Dark Ages is not a silly username—it is a compelling fear that we are repeating the mistakes of all great civilizations, with arrogance that we can merely crush nations that will not continue to take our paper for their tangible goods. I don’t know whether folks dismiss this ranting as nonsense or actually are concerned that this is where we are headed. I cannot imagine a rainbow behind this cloud, although I was in North Carolina recently and saw a beautiful rainbow to the east, while death and destruction were occurring underneath that storm.
At 10 times revenues, to give you a 10-year payback, I have to pay you 100% of revenues for 10 straight years in dividends. That assumes I can get that by my shareholders. That assumes I have zero cost of goods sold, which is very hard for a computer company. That assumes zero expenses, which is really hard with 39,000 employees. That assumes I pay no taxes, which is very hard. And that assumes you pay no taxes on your dividends, which is kind of illegal. And that assumes with zero R&D for the next 10 years, I can maintain the current revenue run rate. Now, having done that, would any of you like to buy my stock at $64? Do you realize how ridiculous those basic assumptions are? You don’t need any transparency. You don’t need any footnotes. What were you thinking? Read More
I often say that every great thinker has one “big idea.” George’s information theory of economics certainly qualifies as one of those. You’ve likely heard me mention how important exposing yourself to these big, powerful ideas is. Well, that’s exactly what I aim to do with my Strategic Investment Conference. I have invited George to speak at the SIC 2018 in San Diego, this coming March.

We now have confirmation that the trade war between the U.S. and China is going to be a protracted one, given that neither side is willing to back down. China has declined any further talks because it refuses to negotiate under the threat of further tariffs, or as it puts it, with a knife at its throat. At the same time, Trump is clearly intent on pressing ahead with tariffs on all of China's exports to the U.S., regardless of rising opposition at home.


Even Jack Bogle himself, founder of Vanguard and one of the earliest proponents of buy-and-hold index investing, sidestepped much of the Dotcom bubble in his personal portfolio and has spoken about this before. He noticed, correctly, that the S&P was utterly, ridiculously, overvalued, while bonds were reasonably-priced. So, he actively reduced his equity exposure substantially, especially because at his advanced age he wanted to avoid a major stock market crash.
For investors looking to maintain some positions in the stock market, a defensive strategy is usually taken. This type of strategy involves investing in larger companies with strong balance sheets and a long operational history, which are considered to be defensive stocks. The reason for this is that these larger, more stable companies tend to be less affected by an overall downturn in the economy or stock market, making their share prices less susceptible to a larger fall. With strong financial positions, including large cash holdings to meet ongoing operational expenses, these companies are more likely to survive downturns.

How fast and furious it goes will depend on many things and is somewhat hard to predict. The tax cut means a lotta corporate cash is coming back for stock buybacks. This counteracts the trend from the Fed portfolio decline. On the other hand more and more being are seeing the professional market cheerleaders for what they are - con artists or children. So that trickle could easily be overwhelmed by the thundering waterfall of people whose eyes have been opened up to the overwhelming heroic assumptions required to keep this bubble inflated this high.
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.
My hope is that President Trump will read Knowledge and Power and give a copy to all cabinet members—as Ronald Reagan did with Wealth and Poverty. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but if we began basing economic and monetary policy on George’s information theory of economics, I believe there would be a complete revitalization of the American entrepreneurial spirit.
Two thirds of Americans get at least some of their news on social media. Google and Facebook receive well over 70% of US digital advertising revenues. The average daily time spent on social media is 2 hours. Just a few factoids that have at least one thing in common: nothing like them was around 10 years ago, let alone 20. And they depict a change, or set of changes, in our world that will take a long time yet to understand and absorb. Some things just move too fast for us to keep track of, let alone process. 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 world of finance and investment, as always, faces many uncertainties. The US economy is booming, say some, and others warn that money supply growth has slowed, raising fears of impending deflation. We fret about the banks, with a well-known systemically-important European name in difficulties. We worry about the disintegration of the Eurozone, with record imbalances and a significant member, Italy, digging in its heels. China’s stock market, we are told, is now officially in bear market territory. Will others follow? But there is one thing that’s so far been widely ignored and that’s inflation. Read More

"We believe 2018 marks the beginning of a wide trading range (2400-3000) that could last several years. While the price damage may not be extreme at the index level, it may feel and look a lot like a bear market. We think this "rolling bear market" has already begun with peak valuations in December and peak sentiment in January. We have a mid-June 2019 target for the S&P 500 of 2,750," Wilson says.
As of early March 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 20% since the inauguration of President Barack Obama (less than two months earlier), the fastest drop under a newly elected president in at least 90 years.[26] Editorials in the Wall Street Journal by the editorial staff and Michael Boskin, one of George H.W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisors, blamed this on Obama's economic policies.[27][28][29]
Numerous economists and investors are warning of another great financial crisis to come but few people want to listen to them. No crisis is ever exactly like the last one and the next great depression will be different from the last one. In the last depression those who had money were in a good financial position to ride it out but the next depression will see those with fiat money drowning in it as it becomes worthless.

Gambling is according to Wikipedia the wagering of money (or something of value) on an event with an uncertain outcome. Three elements are required for gambling, consideration, chance, and prize. Thus, you make a bet and if you are lucky you win a prize but you can also lose it all. Gambling has been around for thousands of years and maybe longer. The first 6-sided dice dates back 3000 years. Eventually gambling became more organised as casinos were established. The first well known casino was set up in Venice in the early 1600s. Read More

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

By the end of the bear market, households’ financial asset holdings as a percentage of their total assets fell from 68% to 62%, while monetary assets as a percentage of total financial assets rose from 19% to 26%. On balance, households sought the greater security from tangible real assets, primarily housing, while adjusting their financial asset holdings principally away from stocks and toward the safety and liquidity of monetary assets.
Jim, I have so much been looking forward – ever since we launched this podcast two years ago with Jim Rogers, actually, as our first guest – I’ve been looking forward to getting you on the program. And, frankly, I’m glad it took this long because I don’t think there’s ever been a more important time in the last ten years to be very closely observing interest rates.
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
It’s been 30-weeks since the last 6-month low (December). The intermediate cycle has averaged about 23-weeks, so we are well overdue for a bottom. Interestingly, while gold crashed nearly 10% in 2-months, gold miners remained relatively stable. Currently, they linger just 6% below their April highs; their resilience should not be ignored. It speaks of a hidden energy that once loose, should deliver brilliant gains. Read More
Additionally, having a diversified portfolio in stocks, bonds, cash, and alternative investments is important in a bear market. Alternative investments are non correlated with the stock and bond market so over time having this type of asset allocation has proven to out perform the older more traditional stock, bond and cash portfolio asset allocation model.
Two important institutional changes since the late 1960s also have affected the composition of financial asset holdings of households. One is the growing prevalence of pension funds. Since 1960, the share of financial assets that pension funds comprise grew from a little under 7% to 27%. This growth has been due in part to the introduction of 401k, 403b, and Keogh accounts that have allowed households to make tax deductible contributions to retirement plans with significant control over the disposition of those investments. In addition, many large employers have switched from defined-benefit to defined-contribution retirement plans, again allowing households to decide how much of their retirement funds to invest in the stock market. These changes began to accelerate in the 1970s. Prior to these changes, many businesses either adopted “pay-as-you-go” pension plans with no significant contributions to the stock market, or restricted their investments to ultra-safe assets, such as government securities.

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.
I think the above answers the question, the real economy is gone. Everything, including services can be done abroad or in-shored into cheaper markets (see N Carolina, Texas, etc). Thus, this mile high RE market, Boston to DC or San Fran to LA/SD, is simply not sustainable w/o a lot of foreign investors catching the knife in these post-bubble years.

Today we are getting significant volatility as the world starts to wake up to the reality that global growth will never be the same again. The question many have now is "are the markets going to have another 2008-like crash?" I don't think so, but folks should begin to accept that we are going to have at least a normal bear market. In fact, the bear market has already begun.


There has never been a more fiscally clueless team at the top than the Donald and his dimwitted Treasury secretary, Simple Steve Mnuchin. After reading the latter's recent claim that financing Uncle Sam's impending trillion dollar deficits will be a breeze, we now understand how he sat on the Board of Sears for 10-years and never noticed that the company was going bankrupt.

Goldberg said that investors who continue to hold longer-term bonds should expect fluctuations and, if they look closely at statement this year, losses in the bond holdings. But it's not a reason to sell. And most retail investors aren't in bonds for the total return (i.e., performance) anyway. But they do need to understand that the market mechanics are much stronger for stocks than bonds now.
As a savvy investor, you should be especially wary of inappropriate holdover patterns from the long Bull Market. Perhaps you sense that it may be time to take back control of your finances, in the same way legendary hedge fund manager, George Soros, came out of retirement to rescue his own fortune. Like him, you will be able to sleep soundly, knowing your living standards are secure. 
Gold’s breakout from its giant 5-year base pattern has had to wait for the dollar rally to run its course, which it now appears to have done, and this being the case, gold is now free to break out into a major bull market that looks set to dwarf all prior ones. We have in the past described gold’s base pattern from 2013 as a complex (multi-shouldered) Head-and-Shoulders bottom and while this description is still valid, it is perhaps more simply described as a Bowl or Saucer pattern, that is shown on its latest 10-year chart below. Read More

Rate and Review This Podcast on iTunesOverwhelming Evidence of a Weakening EconomyThe Dow Jones was the only one of the major indexes to close the day higher. The S&P was down slightly, we had larger declines in the Nasdaq and the Russell 2000. More importantly than the movements that we've just seen on the day, or even the week, look at what's ...…


The Democratic Party has steered itself into an exquisitely neurotic predicament at a peculiar moment of history. Senator Bernie Sanders set the tone for the shift to full-throated socialism, and the primary election win of 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a New York congressional district seems to have ratified it. She promised voters free college tuition, single-payer health care, and free housing. Ah, to live in such a utopia!
Three of the four worst bear markets were preceded by high valuation. Among the four worst bear markets with over 40% losses, three of them including the Great Depression in 1929, dot-com bubble in 2000 and subprime crisis in 2007 started with somewhat extreme market valuation. The only exception is the 1973 bear market caused by Arab oil embargo and subsequent recession, but it had an above-average PE to start with as well.
This trend toward working remotely is actually very close to my heart, it’s how Mauldin Economics operates. Since my partners and I founded the company back in 2012, we have been a “virtual business.” Although we have over 40 members of staff, no more than three of us are in the same location. Right now, my team lives in a wide range of locations: from Dallas to Dublin, Ireland, and Vermont to Vilnius, Lithuania.
There has never been a more fiscally clueless team at the top than the Donald and his dimwitted Treasury secretary, Simple Steve Mnuchin. After reading the latter's recent claim that financing Uncle Sam's impending trillion dollar deficits will be a breeze, we now understand how he sat on the Board of Sears for 10-years and never noticed that the company was going bankrupt.
After a period of excellent returns since 2008, Gilts will no longer be a profitable investment and those investors that ventured into Gilts as a way of increasing income from cash could get a nasty surprise when they realise how sensitive Gilt prices are to changes in yield.  With the 10 year yield at just 1.3% compared to an inflation rate of 3.1%, those investors are already suffering a loss in real terms.  But if we get an adjustment back to a positive real yield, the capital loss will be extremely damaging to prices.  For long dated securities, losses could be in excess of 20% for a movement in yield of just 1% and that would be just the start of the adjustment.  That recovery period could stretch into years.
There is considerable confusion between the verbs bear and bare. It may help to remember that the verb bare has only one meaning: "to uncover," as in "bare your shoulders" and "a dog baring its teeth." All other uses of the verb are for bear: "bearing children," "the right to bear arms," "bearing up under the stress/weight," "can't bear the thought," "bear south," "it bears repeating."
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.
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“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

Quite simply, I think stock investors looked at the surfacing of real problems in their favorite FAANG stocks and, so, failed this time to find any fun in the frivolous fiction of government factoids. GDP reportage has been fake for years, and it is no less fake under Trump than under any other president. Fake is where you find it. You can find it as much on Fox as on CNN.  Read More
Eleven GOP members of Congress led by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) have written a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Attorney John Huber, and FBI Director Christopher Wray - asking them to investigate former FBI Director James Comey, Hillary Clinton and others - including FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, for a laundry list of potential crimes surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Silver prices peaked in 2011. The descent has been long and tedious. Perhaps silver prices made an important low on September 11, 2018, like they did on November 21, 2001 at $4.01. That long-term low was twenty cents below the price on September 11, 2001, the day the twin towers fell at free-fall acceleration, which marked the beginning of the silver bull market that launched prices upward by factor of 12.
If the market keeps marching higher, despite all of these warnings signs that valuations are stretched and market sentiment is too bullish, what’s in it for the short seller? In the short term, it’s painful to have hedges on, as they detract from performance. We very much live in a “show me now” world where very few think and plan for the long term.
Money has been around for most of human history. From Mesopotamia (or even earlier), all civilizations have employed some kind of medium of exchange to facilitate transactions regardless of their geographical locations, legal and economic systems, religious beliefs or political structures. Have you ever wondered why? In a brief essay entitled “On the Origins of Money,” the nineteenth-century Austrian economist Carl Menger provides an answer to this question. Menger argues that money emerged spontaneously in different times and places to overcome the disadvantages of barter and facilitate the expansion of trade. Which disadvantages?  Read More
You only have to observe how the word “globalist” has become a slur to see that people have turned against liberal internationalism and those who support it. Globalization has been terrible for millions of middle- and working-class Americans, and they are very unlikely to vote for politicians who support it. By lowering the living standards for millions of Americans, the Liberal International Order has become the architect of their own downfall.
Silver is a precious metal that tends to move when no one expects a break to the upon or downside. Silver also can lag moves in markets that send signals that the price should respond or display head fake price action frustrating those with long or short positions. Gold moved to a low in mid-August when the dollar index traded to a high of 96.865. While silver also fell to a lower low for 2018 in mid-August, gold recovered, and silver followed only to fail once again and declined to a lower low for this year as gold remained above its nadir. Read More
Repayment schedules differ with the type of bond issued. Municipal bonds typically pay interest semi-annually. Shorter term bonds generally pay interest only until maturity; longer term bonds generally are amortized through annual principal payments. Longer and shorter term bonds are often combined together in a single issue that requires the issuer to make approximately level annual payments of interest and principal. Certain bonds, known as zero coupon or capital appreciation bonds, accrue interest until maturity at which time both interest and principal become due.
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
In years of peace, Diocletian, with his aides, faced the problems of economic decay. To overcome depression and prevent revolution, he substituted a managed economy for the law of supply and demand. He established a sound currency by guaranteeing to the gold coinage a fixed weight and purity which it retained in the Eastern Empire till 1453. He distributed food to the poor at half the market price or free, and undertook extensive public works to appease the unemployed. To ensure the supply of necessaries for the cities and the armies, he brought many branches of industry under complete state control, beginning with the import of grain; he persuaded the shipowners, merchants, and crews engaged in this trade to accept such control in return for governmental guarantee of security in employment and returns.  Read More
Shares of GoDaddy Inc (GDDY) were collapsing for the third day in a row before a strong bounce took place at $72.18. The reason for this bounce was easily predicted by pro traders. If you connect the lows of the stock over the last 6 months, the lows all line up perfectly. Today's lows went right to the trend line (as seen in the chart below). Overall, pro traders expect only a day or two bounce, then a massive break lower on GoDaddy. They are looking for a $65.00 target on the stock…
Rising mortgage rates will certainly cause housing sales to fall. Prices will follow for those houses that have to sell because, as mortgage interest rises, people won’t qualify for as large a mortgage as they do now. It’s all part of the developing Epocalypse in which multiple industries collapse into the final depths of the Great Recession as the fake recovery fades out of existence like a mirage. Read More
Three weeks ago when GDX was trading around $17.90 I wrote a post titled "Why I Bought Gold Miners Today" in which I presented the concept that the gold miners were potentially all "sold-out" and ripe for a rally.  Since that day the GDX is up a little more than 3% but the price action has been far from convincing and GDX ran into stiff resistance just above $19 last week (double-top at $19.11 to be precise).  However, when one considers the totality of the picture it becomes easier to discern a potential head & shoulders bottoming pattern, with the recent choppy and lackluster price action as part of a larger bottoming process: Read More
I think of velocity as a machine which money has to go through to produce economic activity. If the machine is on a low setting, it doesn’t matter how much money you put in—you won’t get growth. The falling velocity of money, which is at its lowest point since 1949, is another reason why growth has remained subdued in the post-financial crisis world.
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

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.
According to Richard Earle, author of The Art of Cause Marketing, the Smokey Bear campaign is among the most powerful and enduring of all public service advertising: "Smokey is simple, strong, straightforward. He's a denizen of those woods you're visiting, and he cares about preserving them. Anyone who grew up watching Bambi realizes how terrifying a forest fire can be. But Smokey wouldn't run away. Smokey's strong. He'll stay and fight the fire if necessary, but he'd rather have you douse it and cover it up so he doesn't have to."[54]
Dr. D: The money, the unaccountable, uninhibited release of tokens can do more than just buy centuries of hard labor in seconds, it‘s also a method of control. Banks, our present issuers of money, can approve or destroy businesses by denying loans. They can do this to individuals, like denying loans to unpopular figures, or to whole sectors, like gun shops. They can also offer money for free to Amazon, Facebook, and Tesla, which have no profitable business model or any hope of getting one, and deny loans to power plants, railroads, farms, and bridges as they fall into the Mississippi. 
"We believe we are in a 'rolling bear market,' a market where risk assets across sectors and geographies reprice to account for the removal of central bank provided liquidity," Morgan Stanley strategist Mike Wilson told TheStreet in September. "Less central bank liquidity support as we near the end of an economic cycle should bring higher volatility, as risk assets and markets lose some of their ability to absorb shocks. Our call is not for a simultaneous and large repricing across risk assets, but for a bear market that rolls through different assets and sectors at different times with the weakest links (Bitcoin, EM debt and equities, BTPs, funding spreads, base metals and early cycle industries like home builders and airlines) being hit first/hardest."
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
The timing of any credit crisis is set by the rate at which the credit cycle progresses. People don’t think in terms of the credit cycle, wrongly believing it is a business cycle. The distinction is important, because a business cycle by its name suggests it emanates from business. In other words, the cycle of growth and recessions is due to instability in the private sector and this is generally believed by state planners and central bankers.
*** “Treasury officials said their decision to halt the issuance of the 30-year bonds was intended to save the government money,” writes Gretchen Mortgensen in the NY Times. “Traders scoffed at that explanation, viewing the move as an almost desperate attempt to push down long- term interest rates, and prod both corporate and individual borrowers to spend again.”
The millions of people that have lost their home and will lose their home are probably in households with children in many cases.  Some may be in college and looking to buy in ten years.  The notion that housing is always a great investment runs counter to what they saw in their lives.  Will they even want to buy as many baby boomers put their larger homes on the market to downsize?  Will they clear out the shadow inventory glut?  Now I’m not sure how things are in Japan but many of our young households here are now coming out with massive amounts of student loan debt.
Jeffrey thinks that we are headed into a much tougher environment because “the Central Bank balance sheets will stop growing at the beginning of 2018, [and] the liquidity that’s helped drive the market is going to reverse. That is not favorable for risk markets.” As such, Jeffrey and his team at DoubleLine have been de-risking their portfolios and have cautioned investors to do the same.
Take your time! I was in your shoes 6 months ago. I thought I should take advantage of the low interest rates at the time, but since learned lower home price is better than low interest rates. (interest rates and home price are basically inversely proportional) At best, home prices will stay the same through this year. Read this blog, see a ton of homes, learn about housing, loans, the home buying process, curbing your emotions, etc…
For now the focus is on the US central bank. Investors will be looking for clues from its policy statement on Wednesday on when the balance-sheet run-off will start. After a soft patch in the economy earlier this year, Fed officials have hung on to their forecast for inflation to inch back up to their 2 per cent target, a goal they’ve missed for most of the last five years.
[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.
The accompanying chart shows the losses of the median newsletter’s model portfolio in the 1987, 2000-02, and 2007-09 bear markets. For context, consider that the average bear market since 1900 has produced a 31% loss for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.46% The median newsletter’s losses in those more recent three bear markets have been minus 23%, minus 28%, and minus 43%, respectively.
Even Jack Bogle himself, founder of Vanguard and one of the earliest proponents of buy-and-hold index investing, sidestepped much of the Dotcom bubble in his personal portfolio and has spoken about this before. He noticed, correctly, that the S&P was utterly, ridiculously, overvalued, while bonds were reasonably-priced. So, he actively reduced his equity exposure substantially, especially because at his advanced age he wanted to avoid a major stock market crash.
The set of sanctions that the U.S. began placing on Iran back in 2010 can be best thought of as a monetary blockade. It relied on deputizing U.S. banks to act as snitches. Any U.S. bank that was caught providing correspondent accounts to a foreign bank that itself helped Iran engage in sanctioned activities would be fined. To avoid being penalized, U.S. banks threatened their foreign bank customers to stop enabling Iranian payments or lose their accounts. And of course the foreign banks (mostly) complied. Read More
Emotions are the biggest challenge when a bear market hits. After spending years scrimping and saving to find money to invest and watching it grow slowly but steadily, it's painful to see stock market declines wipe out a significant chunk of your portfolio. Even for seasoned investors, the kneejerk reaction is often to want to put those losses to an end quickly and sell.
The market is not fair, but it also does not fail to show us what lies ahead if we look at its internal action very closely. This is because these market internals show us what “Big Money” is doing with their money, not what they are saying. Of course, their spokesmen and “talking heads” will try to soothe investors’ fears now. But we should vow to “follow the money”, I’d suggest. See what the Big Money is doing. We want to “anticipate the anticipations” of others (as Keynes said). But as Keynes also said, the market tends to go to extremes. At times, it is ruled by “animal spirits” rather than rationality. And as he would agree, capitalism by its very nature produces big disparities of wealth and therefore under-consumption and over-production. I would say, we are back in the 1920s again, at least in terms of Trump’s economic policies (de-regulation, tax cuts for the rich and tariffs). These are very similar to Coolidge’s main economic policies. The bull market back then lasted 8 years, August 1921 to August 1929. Our has lasted almost nine years, March 2009 to January 2018. So, a bear market is due….
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 iTuneshttps://www.branddrivendigital.com/how-to-rate-and-review-a-podcast-in-itunes/The Bulls Had No FearToday may be Halloween, but the Bulls had no fear. The U.S. stock markets closed higher today for the second consecutive day - the first time for the month of October. A lot of traders are probably happy that ...…
Just like the gold rushes of California between 1848 and 1855, Canada’s Klonike of 1896 to 1899, and Western Australia’s of the 1890s, the world is experiencing a frenzy to obtain mining rights in pursuit of today’s “gold,” namely rare earth minerals. Used for components of electric vehicle batteries, mobile telephones, flat-screen televisions, flash drives, cameras, precision-guided missiles, industrial magnets, wind turbines, solar panels, and other high-tech items, rare earth minerals have become the type of sought-after commodity that uranium and plutonium were during the onset of the atomic age.  Read More
A lot of people are shocked by how rapidly things are beginning to move.  The U.S. economy is slowing down at a pace that we haven’t seen since the last recession, and this is something that I have been tracking extensively.  But now the slowdown is so obvious that even some of the biggest names in the mainstream media are talking about it.  For example, just take a look at what Jim Cramer of CNBC is saying.  For a long time, he was touting how well the U.S. economy was doing, but now his tune has completely changed.  According to Cramer, a lot of corporate executives have “told me about how quickly things have cooled”, and he says that many of them are shocked because this “wasn’t supposed to occur so soon”… Read More
So…do your homework before making a move in the stock market. Many of the companies (like HAS, STZ, JNJ, AAPL, DIS…and many others) are perfectly priced. But, if you’re looking for growth (and have the stomach for some volatility)… NVDA, PAYC, AMZN, NFLX, SHOP are worth the gamble (although I’m personally waiting for some of those stocks to find a RSI bottom, from panic sellers or simply a pullback, before buying more). btw: After years of retail being oversold…M and KSS may be ready for a comeback (another two stocks on my current watch-list that I would have avoided five years ago.) This market can be a wonderful buying opportunity if you do your homework regarding a company’s fundamentals and wait for the RSI to reach oversold territory. (I usually watch for the start of the bounce back to be certain).
With the FANG stocks faltering lately investors are starting to become concerned about their impact on the broader market. And there is certainly something to this. Statistically speaking, these market generals have become increasingly important to the broad market indexes recently so it only stands to reason that an important reversal here could make for a more difficult equity environment in general. 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.

“Exhilarating...You’d have to be numb not to be impressed by the scale of [Clancy’s] ambition, his feel for the way information now flashes instantaneously across the globe, his mastery of technological developments. No other novelists is giving so full a picture of modern conflict, equally adeptly depicting those at the top and bottom of military and intelligence systems.”—The London Sunday Times
1. Prior market tops (1987, 2000, 2007, etc.) allowed asset managers to partially “insure” their risk assets by purchasing Treasuries that could appreciate in price as the Fed lowered policy rates. Today, that “insurance” is limited with interest rates so low. Risk assets, therefore, have a less “insurable” left tail that should be priced into higher risk premiums. Should a crisis arise because of policy mistakes, geopolitical crises, or other currently unforeseen risks, the ability to protect principal will be impaired relative to history. That in turn argues for a more cautious and easier Fed than otherwise assumed.
I think you need to look at how the population is growing. Only 1 group is growing and if you look at the high school and college graduation rates of that group it spells real trouble for our future prosperity as a society. Hopefully at some point they assimilated into our culture, but if they continue with the culture they came from that doesn’t emphasize education then it will only increase our welfare state. These people aren’t going to buy a lot of homes if they can’t graduate from High School and in the end it will mean spend more money on prisons and there will be even less for housing. I’m also curious if they fiasco of the last 20 years has anything to do with why Japan’s birth rate has gotten so low. If you really feel that each generation is going to have to lower their standard of living and your kids would be worse off than you and your parents wouldn’t that impact your decision to have kids at all?
By the end of the bear market, households’ financial asset holdings as a percentage of their total assets fell from 68% to 62%, while monetary assets as a percentage of total financial assets rose from 19% to 26%. On balance, households sought the greater security from tangible real assets, primarily housing, while adjusting their financial asset holdings principally away from stocks and toward the safety and liquidity of monetary assets.
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 company lost $1.1 billion in cash in the last quarter, executives are leaving the company in droves, it’s facing production issues with its Model 3 and, as I recently discussed, Elon Musk insulted analysts on the latest earnings call by dismissing their questions – regarding the company’s survival – as “boring” and “boneheaded,” (just after shareholders approved his obscenely large pay package).
As with many other industries, the reality of supply and demand impacts every aspect of the financial market. It is predicted that in 2018 the United States Treasury will have net new issue of $1.3 trillion in treasury bonds and the national debt will continue to rise. This new influx of debt will need to be purchased by the market, but the Federal Reserve is reducing the amount that it’s purchasing – their bond holdings will decrease by 10% over the next year. International buyers will become an even more important cog in the wheel, and David comprehensively explores the global supply and demand structure on this episode of Money For the Rest of Us. You also don’t want to miss his bear market investment suggestions, so be sure to listen.
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