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End Of The Financial World?

End Of The Financial World?

Predicting the end of the world, physical or financial, is seldom helpful.

If the prediction is correct, how do you profit from the insight? If the prediction is wrong and the “end of the world” is delayed (typical), you lose credibility.

An estimate of risk versus reward based on an analysis of current information is more useful.

Assessment: The 2018-2020 risk for most asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, corporate debt, and real estate is high while the potential reward in those asset classes is low. Gold and silver are opposite. Their long-term risk is low (September 2018) and their long-term potential reward is huge.

From Goldman Sachs:

OPINIONS AND FACTS SUPPORTING RISK/REWARD ASSESSMENT:

The central banks and the financial world created an “everything bubble.” This includes the stock market, bond market, housing, student loans, sub-prime auto loans, emerging markets, fiat currencies, and central bank credibility.

Low interest rates enable bubbles!

Bubbles always burst or implode. People want to believe “this time is different,” but it usually isn’t. Bubbles will implode and cause huge damage, especially to the middle and lower classes in the United States. Remember the crashes of 1987, 2000 and 2008. Each one seemed more destructive and broader in its reach than the previous crash. What will the crash of 2018 – 202? create?

If it can’t continue, it will stop – someday. Total debt – national, household, corporate, sovereign and more – has increased exponentially since 1913 when the Federal Reserve… you know the drill.

Use national debt for example. Begin the calculations in 1913, 1971, 1980, 2000 or whenever. The rate of increase in the official national debt varies but on average the debt increased by 8% to 9% every year and doubles every eight to nine years. Consider the implications of runaway debt, out of control spending, and no political will to manage spending, debt, or expansion of government, Medicare, military expenditures etc.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Everything Bubble: When Will It Finally Crash?

The Everything Bubble: When Will It Finally Crash?

Much like the laws of physics, there are certain laws of economics that remain constant no matter how much manipulation exists in the markets. Expansion inevitably leads to contraction, and that which goes up must eventually come down. Central banks understand this reality very well; they have spent over a century trying to exploit those laws to their own advantage.

A common misconception among people new to alternative economics is the idea that central banks only seek to keep the economy afloat, or keep it expanding forever. In reality, these institutions and the money elites behind them artificially inflate financial bubbles only to deliberately implode them at opportunistic moments.

As I have outlined in numerous articles, every economic bubble and subsequent crash since 1914 can be linked to the policy actions of central bankers. Sometimes they even admit to culpability (to a point), as Ben Bernanke did on the Great Depression and as Alan Greenspan did on the 2008 credit crisis. You can read more about this in my article ‘The Federal Reserve Is A Saboteur – And The “Experts” Are Oblivious.’

Generally, central bankers and international bankers mislead the public into believing that the crashes they are responsible for were caused “by mistake.” They rarely if ever mention the fact that they often use these crises as a means to consolidate control over assets, resources and governments while the masses are distracted by their own financial survival. Centralization is the name of the game. It is certainly no mistake that after every economic implosion the wealth gapbetween the top 0.01% and the rest of humanity widens exponentially.

Yet another crash is being weaponized by the banks, and this time I believe the motivations behind it are rather different. Or at least the goals are supercharged.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Gold in the “Everything Bubble”: Effective Diversification?

Gold in the “Everything Bubble”: Effective Diversification?

What do you do when nearly all asset classes are overvalued?

Diversification is one of the oldest principles by which people try to hang on to their wealth, however little they might have. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, it goes. Diversification is not designed to maximize profits or minimize costs. It’s designed to get you through a smaller or larger fiasco, not necessarily unscathed but with at least some of your eggs intact so that you can go to market another day. This search for stability is a critical concept when looking at gold as diversification of risk in other asset classes.

There are many reasons to own or trade gold that are beyond the scope of my thoughts here on diversification. So I’ll leave them for another day.

The classic and most basic diversification for American households has been the triad of stocks, bonds, and real estate. In the past, it was often held that when stocks go up, bonds decline. This has to do in part with the Fed, which tends to raise rates when things get hot, thus driving up bond yields (which means by definition that bond prices decline). So stocks and bonds balanced each other out to some extent.

Throw in some leveraged real estate – the house you live in – and in the past, your assets were considered sufficiently diversified.

But this no longer applies today: Stocks, bonds, and real estate – both residential and commercial – all boomed together since the onset of QE in 2009. Other asset classes boomed to, including art and classic cars. Almost everything went up together in near lockstep. For a while, gold and silver, which had been on a surge since 2001 continued to surge. In other words, it was very difficult to achieve actual diversification.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

BCA: The “Bubble In Everything” Threatens $400 Trillion In Assets

By now, it’s a very familiar question: how high can the Fed hike rates before it causes a major market “event.”

Two weeks ago, Stifel analyst Barry Banister became the latest to issue a timeline on how many more rate hikes the Fed can push through before the market is finally impacted. According to his calculations, just two more rate hikes would put the central bank above the neutral rate – the interest rate that neither stimulates nor holds back the economy. The Fed’s long-term projection of its policy rate has risen from 2.8% at the end of 2017 to 2.9% in June. As the following chart, every time this has happened, a bear market has inevitably followed.

A similar argument was made recently by both Deutsche Bank and Bank of America, which in two parallel analyses observed last year that every Fed tightening cycle tends to end in a crisis.

Now, it’s the turn of BCA research to warn that ultimately the fate of risk assets depends on the relative size of the inflationary impulse being spawned by the Fed vs the remnant disinflationary impulse from monetary policies over the past decade.

In a report issued on Friday, BCA’s strategists make the key point that the performance of bonds – and stocks – in an inflation scare would depend on the relative size of the inflationary impulse compared with the disinflationary impulse that resulted from sharply lower risk-asset prices.

They make the point that if central banks were more concerned about the inflationary impulse, which at least for Fed chair Powell appears to be the case for now – Janet Yellen’s “lower for longer revised forward guidance” notwithstanding – they would have to keep tightening – in which case, bond yields would be liberated to reach elevated territory.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Housing Bubble and Everything Bubble in One Simple Picture

To understand the magnitude of the housing bubbles simply compare the index of wages to the index of prices.

How Did We Get Here?

That’s easy.

Average Wages vs CPI

Note the correct CPU comparison for this chart is CPI-W not CPI-U, not that it matters much.

No matter what official CPI one uses, the chart is a joke. Why? The CPI only reflects rent, not actual housing prices.

The Fed made this mistake during the housing bubble and they made it again from 2011 to present.

More bubbles will burts and that is very deflationary. By chasing its tail, the Fed creates the very conditions it seeks to prevent.

Price Deflation Not a Problem

For years, the Fed desperately sought more inflation. However, a BIS Study on the Historical Costs of Deflation shows routine price deflation is not a problem.

According to the BIS, “Deflation may actually boost output. Lower prices increase real incomes and wealth. And they may also make export goods more competitive.”

Meanwhile, people keep faith in the Phillips’ Curve. It’s pathetic.

Related Articles

Doug Duncan: Even US Government Economists Predict Trouble Ahead

Doug Duncan: Even US Government Economists Predict Trouble Ahead

Fannie Mae forecasts an economic slowdown by 2019

Doug Duncan is not your average beltway economist.

The chief economist for Fannie Mae is surprisingly outspoken about the troublesome outlook for the US economy. He’s worried about the rising cost of debt service as outstanding credit continues to mount at the same time interest rates are starting to ratchet higher, too.

He predicts the US will enter recession within a year, concurrent with a topping out of America’s real estate market. It wouldn’t surprise him to see the stock market falter, too, as central banks around the world begin a coordinated tightening of monetary policy and — similar to the thoughts recently expressed within our podcast with Axel Merk — Doug expects Jerome Powell to be much more reluctant to intervene in attempt to support asset prices. Having met personally with Powell, Doug thinks the Fed is now happy to see some of the air come out of the Everything Bubble (just not too much and not too fast) — a market change from past Fed administrations:

Our forecast definitely sees slowing economic activity, particularly in the second half of ’19. Part of it has to do with the length of the expansion. Just because an expansion is long doesn’t mean it’s going to end; but they all have eventually ended, and this one is getting pretty old. I think if it’s not the second longest, it’s getting to be the second longest that we’ve ever had shortly.

The tax bill was viewed differently by different parties, but the capital markets initially took that — plus the $300 billion agreement to get past the expiration of government funding plus the budget agreement — they took all those things as inflationary.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Everything Bubble—Waiting For The Pin

The Everything Bubble—Waiting For The Pin

Yesterday we noted that financial markets have become completely uncoupled from reality and that the recent feeble bounces between the 20-day and 50-day chart points were essentially the rigor mortis of a dead bull. As it happened, we were able to share those sentiments with what remains of CNBC’s audience of carbon-based units:

As we also noted as per the chart point mavens, the 20-day average down at 2703 (red line) on the S&P 500 was supposed to represent “support” while the  50-day average (blue line) purportedly functioned as “resistance”.Well, upon the official announcement of the Donald’s lunatic trade war, there she sat at yesterday’s close—less than one point under the 50-day moving average at 2739.8 (blue line).

But rather than “resistance”, which the raging robo-machines ripped through today like a hot knife through butter, we’d say the blue line represents the last frontier of sanity. That’s because a stock market trading at 25X earnings under today’s baleful circumstances is nothing less than a brobdingnagian bubble (i.e. a huuuge one) frantically searching for the proverbial pin.

We essay the razor sharp aspects of the pin below, but suffice it to say here that the cyclical calendar has just plain run out of time. It is way, way too late in the cycle at 105 months of age to be “pricing-in” anything except the end of the party. And this bubblicious party has embodied the most spectacular central-bank fueled mania yet—meaning that the morning after is going to bring a truly hellacious hangover.

^SPX Chart

Among the many sharp edges of the pin are these:

1) the virtual certainly of a recession within the next two years and a typical 30%-50% drop in earnings;

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

The ‘Everything Bubble’ and What Happens if Credit Freezes Up in a Credit-Based Economy

The ‘Everything Bubble’ and What Happens if Credit Freezes Up in a Credit-Based Economy

“It could get really messy.”  Wolf Richter on the X22 Report

The US government bond market has soured, even the 10-year yield is surging, and mortgage rates have jumped. Read… What Will Rising Mortgage Rates Do to Housing Bubble 2?

Party While You Can – Central Bank Ready To Pop The ‘Everything’ Bubble

Party While You Can – Central Bank Ready To Pop The ‘Everything’ Bubble

Many people do not realize that America is not only entering a new year, but within the next month we will also be entering a new economic era. In early February, Janet Yellen is set to leave the Federal Reserve and be replaced by the new Fed chair nominee, Jerome Powell. Now, to be clear, the Fed chair along with the bank governors do not set central bank policy. Policy for most central banks around the world is dictated in Switzerland by the Bank for International Settlements. Fed chairmen like Janet Yellen are mere mascots implementing policy initiatives as ordered.  This is why we are now seeing supposedly separate central banking institutions around the world acting in unison, first with stimulus, then with fiscal tightening.

However, it is important to note that each new Fed chair does tend to signal a new shift in action for the central bank. For example, Alan Greenspan oversaw the low interest rate easy money phase of the Fed, which created the conditions for the derivatives and credit bubble and subsequent crash in 2008. Ben Bernanke oversaw the stimulus and bailout phase, flooding the markets with massive amounts of fiat and engineering an even larger bubble in stocks, bonds and just about every other asset except perhaps some select commodities. Janet Yellen managed the tapering phase, in which stimulus has been carefully and systematically diminished while still maintaining delusional stock market euphoria.

Now comes the era of Jerome Powell, who will oversee the last stages of fiscal tightening, the reduction of the Fed balance sheet, faster rate increases and the final implosion of the ‘everything’ bubble.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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