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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Zero Hedge

Novogratz On Gold & The Fed's Fairy Tale World

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Via Global Macro Monitor,

Great interview with Michael Novogratz, Galaxy Digital founder, CEO, and chairman.  He sounds exactly likey the global macro heads at GMM. 

His money quotes from the July 8th CNBC interview should sound very familiar to our readers.

  • Macro set-up is so...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Red Hot China Attempting Key Breakout, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

China ETF (FXI) has been “Red Hot” of late? Is it about to run out of steam or will it remain on fire going forward?

This chart of FXI comes from Investors Business Daily and Marketsmith.com. It reflects that FXI is above key long-term moving averages and its RS ratings is moving sharply higher of late.

Line (1) has been support and resistance several times over the past 3-years. The rally of late has FXI ...



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Phil's Favorites

Not Crazy Can Still Be Nuts

 

Not Crazy Can Still Be Nuts

Courtesy of 

For a few years now, people have been comparing the rise of mega cap tech stocks to the late 90s. I think these comparisons are somewhat misguided.

I wrote those words in June 2018, adding “The gains have been extraordinary over the past five years, with Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google growing from$1.2 trillion to near $4 trillion.”

Fast forward to today and the gains have been extra extraordinary, growing from $4 trillion to $6.5 trillion.

These 5 stocks now...



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The Technical Traders

Retail Traders & Investors Squeezed to Buy High-Risk Assets Again

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Yes, we certainly live in interesting times.  This, the last segment of our multi-part article on the current Q2 and Q3 2020 US and global economic expectations, as well as current data points, referencing very real ongoing concerns, we urge you to continue using common sense to help protect your assets and families from what we believe will be a very volatile end to 2020.  If you missed the first two segments of this research article, please take a moment to review them before continuing.

On May 24th, 2020, we published this ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

When Trump pushed hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, hundreds of thousands of prescriptions followed despite little evidence that it worked

 

When Trump pushed hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, hundreds of thousands of prescriptions followed despite little evidence that it worked

As public figures and some in the media touted hydroxychloroquine, prescriptions skyrocketed. Grace Cary / Moment via Getty Images

Courtesy of Richard L. Kravitz, University of California, Davis

In late March and early April, ...



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ValueWalk

How To Help Employees Thrive, Even When Their Career Goals Are Uncertain

By Ed Mitzen. Originally published at ValueWalk.

These uncertain times filled with racial unrest, a global pandemic, massive unemployment and economic anxiety have caused some people to reevaluate their lives and their priorities. Within that introspection, there are a few potential outcomes, whether it’s reassessing career goals, losing sight of them, or coming to the realization that some workers are happy in their job and do not aspire to a higher position.

Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Whether a worker likes the road they are on or sees a fork in it approaching, company leaders who want to keep valued...



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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results. The information here is delayed by a few months, members get the most recent content.



Date Found: Saturday, 14 March 2020, 05:51:16 PM

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Comment: Crash in perspective - its Bad, and not over!



Date Found: Saturday, 14 March 2020, 07:49:29 PM

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Comment: The Blood Bath Has Begun youtu.be/bmC8k1qmM0s



Date Found:...

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Lee's Free Thinking

These Charts Show COVID 19 Is Spreading in the US and Will Kill the Economy

 

These Charts Show COVID 19 Is Spreading in the US and Will Kill the Economy

Courtesy of  

The COVID 19 pandemic is, predictably, worsening again in much of the US. Only the Northeast, and to a lesser extent some Midwestern states, have been consistently improving. And that trend could also reverse as those states fully reopen.

The problem in the US seems to be widespread public resistance to recommended practices of social distancing and mask wearing. In countries where these practices have been practi...



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Digital Currencies

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

 

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

App-etising? LDprod

Courtesy of Michael Rogerson, University of Bath and Glenn Parry, University of Surrey

Food supply chains were vulnerable long before the coronavirus pandemic. Recent scandals have ranged from modern slavery ...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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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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Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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