So I have been rolling this whole mess around in my head: Trump wins the RNC nomination. Hillary wins the DNC nomination by cheating over Bernie via the great “Super Delegate Scandal.” DNC comes up with a plan to dig up dirt on Trump via Steele and his Russian contacts. Steele apparently fails to come up with anything substantial or is too incompetent to understand his lies will not hold water when looked at closely and so publishes the phony baloney Russian Dossier. DNC and Clinton via Steele and Fusion GPS worm their way around the FBI and FISA courts and get a FISA warrant on a low-level Trump flunky Carter Page. Page is promptly removed from the Trump campaign. Using the FISA warrant, FBI spies on Trump and apparently finds nothing. Hillary email scandal erupts. Comey states Hillary is guilty as hell but no one will prosecute so no charges are brought up. DNC calls for Comey’s head. Trump wins the election and becomes POTUS. Trump appoints Flynn, then promptly fires him when he finds out he is compromised. Comey is outed as a corrupt idiot and so Trump fires him. DNC cries foul about firing Comey, even though they were literally calling for his head 6 months previous for his coverage of Hillary email scandal. DNC screams for a special council, Sessions recuses himself for no reason (clearly making POTUS Trump angry), and so deputy AG Rosenstein (who signed off on the junk Russian Dossier FISA warrant) assigns his and Comey’s good friend Muller to lead the investigation (clear conflict of interest on multiple fronts). Muller investigates for a year and finds nothing of substance (except completely unrelated crap on Flynn and a few others). Nunes investigates and finds out everything above (it is not even hidden very well). Nunes wants to release the memo. DNC balks badly and ultimately fails. The memo is released.
At first the effect on the broader economy is minimal, so consumers, companies and governments don’t let a slight uptick in financing costs interfere with their borrowing and spending. But eventually rising rates begin to bite and borrowers get skittish, throwing the leverage machine into reverse and producing an equities bear market and Main Street recession. Read More
Great question. We are certainly in a confirmed market correction. The Four Horsemen have been released by the titans of doom. So are we in the early stages of a bear market? Is this just another selloff, as in February and April? Market movement is far more violent now that human decision-makers play a far less significant role in price discovery. Hey, humans were too slow for the big players. Well, you reap what you sow.
Rebalancing back to 50-50 2x and cash daily will have provide the closest tracking, but the costs will kill. You can rebalance much less frequently, perhaps at 40% bands (when the weights have declined below 30%/risen above 70% for instance) and achieve similar general reward as the 1x with much less rebalance frequency (once every year or two perhaps), but likely with some tracking error – that has 50-50 probability of being better or worse.
Historically, municipal bonds have been one of the least liquid assets on the market. While stocks can be bought and sold within seconds on exchange platforms, given the current absence of widespread secondary market platforms for the exchange of stocks, municipal bonds are much harder to maneuver. At the same time, the minimum investment amounts for stocks are typically <$500 and about $1000 for CDs and money markets; in comparison, municipal bonds have higher average buy-in minimums of $5000. These minimum investment amounts previously barred many individuals from investing in bonds.
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).
First I said I believed the US stock market would plunge in January, but I also said that January would not be the biggest drop, but just the first plunge that begins a global economic collapse: the big trouble for the economy and the stock market, I said, would show up in “early summer.” That’s when the stock market crash that began in January would take its second big leg down, and global economic cracks would become big enough that few could deny them. Read More
4. While 5% real annual return doesn’t seem like much, it is a highly stable and secure return. How would stocks fair in that same time frame? Taking into account a 2% annual inflation rate, you would need a 7% nominal annual return on stocks to keep up with a 5% real return on a house. What if inflation goes to 4% or higher? Can you imagine a sustained nominal return on stocks of 9% or higher (to achieve a 5% real return on stocks)??
In 2005, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) said section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) which requires chief executive officers to certify the accuracy of financial statements caused capital flight away from the U.S. stock market. Later in 2008, Paul said that the government bailouts of badly run corporations was rewarding bad behavior and punishing good behavior, and that it prevented resources from being allocated away from inefficient uses to more productive uses, and that this lowered the overall amount of wealth across the entire economy.
With the Fed now reducing the size of their balance sheet by $30 billion per month, and the European Central Bank scaling back bond purchases by $20 billion per month, this dynamic is going to change, radically. There will be a shift from a $250 billion net demand in 2017, to a $550 billion net supply in 2018. As the below chart shows, that is quite a large swing.
In our regular gold trading alerts, we focus on the short- and medium-term outlook and we rarely discuss the very long-term issues or price targets. The reason is simple – the long-term issues and price targets don’t change often, so usually there’s little new to say about them. Consequently, it’s been a long time since we last discussed our view on gold’s explosive upside potential. In fact, it’s been so long that those who do not take the time to read our analyses thoroughly and those who have been reading them for only a short while may think that we are bearish on gold in the long run. Or that we’re perma-bears. Naturally, it’s nonsense and those who have been diligently following our articles know it. What we’re aiming for is to help investors position themselves to make the most of the upcoming rally in the precious metals market and one of the best ways to do it is to help people prepare for the final bottom in gold. Read More
Markets over the last few days have plunged, with U.S. stocks posting their worst two-day stretch in eight months. The three major indexes — the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite — all fell more than 5 percent between Wednesday and Thursday. Asia markets followed suit on Thursday, with mainland China markets tumbling more than 5 percent, and Japan's Nikkei index falling almost 4 percent.
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.
Sometimes the condition occurs completely by chance when you’re born, like my case. — Sarah Valenzuela, SELF, "My Congenital Disorder Confuses a Lot of Trainers, So I Have to Be My Own Fitness Expert," 9 Nov. 2018 So Ruby used massive amounts of data from Ancestry.com to investigate the role of genes in the lifespans of more than 400,000 people born in the 1800s and early 20th century. — Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Genetics play less of a role in lifespan than we thought," 8 Nov. 2018 Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, born in Detroit to Palestinian parents, and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, who arrived in the United States from Somalia at 14, won their House races, becoming the first Muslim women elected to Congress. — Mary Jordan, The Seattle Times, "Record number of women appear headed for Congress," 6 Nov. 2018 But companies born in democracies sometimes display their values, as when social networks cite the First Amendment in drafting their policies around content moderation. — Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Google walkout offers a playbook for successful corporate protests," 2 Nov. 2018 If someone were born in northern Greece or Anatolia, the strontium signal would be different from that of Iron Gates natives. — Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 The new royal baby, whose name has yet to be made public, is the seventh grandchild for Princess Caroline (the third born in 2018), and the great-grandson of Grace Kelly. — Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Princess Grace's Granddaughter Charlotte Casiraghi Gives Birth to a Baby Boy," 24 Oct. 2018 When you're born into the royal family, things are naturally...different. — Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Will Meghan Markle And Prince Harry’s Baby Be Born At Home? Plus, Other Bizarre Royal Birthing Rules," 15 Oct. 2018 Here are some quick facts to know about the key term: 1) Heteronormativity starts SUPER young A lot of people are victims of heteronormativity before they're even born because of the strange cultural phenomenon of gender reveal parties. — Megan Lasher, Seventeen, "Everything You Need To Know About 'Heteronormativity'," 4 Oct. 2018
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Most of us are aware of the inflationary pressures in the major economies, that so far are proving somewhat latent in the non-financial sector. But some central banks are on the alert as well, notably the Federal Reserve Board, which has taken the lead in trying to normalise interest rates. Others, such as the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England are yet to be convinced that price inflation is a potential problem.
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.
“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning– Strauss & Howe Read More
In short, don’t imagine that the era of managing interest rates is over. It isn’t, not by a long chalk. And in fact, I suspect that if anything could give us the “melt-up” outcome, it’s central banks making it clear that they are going to ignore above-target inflation. The idea that they’re not only not taking the punchbowl away, but spiking it with rocket fuel, would be just the ticket for a final blowout.
A bull market is one marked with strong investor confidence and optimism. It is the opposite of a bear market, during which negatively prevails. In a bull market, stock prices go up. Like the term "bear market," the term "bull market" is derived from the way a bull attacks its prey. Because bulls tend to charge with their horns thrusting upward into the air, periods of rising stock prices are called bull markets. Unfortunately for investors, bull market periods that last too long can give way to bear markets.
Assuming that the decline from the January-2018 peak is a short-term correction that will run its course before the end March (my assumption since the correction’s beginning in late-January), the recent price action probably is akin to what happened in February-March of 2007. In late-February of 2007 the SPX had been grinding its way upward in relentless fashion for many months. Read More
In any event, fixing to borrow upwards of $1.2 trillion in FY 2019, Simple Steve apparently didn't get the memo about the Fed's unfolding QT campaign and the fact that it will be draining cash from the bond pits at a $600 billion annual rate by October. After all, no one who can do third-grade math would expect that the bond market can "easily handle" what will in effect be $1.8 trillion of homeless USTs: Read More
A little more than thirty years ago Tom Clancy was a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history. Years before, he had been an English major at Baltimore’s Loyola College and had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October—the first of the phenomenally successful Jack Ryan novels—sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it “the perfect yarn.” From that day forward, Clancy established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. He passed away in October 2013.
The most eloquent justification for the bear is provided by the American financier Bernard Baruch, who was called to Washington in 1916 after a market panic to explain his short-sales of the stock of the Brooklyn Rapid Transport Company, a go-go stock of that era. At the time some members of Congress were calling for short- selling to be banned. Baruch stood his ground, politely explaining to the politicians that “bears can only make money if the bulls push up stocks to where they are overpriced and unsound.” He continued:
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
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/PeterSchiff/reviews/Dow Could Not Hold Onto the GainAfter yesterday's, I think 550 point drop in the Dow, the market bounced back a bit today. I think at one point earlier in the day the Dow managed to gain over 200 points, but it could not hold on to that gain. It closed down ju ...…
The point being that there were several large and scary corrections during that S&P 500 and Nasdaq rally: in 1997, the Thai baht and Malaysian ringgit devaluation that led to rolling devaluations throughout southeast Asia disrupted the S&P 500 in the 2nd half of 1997. Then we saw the 1998 Long Term Capital Crisis, which resulted in Greenspan cutting short-term rates in the middle of a white-hot economy, and that's just two nasty pullbacks in that record bull market.
I think I’ve figured it out. There’s multiple Americas. I don’t mean North, Central and South. I mean multiple US of As. What other explanation could there possibly be. When I hear a windblown politician, a television yakking head, or the wholly ignorant in the streets making these comments I think: That’s exactly what should be happening in our country! That is exactly what I value. That is exactly who I am. So, here we rest our weary hearts and minds. In a standoff across an ever-widening abyss. An abyss of wayward ideologies, ignorance, directionless baseless hatred, stupidity… multiple Americas. Read More
And more to the point, even though tech has on average done well over the last 20 years, most tech firms have gone bankrupt. Buying the market and a broad basket of companies isn’t speculating. It is just assuming that, like always, in the long-term, the biggest 100-200-300 companies in the US or elsewhere will be worth more money in 10-20-30 years than today.
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%.
Like the Doctor, I think home prices are resetting to fundamentals. When you lose your equity suddenly you don’t care if prices fall another 30 to 40 percent. With this growing contingent of negative equity homeslaves approaching critical mass you may see the following solution arise to reset home prices so our economy can regain its stability as people will have more money available for other parts of their budget that is now being confiscated for the Too Big To Fails.
The last refunding two weeks ago, which consisted of three, 10- and 30-year securities, surprised many by drawing strong demand. That was before the tariff tantrum in markets. When asked on Friday whether China plans to scale back its purchases of Treasuries in response to tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, China's ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, wouldn't rule out the possibility. "We are looking at all options," he said.