Kirk Spano, the winner of the first MarketWatch competition to find the world’s next great investing columnist, is a registered investment advisor and founder of Bluemound Asset Management, LLC  which seeks to provide investors with greater safety, growth, income and freedom. Kirk’s biography and various business endeavors can be found at KirkSpano.com. Follow Kirk on Twitter @KirkSpano or at the Bluemound Facebook page for his columns, company analysis, letters, trade notes and what he is reading.
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.
The end game is upon us. With our aging demographic and continued employment loss, the US will have to maintain a policy of easy money and more QE. This will not bode well for real estate as employment is a key factor for paying a mortgage. The kids coming out of college arent finding good jobs and this will continue. So it’s monetary debasement with rising commodity costs. For as far as the eye can see.
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 ...…
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.”

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).


It is clear that plenty of asset allocators agree with him. The latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch Fund Manager survey showed an increasing allocation to defensives such as staples, REITS, the U.S. and banks. At the same time, fund managers are rotating out of cyclicals areas including energy, discretionary and materials. They are also avoiding anywhere with obvious risks, such as the U.K.
Some nasty dark clouds are forming on the financial horizon as total world debt is increasing nearly three times as fast as total global wealth.   But, that’s okay because no one cares about the debt, only the assets matter nowadays.  You see, as long as debts are someone else’s problem, we can add as much debt as we like… or so the market believes.
This is money borrowed by (usually individual or “retail”) investors against their existing stocks to buy more stocks. Investors tend to do this when markets are rising and using leverage seems like an effortless way turbocharge their gains. But eventually the market turns down, leaving stock portfolios insufficient to cover related margin debt and generating “margin calls” in which brokers demand more money and/or start liquidating customer portfolios. This sends the market down sharply and indiscriminately, as fairly-valued babies are dumped along with overvalued bathwater. The result: a quick, brutal bear market. Read More
MACRO VOICES is presented for informational and entertainment purposes only. The information presented in MACRO VOICES should NOT be construed as investment advice. Always consult a licensed investment professional before making important investment decisions. The opinions expressed on MACRO VOICES are those of the participants. MACRO VOICES, its producers, and hosts Erik Townsend and Nathan Egger shall NOT be liable for losses resulting from investment decisions based on information or viewpoints presented on MACRO VOICES.
By now, hopefully, Americans have put two and two together and figured out that it isn’t the Chinese government that will pay for Trump’s tariffs, but the Chinese consumer. Much like the American government will not pay for China’s tariffs, it will be the American consumer. Those costs are passed on directly to the public in the form of higher cost of goods. Read More
The question often arises in liberty movement circles as to how we get to the point of full blown tyranny within a society.  There are numerous factors that determine this outcome, but through all the various totalitarian systems in history there are common denominators – elements that must be there for tyrants to prevail.  When we can identify these common elements in an objective manner, we make it far more difficult for despotic structures to stand.
Now the Bruce and Nellie Ohr syory is actually funny and a complete novel yet it digs to the heart and the real meat of the deep tentacles these rascals were using… The Ohr story is the best proof yet and I will never believe Sessions and company did not know all this long ago. Like before he recused……These people are like impacted infected wisdom teeth that need pulling and maybe cracking with a hammer first to get it all out….
None of this means stocks were at a bottom Wednesday. At this point, we may need the classic “big puke moment” of capitulation to wipe out the remaining weak hands, restore enough fear and respect for the market and clear the air. No one knows when that will happen. But watch for a big whoosh down at an open, followed by a quick and sharp reversal, and some gains.
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:
Written by seasoned Wall Street prognosticator Peter Schiff–author of the bestselling book Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse–The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets reveals how you should protect your assets and invest your money when the American economy is experiencing perilous economic downturns and wealth building is happening elsewhere. Filled with insightful commentary, inventive metaphors, and prescriptive advice, this book shows you how to make money under adverse market conditions by using a conservative, nontraditional investment strategy.
Bill Gross co-founded Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC, or PIMCO, where he earned a reputation as a particularly savvy bond fund manager. He now does the same in his position at Janus Capital Group Inc. Money cites Gross as another big-name investor who predicted the 2008 crash, raising a cash hoard of $50 billion to cover potential counter party claims against PIMCO.

In today's low interest rate environment, equity is being retired by many companies through stock buybacks. Many mergers are still being done with debt...since it is less expensive than issuing stock. Also, I would argue that the value of a well run company with good finances and a rising dividend stream is far greater, per se, than it has been historically.
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
The Peerless Stock Market Timing system of automatic trading that I use has given what I call a “near Sell S9”. The “Peerless Sell S9” I invented has a pretty amazing track record. Here are recent examples. But there were many more in earlier years. October 1987 July 1990 July 1998 January 2000 February 2001 May 2002 July 2007 December 2007 March 2008 May 2008
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/PeterSchiff/reviews/An Advanced Auction on the Sale of Stolen GoodsTomorrow is Election Day, or as H.L. Mencken once described the process, "An advanced auction on the sale of stolen goods". My wife has been bugging me for some time to urge people who listen to my podcast to go o ...…
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.

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.
The above shows how Vanguard is just lucky to operate in the U.S. where the economic growth has been a bit stronger than in the Netherlands, and it enjoys the self-reinforcing effect of $2 billion coming into the market every day. However, the bulk of Vanguard’s success was made in the 1980s and 1990s, while the returns since 2000 have been minimal.
One of the complaints I have against books that offer advice on using derivatives like futures is that the advice always starts with "If you believe the underlying stock will..." The the author then tells you, with varying degrees of clarity how to place trades to take advantage of the trend you believe in. In this book, Matt Kratter actually gives you an objective criteria for determining whether a stock falls into the bear category. He uses moving averages, which are readily available on a variety of websites and data services. Then he proceeds in a very readable fashion to explain how to make the trades based on the determination. Good for him.
Third, the mostly toothless SEC has allowed the creation of all manner of leveraged tools (negative ETFS and put options) for hedging and shorting on DOWN-TICKS. This is something that was banned from 1934 to 2007 for good reason, viz. deepening the Depression. Did you know that even Herbert Hoover wanted to curb short-selling? But not our SEC. Not now. Hedge funds and big fund managers and wealthy investors can readily buy these leveraged shorts on indexes in a blink of an eye, without regard to the last tick. So, of course, they use them as the 65-dma has finally turned down and as support levels, one after another fail. We saw exactly what this can do to the market in October 1987. It fell 30%+ in three weeks back then. And the DJI was not so over-extended. It had been in a bull market for less than five years. But it did have a new Fed Chairman (Greenspan), just like now, who needed to be properly baptized and schooled by Wall Street under fire, so that he would be tamed, not rock the boat and be henceforth pledged to shore up the market if it again collapsed.
I wrote an article titled “Are Derivative-Based ETFs Sowing The Seeds Of The Next Financial Crisis?” for Seeking Alpha a few months ago. I concluded that ETF’s don’t do what it says on the tin (mimic the underlying asset) and that they are slowly mutating into more complex financial instruments like collateralized debt obligations, which I drew disturbing parallels with the subprime mortgage crisis. It would be therefore foolish for any retail investors to see them as a panacea to gaining exposure to virtually any asset.
I’ve never liked talking about the future. The Q&A sessions always end up more like parlor games, where I’m asked to opine on the latest technology buzzwords as if they were ticker symbols for potential investments: blockchain, 3D printing, CRISPR. The audiences are rarely interested in learning about these technologies or their potential impacts beyond the binary choice of whether or not to invest in them. But money talks, so I took the gig. Read More
At around the same time, the English had witnessed the startling rise and collapse of the South Sea Company, which had risen from around ?100 to nearly ?1000 in the first six months of 1720, only to fall back to where it started in the autumn of the same year. Some thirteen years later, a bill was brought before parliament by Sir John Barnard, M.P. Its aim was to “prevent…the wicked, pernicious, and destructive practice of stock-jobbing [speculation] whereby many of his Majesty’s good subjects have been directed from pursuing their lawful trades and vocations to the utter ruin of themselves and their families, to the great discouragement of industry and to the manifest detriment of trade and commerce.”
It’s important to remember that a bull market is characterized by a general sense of optimism and positive growth which tends to catalyze greed. A bear market is associated with a general sense of decline which tends to instill fear in the hearts of stockholders. As Rule #1 investors, we act opposite of the investing public – when it comes to bull vs bear markets – and capitalize on their emotions by finding quality stocks at low prices during bear markets and selling during bull markets when they’ve regained their value.
Municipal bond holders may purchase bonds either from the issuer or broker at the time of issuance (on the primary market), or from other bond holders at some time after issuance (on the secondary market). In exchange for an upfront investment of capital, the bond holder receives payments over time composed of interest on the invested principal, and a return of the invested principal itself (see bond).
As such, the firm expects earnings-per-share (EPS) growth to slow in the second half of 2018 as the positive effect wears off. The chart below shows the downturn being forecast by Morgan Stanley's one-year leading earnings indicator. The expected slowdown would mark the end of a good run for companies in the S&P 500, which have already enjoyed seven straight quarters of profit expansion.
@PC — I love that people keep putting “my friend” in ironic quotes… 😉 What is more incredible/unbelievable — that someone who has written an investment blog for eight years suddenly buys a short ETF without knowing how it works and then compounds his embarrassment by writing a blog about it and THEN republishes it a few years later to relive his embarrassment, or a person who writes an investment blog for 8 years actually *having* a friend? 🙂
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RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/PeterSchiff/reviews/Very Negative Technical ActionWe had another roller coaster ride in the stock market today, with the Dow Jones ending down about 200 points, but that was well off the lows of the day. I think we were down about 350 points, or close to it, at the lows. But, mor ...…
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
A recent The New York Times article described how Vanguard, the $4.2 trillion mutual fund, is the fastest growing fund due to the attractiveness of passive investment vehicles and the average 0.12% fee the fund charges. The low fee is something I applaud as I strongly believe fees in the financial world should be minimal or performance related where nothing is paid if the manager doesn’t deliver.

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.[55] 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.[56]
Bear markets cost investors money because security prices generally fall across the board. But bear markets don't last forever, and they don't always give advance notice of their arrival. The investor must know when to buy and when to sell to maximize his or her profits. As a result, many investors attempt to "time the market," or gauge when a bear market has begun and when it is likely to end.
The public agencies raising money through bonds—such as states, cities, and counties—are known as municipal issuers. The ability to raise such funds is an exercise of the municipal issuer's buying power. In all bond issuances, the issuer serves as the focal point and the head of the financing team, and oversees the transformation of an idea for a project into an issuance. However, in some cases, the bond measure for a public project must first be approved by voters.[12]
[After the crash] stocks continued to fall, until by the summer of 1932, the Dow Jones reached a floor of 41.88, nearly 90% off its 1929 peak. By this date, the country’s national income had shrunk by 60% and one third of the non-agricultural workforce was unemployed. President Herbert Hoover, who came to office in early 1929 promising that “the end of poverty was in sight,” faced an uphill task in the forthcoming election. America needed a scapegoat.
Given how these things normally work, I’d imagine there will be a few false scares and then a tipping point at which there’s an identifiable panic. I would think that would be caused either by a few significant inflation surprises, or something more dramatic that I haven’t thought of (perhaps a big buyer of US Treasuries really does turn around and do something unexpected).

One famed investor who has explored this question is “Bond King” Jeffrey Gundlach. The man needs no introduction, but I’ll give him one anyway. Jeffrey is the CEO of DoubleLine Capital, where he manages $116 billion—and has a stellar track record. Jeffrey has outperformed 92% of his peers over the last five years. His flagship DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund (DBLTX) has also outperformed its benchmark by a wide margin over the same period.
In 2016, the campaign launched a new series of PSAs that aimed to increase awareness about less commonly known ways that wildfires can start. The new “Rise from the Ashes” campaign featured art by Bill Fink, who used wildfire ashes as an artistic medium to illustrate the devastation caused by wildfires and highlight less obvious wildfire causes.[62]
One notable absentee from the list of major concerns cited in the survey was China, with just one investor highlighting the danger of a disruption in that country’s financial system. Atul Lele, chief investment officer at Nassau, Bahamas-based Deltec International Group, said the chance for excessive tightening by the Fed comes a close second to his China worry.
Forget the porn star scandals and possible Russian collusion in an election over fifteen months ago. Most Americans don’t give a damn about either but from turning on cable news, you would think that’s all that is happening in the world. Cable news is out for ratings and those kind of things sell. What you won’t see much of are some of the harsh realities facing Americans and preventing us from becoming truly great. Read More
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.
So when the sky really starts to fall, smart places for serious money could be a simple money market (cash equivalent).  You won't make much, but at least you won't lose anything either!  Think of it like a lightning storm over a football field where your investments are the players on the field.  Sometimes it's best to put your team in the locker room so no one gets hit by lightning!

With the massive net short position in both gold and silver Comex paper precious metals, offset by the historic net long position of the “commercials” (banks, mining companies, users, hedgers), numerous rumors are swirling around the precious metals market. For certain, the availability of physical gold bars in London that can be delivered to the large eastern hemisphere buyers who demand delivery is growing tight.  Apparently the retail silver coin/bar market is starting to feel supply strains. Read More
Thank you for visiting the homepage of this five-part series on the individuals and ideas shaping my worldview. I have gained a lot of knowledge from these truly great minds, and the purpose of this series is to share what I have learned with you, my readers. I’m confident that the writings that follow will help you better understand the trends shaping the future of financial markets, and our economy.
Although Jeffrey manages one of the world’s largest bond funds, he is an independent thinker who has courage and conviction in his beliefs—maybe because he comes out of left field. Jeffrey holds degrees in mathematics and philosophy from Dartmouth College and was once the lead for a new-wave rock band, back when Paul Volcker had me paying 18% interest on that loan.
According to a recent update by Savills, a global real estate services provider listed on the London Stock Exchange, global real estate values reached a new record of $281 trillion at the end of 2017. That is a BIG number because their last update in April 2017, stated that world real estate values were $228 trillion for 2016 yearend. How could global real estate values jump that much in a year?? Read More
A month ago, I noted that prevailing valuation extremes implied negative total returns for the S&P 500 on 10-12 year horizon, and losses on the order of two-thirds of the market’s value over the completion of the current market cycle. With our measures of market internals constructive, on balance, we had maintained a rather neutral near-term outlook for months, despite the most extreme “overvalued, overbought, overbullish” syndromes in U.S. history. Read More
Of the vast array of things that don't make sense, let's start with borrowing from future income to spend more today. This is of course the entire foundation of consumer economies such as the U.S.: the number of households which buy a car or house with cash is near-zero, unless 1) they just sold a bubble-valuation house and paid off their mortgage in escrow or 2) they earned wealth via fiscal prudence, i.e. the avoidance of debt and the exultation of saving. Read More

The most recent drop puts stock prices, even after more than two weeks of losses, only back to where they were in July of this year. And yet, we may be much closer to panic territory than it appears. Based on valuations, all it would take for stocks to enter a bear market would be a 5 percent drop in the S&P 500 from here. At the low on Tuesday, when the S&P 500 was down 60 points, the market was within 90 points of that threshold.


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.
Historically, the worst bear markets happened amid extreme market valuation or lengthy economic recession, or both. After eight years of economic expansion, the US economy is close to the late stage of the current boom cycle. The current high valuation is certainly a cause for concern.  While it is hard to predict exactly when the bear market will happen, high valuation, together with a possible economic recession will likely make the bear market more severe when it finally materializes.
After falling from 1369 to 1167 in just four months, Gold is attempting to rally now, having risen to a high of 1237 recently. But as I shared in my previous article: “There is significant resistance ahead that could stall Gold’s rally, most notably 1244, the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of the entire drop from 1369 to 1167, and 1251 on a closing basis (1360-1184). If we close above the latter, then the bottom is likely in place and a truly historic rally has begun. There is plenty of upside from there.” Read More
Food programs are widely considered welfare to the people using them. In fact they are welfare to the food industry: it is a direct transfer of government (tax) bling to the pockets of General Mills, General Foods, Cargill, ADM, Monsanto, and the other Big Food/Big Pharma companies. It is tax bling to the grocers as well. These companies can keep marking up food for profit, squeezing those who pay money for it AND pay taxes so those who can’t afford the food can give Munchy Bucks to their local food vendor, and those dollars are credited to the food industry.
Erik:     Now this massive, massive accumulation of debt in the United States – people like you and I can say this is crazy, the rate that it’s happening at – but, holy cow, look at China. I mean, they’re in a whole different category of rate of accumulation of national debt. It seems to me like they’re trying to almost race the United States to who can get more over-indebted faster.
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