Posts Tagged ‘ECRI’

Thin-Air Thursday – A Weak Week of Denial

We HAVE to try to get more bullish.  

HAVE to as in forced against our will.   HAVE to as in forced against reason and rational thought.  We HAVE to follow the herd or be stampeded by it despite screaming FACTS like the ECRI data on the right that CLEARLY shows that the herd is INSANE!

USUALLY, the market (and its investors) understands that where there is smoke,t here is fire.  The last time ECRI was this low (on the way down) was early 2008, by which time we KNEW the economy was stalling and the Government gave us a tax rebate that goosed us for a few months but then we crashed and burned in a horrible, horrible mess that kind of made us wish they hadn't screwed around in the first place.  

The ONLY OTHER TIME ECRI was this low, since the great depression, was back in 2001, but the Nasdaq had long since crossed 3,000 from the other direction and was on it's way from 5,000 to 1,500 – only a 70% drop.  Don't worry though, in 2007 the Nasdaq was all the way back to 2,850 and then only fell to 1,250 and that's just 56% so this time may indeed be different despite the lower low in 2007 on the 6-year cycle that we're again in year 5 of.  

Clearly, things are much better than they were in late 2008/early 2009, right? I believe, at the time, people thought the World was going to end and they were lining up at banks in Europe to withdraw money and the US had 300 bank failures and the FDIC was down to its last $50M to cover the $8Tn worth of cash on deposit (all better now, they have $850M!) and 1,000,000 people a single month were losing their jobs…  Yes, things are better than the end of the World, that's for sure!  

But, are they Dow 13,200 better?  Are they S&P 1,400 better?  Are they Nasdaq 3,050 better?  

The NYSE doesn't seem to think so.   Although the Dow (14,100), the S&P (1,560) and the APPLdaq (2,800) and even the Russell (850) are all within striking distance of their 2007 highs, the NYSE (10,300) is still 21% below at 8,125.  Why is our broadest market index, whose capitalization ($16Tn) is larger than the Nasdaq ($5Tn),
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The ECRI Weekly Leading Index

The ECRI Weekly Leading Index 

Courtesy of Doug Short 

Today the Weekly Leading Index (WLI) of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) registered negative growth for the 15th consecutive week, coming in at -9.2, a slight improvement over last week’s -10.1. The index had been hovering around -10 for the previous five weeks. The latest weekly number is based on data through September 10.

The magnitude of decline from the peak in October 2009 is unprecedented in the Institute’s published data back to 1967. Recently, however, the Institute has disclosed that two earlier decades of data not available to the general public contained comparable declines in WLI growth (in 1951 and 1966) when no recession followed (HT Barry Ritholtz).

The Published Record

The ECRI WLI growth metric has had a respectable (but by no means perfect) record for forecasting recessions. The next chart shows the correlation between the WLI, GDP and recessions.

A significant decline in the WLI has been a leading indicator for six of the seven recessions since the 1960s. It lagged one recession (1981-1982) by nine weeks. The WLI did turned negative 17 times when no recession followed, but 14 of those declines were only slightly negative (-0.1 to -2.4) and most of them reversed after relatively brief periods.

Three of the false negatives were deeper declines. The Crash of 1987 took the Index negative for 68 weeks with a trough of -6.8. The Financial Crisis of 1998, which included the collapse of Long Term Capital Management, took the Index negative for 23 weeks with a trough of -4.5.

The third significant false negative came near the bottom of the bear market of 2000-2002, about nine months after the brief recession of 2001. At the time, the WLI seemed to be signaling a double-dip recession, but the economy and market accelerated in tandem in the spring of 2003, and a recession was avoided.

The Latest WLI Decline

The question, of course, is whether the latest WLI decline is a leading indicator of a recession or a false negative. The published index has never dropped to the current level without the onset of a recession. The deepest decline without a near-term recession was in the Crash of 1987, when the index slipped…
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The ECRI Weekly Leading Index

The ECRI Weekly Leading Index 

Courtesy of Doug Short 

Today the Weekly Leading Index (WLI) of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) registered negative growth for the 14th consecutive week, coming in at -10.1, a fractional improvement over last week’s -10.2, which was a downward revision from -10.1. So this index has essentially hovered around -10.1 for the past five weeks. The latest weekly number is based on data through September 3.

The rate of decline from the peak in October 2009 is unprecedented in the Institute’s published data back to 1967. Recently, however, the Institute has disclosed that two earlier decades of data not available to the general public contained comparable declines in WLI growth (in 1951 and 1966) when no recession followed (HT Barry Ritholtz).

The Published Record

The ECRI WLI growth metric has had a respectable (but by no means perfect) record for forecasting recessions. The next chart shows the correlation between the WLI, GDP and recessions.

A significant decline in the WLI has been a leading indicator for six of the seven recessions since the 1960s. It lagged one recession (1981-1982) by nine weeks. The WLI did turn negative 17 times when no recession followed, but 14 of those declines were only slightly negative (-0.1 to -2.4) and most of them reversed after relatively brief periods.

Three of the false negatives were deeper declines. The Crash of 1987 took the Index negative for 68 weeks with a trough of -6.8. The Financial Crisis of 1998, which included the collapse of Long Term Capital Management, took the Index negative for 23 weeks with a trough of -4.5.

The third significant false negative came near the bottom of the bear market of 2000-2002, about nine months after the brief recession of 2001. At the time, the WLI seemed to be signaling a double-dip recession, but the economy and market accelerated in tandem in the spring of 2003, and a recession was avoided.

The Latest WLI Decline

The question, of course, is whether the latest WLI decline is a leading indicator of a recession or a false negative. The published index has never dropped to the current level without the onset of a recession. The deepest decline without a near-term recession was in the…
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ECRI: CHANCE OF RECESSION GREATER THAN 50%

ECRI: CHANCE OF RECESSION GREATER THAN 50%

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Well, I’m not going to lie – the ECRI has me utterly confused now.  At the market peak they were calling for sustained jobs growth, a continuation in the recovery and a flat stock market (which was approximately 10% higher at the time).   None of the above were right.  Now they’re saying the probability of a recession is the equivalent of a coin flip.  In other words, this “leading index” isn’t really telling us anything we don’t already know.  My guess is that the admission of a recession won’t come until well after fact.  The creators of the index have gone out of their way to tell readers why the index is misunderstood.  While I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt I am having a hard time seeing how this isn’t merely a coincident indicator.


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ECRI WLI “Flattens Out” at -9.8% – ECRI says “Gage is Fine”

ECRI WLI "Flattens Out" at -9.8% – ECRI says "Gage is Fine"

Courtesy of Mish

Lakshman Achuthan and Anirvan Banerji, Co-founders, Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI), continue to pour out statements about the ECRI WLI that are worth taking a close look at, if not outright challenging them.

Please consider Know How to Read WLI.

Sir, “Out on a limb, the ECRI weekly leading indicator … suggests a double-dip recession is imminent,” according to James Mackintosh (The Short View, August 4). This is a popular misconception pushed by pessimistic pundits.

Let’s review what the Weekly Leading index (WLI) has done this year. After rising to a two-and-a-quarter-year high by end-April, it plunged for all of two months – before flattening out and finally edging up to a six-week high by end-July. That’s hardly a recession signal.

Imagine flying in an aircraft that hits a huge air pocket and plunges 5,000ft in 10 seconds. That would leave you quite shaken up, but it doesn’t mean the aircraft’s about to crash – unless it keeps falling. That’s pretty much what’s happened with the WLI. Unless it turns down again and then keeps falling, it wouldn’t make sense to predict an imminent recession.

Many self-proclaimed experts have been back-fitting our data, looking at the WLI the wrong way, and screaming that the end is near. This is like people saying they don’t remember an aircraft dropping so fast and not crashing, while blaming the instrument makers for not trusting their own altimeter. Well, we do trust it. Bottom line, the gauge is just fine – as long as you know how to read it.

When there really is danger of an imminent recession, it will be signalled by a cyclical downturn in the WLI itself rather than its growth rate. But that hasn’t happened yet.

ECRI WLI

click on chart for sharper image

When there is "danger" of an imminent recession by the ECRI’s calls, history suggests we will have been in a recession for months. Nonetheless, one must be careful of "reading" indicators, especially when no one knows for sure what the hell it even consists of.

Instead, I would like to point out that two weeks of flattening after an enormous plunge to -10.8 is hardly worth calling "flattening". Let’s see where the index goes from here before we talk about "flattening" after that unprecedented nosedive.…
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ECRI LEADING INDEX RETRENCHING – NOW AT 3 WEEK LOW

Pragcap asks a good question: what is the value of a leading indicator that lags the market? – Ilene 

ECRI LEADING INDEX RETRENCHING – NOW AT 3 WEEK LOW

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

After weeks of denying the potential of a recession and missing the entire stock market decline it now appears as though everyone’s favorite leading indicator is pointing to a double dip in the US economy. Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of ECRI, has consistently maintained that there was no double dip coming for the US economy and that this was merely a typical mid-recovery slowdown. He also emphasized the fact that a retrenchment in the ECRI would in fact be a warning signal of a double dip. With the ECRI’s leading index at a three week low and a retrenchment occurring Achuthan is sticking to his guns saying it is premature to say there could be a double dip (via Reuters):

“A measure of future U.S. economic growth fell to a 3-week low in the latest week, confirming the slow pace of the recovery, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index fell to 120.8 in the week ending August 20 from 122 the previous week.

That was the lowest since July 23, when it was 120.7. The index’s annualized growth rate rose to minus 10 percent from minus 10.2 percent a week earlier. That was the highest since July 9, when it stood at minus 9.8 percent.”

ECRI2 ECRI LEADING INDEX RETRENCHING   NOW AT 3 WEEK LOW

“With the WLI staying essentially flat for the last six weeks, following a nine-week plunge, it is premature to predict a new recession, though risks remain,” said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of ECRI.

Unfortunately for equity investors, the admission that a double dip is on the table likely won’t come until well after the losses in stocks have occurred. At some point you have to wonder about the usefulness of a “leading indicator” that lags all market action… 


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ECRI’s Lakshman Achuthan Still Blowing Smoke

ECRI’s Lakshman Achuthan Still Blowing Smoke

Woman Smoking

Courtesy of Mish 

Lakshman Achuthan and Anirvan Banerji, co-founders of ECRI maintain the ECRI’s WLI Weekly Leading Index (Still) Widely Misunderstood

I am going to cut to the chase because all Achuthan and Banerji did in that piece is blow smoke without addressing the critical issue. Here is the key paragraph.

It’s true enough, based on the four decades of publicly available data, that WLI growth has never dropped this far without a recession. What most don’t know – apart from the fact that the WLI growth rate shouldn’t be used to predict recessions in the first place – is that, based on two additional decades of data not available to the general public, there are a couple of occasions (in 1951 and 1966) when WLI growth fell well below current readings, but no recessions resulted.

ECRI Still Has Explaining To Do

Lakshman Achuthan chastised Rosenberg in the above article (but not by name) for doing exactly what the ECRI did: Propose the WLI can be used to predict recessions.

I documented proof of that in ECRI Weekly Leading Indicators at Negative 9.8; Has the ECRI Blown Yet Another Recession Call?

Just The Facts Maam, Not The Spin

If the ECRI does not want people assuming the WLI can be used as a recession forecast, then perhaps they ought not present it that way.

Please consider some charts and text from the ECRI publication The Great Recession and Recovery:

ECRI Weekly Leading Index

"This is an index that’s been around for over a quarter of a century, and over that time (shown here) it has correctly predicted every recession and recovery in real-time."

I need to repeat that, over this entire time period, I was present to see each of the correct recession and recoveries calls in real-time, without false signals in between.

ECRI Clearly Touts the WLI’s Recession Prediction Capabilities

Please read the preceeding two paragraphs in italics slowly and carefully.

Lakshman Achuthan and Anirvan Banerji defense of the ECRI is that the WLI cannot be used to predict recession, yet in a blatant attempt to promote the WLI, the ECRI did just that!

Supposedly the WLI in "real-time" has correctly predicted every recession without a single false signal. Quite frankly that was a blatant attempt by the ECRI to promote the WLI’s recession prediction ability.…
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ECRI Falls Deeper into the Abyss

ECRI Falls Deeper into the Abyss

Courtesy of Bondsquawk 

The Economic Cycle Research Institute released its Weekly Leading Indices for the week ending July 23. While the Weekly Leading Index ticked up to 121.1 from a downward revised prior period reading of 120.6, the Weekly Growth Rate Index fell further by two-tenths of a percent to -10.7 percent.  This latest reading marks the 12th decline in a row and 8th straight week in negative territory, dating back to the first week in June.

For our new Bondsquawk readers, check out this to understand the significance of this leading economic indicator. 


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EXTEND & PRETEND: Stage I Comes to an End!

EXTEND & PRETEND: Stage I Comes to an End!

The Dog Ate my Report Card

Courtesy of Gordon T. Long 

Both came to an end at the same time: the administration’s policy to Extend & Pretend has run out of time as has the patience of the US electorate with the government’s Keynesian economic policy responses. Desperate last gasp attempts are to be fully expected, but any chance of success is rapidly diminishing.

Whether an unimpressed and insufficiently loyal army general, a fleeing cabinet budget chief or G20 peers going the austerity route, all are non-confidence votes for the Obama administration’s present policies. A day after the courts slapped down President Obama’s six month gulf drilling moratorium, the markets were unpatriotically signaling a classic head and shoulders topping pattern. With an employment rebound still a non-starter, President Obama as expected was found to be asking for yet another $50B in unemployment extensions and state budget assistance to avoid teacher layoffs. However, the gig is up: the policy of Extend and Pretend has no time left on the shot clock nor for another round of unemployment benefit extensions. A congress that is now clearly frightened of what it sees looming in the fall midterm elections is running for cover on any further spending initiatives. The US electorate has been sending an unmistakable message in all elections nationwide.

The housing market is rolling over as fully expected and predicted by almost everyone except the White House and its lap-dog press corp. Noted analyst Meredith Whitney says a double dip in housing is a ‘no brainer’ with the government’s HAMP program clearly a bust as one third of participants are now dropping out. The leading economic indicator (ECRI) has abruptly turned lower, signaling the economy is slowing rapidly without the $1T per month stimulus addiction, which has kept the extend and pretend economy on life support.

The gulf oil spill that was initially stated as 1000 barrels per day has been revised upwards faster than the oil can reach the surface. It now appears to be north of 100,000 barrels per day. A 100 percent miss is about in line with the miss on how many jobs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was going to create.  Also, it appears the administration can’t even get its hands around the basics of administration management during any crisis event.  Teleprompter politics…
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Ever Wondered How You Know You’re In A Depression? David Rosenberg Explains

Ever Wondered How You Know You Are In A Depression? David Rosenberg Explains

Man sitting at table

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

As usual, some terrific points from the man who was far too smart for Merrill Lynch. We are also glad that Rosie caught our observation over the weekend that securitized loans have plummeted by trillions recently: easily the single biggest argument for QE2.

From Breakfast with David:

YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN A DEPRESSION WHEN …

Congress moved to extend jobless benefits seven times, as has been the case over the past two years, at a time when almost half of the ranks of the unemployed have been looking for at least a half year.

The unemployment rate for adult males (25-54 years) hit a post-WWII this cycle and is still above the 1982 recession peak, and the youth unemployment rate is stuck near 25%. These developments will have profound long-term consequences – social, economic and political.

The fiscal costs of the depression continue to mount, with the White House on Friday raising its deficit projection for 2011 to $1.4 trillion from $1.267 trillion. That gap in the forecast – $133 billion – was close to the size of the entire budget deficit back in 2002. Amazing.

You also know it is a depression when you find out on the weekend that the FDIC seized and shuttered another seven banks, making it 103 closures for the year. What a recovery!

Meanwhile, how are the surviving banks making money? By cutting their provisions for bad debts (at a time when the household debt/income ratio is still near record highs of 120% and at a time when one-quarter of the consumer universe has a sub-600 FICO score – which means they are also ineligible for Fannie or Freddie mortgage financing. The banks thus far have reduced their loan loss reserves between 23% (Cap One) and 73% (First Horizon) – as Jamie Dimon said last week, these are not real earnings.

You also know it’s a depression when a year into a statistical recovery, the central bank is still openly contemplating ways to stimulate growth. The Fed was supposed to have already started the process of shrinking its pregnant balance sheet four months ago and is now instead thinking of restarting Quantitative Easing. Of course, we are in this bizarre environment where bank credit continues to contract – last…
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Phil's Favorites

Companies promoting causes can be accused of 'wokewashing' - allying themselves only for good PR

 

Companies promoting causes can be accused of 'wokewashing' – allying themselves only for good PR

Ben & Jerry’s opened Art for Justice, which highlights the need for criminal justice reform and features art by formerly incarcerated artists. AP Images/Andy Duback

Courtesy of Kim Sheehan, University of Oregon

More consumers want companies to ...



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Zero Hedge

Google Slides After Antitrust Probe Expands Into Search And Android Businesses

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Google shares are sliding into late session after a CNBC report states 50 attorney generals are expanding their investigation into the technology company's search and Android businesses:

  • 50 ATTORNEYS GENERAL PROBING GOOGLE PREPARING TO EXPAND ANTITRUST PROBE BEYOND CO'S ADVERTISING BUSINESS - CNBC

  • 50 ATTORNEYS GENERAL INVESTIGATING GOOGLE PREPARING TO EXPAND ANTITRUST PROBE TO DIVE MORE DEEPLY INTO CO'S SEARCH & ANDROID BUSINESSES- CNBC

The investigation is being led by Texas Attorn...



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Insider Scoop

What Wall Street Thinks Of Google Cache

Courtesy of Benzinga

Alphabet, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) subsidiary Google announced a new partnership with Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) to launc...



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The Technical Traders

Great Cycles Article PG 9 in TradersWorld Mag - Free

Courtesy of Technical Traders

  1. How to Use Price Cycles and Profit as a Swing Trader
  2. Geodetics and the Affairs of Men – USA, and China
  3. Cosmological Economics
  4. Time Machine
  5. Trading Means Pr...


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Digital Currencies

Is Bitcoin a Macro Asset?

 

Is Bitcoin a Macro Asset?

Courtesy of 

As part of Coindesk’s popup podcast series centered around today’s Invest conference, I answered a few questions for Nolan Bauerly about Bitcoin from a wealth management perspective. I decided in December of 2017 that investing directly into crypto currencies was unnecessary and not a good use of a portfolio’s allocation slots. I remain in this posture today but I am openminded about how this may change in the future.

You can listen to this short exchange below:

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver Testing This Support For The First Time In 8-Years!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Its been a good while since Silver bulls could say that it is testing support. Well, this week that can be said! Will this support test hold? Silver Bulls sure hope so!

This chart looks at Silver Futures over the past 10-years. Silver has spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of the pink shaded falling channel, as it has created lower highs and lower lows.

Silver broke above the top of this falling channel around 90-days ago at (1). It quickly rallied over 15%, before creating a large bearish reversal pattern, around 5-weeks after the bre...



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Chart School

Gold Gann and Cycle Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold has performed well, golden skies are here again. In fact it has been a straight line move, and this is typically unusual and a pause can be expected.

It seems the markets are happy again, new highs in the SP500, US 10 year interest rates look to re bound, negative interest may soften. The US FED has reversed their QT and now doing $250BN (not QE) repo. The main point is the FED has stopped QT, and will do QE forever. The evidence now is the FED put is under market risk and the possibility of excessive losses do not exist. 

Point: If in future if there is market risk, the FED will print it's way out of it.
Subject To: In this blog view. The above is so until the amount required rocks confidence in the US dollar as a reserve currency.&n...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Today's Fed POMO TOMO FOMC Alphabet Soup Unspin

Courtesy of Lee Adler

But make no mistake, if the Fed wants money rates to stay down by another quarter, it will need to imagineer even more money.

That’s on top of the $281 billion it has already imagineered into existence since addressing its “one-off” repo market emergency on September 17. This came via  “Temporary” Repo Man Operations money, and $70.6 billion in Permanent Open Market Operations (POMO) money.

By my calculations that averages out to $7.4 billion per business day. That works out to a monthly pace of $155 billion or so.

If they keep this up, it will be more than enough to absorb every penny of new Treasury supply. That supply had caused the system to run out of money in mid September.  This flood of paper had been inundati...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

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