For context, consider the last three bear markets. The most recent one, which lasted for 517 days from October 2007 to March 2009, saw a whopping 57% plunge in the S&P 500. During the 929-day bear market from March 2000 to October 2002, the benchmark lost 49%. And during the relatively brief, 101-day period from August to December 1987, the index tumbled 34%.
The watchdog found that "valuations are also elevated" in bond markets. Of particular interest is the OFR's discussion on duration. Picking up where we left off in June 2016, and calculates that "at current duration levels, a 1 percentage point increase in interest rates would lead to a decline of almost $1.2 trillion in the securities underlying the index."

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:

Now think about it. The best borrowers are the ones who are solvent and haven’t defaulted regardless of their submergence and can’t get a short sale approved because they are financially solvent – they were just unfortunate enough to get caught up in the false market created by the banksters. They are the victims of a false market contrived by the banksters by mislabeling sub-junk loans as AAA and sticking them in low risk investment funds around the world. Why would you want to reward them for their fraud by being their slave?
On August 13, 1942, Disney's fifth full-length animated motion picture Bambi premiered in New York City. Soon after, Walt Disney allowed his characters to appear in fire prevention public service campaigns. However, Bambi was only loaned to the government for a year, so a new symbol was needed.[7] After much discussion, a bear was chosen.[17] His name was inspired by "Smokey" Joe Martin, a New York City Fire Department hero who suffered burns and blindness during a bold 1922 rescue.[18]
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook Speech Given by Jerome PowellThe catalyst for the rise in gold and the decline in the dollar, I believe, was the dovish speech given by Jerome Powell today in Jackson Hole. Whether or not the speech is perceived as dovishly as I believe it is, I think we ...…
A 20% drop by the DJI will next require it to break below its support at 23180. History,1928–2017, suggests that ordinarily a bigger decline more than 15% is usually delayed until (1) the NYSE A/D Line has shown a much longer period of divergence than we have so far had, and/or (2) the Tiger Accumulation Index has been negative a lot longer than it has now or (3) that a sudden DJI head/shoulders top pattern has appeared which shows a rapid re-evaluation of market conditions by Professionals. None of these three conditions are present now. So, technically a decline below 23180 should not occur at this juncture, if this were a “normal” market. But downside volatility is very high now and the DJI is unable to stay within its normal Peerless trading bands.
Although the U.S. Forest Service fought wildfires long before World War II, the war brought a new importance and urgency to the effort. At the time, most able-bodied men were already serving in the armed forces and none could be spared to fight forest fires. The Forest Service began using colorful posters to educate Americans about the dangers of forest fires in the hope that local communities, with the most accurate information, could prevent them from starting in the first place.[7][16]
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 reason there are no prescription medications available today where the side effects aren’t worse than the ailment being treated is because Big Pharma will not treat or heal anything without creating several new issues that keep their “customers for life” coming back for more. Most Americans do not want to stop eating junk food, fast food, corporate franchise restaurant food, microwaveable food, prepared food bar “stuff,” and “diet” food that’s mostly chock full of synthetic sweeteners, GMOs and MSG. Read More
The next credit crisis poses a major challenge to China’s manufacturing-based economy, because higher global and yuan interest rates are bound to have a devastating effect on Chinese business models and foreign consumer demand. Dealing with it is likely to be the biggest challenge faced by the Chinese Government since the ending of the Maoist era. However, China does have an escape route by stabilising both interest rates and the yuan by linking it to gold.

Sorry this is all over the place, but there are multiple converging streams here. And as DHB constantly reminds us, there is absolutely no reason to believe that in an economy built on gambling, scamming, and computer automated profit skimming, ANYTHING is going to accrue bubble-type benefits to just you and me, anytime soon. Least of all your house.
Is the U.S. Government hiding a massive gold deposit in the Chocolate Mountains in California?  Well, according to a few top-notch conspiracy theorists, the U.S. Congress passed the Desert Wilderness Protection Act that has cordoned off this vast gold discovery from the public.  Unfortunately, we may never know if this mammoth gold deposit exists due to the clandestine nature of our government… or will we? 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
So what are the prospects for another rally in bonds?  In our view, it is not a rosy picture.  For the first time in a very long time the fundamentals and technicals of investing in bonds have become aligned.  The global economy has transitioned into a period of synchronised growth, spare capacity is being used up and unemployment is close to the lows seen for many years.  All that suggests inflation risks are on the upside.  Deflation risks are waning and sooner or later this will need to be priced into bond prices. On the technical side, central banks are now winding down their quantitative easing programmes.  This means that Governments will have to finance their deficits from private investors rather than relying on central banks.  The increase in supply of bonds on a global scale to institutional investors runs into trillions of US Dollars over the next few years, made worse by the fact that Governments are now relaxing their fiscal straightjackets, imposed after the financial crisis.
This situation is the result of decades of stagnant wage growth. Since 1979, real (inflation-adjusted) hourly wages for the bottom quintile of earners fell by 1%. Worse, the inflation adjustment is based on the CPI, which as I’ve said many times, understates the real cost of living for most people. But wages haven’t stagnated for everybody. As the below chart shows, real hourly wages for the top quintile of earners have increased by over 27% in the same period.
There is occasional confusion between bear and bare in adjectival uses (as in "he rubbed his bear arms"), but bear is properly a noun and only used like an adjective in the financial phrase bear market. All other uses refer to the state of being uncovered or naked and should therefore be bare: "bare necessities," "bare essentials," "bare arms," "bare bones," "bare-knuckle," and so on.
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.
My business is to constantly look for new stocks by running stock screens, endlessly reading (blogs, research, magazines, newspapers), looking at the holdings of respected investors, talking to a large network of investment professionals, attending conferences, scouring through ideas published on value investor networks, and finally, scouring a large (and growing) watch list of companies to buy at a significant margin of safety.

@Tony – Cheers for your thoughts. As I understand it, conventional indices are constructed to take into account the compounding of their underlying holdings, so that this sort of error does not emerge. Regarding my friend, yes, the theory was (and seems quite common, from a quick Google) that the short ETF would go up in value as his portfolio fell over a few weeks. The trouble is the daily compounding means a different kind of bet is being undertaken. I agree that a plunge protection fund makes far more sense if you’re a dabbler, but most people who are draw to active strategies, even semi-responsible semi-active ones like me, find it hard to sit in cash and wait, especially at today’s rates. (Doesn’t mean it’s not right to do that, just saying I think people feel the need to ‘do something’ and feel the Short ETF is something).

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
In his book, “1984”, George Orwell envisioned a future crushed by the iron grip of a collectivist oligarchy. The narrative told of the INGSOC Party which maintained power through a system of surveillance and brutality designed to monitor and control every aspect of society.  From the time of the book’s release in 1949, any ensuing vision of a dark dystopia depicting variations of jackboots stomping on human faces, forever, has been referenced as being “Orwellian”.  This is because Orwell’s narrative illustrated various disturbing and unjust conceptualizations of control, crime, and punishment. Read More

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.
It seems unfair that the earnest polymath Elon Musk should go broke in the electric car business while Kylie Jenner becomes a billionaire at age 20 hawking lip gloss on Snapchat, but that’s how the American Dream rolls these late days of empire. Perhaps the lesson here, for all you MBA wannabes, is that Mr. Musk could switch his production facilities from cars to lip gloss. Of course, to successfully market his new line of cosmetics on social media, Elon might have to consider sexual “reassignment” surgery — unless he could persuade American men via Facebook and Twitter, that lip enhancement boosts male self-esteem almost as much as the purchase of a Ford F-450 pickup truck at a laughable fraction of the cost. Read More
[A] new economics—the information theory of capitalism—is already at work. Concealed behind an elaborate apparatus, the theory drives the most powerful machines and networks of the era. Information theory treats human creations as transmissions through a channel—whether a wire or the world—in the face of noise, and gauges the outcomes by their surprise. Now it is ready to transform economics as it has already transformed the world.
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“Excess liquidity usually leads to the misallocation of capital, masking any balance sheet constrains. As this tide of excess liquidity recedes, it reveals the misallocation of capital and the mispricing of risk,” Nedbank CIB strategists Neels Heyneke and Mehul Daya write in a note. And this is particularly the case for excess dollar-liquidity in the Emerging Markets (EMs).

Swiss-born Marc Faber, now a resident in Thailand, holds a PhD in economics and is an investment advisor and fund manager through his firm, Marc Faber Ltd. He also writes a monthly investment newsletter, "The Gloom, Boom and Doom Report." As Money notes, Faber is consistently bearish, and frequently is called "Dr. Doom." He sees two big red flags right now.

Myriad changes to the financial structure have seemingly safeguarded the financial system from another 2008-style crisis. The big Wall Street financial institutions are these days better capitalized than a decade ago. There are "living wills," along with various regulatory constraints that have limited the most egregious lending and leveraging mistakes that brought down Bear Stearns, Lehman and others. There are central bank swap lines and such, the type of financial structures that breed optimism. Read More
"We are in a bond market bubble" that's beginning to unwind, he said on Squawk on the Street, as new Fed Chairman Jerome Powell appeared on Capitol Hill for the second time this week. "Prices are too high" on bonds, Greenspan added. Bond prices move inversely to bond yields, which spiked higher in the new year, recently hitting four-year highs of just under 3%.
The problem, though, is that for every downward move that actually turns into a bear market, there are dozens of times that the market reverses course and climbs higher. Selling after the initial stage of a brief panic and waiting to buy back your stocks after it runs its course will usually force you to pay more, eating into your long-term returns.
When the market started falling, I was tormented by the prospect that it was just another January 29-February 9 blip. That is, a tease for the bears which would simply result in bitter disappointment. Almost the entire world felt this way, and with good reason: the bears have been cheated for nine solid years, and the BTFD crowd has been winning, so why should it be any different this time? Why not sustain such a thing until, oh, the year 2397? Read More
5. The millennial generation is getting off to a slow start due to the tremendous burden of $1Trillion+ in student loans. The impact of all this debt is to create an artificial drag on spending for the largest generation in U.S. history right when we need them to pick up the slack from the second largest (and far more wealthy) generation that is retiring in droves.
“The economic fundamentals remain favorable,” said Bruce Bittles, Robert W. Baird’s chief investment strategist, after Wednesday’s sell-off. Bittles was also cautious on stocks ahead of the current rout. “Given the strength in the labor markets and confidence levels among small businesses, the odds of a business turndown are unlikely. We remain bullish on the U.S. economy.”
The Goldman Sachs Group operates as an investment banking, securities, and investment management company worldwide. The company has a Zacks Rank #2. In the last 60 days, seven earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings increased 7.6% in the same period. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year is 15.5% and 26.5%, respectively.
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

Good read. I have read several of Mr. Kratter's works. His rules for trading keeps you focused and I have learned some good lessons from each of them. While I am not much of a 'short seller', I have made some decent money recently trading put options. If we are headed for a bear market this is a good book to help you make some money while others are just gritting their teeth!

Dr. Schiller has been an invaluable contributor to financial market dialogue for many years. He will eventually be right as investment psychology has a habit of going off the deep end from time to time. I offer the above only to try to analyze why we are where we are now. What will eventually put pressure on equity prices are competitive returns from debt instruments (higher interest rates) and that is not likely to happen soon since the power structure appears to favor the current status quo.

Second, Faber says "The market isn't healthy" because only a small number of stocks are driving the major indexes upward, per Money. "We have a bubble in everything," he told CNBC. However, in an earlier CNBC segment, Faber was castigated by another guest for  consistently forecasting a market crash since 2012. (For more, see also: Why the S&P 500 Is Healthier Than It Looks.)
More than the Bear, we should be concerned with the risk concentration, with the top 10% of S&P 500 holding the bulk of the high end; the ratios have to be compared with the moderately long period of almost zero Fed rates, which has no parallel with the earlier periods used in the comparison. The uptick of interest rates must make an impression, it cannot sing the same song that the Bulls make.

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.

The current sell-off comes as a shock to investors who have grown accustomed to the eerie market calm and steady gains during much of the administration of President Trump. But this volatility is something you should get used to because it’s more typical of the advanced stages of a bull market, says Robert Bacarella, founder and chairman of Monetta Financial Services, who helps manage the Monetta Fund MONTX, -0.52%  and the Monetta Core Growth Fund MYIFX, -0.67%
Obviously nobody knows for sure. That is what makes investing interesting and sometimes downright scary. But we need to parse through the data available and find where our convictions lie. This article is meant to give readers all the ammunition they need to discern a position for themselves but we will also provide our assessment at the end. It is fine to disagree. We need investors on both sides of the argument. That is what makes up a marketplace in the first place.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook. Over No Tariffs Fueling Market MoveDonald Trump, I think, was the reason the markets ended up finishing in the black today, at least most of the major indexes. In fact, the only index that was down on the day was the NASDAQ - the NASDAQ was the only m ...…
What is the opposite of a margin of safety? That is a question this market has had me asking myself for some time now. A margin of safety is a discount to intrinsic value that provides a safety net in the result of an error in analysis or unforeseen negative developments. The opposite of a margin of safety then is a premium to intrinsic value than can vanish even if your analysis is correct or things go unexpectedly in your favor. There are times when a security reaches a valuation such that even if everything goes right you’re unlikely to profit. The price has already discounted a perfect outcome. This “priced for perfection” scenario is the opposite of a margin of safety and this is currently where the stock market finds itself today. Read More
The bear market of the 1970s, like the current bear market, was preceded by a long period of economic expansion. From the economy’s trough in 1961:Q1 to the peak in 1969:Q4, productivity growth averaged a strong 3.4% per year and inflation remained low—in the 2% to 3% range. As Figure 1 shows, the stock market anticipated this expansion, coming off a low in 1960:Q4 and reaching a peak in 1968:Q4. Over that period, the inflation-adjusted value of the S&P 500 increased by 7.8% per year; however, households’ inflation-adjusted net worth (total assets minus total liabilities) lagged behind somewhat, growing at an average annual rate of 6.1%.
The bear market of the 1970s, like the current bear market, was preceded by a long period of economic expansion. From the economy’s trough in 1961:Q1 to the peak in 1969:Q4, productivity growth averaged a strong 3.4% per year and inflation remained low—in the 2% to 3% range. As Figure 1 shows, the stock market anticipated this expansion, coming off a low in 1960:Q4 and reaching a peak in 1968:Q4. Over that period, the inflation-adjusted value of the S&P 500 increased by 7.8% per year; however, households’ inflation-adjusted net worth (total assets minus total liabilities) lagged behind somewhat, growing at an average annual rate of 6.1%.

Because of the special status of most municipal bonds granted under Section 103 of the Internal Revenue Code, which provides that the interest on such bonds is exempt from gross income, investors usually accept lower interest payments than on other types of borrowing (assuming comparable risk). This makes the issuance of bonds an attractive source of financing to many municipal entities, as the borrowing rate available to them in the municipal, or public finance, market is frequently lower than what is available through other borrowing channels.

Boneparth said that, based on his recent moves, the most likely explanation for the surge into bond funds is rebalancing. "We've been watching 5 to 10 percent of portfolios that have created built- in risk over the past few years and now are moving out of equities and back into fixed income," he said. "You're probably seeing a lot of that take place at the retail level."

Jeffrey is a truly independent thinker who is never afraid to make bold, out-of-consensus calls. That’s why I know when he takes the stage at the SIC, he will provide insight into much more than the secular bond bull market. I’m really excited to welcome Jeffrey back to the SIC, and I hope you can be there with me to experience it, first-hand. If you would like to learn more about attending the SIC 2018, and about the other speakers who will be there, you can do so here.
Will we someday look back on October 2018 as the turning point?  As the month began, people were generally feeling pretty good about things, and the U.S. stock market quickly set a new all-time high.  But from that point on, the wheels fell off for Wall Street.  We just witnessed the worst October for U.S. stocks since the financial crisis of 2008, and at this point more than 8 trillion dollars of global wealth has been completely wiped out.  But it isn’t just the stock market that is being shaken.  The horrific violence in Pittsburgh is just the latest in a string of events that have rattled the entire nation.  Sometimes I feel like I am literally watching the fabric of our society come apart right in front of my eyes.  It is almost as if there is a tangible presence of evil in the air, and it seems to be getting stronger over time.  Read More
Once a municipal advisor and bond counsel have been established, they will work together to identify an underwriter that will manage the distribution of the bonds. The underwriter is a broker-dealer that publicly administers the issuance and distributes the bonds. As such, they serve as the bridge between the buy and sell side of the bond issuance process. Underwriters connect issuers with potential bond buyers, and determine the price at which to offer the bonds. In doing so, most underwriters will assume full risk and responsibility for the distribution and sale of the bonds issued by the issuing agency. As such, underwriters play a central role in deciding the return and span of maturities, typically collect fees in exchange for their services. If the price is wrong, the underwriter is left holding the bonds.
I don’t wish to get too deep into the weeds here, but to explain this, you have to look to the money multiplier. The money multiplier is the amount of money that banks generate with each dollar of reserves. Due to the over-indebtedness of the economy—or more precisely, the lack of “savings”—the multiplier has plunged from 12.1 in 1985, to 3.6 today.
When all four of these pieces of information are observed together, they provide a pretty good sense for how much risk exists in the market at any given time.  If the long term trends are up, every pullback (-3-5% drop or so) and every correction (-5-15% drop or so) should be treated as a clearance sale - an opportunity to buy at short-term low/discounted prices - and an opportunity to rotate out of lagging asset classes and sectors and into stronger ones.
Dr. Schiller has been an invaluable contributor to financial market dialogue for many years. He will eventually be right as investment psychology has a habit of going off the deep end from time to time. I offer the above only to try to analyze why we are where we are now. What will eventually put pressure on equity prices are competitive returns from debt instruments (higher interest rates) and that is not likely to happen soon since the power structure appears to favor the current status quo.
“Government has coddled, accepted, and ignored white collar crime for too long. It is time the nation woke up and realized that it’s not the armed robbers or drug dealers who cause the most economic harm, it’s the white collar criminals living in the most expensive homes who have the most impressive resumes who harm us the most. They steal our pensions, bankrupt our companies, and destroy thousands of jobs, ruining countless lives.” – Harry Markopolos Read More

There was a great sense of triumphalism in the councils of the president’s economic advisory committees. But then, lo and behold, comes the Vietnam War, comes the demographic, comes the coming of age of the baby boomers, comes all sorts of things which in retrospect appear to have been instigators of the price inflation. But they were not so regarded at the time.