Posts Tagged ‘reflation’


Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Via WealthTrack:

“On this week’s Consuelo Mack WealthTrack, a Financial Thought Leader who called the credit and housing bubbles way ahead of the pack. Gluskin Sheff’s prescient Chief Economist, David Rosenberg shares his economic and market outlook, plus advice on how to invest in it.” 

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Pragcap explains why the reflation fix cannot work in the long run and is nothing more than a kick-the-can solution to our economic woes (high unemployment, losses of houses, lack of money for retirement, too much debt, record numbers of people on food stamps, etc). – Ilene 


Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

There are more than a handful of notable economists and investors who believe that the current credit crisis is really just an extension of a much larger bust that was set in motion more than a decade ago.  In essence, the 90′s created a mentality that everything was different.  American net worth exploded and the world appeared to be permanently altered for the better.  Specifically, assets to liabilities soared:

Then the Nasdaq bubble burst and the paper wealth went up in flames.  Alan Greenspan’s approach was simple.  If we could simply reflate the consumer balance sheet through asset reflation everything would be resolved.  So, the consumer was encouraged to continue taking on excess debt without the underlying income to sustain this debt.  In essence, Americans were trying to sustain the lifestyle that they had become accustomed to in the 90′s and the Federal Reserve and Treasury did everything in their power to maintain that lifestyle.

As the housing bubble grew Americans once again felt the invincibility of paper wealth.  Of course, just like the Nasdaq bubble none of this was actually supported by the underlying fundamentals.  And as the housing bubble wealth effect dissipated in 2005 so did the ability of the consumer to sustain its 25 year spending spree:

The surge in household wealth due to the double bubbles proved to be nothing more than paper gains that were not supported by the underlying fundamentals.  Assets were higher than they otherwise should have been.  It’s clear, in retrospect, that Americans never really recovered from the excesses of the 90′s.  The government’s response to this bubble era has done little to help create the foundation for a sustained recovery.

This past weekend, Brian Sack admitted that the Fed’s recovery plan is largely dependent on propping up asset prices that would “otherwise be lower.”  The U.S. government hopes they can reflate assets and sustain a supposedly capitalist market without having any losers. They just can’t come to grips with the fact that there are decades of…
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Wall Street Uses Your Money To Lobby Against You. What.

Wall Street Uses Your Money To Lobby Against You. What.

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

You know how, like, your grandparents have no choice but to buy the convertible bonds of casino companies and trade Chinese penny stocks because the rate on their money market fund is basically 2 basis points?


So, the reason for the seemingly endless drought in responsible yield options for savers is that banks needed to "reflate" themselves and "rebuild their balance sheets" for the good of the system.  Yeah "The System", that’s the ticket.  So rates were brought down to effectively zero in an effort to stabilize housing and ensure liquidity for businesses who wanted to borrow or hire.

And since the part about stabilizing housing and helping business owners to hire people was a scam and was demonstrably unsuccessful, we can really only point to the reflating banks part and say that something has been accomplished.

Except the banks are doing a lot more than shoring up balance sheets with the zero-cost dollars they have been gorging on over the last 18 months – in addition to reporting record profitability and almost record compensation levels, they’ve also been attempting to buy both sides of the aisle, lobbying like there’s no tomorrow in our nation’s capital.

Get a load of this (from CNN Money):

The financial industry has spent $251 million on lobbying so far this year as lawmakers hammered out new rules of the road for Wall Street, according to the latest lobbying reports compiled by a watchdog group.

The financial sector spent more than any other special interest group from April through the end of June — a whopping $126 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ latest estimates. Wall Street banks, as well as insurance and real estate firms, hiked the amount they spent on lobbying by 12% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year.

And really, what are you going to do about it?  Probably nothing, because this has been going on for almost 2 years and you are busy DVRing True Blood and downloading apps that map out the closest Chipotle locations.

Lobbying is what industries do when pending legislation threatens their future profitability.  This is perfectly normal, except in the case of the banks they are using your money to lobby against protections that may save you from the next Frenzy-Depression combo that is surely around the corner.

And it is Your…
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Getting a Grip on Reality – Reflation Dead in the Water

Getting a Grip on Reality – Reflation Dead in the Water

Courtesy of Mish

Economist Dave Rosenberg warns investors to Get a Grip on Reality.

Double-dip risks in the U.S. have risen substantially in the past two months. While the “back end” of the economy is still performing well, as we saw in the May industrial production report, this lags the cycle. The “front end” leads the cycle and by that we mean the key guts of final sales — the consumer and housing.

We have already endured two soft retail sales reports in a row and now the weekly chain-store data for June are pointing to sub-par activity. The housing sector is going back into the tank – there is no question about it. Bank credit is back in freefall. The recovery in consumer sentiment leaves it at levels that in the past were consistent with outright recessions. Last year’s improvement in initial jobless claims not only stalled out completely, but at over 470k is consistent with stagnant to negative jobs growth. And exports, which had been a lynchpin in the past year, will feel the double-whammy from the strength in the U.S. dollar and the spreading problems overseas.

Spanish banks cannot get funding and another Chinese bank regulator has warned in the past 24 hours of the growing risks from the country’s credit excesses. A disorderly unwinding of China’s credit and property bubble may well be the principal global macro risk for the remainder of the year. Indeed, perhaps the equity market finally realized yesterday that allowing China more control to defuse an internal property and credit bubble may well be a classic case of “be careful of what you wish for.”

The Bond Cycle and Deflation

I was at an event recently where I was able to see two legends among others – Louise Yamada and Gary Shilling. Louise made the point that while secular phases in the stock market generally last between 12 and 16 years, interest rate cycles tend to be much longer – anywhere from 22 to 37 years; and she has a chart back to 1790 to prove the point! So while all we ever hear is that this secular bull market in bonds is getting long in the tooth, having started in late 1981, it may not yet be over. After all, the deleveraging part of this cycle

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Fed Ponders What To Do If Recovery Fails; Risks to Growth All on Downside

Fed Ponders What To Do If Recovery Fails; Risks to Growth All on Downside

Courtesy of Mish 

Low angle view of a man rock climbing up a vertical cliff

While nearly everyone seems convinced that the economy is improving and buy-the-dip is the right strategy, the Fed is having increasing concerns about what to do if reflation does not take hold.

The Wall Street Journal discusses "What if?" scenarios in Fed Weighs Growth Risks.

Federal Reserve officials are beginning to debate quietly what steps they might take if the recovery surprisingly falters or if the inflation rate falls much more.

Fed officials, who meet next week to survey the state of the economy, believe a durable recovery is on track and their next move—though a ways off—will be to tighten credit, not ease it further. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has played down the risk of a double-dip recession and signaled guarded confidence in the recovery.

But behind-the-scenes discussions at the meeting could include precautionary talk about what happens if the economy doesn’t perform as well as expected.

"If events in Europe evolve so that they have a more severe and broad impact on financial markets, then the scope of the problems for the U.S. could be magnified," Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said in a speech last week.

Brian Sack, the head of the New York Fed’s powerful markets group, has talked about "two-sided" risks to the economy—in other words, the risk that growth and inflation could turn out to be lower than expected, as well as higher.

"The European sovereign-debt situation is serious, and there are many unanswered questions about how events will unfold," James Bullard, St. Louis Fed president, said in Tokyo on Monday.

Officials don’t rule out the possibility that markets could settle and the economy could produce a few months of strong job growth and solid consumer spending and business investment.

But there are other scenarios: if the recovery falters, or if inflation slows much further and a threat arises of deflation, a debilitating fall in prices across the economy. In such cases, there would be a few avenues the Fed could take.

One is asset purchases. During the financial crisis, the Fed purchased $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities on top of buying debt issues by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the U.S. Treasury. Mr. Bernanke has said the steps helped to lower long-term interest rates,

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SP Futures Daily Chart and a Brief Note Ahead of the Comex Option Expiry.

SP Futures Daily Chart and a Brief Note Ahead of the Comex Option Expiry.


The SP is continuing its bounce off the long term trendline for this leg of the bull market in stocks, the result of the reflation effort by the Fed.

Stocks showed some remarkably artificial action last week that was a bit hard to miss.

Similarly, gold and silver continue to rebound from the blatant hammering they took last week as we approach the option expiration at the COMEX. A fellow that trades there said last week that the price would be back over 1200 by Wednesday, and that the option buyers ‘were just asking for it.’

Perhaps they were, but it is the job of the CFTC and the US government to make sure that they don’t "get it," that is, get cheated, at least not that easily, through the obvious manipulation of price which we have seen in the last week. It would be as if the Nevada Gaming Commission allowed false dealing and marked decks to facilitate the casinos cheating their customers, who were dismissed as greedy gamblers anyway. Why this argument is allowed in the financial markets is beyond me.

The sellers are easily identified, as are the sellers of the calls, and the large short interests. This is not rocket science. It is a failure to do one’s job, and uphold their sworn oaths to protect the public. You can judge their motives.

"The government is the potent omnipresent teacher. For good or ill it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that the end justifies the means — to declare that the government may commit crimes — would bring terrible retribution."

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

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goldCourtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Gold is hotter than ever.  You can’t turn on the TV these days without seeing a gold commercial.   Several well known hedge fund managers have leveraged up positions in gold while John Paulson even went so far as to start his own gold hedge fund.  As an asset class gold has outperformed just about everything over the last 10 year period.  It’s been an impressive run.   But is it all justified?  Bear with me for a bit while I take a long-term macro look at gold as an asset class….

After having experienced deflation through much of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 the economy began to reflate as the Fed’s printing press (or button pressing if you prefer) went to work.  Asset prices began to stabilize and bank balance sheets were suddenly flush with cash as the Fed provided liquidity like it was going out of style.  The inflationistas immediately began crying wolf.  All of this extra cash was certain to cause inflation.  And that meant one thing: buy gold and short dollars.  Right?

All was not what it seemed, however.  Underneath the surface, there was no real reflation – only continuing signs of deflation or at best, very benign inflation.  Asset prices surged as money flowed out of low risk assets (for which investors were no longer rewarded) and into high risk assets.  This herding of the Federal Reserve has given many the impression that the economy is “recovering”.  But underneath the surface lies the continuing problem of double D’s (and not the good kind) – debt and de-leveraging.  While asset prices have improved the liability side of the ledger remains in tatters in the U.S. economy and around the world.  De-leveraging continues and demand for more credit remains subdued.  Yet, the price of gold rallied.  I believe a large portion of the move is based on the misconception of gold as an asset class.

When analyzing the price of gold it’s important to understand that gold prices do not move like most other commodities.   It has certain built-in unquantifiable characteristics that drive price.  The price of gold is actually a function of four things: 1) its replacement potential for the U.S. dollar; 2) the future rate of inflation, 3) Sentiment – generally fear based and 4) true supply and demand.  Let’s take…
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Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Nothing would derail the Fed’s great reflation/recovery experiment like higher interest rates.  Several notable investors including David Einhorn (see Einhorn’s thoughts here) and Julian Robertson (see Robertson’s thoughts here), have expressed their concerns over the potential for higher interest rates.  The great Richard Russell of the Dow Theory Letters has long feared a spike in interest rates.  In a recent note he explained that the end of quantitative easing has bond investors worried over the future of interest rates.  Russell believes higher rates are the next big move in the bond market:

“Older subscribers may remember that I said that the Fed could continue its “quantitative easing” (printing money) until the bond market says it can’t. Below is a daily chart of the 30-year Treasury bond. The bond market doesn’t like what it sees. I view the pattern on this chart as a huge, down-slanting head-and-shoulder top with the bond sitting right on support. The bond appears weak, and if support is violated, interest rates will be heading higher. And that’s the last thing the Fed wants at this time.” 


Source: Dow Theory Letters 

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Service Sector ISM Back In Contraction; Stimulus Fades Already

More signs pointing the way to the double-dip scenario. – Ilene

Service Sector ISM Back In Contraction; Stimulus Fades Already


Courtesy of Mish

Inquiring minds are reading the November 2009 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector contracted in November after two consecutive months of expansion, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

What Respondents Are Saying …

  • "Capital markets remain very tight; lenders are not releasing funds for development projects, limiting expansion." (Accommodation & Food Services)
  • "Fourth quarter still looking grim, but potential upturn for Q1 2010." (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
  • "No one trusts that the recovery is real. Seems everything and everyone is in a holding pattern." (Public Administration)
  • "Business is still flat." (Wholesale Trade)
  • "U.S. business remains better than 2007 levels, although it’s been through personnel and cost reductions that we are now profitable. Business continues to be about 8 percent below 2008 levels." (Real Estate, Rental & Leasing)

[click on table to enlarge]

Non-Manufacturing ISM History

Is This A Recovery?

Take good look at the chart immediately above. After sloshing around $trillions in bailouts and stimulus packages the NMI could barely get above break-even and topped in September.

New orders are up, but much of that is front-loaded government stimulus efforts. With government spending and reflation efforts by central bankers worldwide, it should not be surprising to see prices rising. Yet, employment is not confirming the pickup in business activity.

Double Dip Recession Warning

Paul Krugman is waking up to a possibility that I think is nearly a given. Please consider Double Dip Warning.

I’ve never been fully committed to the notion that we’re going to have a “double dip” — that the economy will slide back into recession. But it has been clear for a while that it’s a serious possibility, for two reasons. First, a large part of the growth we’ve had has been driven by the stimulus — but the stimulus has already had its maximum impact on the growth of GDP, will hit its maximum impact on the level of GDP in the middle of next year, and then will begin to fade out. Second, the rise in manufacturing production is to a large extent an inventory bounce

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inflation, deflationCourtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Stocks have surged 11% since June 10th.  At the same time, the 10 year treasury yield has declined almost 70 basis points to close at 3.18% yesterday.   What is curious here is that the stock market is telling a very different story from the bond market.  Bond investors (who tend to have a longer time horizon) are forecasting a long battle with deflation.  Equity investors (who tend not to think much farther than one quarter into the future), on the other hand, are putting their money on the line in the hopes that the reflation trade is alive and well.

Unfortunately for equity investors, they have a poor record of forecasting the future when compared to bond investors.   There have been 4 famous cases of such bond and stock divergences in the last 20 years.  The most famous is the summer of 1987.  We all know what occurred then.  The other three cases were fall ‘94, summer ‘98 and winter 2000.   All three preceded declines in the market.  Of all 4 instances, three of them preceded 15% declines in the S&P 500.

The real crux of the issue here is not terribly complex.  In order for corporations to tack on to the $80 in operating earnings that the equity market is currently pricing in for 2010, they will need pricing power.  The cost cutting and resulting margin expansion we are seeing is great in the near-term, but we’re unlikely to see pricing power and hence real revenue expansion without at least some inflation.  The bond market, however, is pricing in little to no inflation.  The bond market’s message is clear – we are in a deflationary world.  That doesn’t bode well for the prospect of corporate earnings and that likely means stocks are getting a bit frothy here.  Investors would be wise to take a step back and reconsider the risk/reward of owning equities once the euphoria surrounding Q3 earnings wears off….

Related -

John Paulson’s Huge Reflation Bet

Are 20 Years of Deflation Ahead of Us?

Photo: Goddesses of Inflation and Deflation, courtesy of  Elaine Supkis.


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Phil's Favorites

Low-carbon computing is needed to avoid a technological collapse


Low-carbon computing is needed to avoid a technological collapse

wk1003mike / shutterstock

Courtesy of Oscar Céspedes, University of Leeds

Human society has come to rely on superior gadgets being produced every year. Each year, new phones or laptops are faster, sleeker and have even more capabilities. However, electronics are rarely recycled, and the carbon footprint of the internet already exceeds that of air travel. The internet also relies on “rare earths” and ...

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Zero Hedge

What Google's Ban For Crypto Ads Really Means

Courtesy of Nicholas Colas of DataTrek Research

The recent news that Google will not allow advertising of cryptocurrencies is a good reason to revisit the fundamental drivers that predict bitcoin price trends. Google searches and bitcoin wallet growth continue to slow in 2018, which is all you need to know about the near term direction of the asset. But while Google’s move may slow future adoption rates, plenty of other banned items (drugs, hacking software, counterfeit goods, etc.) still manage to flourish. An imperfect set of comps, to be sure, but still relevant to the discussion.

There are only 4 things Google doesn’t allow you to advertise on its search engine platform:

  • Counterfeit goods.
  • Dangerous products or services, like recreational drugs, weapons, ammunition, explosives and fireworks, and tobacco products.
  • ...

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Digital Currencies

What Google's Ban For Crypto Ads Really Means

Courtesy of Nicholas Colas of DataTrek Research

The recent news that Google will not allow advertising of cryptocurrencies is a good reason to revisit the fundamental drivers that predict bitcoin price trends. Google searches and bitcoin wallet growth continue to slow in 2018, which is all you need to know about the near term direction of the asset. But while Google’s move may slow future adoption rates, plenty of other banned items (drugs, hacking software, counterfeit goods, etc.) still manage to flourish. An imperfect set of comps, to be sure, but still relevant to the discussion.

There are only 4 things Google doesn’t allow you to advertise on its search engine platform:

  • Counterfeit goods.
  • Dangerous products or services, like recreational drugs, weapons, ammunition, explosives and fireworks, and tobacco products.
  • ...

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Members' Corner

"If you want to fundamentally change society, you first have to break it."


"If you want to fundamentally reshape society, you first have to break it." ~ Chistopher Wylie

[Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles' – video]

Here are a number of disturbing, overlapping articles discussing an enormous socio-political experiment in thought-manipulation that took place leading up to and during the US 2016 presidential election. Key players include: ...

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Insider Scoop

5 Costly Mistakes Drivers Make At The Gas Pump

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Now that oil and gasoline prices have started to creep back up, drivers are looking for any way they can to save a few cents at the pump.

GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan recently compiled a list of the five most common ways people waste money on gasolin... more from Insider

Chart School

Bitcoin Update, demand is present

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

When a Wyckoff trader looks at a stock chart of price and volume one looks for foot prints of material demand and supply. The current bitcoin chart shows very significant demand prints.

More from RTT Tv

Sure fundamentals do matter, and so does market timing (entry, stops and exit), here at we believe a combination of Gann Angles, Cycles...

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Connor Browne - FAANG Stocks Dominance

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

They are known as the FAANGs but Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google/Alphabet should also be dubbed the great disruptors. They have created new businesses and destroyed old ones, changing the way we conduct our personal and business lives in the process.

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Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below!

Check out our H2 hedge fund letters here.


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How your brain is wired to just say 'yes' to opioids

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


How your brain is wired to just say ‘yes’ to opioids

A Philadelphia man, who struggles with opioid addiction, in 2017. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Courtesy of Paul R. Sanberg, University of South Florida and Samantha Portis, University of South Florida


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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...

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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 ...

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NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!


We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.


EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...

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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...

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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...

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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.

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