Posts Tagged ‘STAGFLATION’

Enjoying Coffee in the Lodge with Jesse

THE BANKS MUST BE RESTRAINED, AND THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM REFORMED, WITH BALANCE RESTORED TO THE ECONOMY, BEFORE THERE CAN BE ANY SUSTAINED RECOVERY – Jesse 

Enjoying Coffee at the Lodge with Jesse 

By Ilene

coffee at the lodge with JesseI have long been a fan of Jesse’s Café Américain. Jesse is a brilliant writer and a deep thinker who uniquely transcends politics, easily seeing through lies and disinformation. He has a great feel for what really matters, and the courage to speak out about it.  Jesse and I have spoken before about the economy, markets and politics, and being at a crossroads once again, it was a perfect time to catch up. 

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Ilene: Hi Jesse, since our last interview, I would guess that we’d both agree that nothing has been done to clean up the financial system – the banks and government interconnectedness, conflicts of interest, and out-and-out fraudulent activities.  Are things better or worse, or in line, with what you were expecting over a year ago?

Jesse: I think things are progressing in line with what I had expected, with the Fed and the government trying to prop up an unsustainable status quo by monetizing debt.  I am still a little shocked by the brazen manner in which the financial markets are being conducted and regulated, and the news is reported in the US. It is one thing to hold a theory that says something will happen, but it is quite another to see it actually happening, and so blatantly, almost without a word of protest.

Ilene: How do you view our financial system and the global financial system now, with no progress towards any kind of reform?

Jesse: The US is now being run by an oligarchy, with lip service being paid to the electorate in allowing the people to vote for the candidates that the parties and the powers will put forward.  There will be no recovery for the middle class until they assert themselves. I know I have stated this often in my tag phrase, “The banks must be restrained…” But it is the case.

There are areas of resistance to this trend on what one might call ‘the fringes of Empire,’ those client states which have been ruled by powerful cliques with the support and the protection of the US.  Although certainly not a great analogy, it does remind one of…
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Stagflation 2011: Why It Is Here And Why It Is Going To Be Very Painful

Courtesy of Michael Snyder at Economic Collapse 

Are you ready for an economy that has high inflation and high unemployment at the same time? Well, welcome to "Stagflation 2011".  Stagflation exists when inflation and unemployment are both at high levels at the same time.  Of course we all know about the high unemployment situation already.  Gallup’s daily tracking poll says that the U.S. unemployment rate has been hovering around 10 percent all year so far.  But now thanks to rapidly rising food prices and the exploding price of oil, rampant inflation is being added to the equation.

Normally inflation is a sign of increased economic activity, but when the basic commodities that we depend on to run our economy (such as oil) go up in price it actually causes a slowdown in economy activity. When the price of oil goes up high enough, it fundamentally changes the behavior of individuals and businesses.  Suddenly certain types of economic activities that were feasible when oil was very cheap are not profitable any longer.  When the price of oil rises to a new level and it stays there, essentially what is happening is that more "blood" is being drained out of our economy.  Our economy will continue to function when there are higher oil prices, it will just be a lot more sluggish.

In some way, shape or form the price of oil factors into the production of most of our goods and services and it also factors into the transportation of most of our goods and services. A significant rise in the price of oil changes the economic equation for almost every business in the United States.

Today, the price of WTI crude soared past 100 dollars a barrel before closing at $98.10.  The price of Brent crude increased 5.3 percent to $111.25.  The protests in Libya are certainly causing a lot of the price activity that we have seen over the past few days, but the truth is that oil has been going up for a number of months.  Right now we are only seeing an acceleration of the long-term trend.

Things are likely to get far worse if the "day of rage" planned for Saudi Arabia next month turns into a full-blown revolution.  Up to this point, the revolutions that have been sweeping the Middle East have been organized largely on Facebook, and now there are calls all over…
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The Big Things That Matter

The Big Things That Matter

Courtesy of PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS writing at CounterPunch

I write about major problems:  the collapsing US economy, wars based on lies and deception, the police state based on “the war on terror” and other fabrications such as those orchestrated by corrupt police and prosecutors, who boost their performance reports by convicting the innocent, and so on.  America is a very distressing place. The fact that so many Americans are taken in by the lies told by “their” government makes America all the more depressing.

Often, however, it is small annoyances that waste Americans’ time and drive up blood pressures. One of the worst things that ever happened to Americans was the breakup of the AT&T telephone monopoly. As Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury in 1981, if 150 per cent of my time and energy had not been required to cure stagflation in the face of opposition from Wall Street and Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, I might have been able to prevent the destruction of the best communications service in the world, and one that was very inexpensive to customers.

The assistant attorney general in charge of the “anti-trust case” against AT&T called me to ask if Treasury had an interest in how the case was resolved.  I went to Treasury Secretary Don Regan and told him that although my conservative and libertarian friends thought that the breakup of At&T was a great idea, their opinion was based entirely in ideology and that the practical effect would not be good for widows and orphans who had a blue chip stock to see them through life or for communications customers as deregulated communications would give the multiple communications corporations different interests than those of the customers. Under the regulated regime, AT&T was allowed a reasonable rate of return on its investment, and to stay out of trouble with regulators AT&T provided excellent and inexpensive service.

Secretary Regan reminded me of my memo to him detailing that Treasury was going to have a hard time getting President Reagan’s economic program, directed at curing the stagflation that had wrecked President Carter’s presidency, out of the Reagan administration.  The budget director, David Stockman, and his chief economist, Larry Kudlow, had lined up against it following the wishes of Wall Street, and the White House Chief of Staff James Baker and his deputy Richard Darman were representatives of VP…
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That 70′s Show

That 70′s Show

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

With asset prices, sentiment, employment and housing values dropping or stabilizing at low levels, why is it that much of the fear is still centered around the spectre of inflation?  Perhaps it is reallystagflation, brought about by a resumption of climbing energy prices and a continuation of the jobless recovery, that we should truly fear. 

Stagflation, of which there is mercifully no evidence right now, could be the kill shot that ultimately drops this demi-corpse of an economy to the ground.  Looking at the uptick in energy prices this week, I am reminded of all the stuff I’ve read about stagflation and the 1970′s.  And even though the 70′s gave birth to Star Wars, Paul McCartney’s work with Wings and that Farah Fawcett poster (you know the one), we probably don’t want to repeat that stagflationary decade if we can help it.

To be clear, many inflationistas are only calling for inflation based on their read of what central banks will do to counter deflation.  Many are predicting Quantitative Easing Part II and perhaps the White House’s $30 something billion Unemployment Relief hail mary is the first sign of it. 

If you believe, as they do, that the pendulum always swings too far in both directions, then you may want to have a look at the above chart, 30 years of data on what CPI inflation does to GDP.  Pay particular attention to the 1970′s, as high energy and other prices sent the economy off a cliff until they were brought under control by a gladiator named Paul Volcker.

The message is to be watchful of energy prices.  If there is one thing American businesses and consumers don’t need right now, its a return to 2007-2008 prices at the pump.

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OK, I know you were expecting it when you read the post title… "HELLO, WISCONSIN!" 


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Here Is Why the Fed Cannot Simply Continue to Inflate Its Way Out of Every Financial Crisis That It Creates

Here Is Why the Fed Cannot Simply Continue to Inflate Its Way Out of Every Financial Crisis That It Creates

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

The return on each new dollar of US debt is plummeting to new lows according to figures from the Federal Reserve.

The chart below is from the essay, Not Just Another Greek Tragedy by Cornerstone.

I have been watching this chart for the past ten years, as part of the dynamic of the sustainability of the bond and the dollar as the limiting factor on the Fed’s ability to expand the money supply.

The ability to expand debt is contingent on the ability to service debt. If the cost of the debt rises over the net income of the country’s capital investment, or even gets close to it, the currency issuing entity is trapped in a debt spiral to default without a radical reform.

In other words, if each new dollar of debt costs ten percent in interest, largely paid to external entities, and it generates less than ten cents in domestic product, it is a difficult task to grow your way out of that debt without a default or dramatic restructuring.

So we are not quite there yet. But we are getting rather close on an historic basis. Without the implicit subsidy of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency it would be much closer.

As it is now, this chart indicates that stagflation at least, rather than a hyperinflation, is in the cards for the US. But the trend is not promising, and the lack of meaningful reform is devastating.

A ‘soft default’ through inflation is the choice of those countries that have the latitude to inflate their currencies. Greece, being part of the European Monetary Union, did not. The US is not so constrained, especially since it owns the world’s reserve currency.

The economy is out of balance, heavily weighted to a service sector, especially the financial sector which creates no new wealth, but merely transforms and transfers it. With stagnation in the median wage, and an historic imbalance in income distribution skewed to the top few percent, with the banks levying de facto taxation and inefficiency on the economy as a function of that income transfer, there should be little wonder that the growth of real GDP is sluggish in relation to new debt. 

Or as Joe Klein…
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Phil's Favorites

The US government has huge debts, and House Democrats could lead the way on solutions - an economist explains how

 

The US government has huge debts, and House Democrats could lead the way on solutions – an economist explains how

Democrat Nancy Pelosi spoke in D.C. the night of the midterm elections. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Courtesy of Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Boston University

Now that Democrats control the House, the question on many minds is what they will do with it.

Incoming Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi s...



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Zero Hedge

PG&E Plummets After Drawing Down Billions On Its Revolvers

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Two days after California utilities PG&E and Edison crashed, losing a third of their market cap in 48 hours amid investor fears over their exposure to the devastating California fires which are still raging, moments ago PG&E stock tumbled over 20% in premarket trading after the company disclosed it has fully drawn down its revolving credit facilities, in anticipation of soaring liquidity needs.

In an 8-K filing this morning, PG&E and its subsidiary, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, announced they had drawn the full $3.3 billion available ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock Market Correction Lingers As 800 Pound Resistance Levels Hold

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Key stock market indices continue to struggle beneath 800-pound Fibonacci extension levels (resistance).

In today’s “6-pack” chart, we illustrate these key bull/bear lines for investors – see below. The Dow Jones Industrials, Transports, S&P 500, and Nasdaq 100 are all experiencing weakness and selling pressure at long-term Fibonacci extension levels each at (1).

But the overhead resistance spreads to other key sectors like the Banks and Semiconductors. The Banks are experiencing weakness at the 2007 highs at (2) and the Semiconductors are experiencing weakness at the 2000 highs at (3).

Expect market weakness (or consolidation) to continue until these stock indexes and key market sectors breakout above resistance. Stay tuned!

6-Pack of Stock Market Indices –...



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Insider Scoop

BTIG Research: Etsy Is Online Leader In Handmade, Artisanal Goods

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related ETSY Is Etsy A Better E-Commerce Play Than Amazon? 88 Biggest Movers From Yesterday ...

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Members' Corner

NY Times: OPERATION INFEKTION

 

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

OPERATION INFEKTION

RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION: FROM COLD WAR TO KANYE

By Adam B. Ellick and Adam Westbrook

EPISODE 1

MEE...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Nov 11, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

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

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

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



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Digital Currencies

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

 

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

Shutterstock

Courtesy of Steven Huckle, University of Sussex

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

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



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ValueWalk

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

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

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

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



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Biotech

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

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

 

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

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

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



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Mapping The Market

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

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

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

One that stands out for me:

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



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

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

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

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

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



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

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

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

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

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

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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

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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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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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