Posts Tagged ‘reflation’

DEEP THOUGHTS FROM DAVID ROSENBERG

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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DID THE CONSUMER EVER RECOVER FROM THE NASDAQ BUST?

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 

DID THE CONSUMER EVER RECOVER FROM THE NASDAQ BUST?

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?

Yeah.

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.

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

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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REFLECTIONS ON GOLD AS AN ASSET CLASS

REFLECTIONS ON GOLD AS AN ASSET CLASS

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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THE ONE CHART THAT SCARES RICHARD RUSSELL

THE ONE CHART THAT SCARES RICHARD RUSSELL

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.” 

0 THE ONE CHART THAT SCARES RICHARD RUSSELL

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

Fairy

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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BONDS SAY DEFLATION, STOCKS SAY REFLATION. WHO IS RIGHT?

BONDS SAY DEFLATION, STOCKS SAY REFLATION. WHO IS RIGHT?

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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Zero Hedge

Trump Sues Manhattan D.A. In Response To Subpoenas

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

And now a plot twist: with Trump under relentless attack for the past three years to disclose his tax returns, on Thursday morning the president struck back, suing Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to block an attempt by New York state prosecutors to obtain eight years of the president’s tax returns in a probe of whether the Trump Organization falsified business records.   

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Phil's Favorites

Did negative-yielding debt peak?

 

Did negative-yielding debt peak?

Courtesy of 

My Chart o’ the Day comes from LPL Research chief strategist John Lynch and it looks at the phenomenon of negative-yielding debt. Lynch notes that “Unfortunately, the global search for yield has now morphed into a scenario in which fixed income investors, or lenders, attempt to ‘potentially lose less’ rather than ‘earn slightly more’ than the value of the loan extended.”

...



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Insider Scoop

How Cheapskates Can Access Mid Caps

Courtesy of Benzinga

For investors that don't like stocks but do enjoy saving money on fund fees, exchange traded funds are highly desirable destinations. And for those looking to dance with mid-cap stocks, a desirable asset class, there are plenty of compelling ETFs for cost-conscious investors to consider.

What Happened

The Schwab U.S. Mid-Cap ETF (NYSE: ...



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The Technical Traders

SAFE ASSETS - A TRADING STRATEGY FOR UTILITIES, GOLD, AND BONDS

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Chris Vermeulen, Founder of The Technical Traders shares his trading strategy for safer assets. While precious metals and bonds had a great run, the charts are showing the utilities could be the place to be in the short term. It’s important to note we are not saying the other safe havens are going to crash but it’s all about the time frame and playing the sector that could pop first.

LISTEN HERE NOW

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stocks, Oil, and Bond Yields At Critical Bullish Breakout Tests!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

It’s not often that three asset classes reach similar important trading points all at once.

But that’s exactly what’s happening right now with stocks, crude oil, and treasury bond yields.

And this is occurring on Federal Reserve day no less! Something has got to give.

In the chart above y...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Is The Drone Strike a Black Swan?

Courtesy of Lee Adler

Pundits are calling yesterday’s drone strke a “black swan.” Can a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility, be a “black swan.”

According to Investopedia:

A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the practice of explaining widespread failure to predict them as simple folly in hindsight.

I seriously doubt that no one expected or could have predicted a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility.

Call Me A B...

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Chart School

Crude Oil Cycle Bottom aligns with Saudi Oil Attack

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Do the cycles know? Funny how cycle lows attract the need for higher prices, no matter what the news is!

These are the questions before markets on on Monday 16th Aug 2019:

1) A much higher oil price in quick time can not be tolerated by the consumer, as it gives birth to much higher inflation and a tax on the average Joe disposable income. This is recessionary pressure.

2) With (1) above the real issue will be the higher interest rate and US dollar effect on the SP500 near all time highs.

3) A moderately higher oil price is likely to be absorbed and be bullish as it creates income for struggling energy companies and the inflation shock may be muted. 

We shall see. 

...

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Digital Currencies

China Crypto Miners Wiped Out By Flood; Bitcoin Hash Rate Hits ATHs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last week, a devastating rainstorm in China's Sichuan province triggered mudslides, forcing local hydropower plants and cryptocurrency miners to halt operations, reported CoinDesk.

Torrential rains flooded some parts of Sichuan's mountainous Aba prefecture last Monday, with mudslides seen across 17 counties in the area, according to local government posts on Weibo. 

One of the worst-hit areas was Wenchuan county, ...



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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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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.

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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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