Truth, Lies And Inflation

By GE Christenson – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Christopher Whalen wrote “Trump is Right to Blow Up the Fed.” He stated:

“Anybody who cares to read the 1978 Humphrey Hawkins law will know that the Fed is directed by Congress to seek full employment and then zero inflation. Not 2 percent, but zero. Yet going back a decade or more, the Fed, led by luminaries such as Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke, has advanced a policy of actively embracing inflation.”

From the Federal Reserve’s web site:

“The Congress established the statutory objectives for monetary policy—maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates—in the Federal Reserve Act.”

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The Bearish Momentum In Oil Accelerates

By Nadia Simmons – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Oil price is melting down like there’s no tomorrow. How else could we describe the bloodbath? Fresh monthly lows being hit on a daily basis. Slicing through important supports. With such a weak close to the trading week, how will black gold fare the next one? Clearly, the most recent Mexico tariff announcement hasn’t helped and it’s widely felt in the markets, including this one. Better news on the horizon?

Let’s take a closer look at the chart below (charts courtesy of http://stockcharts.com

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Nasdaq De-FAANGed?

By Zachary Mannes – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

We generally chart the regular NASDAQ — the NDX, QQQ, and the futures — but when you consider that a mere five momentum names, affectionately given the acronym “FAANG,” comprise nearly 40% of the weighting of the entire index, a glance at the Equal Weight version is not a bad idea. I prefer the First Trust  (QQEW) to the Direxion (QQQE) as it seems to chart slightly cleaner and the “EW” is easier to remember.

Watching for nuanced differentiation in the patterns between the QQEW and NDX, it is possible to see the potential for the former to lead a bit. For example, back in August/September of 2018, QQEW marked a divergent high. More recently, the QQEW began to count more like the blue 5th wave extension of (5) of Primary Wave 3 before the NDX shifted from it’s “(B)” wave.

More importantly, though, is that fact that the Equal Weight does not get pulled to such price extremes by the disproportionate momentum of a scant few stocks. The Primary Wave 3 in NDX has stretched all the way to the 223.6% Fibonacci extension as measured in log-scale off the July 2010 low for Primary 2. By contrast, the QQEW hit a more perfect 161.8% Fibonacci extension for it’s Primary wave 3 top.

The disproportionate extension, though, also appears to affect the downside corrective moves.

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Nonmonetary Cause Of Lower Prices

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Over the past several weeks, we have debunked the idea that purchasing power—i.e. what a dollar can buy—is intrinsic to the currency itself. We have discussed a large non-monetary force that drives up prices. Governments at every level force producers to add useless ingredients, via regulation, taxation, labor law, environmentalism, etc. These are ingredients that the consumer does not value, and often does not even know are included in the production process. However, these useless ingredients can get quite expensive, especially in industries that are heavily regulated such as health care.

What Force Pushes Prices Down?

There is another non-monetary force, and this one is pushing prices down. Producers are constantly finding useless ingredients that they can remove. In the research for his Forbes article on falling wages, Keith discovered that dairy producers found ways to eliminate 90% of the ingredients that go into producing milk between 1965 and 2012. For example, they reduced by two thirds the labor hours that support each cow.

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The 2 Faces Of Inflation

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

We have a postscript to last week’s article. We said that rising prices today are not due to the dollar going down. It’s not that the dollar buys less. It’s that producers are forced to include more and more ingredients, which are not only useless to the consumer. But even invisible to the consumer. For example, dairy producers must provide ADA-compliant bathrooms to their employees. The producer may give you less milk for your dollar, but now they’re giving you ADA-bathroom’ed-employees. You may not value it, but it’s in the milk.

On Twitter, one guy defended the Quantity Theory of Money this way: inflation (i.e. monetary debasement) is offset by going to China, where they don’t have an Environmental Protection Agency. In other words, the Chinese government does not force manufacturers to put so many useless ingredients into their products as the US government does.

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London Property Slide Worsens With Biggest Drop Since 2009

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

3.8% fall y/y in Q1, the seventh straight decline in values – Nationwide
– Nationally, U.K. real-estate market remains ‘subdued’
– Some of the weakness relates to Brexit as economic uncertainty impacts sentiment

London continued to lead the U.K.’s weakening property market at the start of 2019, with prices falling the most since the financial crisis a decade ago.

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What They Don’t Want You To Know About Prices

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Last week, in Part I of this essay, we discussed why a central planner cannot know the right interest rate. Central planner’s macroeconomic aggregate measures like GDP are blind to the problem of capital consumption, including especially capital consumption caused by the central plan itself. GDP has an intrinsic bias towards consumption, and makes no distinction between consumption of the yield on capital, and consumption of the capital per se…between selling the golden egg, and cooking the goose that lays golden eggs.

One could quibble with this and say that, well, really, the central planners should use a different metric. This is not satisfying. It demands the retort, “if there is a better metric than GDP, then why aren’t they using it now?” GDP is, itself, supposed to be that better metric! Nominal GDP targeting is the darling central plan proposal of the Right, supposedly better than consumer price index and unemployment (as Modern Monetary Theory is the darling of the Left).

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