, we will not see the secular low in interest rates until the velocity of money reaches its secular trough, and that is not something that’s going to happen soon.”
The primary reason why stock prices have been soaring in recent months is because corporations have been buying back their own stock at an unprecedented pace.  In fact, the pace of stock buybacks is nearly double what it was at this time last year.  According to Goldman Sachs, S&P 500 companies spent 384 billion dollars buying back stock during the first half of 2018.  That is an absolutely astounding number.  And in many cases, corporations are going deep into debt in order to do this.  Of course this is going to push up stock prices, but corporate America will not be able to inflate this bubble indefinitely.  At some point a credit crunch will come, and the pace of stock buybacks will fall precipitously. Read More
Older investors who need cash returns like dividends should mostly sit tight, or shift asset mixes more toward U.S. stocks, since the U.S. has the world's most fundamentally strong and stable economy right now. U.S. company dividends are not in apparent danger. But older investors tempted to try to snag some Apple or Facebook on the cheap might want to wait for clearer signs of stabilization before trying to make an opportunity of the sell-off.
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.
That concludes the fifth and final installment in this series. I hope you have enjoyed reading my insights into these “big ideas” as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Although it’s over, I do have something special to send you in the coming days. It’s a personal video message that I just finished recording. Think of it as a stepping stone to taking these “big ideas” to the next level. I’ll tell you more about it in my series recap email, tomorrow.
The FBI brass must have needed hazmat suits to scrub DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on agency misconduct in the 2016 elections, since the evidence of treason at the highest level of government was abundant. The truth is being hidden, and the result is a fiction representative of something out of Orwell’s ‘1984‘; and so, we must do everything within our power to force the issue in opposition to status quo voices in government and the media, who are not representing the U.S. Constitution and objectives based on our founding virtues, We must hold these criminals, these traitors, in the FBI, the DOJ and elsewhere within the government, accountable for illegally working to prevent Donald Trump from winning the election and afterwards trying to unseat him from power.  Read More
The golden Colossus of Trump looms over the national scene this summer like one of Jeff Koons’s giant, shiny, balloon-puppy sculptures — a monumental expression of semiotic vacancy. At the apogee of Trumpdom, everything’s coming up covfefe. The stock market is 5000 points ahead since 1/20/17. Little Rocket Man is America’s bitch. We’re showing those gibbering Asian hordes and European café layabouts a thing or two about fair trade. Electric cars are almost here to save the day. And soon, American youth will be time-warping around the solar system in the new US Space Corps! Read More
The drop below the support at $1220 in July was particularly damaging and led to additional liquidation and a capitulation spike down to $1160, despite an overwhelmingly bullish technical picture. The speculative positioning of Comex traders (COT) is usually a reliable contrarian indicator at turning points, and in fact the COT readings are at an extreme bullish level not seen since the beginning of gold’s last secular bull market in 2001. When it looks too good to be true, it usually is. Read More
It could be the arrival of a “sudden stop”. As I explain in Escape from the Central Bank Trap (BEP, 2017), a sudden stop happens when the extraordinary and excessive flow of cheap US dollars into emerging markets suddenly reverses and funds return to the U.S. looking for safer assets. The central bank “carry trade” of low interest rates and abundant liquidity was used to buy “growth” and “inflation-linked” assets in emerging markets. Read More
I think the bottom line is that the hot market is Trump Bashing stories. Pursuing a story that might vindicate him or show him to be the victim of an abusive Obama Administration would bring down the thunder of the entire Left and it would mean basically having to admit that they’ve been butt kissing enablers for the past 2 presidential terms, and that their defenses of Obama and Hillary were really just the soft bigotry of lowered expectations because they were so focused on ‘first woman’ and ‘first black man’ without bothering to listen to what either of them actually said. The cognitive dissonance would then cause the entire left side of the political spectrum of the US to collapse under it’s own weight. Think Inception.
During bear market periods, investing can be risky even for the most seasoned of investors. A bear market is a period marked with falling stock prices. In a bear market, investor confidence is extremely low. Many investors opt to sell off their stocks during a bear market for fear of further losses, thus fueling a vicious cycle of negativity. Although the financial implications of bear markets can vary, typically, bear markets are marked by a 20% downturn or more in stock prices over at least a two-month timeframe.
The world is familiar with FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google), then came FAANG, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google. But are you familiar with BANNG? We would like to introduce to the world a countercyclical group of stocks that could be the biggest winners if FAANGs lose. BANNG = Barrick Gold, Agnico Eagle, Newmont Mining, Newcrest Mining, and Goldcorp. They are the collection of gold stocks that would appear in all the major gold stocks ETFs, major indices in their respective countries. They have the liquidity, market cap, dividends, along with being the group of some of the largest gold miners in the world. Barrick and Newmont are the largest gold miners in the world. Both FAANG and BANNG stocks are in a global equity fund managers MSCI ACWI Index (All Country World Index). Read More
The entire defense sector reports this week. At least the big guys do. Margin compression and the potential for lost contracts weigh heavy on these stocks right now. This is one area where I will be slow to withdraw amid weakness. Domestic and allied monies intended for this space will not draw down in a Cold War environment. Lockheed Martin (LMT) reports this morning. The numbers should be good. However, the firm has a number of deals in place with Saudi Arabia. My plan is to wait for the call before doing anything stupid. Boeing (BA) , General Dynamics (GD) , and Northrop Grumman (NOC) all report tomorrow morning, while Raytheon (RTN) will go to the tape on Thursday morning.
The type of project or projects that are funded by a bond affects the taxability of income received on the bonds. Interest earnings on bonds that fund projects that are constructed for the public good are generally exempt from federal income taxes, while interest earnings on bonds issued to fund projects partly or wholly benefiting only private parties, sometimes referred to as private activity bonds or PABs, may be subject to federal income tax. However, qualified private activity bonds, whether issued by a governmental unit or private entity, are exempt from federal taxes because the bonds are financing services or facilities that, while meeting the private activity tests, are needed by a government. See a list of those projects in Section 141 of the IRS Code.
During the first half of the year, I repeatedly suggested that most folks lighten up on equities and hold 25% to 50% in cash. That included five consecutive columns on MarketWatch between February and May which discussed different reasons for my thinking. I took quite the verbal thrashing from some commentators that I dare suggest the cyclical bull market was approaching risky levels.

The environment surrounding the historic expansion of the U.S. economy from March 1992 through March 2001 mirrors in many ways the expansion of the 1960s. After a somewhat subdued start, productivity perked up to average 2.4% per year from 1995 onward. This improved productivity growth was accompanied by strong economic growth and a surging stock market, while inflation remained relatively low. Returning to Figure 1, we see that a bottom for the (inflation-adjusted) stock market occurred in October 1990, followed by a “bull” market that accelerated rapidly after 1994, fueled by the high-tech boom. From December 1994 to its peak in August 2000, the stock market increased in value by $9.7 trillion, with the S&P 500 rising by an extraordinary 226%, or by 40% per year, for an average annual increase after adjusting for inflation of 34%. (See Lansing 2002 for a discussion of these valuations.) From 1994:Q4 to 2000:Q3, the inflation-adjusted net worth per capita of households increased by over 8% per year, with financial assets regaining prominence in households’ asset portfolios. By 2000:Q3, they comprised slightly more than 70% of the total. The market peaked in August 2000, and over the next two years, the inflation-adjusted value of the S&P 500 fell more than 43%.


I’m not sure if the Liberal International Order will end in war, but the current state of affairs can’t last much longer. Globalization has jumped the shark, and as a result, we are seeing a powerful backlash from those who have been hurt by it. There is no way to predict how this situation will unfold. But I know that I want to be the first to hear about any developments, because they have serious implications for financial markets and the societies we live in.
The noose appears to be tightening further around the law-less behaviors of the Obama administration in their frantic efforts to protect former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from lawsuits seeking information about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server and her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The primary reason why stock prices have been soaring in recent months is because corporations have been buying back their own stock at an unprecedented pace.  In fact, the pace of stock buybacks is nearly double what it was at this time last year.  According to Goldman Sachs, S&P 500 companies spent 384 billion dollars buying back stock during the first half of 2018.  That is an absolutely astounding number.  And in many cases, corporations are going deep into debt in order to do this.  Of course this is going to push up stock prices, but corporate America will not be able to inflate this bubble indefinitely.  At some point a credit crunch will come, and the pace of stock buybacks will fall precipitously. Read More
Stock market downturn of 2002 9 Oct 2002 Downturn in stock prices during 2002 in stock exchanges across the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe. After recovering from lows reached following the September 11 attacks, indices slid steadily starting in March 2002, with dramatic declines in July and September leading to lows last reached in 1997 and 1998. See stock market downturn of 2002.

Falling investor confidence is perhaps more powerful than any economic indicator, and it also often signals a bear market. When investors believe something is going to happen (a bear market, for example), they tend to take action (selling shares in order to avoid losses from expected price decreases), and these actions can ultimately turn expectations into reality. Although it is a difficult measure to quantify, investor sentiment shows through in mathematical measurements such as the put/call ratio, the advance/decline line, IPO activity and the amount of outstanding margin debt.
The haunting Gary Jules version of the Tears for Fears’ Mad World speaks to me in these tumultuous mad times. It must speak to many others, as the music video has been viewed over 132 million times. The melancholy video is shot from the top of an urban school building in a decaying decrepit bleak neighborhood with school children creating various figures on the concrete pavement below. The camera pans slowly to Gary Jules singing on the rooftop and captures the concrete jungle of non-descript architecture, identical office towers, gray cookie cutter apartment complexes, and a world devoid of joy and vibrancy. Read More
In addition, during World War II, the Empire of Japan considered wildfires as a possible weapon. During the spring of 1942, Japanese submarines surfaced near the coast of Santa Barbara, California, and fired shells that exploded on an oil field, very close to the Los Padres National Forest. U.S. planners hoped that if Americans knew how wildfires would harm the war effort, they would work with the Forest Service to eliminate the threat.[7][16] The Japanese military renewed their wildfire strategy late in the war: from November 1944 to April 1945, launching some 9,000 fire balloons into the jet stream, with an estimated 11% reaching the U.S.[23] In the end the balloon bombs caused a total of six fatalities: five school children and their teacher, Elsie Mitchell, who were killed by one of the bombs near Bly, Oregon, on May 5, 1945.[24] A memorial was erected at what today is called the Mitchell Recreation Area.
The nearly decade-long U.S. economic expansion may look a little long in the tooth, but it is not about to end due to old age. Economic expansions need a catalyst that triggers a downward spiral of consumer and business retrenchment. The most common recession catalyst for the United States has been the collision of rising interest rates with heavy debt loads, corporate valuations that appear to have run ahead of free-cash-flow generation, or both. Add trade tensions and geo-political uncertainties, which may work to slow global growth, and it seems like the current situation has the potential to trigger a recession. Read More

Japan urban land prices are back to levels last seen in the 1980s.  You have to ask if there are parallels to our current condition.  The first point we all have to agree on is that both economies had extraordinarily large real estate bubbles.  For the United States the answer to this assumption is a big yes.  We can run off a check list of how our real estate markets run similarities:
Not only does David explain the idea behind a bear market on this episode of Money For the Rest of Us, he also examines nominal yields and how they can be dissected into the expected path of future short-term interest rates and term premiums. While the drivers behind climbing interest rates cannot always be observed directly, these two main factors shed light on just how high interest rates could climb in the coming years. Also, learn how the Federal Reserve estimates the path of short-term of interest rates and why term premiums are countercyclical and tend to rise when there is a great deal of investor uncertainty.
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