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.
The fundamental drivers for Gold and the US Dollar are similar and that is why they typically trend together. Negative and/or falling real rates drive Gold and the same drives the greenback though with respect to differentials between the other competing currencies. When real rates are rising or strong in the US that is bearish for Gold and bullish for the US Dollar. The opposite is also true. And with the US Dollar being the global reserve currency, it naturally competes with Gold, which is an alternative. All being said, history as well as recent action suggests that weakness in the stock market is more crucial to Gold’s future than weakness in the US Dollar.  Read More
I would contest a little bit, Erik, the idea that we have not been monetizing the debt. The Fed, of course, has been monetized. It’s buying federal securities with credit that did not exist before the Fed tapped the relevant numbers on its computer keypad. The Fed has come to own substantial portions both of mortgage-backed securities and of Treasuries securities outstandings.

Eighth Interest Rate HikeAs expected, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the eighth time, today. The rate is now 2 to 2.25 percent, so I guess the midpoint is 2.125%. The move was highly anticipated, of course, even I expected the Fed to raise rates. At this point I had been expecting that for some time ever since the Fed first began ...…
There are two crucial factors why silver will increase more in value than gold during the next financial meltdown.  These factors are not well known by many precious metals analysts because they focus on antiquated information and knowledge.  While several individuals in the precious metals community forecast a much higher Gold-Silver ratio during the next financial crash, I see quite the opposite taking place.
When the U.S. economy began to move forward once again, municipal debt continued its momentum, which was maintained well into the early part of the twentieth century. The Great Depression of the 1930s halted growth, although defaults were not as severe as in the 1870s.[7] Leading up to World War II, many American resources were devoted to the military, and prewar municipal debt burst into a new period of rapid growth for an ever-increasing variety of uses. Today, in addition to the 50 states and their local governments (including cities, counties, villages and school districts), the District of Columbia and U.S. territories and possessions (American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. virgin Islands) can and do issue municipal bonds. Another important category of municipal bond issuers which includes authorities and special districts has also grown in number and variety in recent years. The two most prominent early authorities were the Port of New York Authority, formed in 1921 and renamed Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1972, and the Triborough Bridge Authority (now the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority), formed in 1933. The debt issues of these two authorities are exempt from federal, state and local governments taxes.[8]
Several comments have noted other media folks (Rush, etc) reference Sundance/CTH information without attribution. Perhaps thats a way of protecting Sundance/CTH. I’m kinda glad that no story has more than about 1,000 or so comments. Things we read here (and some cool twitters) weeks/months ago are finally finding their way into MSM a little bit. I know we want things now (and hopefully enough gets out before elections), but protection (as much as possible) of quality information source is quite imperative in these interesting days.
Here is a question for any and all of you that have ever purchased a lottery ticket or played the slots or bet on a horse: If you had proof that the outcomes were all rigged, would you still play? If someone showed you a video of pit bosses stacking decks or tampering with dice, would you ever enter that establishment again? If your wife or mother or employer knew that you would constantly blow your paychecks in a rigged casino, would you ever be able to face them? The answer to all of the above-mentioned scenarios is a resounding "NO!" Yet millions of people (albeit that figure is rapidly shrinking) are still committing many hundreds of millions of dollars every week to the Crimex Casino, which has now proven that every single input into determining prices for gold and silver (Bitcoin, too) is completely controlled by the bullion banks, the Crimex bosses and the regulators. Read More
I deplore the tax cut that has passed Congress. It is not an economic policy tax cut, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with supply-side economics. The entire purpose is to raise equity prices by providing equity owners with more capital gains and dividends. In other words, it is legislation that makes equity owners richer, thus further polarizing society into a vast arena of poverty and near-poverty and the One Percent, or more precisely a fraction of the One Percent wallowing in billions of dollars. Unless our rulers can continue to control the explanations, the tax cut edges us closer to revolution resulting from complete distrust of government. Read More
Treasury securities have been selling off and Treasury yields have been rising, with the two-year yield at 2.15% on Friday, the highest since September 2008, and the 10-year yield at 2.84%, the highest since April 2014. Rising yields mean that bond prices are falling, and this selloff has been an uncomfortable experience for holders of Treasury securities.
The rise of protectionism has serious implications for investors. We have become used to companies being able to break into new markets and the idea of “multinational corporations.” This may not be the case going forward. Investors will have to pay a lot more attention to where the companies they choose to invest in operate, and where their sales come from. In short, protectionism is on the rise and investors must prepare accordingly.
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.
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.
“Title I” FISA surveillance of U.S. citizens is the most intrusive, exhaustive and far reaching type of search, seizure and surveillance authority, permitting the FBI to look at every scintilla of Mr. Page’s life.  All communication, travel and contact can be opened and reviewed.  All aspects of any of Mr. Page’s engagements are subject to being secretly monitored.   This is an entirely different level of surveillance authority, the highest possible, and has nothing to do with FISA-702 search queries (Title VII) of U.S. persons.
The disability payment and stock option distribution are one-time events which unfortunately inflates the family’s actual ability to contribute to Julie’s education. The disability payment has to provide care for the rest of John’s life, he is currently 53. The stock distribution was used to purchase living quarters that included making the home handicapped ready. This was necessary since his only income is Social Security and his wife earns $14,000 per year. It would be impossible to qualify for a mortgage.
Lost in the largely meaningless political Kabuki theatre being staged on Capitol Hill is the fact that the economy is deteriorating. Real average weekly earnings in July declined for production and non-supervisory workers. It was down 0.01% from June to July and down 0.22% from July 2017. For all employees, real average hourly earnings declined 0.20% from June to July but was flat year over year. Read More

RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/PeterSchiff/reviews/Strong Dollar Policy?There used to be a lot of talk about the so-called Strong Dollar Policy. We had the Strong Dollar Policy when Bill Clinton was President, George Bush; I guess when Barack Obama was President, as well. I've talked about it, I've written abo ...…


I want you to understand this. This was no speedy drive by. This was a 16-hour trip, by two U.S. warships enforcing their right to travel international waters -- waters that China would obviously dispute the use of the word "international" as descriptive. The U.S. ships were shadowed by Chinese warships. This is cold war behavior. Been there, done that.
The bear markets of the last 50 years have had many different causes. Sometimes it's an external shock, often caused by politics—the 1973-74 correction set off by the rise of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is an example, as is a 1990 bear market set off by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. So, too, was the 1982 bear instigated by the Federal Reserve, which raised interest rates to punishing levels in a successful bid to crush inflation.
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The Spanish government is about to fall after the Ciudadanos party decided to join PSOE (socialist) and Podemos in a non-confidence vote against PM Rajoy. Hmm, what would that mean for the Catalan politicians Rajoy is persecuting? The Spanish political crisis is inextricably linked to the Italian one, not even because they are so much alike, but because both combine to create huge financial uncertainty in the eurozone.
I forget now exactly what the size of the interest expense of the public debt is, about $400 billion. The government is paying 2.2 or something on its debt. Doubling of yields to 4-something and doubling of gross interest expense to $800 billion or so would certainly be an inconvenience. It would require very painful political choices. But, no, it is not impossible.
This Economic Letter compares the current shift in assets with a similar shift that occurred during the long bear market of the 1970s. In particular, I ask whether the shift associated with today’s bear market is likely to last as long as the shift during the earlier one; that portfolio realignment occurred over six years, from 1968 to 1974 and was not substantially reversed until after the stock market began to rally in 1982. The answer arguably depends on some important differences between the two episodes: In the 1970s, the economic environment was characterized by low productivity growth and high inflation; today’s economy, in contrast, is expected to maintain a relatively high rate of productivity growth in the near term and low inflation. The improved fundamentals today should be more favorable for corporate earnings and stock prices and thus bring a quicker end to households’ recent shift away from stocks. In addition, the financial market innovations and regulatory changes over the past two decades that have lowered households’ transaction costs of participating in the capital markets should continue to favor stock ownership.
But this strategy requires knowing when to sell, and bear markets can be very difficult to predict. As Ryan Miyamoto, a CFP® in Pasadena, CA, explains, “Selling at a loss is your biggest threat. A bear market will test your emotions and patience…The best strategy to control your emotions is to have a game plan. Start by creating a safety net that is not invested in the market. Seeing your accounts go down will be a lot easier if you know you have adequate cash on hand.”
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.
U.S. bonds have not fallen like this since Donald Trump’s stunning election victory in November 2016.  Could this be a sign that big trouble is on the horizon for the stock market?  It seems like bonds have been in a bull market forever, but now suddenly bond yields are spiking to alarmingly high levels.  On Wednesday, the yield on 30 year U.S. bonds rose to the highest level since September 2014, the yield on 10 year U.S. bonds rose to the highest level since June 2011, and the yield on 5 year bonds rose to the highest level since October 2008. Read More
Ironically it is not completely divided between East and West, as a few European governments have been hedging their bets by repatriating their gold from offshore over the past few years.  But the race to accumulate gold has been primarily relegated to a few countries such as Russia, China, India, and Turkey, where combined they hold very powerful 'Trump Cards' as their economies, and along with the rest of the BRICS nations, make up 40% of the world's population. Read More
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.
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.

Today by far the deadliest weapon of mass destruction in Washington’s arsenal lies not with the Pentagon or its traditional killing machines. It’s de facto a silent weapon: the ability of Washington to control the global supply of money, of dollars, through actions of the privately-owned Federal Reserve in coordination with the US Treasury and select Wall Street financial groups. Developed over a period of decades since the decoupling of the dollar from gold by Nixon in August, 1971, today control of the dollar is a financial weapon that few if any rival nations are prepared to withstand, at least not yet. Read More
Figure 2 depicts how households reallocated their assets during the current bear market (2000:Q3 to 2002:Q4). Household equity holdings (adjusted for inflation) fell by over 43%. As in the 1970s, households responded in part by shifting their wealth from financial assets to tangible real assets, with the value of housing in their portfolios rising 15%. Within their financial assets holdings, they also once again sought the safety and liquidity of monetary assets, which rose in value by 14%, with only a modest increase in bond holdings.

A campaign featuring Smokey and the slogan "Smokey Says – Care Will Prevent 9 out of 10 Forest Fires" began in 1944. His later slogan, "Remember... Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires" was created in 1947 and was associated with Smokey Bear for more than five decades.[6][7] In April 2001, the message was officially updated to "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires."[6] in response to a massive outbreak of wildfires in natural areas other than forests (such as grasslands), and to clarify that Smokey is promoting the prevention of unplanned outdoor fire versus prescribed fires.[8][4] According to the Ad Council, 80% of outdoor recreationists correctly identified Smokey Bear's image and 8 in 10 recognized the campaign PSAs.[9]


Looking for a home, first time buyer and loan approved but feel a bit nervous about it all. Should we wait a while knowing the market may continue to worsen? Will prices lower enough to buy us something a little better/closer to the city we currently live? Low interest rates now, will they go lower? These concerns/worries and more. Is it just first time buyer jitters? Appreciate your input.
Of these four potential causes, tightening by the Federal Reserve remains the key risk. Bond markets clearly believe this, as seen in the flattening of the yield curve (where long-dated bonds move lower, until they achieve a similar level to short-dated bonds). An inversion of the yield curve has generally been a sign of recession and usually pre-dates a bear market by around six months. We’re not there yet, but we are edging closer.

His place was taken by Daniel Drew, also known as the “Great Bear”, “Ursa Major”, and the “Sphinx of Wall Street”. Drew was described by a contemporary as “shrewd, unscrupulous, and very illiterate – a strange combination of superstition and faithlessness, of daring and timidity – often good-natured and sometimes generous.” He was the great rival of Cornelius Vanderbilt and a sometime partner of Jay Gould.

In an interview it was said that during the Weimar experience, gold performed extremely well but silver lagged. It is for this reason they suggested not to pay attention to the current out of whack silver to gold ratio north of 80-1 and it will not narrow. This is just wrong for so many reasons. First, the ratio of silver to gold worldwide at the time was roughly 15-1. Silver was priced at $1.385 per ounce while gold was at $20.67 per ounce in dollar terms. Read More


Felix Zulauf was a member of the Barron’s Roundtable for about 30 years, until relinquishing his seat at our annual investment gathering in 2017. While his predictions were more right than wrong, it was the breadth of his knowledge and the depth of his analysis of global markets that won him devoted fans among his Roundtable peers, the crew at Barron’s, and beyond. Simply put, Felix, president of Zulauf Asset Management in Baar, Switzerland, always knew—and still knows—better than most how to connect the dots among central bankers’ actions, fiscal policies, currency gyrations, geopolitics, and the price of assets, hard and soft. Read More
While $1 billion may not sound like much when compared with the Peoples’ Bank of China total holdings of US Government debt of more than $1 trillion or to the US Federal debt today of over $20 trillion, it’s significance lies beyond the nominal amount. It’s a test run by both governments of the potential for state financing of infrastructure and other projects independent of dollar risk from such events as US Treasury financial sanctions. 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 ...…
To be sure, with human nature being what it is, thinking about a bear market is the last thing most of us are inclined to do right now. With the S&P 500 SPX, +1.55%  just 1.5% below its all-time high, and some other indexes having already eclipsed their previous all-time highs from earlier this year, we’re more inclined to be celebrating than planning for the worst.
Already rising for two weeks, following the Geithner announcement the DJIA had its fifth-biggest one-day point gain in history.[40] "Tim Geithner went from zero to hero in a matter of just a few days" and reported that Bank of America stock led banking stocks with 38% one-day gains.[41] On March 26, 2009, after just short of three weeks of gains which frequently defied the day's bad economic news, the DJIA rebounded to 7924.56. A rise of 21% from the previous low, this met the technical requirements to be considered a bull market.[42] A Wall Street Journal article declared, "Stocks are on their strongest run since the bear market started a year and a half ago as investors continue to debate whether the economy and the markets have finally stabilized".[43] Bloomberg noted the Obama administration's successes included the sale of $24 billion worth of seven-year Treasury notes and pointed out that March 2009 was the best month for the S&P 500 since 1974.[44]
The Kavanaugh hearing underscored another eerie condition in contemporaryUSA life that offers clues about the combined social, economic, and political collapse that I call the long emergency: the destruction of all remaining categorical boundaries for understanding behavior: truth and untruth, innocent and guilty, childhood and adulthood, public and private. The absence of real monsters to slay, has become the party devoted to sowing chaos, mainly by inventing new, imaginary monsters using the machinery of politics, the way the Catholic Church manufactured monsters of heresy during the Spanish Inquisition in its attempt to regulate “belief.” Read More
It seems a lot of the otherwise sellers hold off selling and banks being very slow releasing REOs. They seem to think market will improve in San Diego in the next few months or later. Many of the ones on the market are so over priced they don’t go anywhere and price reductions are slow to come. There is definitely a stalemate between sellers and buyers in San Diego market.
Wouldn’t the monitoring of others only be allowed when they were interacting with Carter Page? Great question. Any individual Page was communicating with, ANY, would then be caught up in the analysts mapping of said associates of the target, in this case Carter Page. Once the mapping is complete, I’m thinking, whomever the intel agent in charge of the operation would then narrow the surveillance down to something more manageable.
Of course, in that event, the FED will probably stand ready to provide liquidity to market makers and banks, but now, after the shame of the 2007–2008 bailouts, they would face much more political heat if they do try to prop up the market now. So, they will likely hesitate and that means there first must be a panic… Unless Powell surprises me and preempts this and says next week that the FED will stand by to stabilize the markets.

The entire defense sector reports this week. At least the big guys do. Margin compression and the potential for lost contracts weigh heavy on these stocks right now. This is one area where I will be slow to withdraw amid weakness. Domestic and allied monies intended for this space will not draw down in a Cold War environment. Lockheed Martin (LMT) reports this morning. The numbers should be good. However, the firm has a number of deals in place with Saudi Arabia. My plan is to wait for the call before doing anything stupid. Boeing (BA) , General Dynamics (GD) , and Northrop Grumman (NOC) all report tomorrow morning, while Raytheon (RTN) will go to the tape on Thursday morning.
There is definitely an argument to be made for having a slight overweight to cash when you start to feel wary on both sides of market, viewing both equities and bonds from a peak down. Nine to 12 months of cash reserve, rather than just six months, is the new norm for greater security, and to take some risk off the table and wait for a better opportunity to reinvest, he said.
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.
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.
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%.

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.
Municipal bonds have much higher interest rates compared to their FDIC-insured counterparts: CDs, savings accounts, money market accounts, and others. Over the last five years, the average interest rate return on municipal bonds has hovered around 4.5%,[16] while CDs of similar lengths have been at 1.5%.[17] Among other factors, this is a result of the longer, fixed return periods. Unlike stocks and other non-dated investments, municipal bonds have fixed rates and are far less liquid. As a general rule, municipal bonds with longer time to maturity have higher coupon rates.
Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, municipal advisors gained an increasingly important role in overseeing financial and legal circumstances surrounding the issuance of bonds.[14] The municipal advisor serves as a fiduciary for the municipal issue, taking care of all of the assets and finances involved in the issuance process. Legally, the advisor is obligated to represent the interests of the issuer and serve as a source of financial advice. This entails offering advice on structuring, selling, and promoting bonds, as well as serving as the central liaison between other members of the financial team, especially the underwriters and credit rating agency. Although municipal financial advisory services have existed for many years, municipal advisors have played a key role in the bond issuance process since the Securities and Exchange Commission enacted the Municipal Advisor rule in 2014, which prohibits certain communications between issuers and broker-dealers unless one of four exceptions is met, one being that the issuer has retained an Independent Registered Municipal Advisor ("IRMA").[12]
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.

Phil is a hedge fund manager and author of 3 New York Times best-selling investment books, Invested, Rule #1, and Payback Time. He was taught how to invest using Rule #1 strategy when he was a Grand Canyon river guide in the 80's, after a tour group member shared his formula for successful investing. Phil has a passion educating others, and has given thousands of people the confidence to start investing and retire comfortably.

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."
Major international comparisons have long concluded that Americans’ ability to effectively utilize mathematics is inadequate. Such conclusions divide students, parents, teachers and administrators into camps that share little more than blaming others for the problems. However, it is unclear whether all the finger-pointing indicates a real desire to overcome our innumeracy. In fact, we systematically misuse numbers to distort reality because we want to fool ourselves, making our ineptitude no surprise.

The mirage that we are still in a strong bull market, and not on the brink of a bear one, has more to do with this year’s fast-rising earnings than a sharply falling stock market, which is typically what leads investors to run for safety. The classic definition of a bear market is when a stock market average such as the Dow or the S&P 500 has dropped 20 percent from its highs. But that’s probably not the best one. The more important factor to consider when gauging whether investors are feeling upbeat about stocks, and, by extension, the economy, is what they are willing to pay for the earnings that those companies generate.


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.
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