The email included the annotated chart below with the following comment:
"While Doug Short, who does excellent work, may be reluctant to draw any conclusions from the down sloping all-data linear best-fit line, with the addition of the currently much more negatively sloped midline (line arrows) of the high-low volatility envelope, we’re prepared to claim that the sharply deteriorating growth rate combination pattern clearly shows the U.S. economy is still in the grip of an an ultimately deflationary economic Supercycle Bear Market Period Winter, which we quantify both fundamentally and technically and forecasted more than 12 years ago. Track record and explanatory documentation are available on request from Bob Bronson."
Bob, thanks for the kind words. Yes, I’m somewhat reluctant to make a double-dip recession forecast. However, I do see it as a distinct possibility. I’ll be tracking this index over the next several months, and I’ll occasionally revisit your visual forecast to see how the numbers compare.
Over the past few days I’ve been studying the Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index (CFNAI), a monthly indicator designed to gauge overall economic activity and related inflationary pressure. It is a composite of 85 monthly indicators as explained in this background PDF file on the Chicago Fed’s website.
I generated the first chart below from the historical data dating from March 1967. The red dots show the indicator itself, which is quite noisy, and the 3-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3), which is more useful for showing trends. I’ve also highlighted official recessions, with the latest bounded by the St. Louis Federal Reserve’s estimated end date. The official end, of course, is the provenance of the National Bureau of Economic Analysis, which often makes its call after a year or more from the start or end.
The next chart highlights the -0.7 level. The latest Chicago Fed release explains:
"When the CFNAI-MA3 value moves below -0.70 following a period of economic expansion, there is an increasing likelihood that a recession has begun. Conversely, when the CFNAI-MA3 value moves above -0.70 following a period of economic contraction, there is an increasing likelihood that a recession has ended."
With the exception of the 1973-75 recession, the -0.7 level has coincided fairly closely with recession boundaries. The 1973-75 event was perhaps an outlier because of the rapid rise of inflation following the 1973 Oil Embargo. Otherwise a cross below -0.7 level has synchronized within a month or two of a recession start. A cross above the level has lagged recession ends by 2-4 months.
Here’s a chart of the CFNAI without the MA3 overlay — for the purpose of highlighting the high inter-month volatility. Consider: the index has ranged from a high 2.57 to a low of -4.78 with a average monthly change of 0.59. That’s 8% of the entire index range!
In the final chart I’ve let Excel draw a linear regression through the CFNAI data series. The slope confirms the casual impression of the previous charts that National Activity, as a function of the 85 indicators in the index, has been declining since the late 1960s. I’m reluctant to draw any conclusions from the slope, but…
On Friday the German 10 Year Bund yield touched the 0.30 mark or 30 basis points, yeah that`s right the same instrument that was yielding 90 basis points in November of last year, a 140 basis points last May 2014, and 195 basis points at the beginning of 2014. It has gotten so ridiculous in the bond markets that I think investors have forgotten what bonds actually are as an asset class, they trade based on price appreciation like stocks, and this perverted mentality has completely ignored the risk component of what bonds represent as debt obligations.
"In the minds of the statists, "Government Works Better" and 'things' work at the surface; but at the core, it's a disaster... The Americans that look to the government to 'save' them - and even gleefully thank the government for helping bail them out - fail to realize that it was the government that f##ked them in the first place..."
Simply put, "debt-financed socialism and corporatism isn't working" and a day of reckoning is coming...
(ETFTrends.com by Todd Shriber): "Betting on insider buying is again proving to be an efficacious strategy as the Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares (NYSEArca: KNOW) has been noticeably less bad than the S&P 500 to start 2015. Add to that, investors are warming to the merits of KNOW's insider sentiment strategy." [Editor's note: KNOW tracks the Sabrient Multi-cap Insider/Analyst Quant-Weighted Index (SBRQAM)]. Read article
Suppose you had the technical ability and raw materials to print up counterfeit dollars, euros or yen that were identical to the real things. Assume you could spend them as fast as you could create them with no fear of any repercussions.
Would you prudently print up only as much fresh currency as you needed for your current lifestyle? Would you create just a bit more than that to help relatives or those in need?
It is most likely you’d have your printing press running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Becoming the richest person in the world would confer great power upon you.
You could rationalize this action because you plan to use the money for good purposes. Imagine the warm feeling you’d get by giving every person in America one million do...
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So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.
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PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs! The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down! The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months. What could go wrong?
Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.
Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies. A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...
Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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