Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Natural Selection, Finance and Extinction

Charles makes an interesting analogy between the banking system and a parasite whose aggressive feeding on its host will eventually lead to its extinction.  - Ilene 

Natural Selection, Finance and Extinction  

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith Of Two Minds 

Iguana, the great herbivorous sea lizard of the Galapagos Islands. Charles Darwin's study of the fauna of the islands contributed to his theory of evolution. Wood engraving c1890.

The current U.S. financial sector has been selected to reap enormous profits off a very narrow ecology of speculation, credit, risk and leverage. That parasitic specialization makes it highly vulnerable to extinction.

One of my projects is to integrate the insights offered by the processes of natural selection into the Survival+ critique and recommendations.

This line of inquiry has led me to ask: is the current financial system as robust and resilient as its many backers claim, or beneath the hype and propaganda, is it actually acutely vulnerable to collapse?

From the point of view of selection, we would start by considering the ecology the system has evolved in, and ask how specialized the system has become--in other words, how dependent is the financial system on narrow and potentially vulnerable sources of energy?

In nature, species which go extinct often do so when they have become increasingly specialized to exploit a narrow source of sustenance. Such species evolve that specialization in order to exploit the windfall offered by a food supply that has fewer (or even no) competitors.

This lack of competition offers the species rich rewards for specializing (long beaks maximized to fit certain flowers, etc.) even as they increase the species’ vulnerability to a breakdown or collapse in the limited source of food they have been selected to exploit.

The narrower the base of food and the greater the specialization, the more vulnerable the species will be to reductions in that food source. Thus a plant disease which wipes out the specific flowers will drive the bird with a highly specialized beak to extinction unless it can adapt quickly enough to another food source, or leave that ecology for one with a new source of similar flowers.

The U.S. financial system has already exploited the standard ecologies of capital and lending. How profitable is originating and holding plain-vanilla mortgages? Not very profitable at all, compared to the vast profits generated by securitizing mortgages and writing derivatives against those bundled and tranched loans.

The U.S. financial system in effect stumbled into a new ecology of profitable windfalls that no one else had ever seen or exploited:…
continue reading


Tags: , , , , , , , ,




Historical PE Ratios: Marking the Tops of Economic Expansions

Historical PE Ratios: Marking the Tops of Economic Expansions (and Warning of Coming Economic Contractions)

Courtesy of Michael Clark 

Robert Schiller recently posted a chart showing the history of American interest rates in the 20th Century and the history of PE ratios in American stocks.

Note the similarity between the historical PE ratios (blue line) and our contention that financial cycles run in 36-year periods, top to top.  We don’t agree exactly with the dates of economic tops in this chart — but we’renearly in agreement.

We have American economic cycles in the Twentieth Century exhibiting tops in the following years:

TOPS

1893
1929
1965
2001

BOTTOMS

1911
1947
1983
2019

Interest rates should be lowered as we proceed toward economic bottoms and should be raised as we proceed toward economic tops.  Had we begun raising interest rates slowly as we approached 2001 then we would have avoided all this mess of this decade — and the coming decade.

We need to realize that Nature has patterns and cycles — and we need to put our human ego aside (the human desire to control nature) and work WITH these cycles, instead of against them.  

We CANNOT have perpetual economic expansion in a system that has dual movements of expansion AND contraction.  Inflation needs to be followed (each time) by deflation.  Our view that inflation is GOOD and deflation is BAD may be true for the rich in the nation but it is not true for the society as a whole. 


Tags: , , , , , ,




 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

Global Auto Industry Collapse Continues As October EU Data Shows No Relief

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

The outlook for the global automobile market has been increasingly dire lately, especially after a third quarter that saw sales drop in many major markets across the globe, including China. Now, the latest data from Europe suggests that the difficulties may be nowhere close to over despite optimistic fourth quarter guidance by companies like Volkswagen and Daimler AG. 

Deliveries of new passenger cars were down 7.4% in the EU and the European Free Trade Association in October from the year prior. This adds to a 23% drop that occurred during September according to data from the European Automobile Manufacture...



more from Ilene

Zero Hedge

Global Auto Industry Collapse Continues As October EU Data Shows No Relief

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

The outlook for the global automobile market has been increasingly dire lately, especially after a third quarter that saw sales drop in many major markets across the globe, including China. Now, the latest data from Europe suggests that the difficulties may be nowhere close to over despite optimistic fourth quarter guidance by companies like Volkswagen and Daimler AG. 

Deliveries of new passenger cars were down 7.4% in the EU and the European Free Trade Association in October from the year prior. This adds to a 23% drop that occurred during September according to data from the European Automobile Manufacture...



more from Tyler

Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold Bugs; Would Love This To Be A Double Top!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Gold, Silver, and the precious metals industry have a pretty simple relationship with the U.S. Dollar: They perform better when the Dollar is weakening… and they tend to struggle when the Dollar is strengthening.

One of our favorite ratios to monitor for Gold Bugs is the U.S. Dollar/Gold ratio. It tells us when the Dollar is weakening or heading lower (which is good for gold) or when it is strengthening or heading higher (bad for gold).

Looking at the Dollar/Gold chart below, we can see that the ratio climbed higher from late 2011 to early 2016. This wreaked havoc on Gold prices. Since peaking in early 2016, the ratio has formed a broad declining channel (pink shaded area). Each swing lower has provided a tailwind for Gold prices, while each counter-swing higher has been a headwind.

in ...



more from Kimble C.S.

Insider Scoop

Macy's Receives Mixed Analyst Reaction After Q3 Earnings Beat, Sales Miss

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related M Big Box Bonanza: Walmart Beats Most Estimates, But Brexit Could Steal Attention Mid-A...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Members' Corner

NY Times: OPERATION INFEKTION

 

This is a three-part Opinion Video Series from NY Times about Russia’s meddling in the United States’ elections as part of its "decades-long campaign to tear the West apart." This is not fake news. Read more about the series here.

OPERATION INFEKTION

RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION: FROM COLD WAR TO KANYE

By Adam B. Ellick and Adam Westbrook

EPISODE 1

MEE...



more from Our Members

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Nov 11, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

This past week was saw another positive move up by bulls – especially in the Dow and S&P 500; the NASDAQ was not quite as enthusiastic.   Wednesday’s rally was on the legs of an election that was seen as market friendly or at least not as bad as it could have been.   Essentially – paying people a lot of money to get nothing done the next 2 years – woo hoo!

The market is interpreting Wedneday’s result as insuring that “no big things will get done,” in Washington between now and 2020, Craig Birk, chief investment officer at Personal Capital told MarketWatch. “The market appreciates the relative certainty of the slow legislative agenda.” he said.

“As President Trump plans his 2020 reelection campaign, a gridlocked Congress is unlik...



more from Chart School

Digital Currencies

Bitcoin's high energy consumption is a concern - but it may be a price worth paying

 

Bitcoin's high energy consumption is a concern – but it may be a price worth paying

Shutterstock

Courtesy of Steven Huckle, University of Sussex

Bitcoin recently turned ten years old. In that time, it has proved revolutionary because it ignores the need for modern money’s institutions to verify payments. Instead, Bitcoin relies on cryptographic techniques to prove identity and authenticity.

However, the price to pay for all of this innovation is a high carbon footprint, created by Bitc...



more from Bitcoin

ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



more from ValueWalk

Biotech

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

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

 

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Breast cancer type 1 (BRCA1) is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans. Its protein, also called by the synonym BRCA1, is responsible for repairing DNA. ibreakstock/Shutterstock.com

By Jay Shendure, University of Washington; Greg Findlay, ...



more from Biotech

Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...



more from M.T.M.

OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



more from OpTrader

Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

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

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

...

more from Promotions

All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

more from David





About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

Learn more About Phil >>


As Seen On:




About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

Market Shadows >>