Posts Tagged ‘real estate bubble’

FLECKENSTEIN: THE STOCK MARKET HAS LOST ITS DISCOUNTING MECHANISM

FLECKENSTEIN: THE STOCK MARKET HAS LOST ITS DISCOUNTING MECHANISM

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Very interesting thoughts here from Bill Fleckenstein.  Fleckenstein argues that the market has lost its discounting mechanism. I am not so sure I agree that it ever really had a discounting mechanism.

To me the market is a non-linear dynamical system which is susceptible to substantial chaos. The market is very inefficient in the short-term due to the inefficiency of its participants.  The idea of the efficient market and the market as an efficient discounting mechanism has been sold hook line and sinker to the public. We are taught that equities can’t go down over the long-term, that a PE ratio of 10 is “historically cheap”, that you can’t outperform the market, yet none of this is founded in solid proof, but rather a very short history of data that is currently available and adds up to nothing more than theory (a weak one at that).   Fleckenstein’s comments are well worth a listen:

Source: Bloomberg TV


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Why the “Nascent Recovery” Won’t Last

Why the "Nascent Recovery" Won’t Last

Democratic Donkeys Blowing Financial Bubbles

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds 

The "nascent recovery" continues to be nascent a year later. Why? Because it’s constructed on sand and hyped by smoke and mirrors.

The "nascent recovery" will soon be revealed as "failed" rather than "nascent." How long can "nascent" be deployed as cover for a "recovery" constructed of propaganda, manipulated statistics and "confidence-building" spin?

As my esteemed blogging colleague Mish pointed out not long ago, "nascent" continues to be the word of choice in the MSM, as if no one dares declare the "recovery" real for fear that such a claim will be easily revealed as utterly false. So to keep the spin machine intact, the "recovery" will remain "nascent" as cover for the less rosy reality.

Let’s run through the fundamental reasons the recovery is bogus, not nascent.

1. Propaganda and "confidence-building" are constantly substituted for reality. The problem, we are repeatedly told, is a "lack of confidence." Consumers’ and corporations’ accounts are bulging with idle trillions awaiting "renewed confidence" to gush back into the economy, creating millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth.

Here is a typical example:

Forecasters optimistic about economy, job creation

How many MSM stories have you read which refer to the "162,000 jobs created last month" as evidence that the "economy is turning around? Dozens, if not hundreds. How many note that the 162,000 number is entirely bogus, boosted by temporary Census Bureau hiring and tens of thousands of fictitious "birth/death model" phantom jobs?

The spin, hype and forced good cheer is essentially unlimited. As I write, stocks are up on news that Caterpillar reported an 11% decline in revenue to $8.24 billion, a huge "miss" since analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast $8.84 billion in revenue.

The "surge in profits" didn’t come from sales; it came from squeezing costs, a strategy which has some upper limit of effectiveness on goosing the bottom line.

Machinery sales surged 40% in the Asia-Pacific region, but of course no one explores the source of that "surge:" out of control spending on empty cities and luxury highrises in China. If that unprecedented real estate bubble in China ever pops-- and can any bubble continue forever?--then Cat sales will go into freefall.

That’s not "confidence building" so it goes unsaid, despite being glaringly obvious.

2. Tax/borrow and spend is alive
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Andy Xie: I’ll Tell You When Chinese Bubble Is About to Burst

Andy Xie: I’ll Tell You When Chinese Bubble Is About to Burst

Beijing Spring Real Estate Trade Fair

Courtesy of Edward Harrison at Credit Writedowns 

“My maid just asked for leave,” a friend in Beijing told me recently. “She’s rushing home to buy property. I suggested she borrow 70 percent, so she could cap the loss.”

It wasn’t the first time I had heard such a story in China. Some friends in Shanghai have told me similar ones. It seems all the housemaids are rushing into the market at the same time.

There are benefits to housekeeping for fund managers. China’s housemaids may be Asia’s answer to the shoeshine boy whose stock tips prompted Joseph Kennedy to sell his shares before the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

Another friend recently vacationed in the southern island- resort city of Sanya in Hainan province and felt compelled to visit a development sales office. Everyone she knew had bought there already. It’s either buy or be unsocial.

“You should buy two,” the sharp sales girl suggested. “In three years, the price will have doubled. You could sell one and get one free.”

How could anyone resist an offer like that?

But, before you rush out and make paid on this offer, you might want to read up on Edward Chancellor’s Ten ways to spot a bubble in China.  This is a tale recounted by Sinosceptic Andy Xie. For his part, Xie says corruption is rife in the public sector, a bad sign since Chancellor warns that "blind faith in the competence of the authorities" is a telltale sign of a bubble. In a recent post, I wrote:

James Packer's 'City Of Dreams' Casino Opens In Macau

"It’s absurd that people think the communist leaders of China are better at steering their economy than the leaders of the US have been." I think this statement may be in error.*  – Marc Faber: "Symptoms of a bubble building in China"

Yet, some comments I received suggested that the beauty of totalitarian regimes is their free hand in coercing private sector actors and banks to do its bidding.  Gosh, maybe we need more muscular forms of government. Forget about free-market democracy.

I find this line of argument facile because public sector officials have every incentive in the world to turn a blind eye to the mania, the most important of which is making their GDP growth targets. Xie points to other incentives:

When it


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CHANOS: THE CHINA BUBBLE IS ABOUT TO BURST

CHANOS: THE CHINA BUBBLE IS ABOUT TO BURST

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Famed short seller, Jim Chanos, has been vocal in recent weeks about his concerns in China.  He is growing increasingly concerned about the real estate bubble in China where an “unprecedented” and “staggering” bubble is being blown by the government.  Chanos says 30 billion square feet of commercial real estate are under construction – that’s a 5 foot by 5 foot cubicle for every person in China.  Although he isn’t calling for a crash, he is increasingly risk averse: 

 


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China and the U.S.: Dysfunctional Real Estate Bubble Twins

China and the U.S.: Dysfunctional Real Estate Bubble Twins  

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds

Snow storm hits Beijing

China and the U.S. share two central traits: a financial-command-economy and an addiction to cheap, easy money to prop up bubbles that serve the status quo.

Despite the many obvious differences between the Chinese and American systems of governance and "capitalism," there are two key similarities. We might phrase this thusly: China’s leadership has empowered specific strains of capitalism to serve the party’s socialist goals, while the American leadership has socialized the mortgage/housing/banking sectors to serve its predatory-capitalist Masters (the financial-rentier Power Elite).

One of the key threads in the Survival+ analysis is the divergence/ convergence of the interests of the Elites and general public. When the interests of the Elites and the public are roughly parallel/convergent, then prosperity--as measured by increasing income equality--tends to rise. (Or put another way: income inequality falls.)

Conversely, when income inequality between the financial Elites and the public rises, as it has in the U.S. since 1973, then prosperity becomes concentrated in the top layer of the society to the detriment of the lower 95%.

This inequality inevitably breeds social disorder, and thus the Power Elite is driven to mask the rising inequality with various simulacra of prosperity (asset bubbles, etc.).

Another trait China and the U.S. share is rising income/asset inequality. A small Elite class of each nation’s citizenry has reaped the majority of the last 30 years’ financial rewards; recall that some 2/3 of the productive assets of the U.S. are owned by the top 1% of the citizenry. While I haven’t been able to find the statistics for China, I am confident that 2/3 of China’s newfound private wealth remains in relatively few hands--undoubtedly many of Hong Kong or Taiwanese origin.

One of the key mechanisms financial Elites use to create a simulacrum of widespread prosperity is a real estate bubble. Homeownership in the U.S. is now around 67% of the households, though it is probably heading down to around 60-62% as foreclosures continue climbing.

2007 Beijing Spring Real Estate Trade Fair

The homeownership rate in China is much higher--around 85%, for the reason explained here before: citizens were deeded their homes for very modest sums in the early 1980s. (All land is owned by the government; it is only leased to private owners.)…
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Green Shoots or Greater Depression?

Green Shoots or Greater Depression?

green shoots or depression?Courtesy of Bud Conrad/David Galland, Editors, The Casey Report

While we aren’t contrarian for the sake of being contrary, more often than not that is the position in which we find ourselves. Today, with the media falling all over itself to paint a rosy outlook for the economy while simultaneously voicing encouragement to the new administration in its remake of the nation in previously unimaginable ways, it’s hard not to question our conviction that the worst is yet to come.

Could the economy really recover this quickly from the traumatic trifecta of a record real estate bubble, leviathan levels of debt, and a global credit collapse? We don’t see it as remotely possible, but yet… but yet… there for everyone to see are countless happy headlines and breathless exhortations that the worst is behind us.

So, is it Green Shoots or Greater Depression?

Getting the answer right is critical, because from it flow serious consequences to each of us. And not just in our investment portfolios but in how we organize our lives.

Looking for an evidence trail leading to the correct conclusion, Casey Chief Economist Bud Conrad once again put in very long hours digging through the data. Here’s what he uncovered, about the claims of green shoots, and what may actually be in store for the economy moving forward. 

- David Galland    

Rather than accepting the many commentaries that our economy may be improving, let’s focus for a minute on the important forces that will play out over the decade ahead,  and the minor improvements – from disastrous levels – that have given commentators such hope that the worst of our problems are behind us.

What Do the “Green Shoots” Really Look Like?

While some individual measures of economic activity appear slightly less dire than previously, it’s important to understand that most improvements are largely attributable to government intervention.

For example, at the onset of this crisis, commercial paper spreads rose to the point that this important source of corporate short-term funding had virtually shut down. Today, those spreads have returned to almost normal levels. But the bulk of this improvement is not due to a return of confidence in the economic system but rather to the Federal Reserve directly intervening in the market with several hundred billions of dollars.

And mortgage interest rates, which…
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ValueWalk

Are S&P 500 and Precious Metals Bears Just Getting Started?

By Monica Kingsley. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Scary selling yesterday? See how little the downswing has achieved technically, check out the other characteristics, and you‘ll probably reach the same conclusion I did. It‘s still about the tech getting its act together while much of the rest of the market is doing quite fine.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Treasuries Are Under Pressure

The credit market confirm, as is obvious from the HYG:SHY ratio chart I‘m showing you. True, long-term Treasuries are under pressure, but I wrote on Monday that ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will Bond Yields Fastest Rise In 50 Years Rattle Markets?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

The waterfall decline of bond yields (and interest rates) has been met with an equally steep rally.

In fact, the 10-Year US Treasury bond yield is up 131% in 45 weeks, making it the biggest rally in 50 years! See the chart below.

Earlier today we asked if the 40-Year Bond Bull Market Is Over? And we highlighted how bonds and yields are facing an important test right now.

Will the record rise in bond yields continue? And will bond pric...



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Zero Hedge

Thousands Of Quakes Rock Iceland As Volcanic Eruption Could Be Brewing 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Over the past week, there have been swarms of earthquakes on the Reyjanes Peninsula in Iceland. Most of the quakes are felt around Keilir volcano, just 20 miles south of the capital. Officials are warning similar quake activity has previously preceded volcanic eruptions.

According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, thousands of quakes have hit the southwestern region of Reykjanes over the past week. The largest earthquake, a magnitude 5.6 on the Richter s...



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Politics

Why repressive Saudi Arabia remains a US ally

 

Why repressive Saudi Arabia remains a US ally

A demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with blood on his hands protests outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 8, 2018. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of Jeffrey Fields, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman “approved an operation … to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” according to a...



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Phil's Favorites

Ensuring the minimum wage keeps up with economic growth would be the best way to help workers and preserve FDR's legacy

 

Ensuring the minimum wage keeps up with economic growth would be the best way to help workers and preserve FDR's legacy

It may seem like a lot, but it’s not the most important change in the bill. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Courtesy of Felix Koenig, Carnegie Mellon University

The US$1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill that the House ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

COVID-19 revealed how sick the US health care delivery system really is

 

COVID-19 revealed how sick the US health care delivery system really is

Many U.S. hospitals and clinics are behind when it comes to sharing information. Teera Konakan/Moment via Getty Images

Courtesy of Elizabeth A. Regan, University of South Carolina

If you got the COVID-19 shot, you likely received a little paper card that shows you’ve been vaccinated. Make sure you keep that card in a safe place. There is no coordinated way to share information about who has been vaccinated and who has not.

...

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Mapping The Market

Which Governments Ordered Johnson & Johnson's Vaccine?

 

Which Governments Ordered Johnson & Johnson's Vaccine?

Courtesy of Niall McCarthy, Statista

On Wednesday, U.S. regulators announced that Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine being developed by its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Belgium is effective at preventing moderate to severe cases of the disease. The jab has been deemed safe with 66 percent efficacy and the FDA is likely to approve it for use in the U.S. within days.

The Ad26.COV2.S vaccine can be stored for up to three months in a refrigerator and requires a single shot, ...



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Digital Currencies

Crypto - It Is Different This Time

 

Crypto – It Is Different This Time

Courtesy of Howard Lindzon

?I have been astonished as you know by the growth of crypto.

I remember back in 2017 when I noticed that Stocktwits message volume on Bitcoin ($BTC.X) surpassed that of $SPY. I knew Bitcoin was here to stay and Bitcoin went on to $19,000 before heading into its bear market.

Today Bitcoin is near $50,000.

Back in November of 2020, something new started to happen on Stocktwits with respect to crypto.

After the close on Friday until the open of the futures on Sunday, all Stocktwits trending tickers turned crypto. The weekend messages on Stocktwits have increased 400 percent.

That has continued each weekend...



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Chart School

The Fastest Money

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The fast money happens near the end of the long trend.

Securities which attract a popular following by both the public and professionals investors tend to repeat the same sentiment over their bull phase. The chart below is the map of said sentiment.
 


 

Video on the subject.


 

Charts in the video



 



 



Changes in the world is the source of all market moves, to ...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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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...

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