Paul Farrell On The One Thing Buffett, Gross, Grantham, Faber, And Stiglitz All Agree On: “Bernanke Plan A Disaster”
by ilene - November 2nd, 2010 2:50 pm
Paul Farrell On The One Thing Buffett, Gross, Grantham, Faber, And Stiglitz All Agree On: "Bernanke Plan A Disaster"
Courtesy of Zero Hedge
By now it is more than obvious except to a few economists (yes, we realize this is a NC-17 term) that QE2 will be an absolute and unmitigated disaster, which will likely kill the dollar, send risk assets vertical (at least as a knee jerk reaction), and result in a surge in inflation even as deflation on leveraged purchases continues to ravage Bernanke’s feudal fiefdom. So all the rational, and very much powerless, observers can do is sit back and be amused as the kleptogarchy with each passing day brings this country to final economic and social ruin. Oddly enough, as Paul Farrell highlights, the list of objectors has grown from just fringe blogs (which have been on Bernanke’s case for almost two years), to such names as Buffett, Gross, Grantham, Faber and Stiglitz. And that the opinion of all these respected (for the most part) investors is broadly ignored demonstrates just how unwavering is the iron grip on America’s by its economist overlords. Which brings us back to the amusement part. Here are Farrell’s always witty views on the object which very soon 99% of American society will demand be put into exile: the genocidal Ph.D. holders of the Marriner Eccles building.
From Paul Farrell’s latest: Sell bonds now, Fed’s QE2 is doomed to fail.
Warning, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s foolish gamble to stimulate the economy will backfire, triggering a new double-dip recession. Bernanke is “medding” too much in the economy, say Marc Faber, Bill Gross, Jeremy Grantham, Joseph Stiglitz and others.
The Fed is making the same kind of mistakes Japan made that resulted in its 20-year recession. The Washington Post says Larry Mayer, a former Fed governor, estimates that to work it would take QE2 bond purchases of “more than $5 trillion …10 times what analysts are expecting.”
Bernanke’s plan is designed to fail. And, unfortunately, that will make life far more dangerous for American investors, consumers, taxpayers and voters.
“I’m ultrabearish on everything, but I believe you’ll be better off owning shares than government bonds,” said Hong Kong economist Marc Faber at a recent forum in Seoul. He sees a repeat of dot-com-bubble insanity today. Faber publishes the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report.
And Warren Buffett agrees,
by ilene - October 5th, 2010 3:52 pm
Courtesy of Zero Hedge
Some rather scary predictions out of Paul Farrell today: "It’s inevitable: Wall Street banks control the Federal Reserve system, it’s their personal piggy bank. They’ve already done so much damage, yet have more control than ever.Warning: That’s a set-up. They will eventually destroy capitalism, democracy, and the dollar’s global reserve-currency status. They will self-destruct before 2035 … maybe as early as 2012 … most likely by 2020. Last week we cheered the Tea Party for starting the countdown to the Second American Revolution. Our timeline is crucial to understanding the historic implications of Taleb’s prediction that the Fed is dying, that it’s only a matter of time before a revolution triggers class warfare forcing America to dump capitalism, eliminate our corrupt system of lobbying, come up with a new workable form of government, and create a new economy without a banking system ruled by Wall Street." And just like in the Hangover, where the guy is funny because he’s fat, Farrell is scary cause he is spot on correct.
Handily, Farrell provides a projected timeline of events:
Stage 1: The Democrats just put the nail in their coffin confirming they’re wimps when they refused to force the GOP to filibuster Bush tax cuts for billionaires.
Stage 2: In the elections the GOP takes over the House, expanding its strategic war to destroy Obama with its policy of “complete gridlock” and “shutting down government.”
Stage 3: Post-election Obama goes lame-duck, buried in subpoenas and vetoes.
Stage 4: In 2012, the GOP wins back the White House and Senate. Health care returns to insurers. Free-market financial deregulation returns. Lobbyists intensify their anarchy.
Stage 5: Before the end of the second term of the new GOP president, Washington is totally corrupted by unlimited, anonymous donations from billionaires and lobbyists. Wall Street’s Happy Conspiracy triggers the third catastrophic meltdown of the 21st century that Robert Shiller of “Irrational Exuberance” fame predicts, resulting in defaults of dollar-denominated debt and the dollar’s demise as the world’s reserve currency.
Stage 6: The Second American Revolution explodes into a brutal full-scale class war with the middle class leading a widespread rebellion against the out-of-touch, out-of-control Happy Conspiracy sabotaging America from within.
Stage 7: The domestic class warfare is exaggerated as the Pentagon’s global warnings play out: That by 2020
by ilene - September 21st, 2010 11:12 am
Courtesy of Tyler Durden
If the way to classify the September stock move as "a confounding ramp on disappointing economic news" gets you stumped, here is Rosenberg to provide some insight. Just call is "deflationary growth or something like that." And as for the NBER’s pronouncement of the recession being over, Rosie has a few words for that as well: "this recovery, with its sub 1% pace of real final sales, goes down as the weakest on record."
It’s a real commentary that the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) decision on the historical record mattered more than the actual economic data. The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) housing market index is the latest data point in an array of September releases coming in below expected:
- Philly Fed index: actual -0.7 versus 0.5 expected
- Empire manufacturing index: actual 4.14 versus 8 expected
- NAHB: actual 13 versus 14 expected
- University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment: actual 66.6 versus 70 expected
It’s early days yet, and these are only surveys, but it would seem as though the economy remains very sluggish as we head towards the third-quarter finish line.
It is truly difficult to come up with an explanation for the breakout, which in turn makes it difficult to ascertain its veracity. If we are seeing a re-assessment or risk or a major asset allocation move, then why did Treasury yields rally 4bps (and led lower by the “real rate”, which is a bond market proxy for “real growth expectations”)?
If it was a pro-growth move, why did copper sell off and the CRB flatten? And where is the volume? Still lacking? So we have a breakout with little or no confirmation. All we can see is that many sentiment measures have swung violently to the upside in recent weeks and the VIX index is all the way back to 21x —- somewhat contrary negative signposts for the bulls.
But the price action is undeniable and the bulls are in fact winning the battle in September, a typically negative seasonal month, after a bloody August. The fact that bonds rallied yesterday is a tad bizarre and perhaps the explanation, if there is one, is that the equity market is enamoured with the cash leaving the corporate balance sheet in favour of dividend payouts and share buybacks and
by ilene - August 28th, 2010 6:30 pm
Courtesy of John Mauldin at Thoughts from the Frontline
Secular Bull and Bear Markets
It’s Not the (Stupid) Economy
The Consequences of a Credit Crisis
The Dark Side of Deficits
LA, Europe, Kansas City, and Houston
In the pre-crisis days, I used to write about things like P/E ratios, secular bull and bear markets, valuations, and all of the things we used to think about in the Old Normal. But what about those topics as we begin our trip through the New Normal? It’s time to reconvene class and think through what might change and what will remain the same. I think this will be a fun read – and let me tip my hand. I come out on the side of a new secular bull that gets us back to trend – but not just yet. The New Normal has to have its turn first. (Note: this will print out longer than usual, as there are a lot of charts.)
And speaking of first, I once again need some help from readers. I will be in "jail" next week for the Muscular Dystrophy Society. I need you to help bail me out. You can go to https://www.joinmda.org/downtowndallas2010/johnm and make a donation to help kids and families who really need help in these difficult times, and also help sponsor research that will eventually cure this disease. If you follow the link, you can see a cute video – and then make your donation!
I thank you and I am sure Jerry’s kids thank you too!
Secular Bull and Bear Markets
Market analysts (of which I am a minor variety) talk all the time about secular bull and bear cycles. I argued in this column in 2002 (and later in Bull’s Eye Investing) that most market analysts use the wrong metric for analyzing bull and bear cycles.
(For the record, even though I am talking about the US
"Cycles" are defined as events that repeat in a sequence. For there to be a cycle, some condition or situation must recur over a period of time. We are able to observe a wide variety of cycles in our lives: patterns in the weather, the moon, radio waves, etc.…
by ilene - August 25th, 2010 8:00 pm
By Dian L. Chu, Economic Forecasts & Opinions
The Hindenburg Omen was triggered again last week, as reported by the WSJ MarketBeat. This is the second time this month since its first occurrence on Aug. 12. For those not familiar with the term, the Hindenburg Omen is essentially a combination of four bearish technical indicators on the NYSE occurring on the same day, which would signal increased probability of a stock market crash.
Wall Street is quite abuzz since the Omen seems to have a pretty good track record as Wikipedia documented the probability of greater than 5% downside after a confirmed Hindenburg Omen was 77% within the next forty days. But before everyone goes running for the exit, the probability of a major stock market crash was only 24%, and it would also help to take a closer look at the significance of the Hindenburg Omen itself.
Although Jim Miekka, a blind former physics teacher living in Florida, is said to be the creator, the Hindenburg Omen is largely based on Norman G. Fosback’s High Low Logic Index (HLLI). In an article dated Aug. 24, Mr. Mark Hulbert at MarketWatch recounted a discussion with Mr. Fosback that HILI mainly focuses on the lower of new 52-week highs and new 52-week lows amounted to at least 5%--vs. the 2.5% applied in the Hindenburg Omen--of the sum traded on the NYSE. Fosback believes "this lower cutoff is way too low to be considered bearish."
Another issue, as pointed out by Hulbert, is that the highs and lows numbers are somewhat distorted because many stocks traded on the NYSE are non-operating companies. Hulbert cited findings from Ned Davis Research that excluding non-common stocks on the NYSE, the Hindenburg Omen would not have been tripped, as the new 52-week highs ratio would have been just 0.4% on Aug. 12.
There’s also lack of clear definition as to how many stocks have to reach their highs and/or lows to qualify as the Omen. Other critics believe the Hindenburg Omen may simply be a case of data-mining and overfitting of seemingly random criteria.
My take is that the convergence of several bearish technical signals is a manifestation of the current heightened market risks and volatility stemmed primarily from the economic uncertainty after the global financial crisis, instead of a "leading indicator" for some significant market…
by Chart School - August 14th, 2010 6:43 pm
Courtesy of Doug Short
It’s time again for the weekend update of our "Real" Mega-Bears, an inflation-adjusted overlay of three secular bear markets. It aligns the current S&P 500 from the top of the Tech Bubble in March 2000, the Dow in of 1929, and the Nikkei 225 from its 1989 bubble high.
This chart is consistent with my preference for real (inflation-adjusted) analysis of long-term market behavior. The nominal all-time high in the index occurred in October 2007, but when we adjust for inflation, the "real" all-time high for the S&P 500 occurred in March 2000.
Here is a nominal version to help clarify the impact of inflation and deflation, which varied significantly across these three markets.
Note: These charts are not intended as a forecast but rather as a way to study the today’s market in relation to historic market cycles.
by ilene - August 11th, 2010 10:51 am
Courtesy of Tyler Durden
From today’s Breakfast with Rosie
NOT IN KANSAS ANY MORE
Well, it took some patience but it looks like the economic environment I was depicting this time last year just shortly after I joined GS+A is starting to play out. Deflation risks are prevailing and a growing acknowledgment over the lack of sustainability regarding the nascent economic recovery. Extreme fragility and volatility is what one should expect in a post-bubble credit collapse and asset inflation that we endured back in 2008 and part of 2009.
History is replete with enough examples of this — balance sheet recessions are different animals than traditional inventory recessions, and the transition to the next sustainable economic expansion, and bull market (the operative word being sustainability) in these types of cycles take between 5 to 10 years and are fraught with periodic setbacks. I know this sounds a bit dire, but little has changed from where we were a year ago. To be sure, we had a tremendous short-covering and a government induced equity market rally on our hands and it’s really nothing more than a commentary on human nature that so many people rely on what the stock market is doing at any moment in time to base their conclusions on what the economic landscape is going to look like.
So, we had a huge bounce off the lows, but we had a similar bounce off the lows in 1930. The equity market was up something like 50% in the opening months of 1930, and while I am sure there was euphoria at the time that the worst of the recession and the contraction in credit was over, it’s interesting to see today that nobody talks about the great runup of 1930 even though it must have hurt not to have participated in that wonderful rally. Instead, when we talk about 1930 today, the images that are conjured up are hardly very joyous.
I’m not saying that we are into something that is entirely like the 1930s. But at the same time, we’re not in Kansas any more; if Kansas is the type of economic recoveries and market performances we came to understand in the context of a post-World War II era where we had a secular credit expansion, youthful boomers heading into their formative working and spending years and all the economic activity that…
by ilene - July 13th, 2010 12:09 pm
When discussing Robert Prechter, reactions can be strong, ranging from the extreme of hero worship to the other extreme of complete skepticism. So while Robert Prechter has a cult-like following of Elliott-Wavers, others (such as Damien of Wall St. Cheat Sheet) seriously ask whether he is certifiably insane. My own thoughts are mixed, with conclusions pending. – Ilene
By Elliott Wave International
Robert Prechter thinks about markets and wave patterns, and goes back to the 1700s, the 1800s, and — most tellingly for our time now — the early 1900s when the Great Depression weighed down the United States in the late 1920s and early 1930s. With this large wash of history in mind, he is able to explain why he thinks we have a long way to go to get to the bottom of this bear market.
Here is an excerpt from the EWI Independent Investor eBook, in which Robert answers the question: How close to the bottom are we?
* * * * *
Originally written by Robert Prechter for The Elliott Wave Theorist, January 2009
Some people contact us and say, “People are more bearish than I have ever seen them. This has to be a bottom.” The first half of this statement may well be true for many market observers. If one has been in the market for less than 14 years, one has never seen people this bearish. But market sentiment over those years was a historical anomaly. The annual dividend payout from stocks reached its lowest level ever: less than half the previous record. The P/E ratio reached its highest level ever: double the previous record. The price-to-book value ratio went into the stratosphere, as did the ratio between corporate bond yields and the same corporations’ stock dividend yields.
During nine and a half of those years, from October 1998 to March 2008, optimism dominated so consistently that bulls outnumbered bears among advisors (per the Investors Intelligence polls) for 481 out of 490 weeks. Investors got so used to this period of euphoria and financial excess that they have taken it as the norm.
With that period as a benchmark, the moderate slippage in optimism since 2007 does appear as a severe change. But observe a subtle irony: When commentators agree that investors are too bearish, they say so to…
by ilene - July 1st, 2010 4:56 pm
Mish is a picture of optimism compared to Robert Prechter (of Elliott Wave Fame). Robert Prechter is wrong, instead of dropping to 1,000, the Dow may only drop to 5,000, and even that may be too pessimistic in Mish’s eyes. – Ilene
Courtesy of Mish
I don’t know about you but I am psyched. The prospects of an ongoing party for another decade are extremely good as the following chart shows.
Dow Jones Industrial Average – 1999 to Present
click on chart for sharper image
Market participants put on their party hats and started cheering in 1999 when the DOW crossed 10,000 for the first time. They have been cheering pretty much nonstop ever since.
Admittedly there was a bit of a party lag between early 2005 and late 2008 but the party hats have been working overtime since mid-2008 as shown below.
Dow Jones Industrial Average – October 2010 to Present
click on chart for sharper image
Lost Decades Comparison
Please bear in mind that some pessimists liken the above behavior to a period of stunning underperformance of the Japanese Nikkei Index over the last two decades.
Japan’s Two Lost Decades
click on chart for sharper image
The Perpetually Optimistic Mish
Being the ever-optimist that I am, I want to quickly point out that while Japan essentially went straight down over two decades, the US by comparison has put in stunning outperformance by going nowhere.
Indeed, the Dow Jones Index is remarkably sitting exactly where it was in April of 1999, over 10 years ago while the Nikkei over the same timeframe fell by about 50%.
Optimists such as myself have only one thing to say: Hallelujah!
Meanwhile doom and gloomers like Robert Prechter think the Dow will fall to 1,000.
To that I say "Poppycock" (pretty harsh language indeed for those who know me well).
By my optimistic comparison, I think the Dow’s downside is 5,000. That is a stunning 400% more optimistic appraisal of the current state of affairs than Prechter.
Furthermore, I freely admit that the DOW, instead of dropping, just may meander around 10,000 for another decade.
Wow. Except for public pension plan assumptions, imagine the parties we can have over that!
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
by ilene - June 26th, 2010 4:53 pm
Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist
Some deep thoughts from David Rosenberg on the likelihood of a secular bear market and potential new lows:
Well, well, so much for consensus views. Like the one we woke up to on Monday morning recommending that bonds be sold and equities be bought on the news of China’s “peg” decision. As we said on Monday, did the 20%-plus yuan appreciation from 2005 to 2008 really alter the investment landscape all that much? It looks like Mr. Market is coming around to the view that all China managed to really accomplish was to shift the focus away from its rigid FX policy to Germany’s rigid approach towards fiscal stimulus.
What is becoming clearer, especially after the latest reports on housing starts, permits, resales and builder sentiment surveys, is that housing is already double dipping in the U.S. The MBA statistics just came out for the week of June 18 and the new purchase index fell 1.2% – down 36.5% from year-ago levels and that year-ago level itself was down 22% from its year-ago level. Capish, paisan? So far, June is averaging 14.5% below May’s level and May was crushed 18% sequentially, so do not expect what is likely to be an ugly new home sales report for May today to be just a one-month wonder. Meanwhile, the widespread view out of the economics community is that we will see at least 3% growth in the second half of the year: fat chance of that. What is fascinating is how the ECRI, which was celebrated by Wall Street research houses a year ago, is being maligned today for acting as an impostor — not the indicator it is advertised to be because it gets re-jigged to fit the cycle.
From our lens, there is nothing wrong in trying to improve the predictive abilities of these leading indicators. Still — it is a comment on how Wall Street researchers are incentivized to be bullish because nobody we know criticized the ECRI as it bounced off the lows (not least of which our debating pal, James Grant). For a truly wonderful critique of the ballyhooed report that was released yesterday basically accusing the ECRI index as fitting the data points to the cycle