In the wake of the Fed’s promise of 23 March to print money without limit in order to rescue the covid-stricken US economy, China changed its policy of importing industrial materials to a more aggressive stance. In examining the rationale behind this move, this article concludes that while there are sound geopolitical reasons behind it the monetary effect will be to drive down the dollar’s purchasing power, and that this is already happening. More recently, a veiled threat has emerged that China could dump all her US Treasury and agency bonds if the relationship with America deteriorates further. This appears to be a cover for China to reduce her dollar exposure more aggressively. The consequences are a primal threat to the Fed’s policy of escalating monetary policy while maintaining the dollar’s status in the foreign exchanges.
I had excellent timing for my vacation, with not much happening until this week; and what happened this week? On Monday’s close the Dow Jones came within 7% of its last all-time high (BEV Zero). What could go wrong and prevent the Dow Jones from making a historic new all-time high sometime in the coming weeks? Only Mr Bear, who in the next three days began clawing back market valuation with relish.
On Thursday the venerable Dow Jones began upchucking dollars, coughing up 1,862 of them in a single NYSE trading session, taking the Dow Jones all the way back down to its BEV -15% line in the chart below. Last Monday, it appeared the BEV -17.5% line was no longer a technically important level. The question in my mind now is will the Dow Jones once again advance into single digits in the BEV chart below, or find itself closing below its BEV -17.5% line?
Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome back Michael Pento president and founder of Pento Portfolio Services. Michael is a well-known money manager, market commentator, and author of the book, The Coming Bond Market Collapse: How to Survive the Demise of the U.S. Debt Market. He’s been a regular guest with us over the years, and it’s always a pleasure to have him on with us.
Michael, thanks for the time again today and welcome back.
Michael Pento: Thank you so much for having me back on Mike.
Mike Gleason: Well, Michael, it’s been a few months since we’ve had you on last and just a little bit has been going on in the world. COVID-19 has hit the states to say the least and caused major disruptions in the economy. Governors have instituted stay-home orders. Tens of millions of people have filed for unemployment. Now we’re seeing major rioting and social unrest in many cities throughout the country over the police killing of a black man in Minnesota last week.
As Great Lockdown was positive for the gold prices, the Great Unlock will be bad, right? We invite you to read today’s article about the Great Unlock and find out whether it really must be negative for the gold prices.
It’s all government’s fault, right? After all, the Great Lockdown was introduced by the federal and state governments, wasn’t it? Well, not quite.
Before I will explain why, let me clear one thing up: I’m a liberty lover and I’m skeptical about the government regulations. And the economic shutdown was obviously untenable – the only reason to shut down the economy was to buy some time to prepare the healthcare system for better handling of the epidemic. So, it’s good that the Great Lockdown is ending.
One look at the chart of the U.S. financial markets against the backdrop of economic paralysis and suffering and one is immediately filled with a myriad of emotions. Sympathy for those that have been afflicted by the most recent pandemic; fear for the families whose primary breadwinner is now unemployed; confusion toward the proper course of action going forward; and finally outrage at the abject timidity of our citizens in responding to the orders laid down by these insipid politicians in response to the crisis.
As the welfare of future generations hangs in the balance, its tentativeness the direct result of government ineptitude, I keep asking myself a critical question: “When did the backbone of our people turn to mush?” If someone holding political office had told my grandfather to stop ploughing his fields or tending to his livestock because a sickness was spreading throughout the community, that charlatan would have wound up with buckshot adorning his gluteus maximus. How dare any group of elected bureaucrats ordain the shutdown of an economy?
I’ve missed a few predictions along the way, but usually only in part. When I missed, it was because I took the bad too far. The bad has almost always happened exactly when I said it would but hasn’t always been as bad as I said it would be. Now, it has all arrived and is turning out to be fully as bad as I said it would be.
It took the kick of a virus to set everything in place, but all the parts are now falling where I said they would once the next recession began.
April job report shows a terrible US labor market. Coronavirus destroyed 20.5 million jobs, pushing the unemployment rate to almost 15 percent. How far does the number reflect reality – and what does it actually mean for the gold market?
Apocalypse in the US Labor Market
14.7 percent. Remember this value well, as it will go down in history. This is the official US unemployment rate for April calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate soared from 3.5 percent in February and 4.4 percent in March. As the chart below shows, the spike is really historic, as such high level has not been seen in modern history.
Precious metals markets appear to be gearing up for another leg higher. On Thursday, the metals complex rose sharply across the board. Gold gained about 2.5% while silver packed on nearly 4%.
Both of the monetary metals showed signs of breaking out of the sideways trading ranges they’ve been stuck in over the past four weeks. Silver price closed solidly above its 50-day moving average for the first time since late February.
Bulls will be looking for confirmation with strong weekly closes today and then follow-through early next week.
Since the Great Recession hit in 2008, central banks have been in the business of keeping insolvent governments from defaulting through the process of pegging borrowing costs near zero. These money printers are now in the practice of propping up corporations–even those of the junk and zombie variety–by ensuring their cost of funds bears absolutely zero relationship to the credit quality of the issuer. To be clear, central banks have been falsifying public and now private bond prices to historic and monumental degrees just as the intensity of issuances and insolvency deepens.
And now, the Fed is bailing out bankrupt consumers with helicopter money in the form of enhanced and extended unemployment, grants through the Payroll Protection Plan and direct UBI to consumers through the CARES Act Recovery Rebates clause. All together there has been about $2.8 trillion worth of deficit spending so far.
The week closed with the Dow Jones’ BEV -17.5% line of resistance holding, though on Wednesday the Dow Jones did close above this critical level, for a few hours anyway. Friday’s close found the Dow Jones at its lows for the week. But for the bulls out there, hope springs eternal as there is always next week.
What if the Dow Jones clears this line of resistance? I’ll just have to find another important BEV level in the chart below to see if it’s willing to perform as a proper line of resistance, better than the BEV -17.5% level has. What BEV level had for years provided a line of support during the bull market’s advance that can now perform as a line of resistance?
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. April closed as the best month for the US stock market since the V-shaped recovery that followed the Black Monday stock market crash of 1987. April also delivered the deepest, broadest economic collapse of any month in history.
The economic collapse was simultaneously global. What is written here about the US can pretty well be said for all nations in the world. The collapse crushed jobs, personal income, consumer spending, consumer sentiment, car sales, and general economic activity more than any month in the history of the nation. Some of those sharpest declines happened in March, but April relentlessly drove to to greater depths. But stocks rose.
We are all praying for the Wuhan virus to die. But there is something the virus can actually “cure” itself: deflation. I put the word cure in quotes because it’s not an actual issue in reality. Low inflation and disinflation are actually great conditions to enjoy and help an economy thrive. Increasing the purchasing power of consumers is something that should be cherished and targeted goal. Increases in productivity, along with a strong currency, raises your standard of living. In sharp contrast, Central Banks think any rate of inflation that is less than 2% is a deadly economic disease that must be vanquished faster than the Wuhan virus.
Many Austrian economists believed the money printing that occurred during the Great Recession of 2008 would engender massive inflation. That indeed turned out to be the case; but only with asset price inflation. The Fed’s balance sheet expansion left Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) far behind. This is because the Fed bailed out banks, not consumers. Mr. Bernanke printed trillions of new dollars to purchase bad assets from banks’ balance sheets. Thus, it gave banks credit in exchange for those assets; and that base money was primarily parked back at the Federal Reserve. In other words, there was a huge increase in Fed credit but not in loans that would have led to an increase in the broader monetary aggregates—the kind of money supply increase that leads to rising CPI. What money that was lent out arrived directly to Wall Street by the process of banks selling MBS, ABS and other troubles assets and then using that credit to buy more bonds and stocks. The rich got richer and the lower classes were, for the most part, left out in a big way.
Gold investment demand is soaring in the wake of the COVID-19 stock panic! Investors are rushing back into gold to diversify after seeing mind-boggling central-bank money printing and government spending. Since that epic monetary inflation won’t be unwound, and investors were radically underinvested in gold before the panic, this trend is likely to persist for years. It will catapult gold and its miners’ stocks far higher.
The most comprehensive look into global gold investment demand is published quarterly by the World Gold Council. Its experts have been deeply studying the gold markets for decades, which shows in their outstanding Gold Demand Trends reports. These must-read analyses are released about a month after calendar quarters end. But while that data is invaluable, in fast-moving markets like these it simply isn’t enough.
The unilateral response from governments to the coronavirus is to helicopter money to people and their businesses in unlimited quantities. Their priority is to keep the debt-driven Keynesian show on the road, and policy makers are approaching the task with unseemly gusto.
There was evidence that the credit cycle was already on the turn with the global economy entering its regular period of financial and economic crisis even before the coronavirus hit. Thinking it is only a matter of dealing with the pandemic before returning to normal is therefore a common and fatal mistake. The combination of current events is leading to an infinite problem: central banks, and the Fed in particular, are trying to backstop everything and they will undoubtedly fail.
The central issue is the dawning inability of the Fed, in charge of the world’s reserve currency, to keep financial markets under control. The quantities of money required to rescue the US economy and dollar-centric supply chains abroad are potentially far greater than anyone realises and will destroy not just the dollar, but the whole fiat money system of rigged financial markets upon which debt financing depends. The EU is in a similar but more parochial fix with the addition of a banking system visibly on the verge of collapse.
The timescale for the demise of unsound fiat currencies is likely to be very short, by the end of 2020 – exactly three centuries since a similar fiat currency experiment failed in John Law’s Mississippi bubble.
You can only be so dead, and that’s just “plain dead.” But there is also Feddy Krueger dead. The kind of dead that keeps on happening like a demonic death that won’t stay dead. It is in that nightmarish Elm St. light that I’m going to review the Federal Reserve’s death.
It’s happened via face-plant failures over past month that I’m going to lay out to show how savagely the Fed is dying a perpetual-motion death.
Let me pause to assure you, I’m not saying Feddy Krueger is down for the count and will not rise again. He always revives by inventing powers over market death never seen before. Feddy will return with extraordinary and permanent powers beyond those he once used to bring counterfeit salvation from the Great Recession. Feddy gets more empowered by scared government politicians each time the economy crashes. You can’t get rid of Feddy. At least, it seems.
On Sunday, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates and restarted quantitative easing to stimulate economy hit by the pandemic of COVID-19. That’s already its second move prior to this Wednesday’s FOMC. What does it imply for gold?
It’s Serious, Really.
Winter is not coming. Winter is here already. The situation does not look too good. Although the epidemic seems on the way out in China and South Korea, the situation in Europe and the US is deteriorating quickly. As you can see in the charts below, the new daily cases are quickly rising, making the total number of infected people doubling each 3-4 days. And please note that the chart shows only confirmed cases – the true number of infected people is almost certainly larger, especially in the US, where shockingly low number of tests have been conducted.
“Next five years is not about winning but surviving.” This is the headline of an article I wrote in early August 2019. At that point I was primarily thinking of economic survival. But now the world is facing multiple threats and multiple failures. As I have already stated, the Coronavirus is not the cause of global market crashes but the catalyst.
But even if I have been totally certain that the world will see an economic collapse greater than any crisis for 100s of years, this is the worst catalyst that anyone could have expected. Yes, a global virus was always one of the potential risks but of all triggers, this one was certainly the most unwelcome and horrible.
Yesterday was the greatest crash in Wall Street history by one measure, and took down many other milestones. The Dow plunged 2,012 points in its largest single-session drop on record! Percentage-wise it was down 7.8%, which still knocked out decades of lows, leading to “Black Monday” being the hot search term on Google today as people sought a comparison worthy of this Monday crash.
For comparison, the 1929 event looked like this:
The stock market crash of 1929 – considered the worst economic event in world history – began on Thursday, October 24, 1929, with skittish investors trading a record 12.9 million shares. On October 28, dubbed “Black Monday,” the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly 13 percent. The market fell another 12 percent the next day, “Black Tuesday.” While the crisis send shock waves across the financial world, there were numerous signs that a stock market crash was coming.
Wall Street hit a new all-time high on February 20th. It was supposed to be smooth sailing from there, riding along the global liquidity wave. But then, that wave crashed into what turned out to be the fastest correction from a new high in the history of the US stock market. Even though the fall was mild in comparison to the record-breaking bull run of the past few years, it was enough to frighten central planners to the core. Hence, we had further confirmation on Tuesday, March 3rd of what we already knew: our central bank has been fully corrupted and co-opted by Wall Street.
The Fed lowered rates by 50bps in an emergency meeting, even though its regularly scheduled meeting was just two weeks away–maybe Trump will now give Powell the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But someone should have informed the White House and the Fed that the 4th rate cut in a rate-cutting cycle has nearly always led to market panics. But to be clear, the only reason the Fed cut rates is that the stock market suffered a brief correction. It wasn’t a bear market or a recession. It wasn’t even runaway deflation or an outright recession scare, …but just an 8% fall in stock prices from an all-time bubble high at the time of its decision.
Stock-market volatility has exploded on COVID-19 fears, shattering the Fed’s QE4-fueled levitation. The resulting stunning sentiment shift has left investors and speculators wondering where these wild markets are heading. This is an important time to check the latest fundamentals underlying the big US stocks that dominate market action. They just finished reporting their Q4’19 results, which illuminate their valuations.
Recent weeks’ stock-market swings have been huge, driven by mounting worries about the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. For 6 weeks I’ve covered this virus’s daily progression in depth in our subscription newsletters, including many troubling reports out of China that the media ignored. Before this selloff, I recommended long-volatility and short-stock-market trades that surged to big realized gains up to +145%.
In Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s appearance before Congress on February 11th, formerly known as The Humphrey-Hawkins testimony, he asserted that the U.S. economy was, “In a very good place” and “There’s nothing about this expansion that is unstable or unsustainable.” But compare Powell’s sophomoric declaration to what Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s longtime right-hand-man, had to say about the market and the economy, “I think there are lots of troubles coming…there’s too much-wretched excess.”
Mr. Powell’s comments rival in ignorance with that of former Fed Chair Bernanke’s claim that the sub-prime mort crisis was contained. That is until the Great Recession wiped out 50% of stock valuations and over 30% of the real estate market. And of course, don’t forget about Fed Chairs Yellen and Powell’s contention that their Quantitative Tightening program would be like watching paint dry and run harmlessly in the background on autopilot. At least that was their belief until the junk bond market disintegrated and stocks went into freefall in the fall of 2018. Therefore, it should not be a surprise at all that the Fed doesn’t recognize the greatest financial bubble in history: the worldwide bond market mania. Perhaps this is because central banks created it in the first place and therefore didn’t want to take ownership of it.
That didn’t take long. Just a month ago, I wrote, “Stock Market More Overpriced And Perilous Than Anytime In History ,” stating that the market was poised for a big fall because “some of the market’s most fundamental valuation metrics are now printing at levels never seen before…. This market is tripping on some pricy hallucinogens.”
.And here we are! A single black swan has knocked the legs out from under the bull. It’s not a full-blown correction yet (requiring indices fall by, at least, 10%) or a crash (20% or more), though it looks like it could hit that mark by the end of today. That would be a full correction in just four days.
The market has fallen off such a steep cliff to where MarketWatch reported that Monday and Tuesday teamed up to be the largest two-day point drop in Dow history! (Some other sites have said it is the largest since the big drop I predicted for the start of 2018 when the market experienced its largest one-day point drop in history.)
From Fed Chairman Powell…
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday the central bank would fight the next economic downturn by buying large amounts of government debt to drive down long-term interest rates, a strategy that has been dubbed quantitative easing, or QE.
Of course they will. The fix is always in, isn’t it? Wouldn’t want to let a system and associated economy so far out on a brittle limb weighed down by exponential debt leverage go it on its own, now would we? Wouldn’t want anything like a naturally functioning economy because until an utter and complete crash and clean out, there can be no such thing. So more debt manipulation it is!
A few days ago the market was crashing on Coronavirus fears. But recently, the market has soared back based upon the hopes of a vaccine and some better than expected economic data in the US. The ADP January employment report showed that a net 291k jobs were created, and the ISM Services Index came in at a healthy 55.5. However, a couple of good data points doesn’t change the fact that US economic growth has contracted back to 2% trend growth and will absolutely become more anemic–at least in the short-term. This is because the measures needed to contain the virus are also GDP killers. I have no clue if the virus will become a pandemic or if it will fade away like the SARS and MERS viruses–without long-term economic damage. But, for the stock market to remain at record high valuations, nearly everything has to go perfectly. That is, the Fed has to keep pumping in money, and EPS growth must rebound sharply.
Share prices on the major US exchanges are hitting all-time highs at the same time that both the number and percentage of companies that do not make any money at all are rising.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of publicly-traded companies in the U.S. that have lost money over the past 12 months has jumped close to 40% of all listed corporations–its highest level since the NASDAQ bubble and outside of post-recession periods.
In fact, 74% of Initial Public Offerings in 2019 didn’t make any money as opposed to just 25% in 1990—matching the total of money-losing ventures that IPOED at the height of the 2000 Dotcom mania. The percentage of all listed companies that have lost money for the past three years in a row has surged close to 30%; this compares with just over 10% for the trailing three years in the late 1990s.
God bless Paul Volcker. He was truly a one of a kind central banker and we probably won’t see another one like him ever again. It took his extreme bravery to crush the inflation caused by the monetary recklessness of Arthur Burns and the fiscal profligacy of Presidents Johnson & Nixon. Raising interest rates to 20% by March 1980 was wildly unpopular at the time. But in the end, it was what the nation needed and paved the way for a long period of economic stability and prosperity.
Back in 1971 the world fully had developed a new monetary “technology”. Governments learned that money need no longer be representative of prior efforts, or energy expended, or previous production, or have any real value whatsoever. It can be just created by a monetary magic wand; and done so without any baneful economic consequences.
This phony fiat money can, in the short-term, cause asset values to increase far above the relationship to underlying economic activity. And now, having fully shed the fettering constraints of paper dollars that are backed by gold, central banks have printed $22 trillion worth of confetti since the Great Recession to keep global asset bubbles in a perpetual bull market. Now, anyone who’s brain has evolved beyond that of a Lemur understands that this can only be a temporary phenomenon–one where the ultimate consequences of delaying reality will be all the more devastating once they arrive.
Recently, there has been a parade of central bankers along with their lackeys on Wall Street coming on the financial news networks and desperately trying to convince investors that there are no bubbles extant in the world today. Indeed, the Fed sees no economic or market imbalances anywhere that should give perma-bulls cause for concern. You can listen to Jerome Powell’s upbeat assessment of the situation in his own words during the latest FOMC press conference here. The Fed Chair did, however, manage to acknowledge that corporate debt levels are in fact a bit on the high side. But he added that “we have been monitoring it carefully and taken appropriate steps.” By taking appropriate steps to reduce debt levels Powell must mean slashing interest rates and going back into QE. The problem with that strategy being that is exactly what caused the debt binge and overleveraged condition of corporations in the first place.
Global policy planners intend to deliver replacements for both dollar hegemony and fossil fuels. Plans may appear uncoordinated and in their early stages, but these issues are becoming increasingly linked.
A monetary reset incorporating state-sponsored cryptocurrencies will enable exchange controls to be introduced between nations by separating cross-border trade payments from domestic money circulation. The purpose will be to gain greater control over money and to direct its investment into green projects.
Sector expert dissects recent Fed and other government actions and discusses his recent precious metals trades.
In the 1976 movie “Network,” British actor Peter Finch won an Academy Award for his stunning portrayal of news anchorman Howard Beale, whose on-air descent into insanity, prompted by the social and economic conditions of the times, is now legendary. The iconic scene where Beale, clad in a rumpled raincoat and with wet hair plastered to his head, goes on national TV and implores watchers to go to their windows and scream “I’m mad as hell and not going to take this anymore!” is one of the most awe-inspiring scenes in the history of filmmaking. Should you wish to watch the scene for yourselves, the link can be found here.
This ageing bull market may soon face the third market collapse since the year 2000. Nobody can predict the exact starting date of its decline—but either a recession or stagflation will surely be its catalyst. During the next debacle, the typical balanced portfolio designed by Wall Street, which consists of approximately 60% stocks and 40% bonds, will no longer provide much protection at all. In fact, that type of portfolio construct has become downright dangerous.
The simple reason for this is that for the first time ever both stocks and bonds are in a massive and unprecedented bubble; and are therefore both vulnerable to significant selloffs. Bonds will no longer provide a ballast or offset to your stock portfolio once reality hits both of those asset classes. If a bond has a 5% yield and has 30 years left to maturity; that holder would lose 25% of his principal if interest rates rise by just 2%. Given the fact that bond yields are the lowest in history, an increase of 2% is certainly not out of the question; and is in fact most likely inevitable.
Metals Investors are positioning themselves for rapidly developing political and geopolitical events, as well as a rapidly expanding Federal Reserve balance sheet.
What started out as a limited intervention to provide temporary liquidity to overnight lending markets has morphed into a massive $60-billion-per-month Treasury-buying campaign. By some measures, it’s even bigger than the last Quantitative Easing program.
The Fed has yet to fully explain why this is all necessary given the lack of an immediate crisis in the real economy. Last week, Fed chair Jerome Powell took great pains to insist that their expanded repo market operations are “not QE” – only to announce a massive new Treasury bill buying program on Friday.
Using nominal GDP, or GDP deflated by the CPI, as the principal guide to the state of the economy is a common mistake which will eventually prove very costly. Having convinced themselves that GDP measures economic progress, government statisticians have suppressed evidence of price inflation, giving the illusion of economic growth. Policy makers appear unaware that they are leeching ordinary people and their businesses of their wealth to the point where an economic and monetary collapse becomes inevitable. This article exposes how the authorities use GDP and the CPI to conceal the true deterioration of an economy.
When an economy turns from expansion to contraction there is an order of events. The first signs are an unexpected increase in inventories of unsold goods, both accompanied with and followed by business surveys indicating a general softening in demand. For monetarists, this is often confirmed by an inverting yield curve, which tells them that at the margin the short-term rates set by the central bank are becoming too high for business conditions.
Breaking News: COMEX paper gold contracts closed on Wednesday, August 7, at $1,513, up from $1,274 on May 22. Gold bottomed at $1,045 in December 2015. The S&P 500 Index closed at a new all-time high on July 26.
Gold closed at its highest price since 2013.
What Happens Next?
- We don’t know. Gold has disappointed for years, but central banks must “inflate or die.” Expect more QE, lower interest rates and excessive political and central bank manipulations.
[Views may differ, but why would any sane person want to keep rates around 2% or lower, well below market clearing levels? -Bob]
Following months of cajoling by the White House, the Federal Reserve finally cut its benchmark interest rate. However, the reaction in equity and currency markets was not the one President Donald Trump wanted – or many traders anticipated.
The Trump administration wants the Fed to help drive the fiat U.S. dollar lower versus foreign currencies, especially those of major exporting countries.
Instead, the U.S. Dollar Index rallied throughout July ahead of the expected rate cut and continued rallying after Fed chairman Jerome Powell made it official on Wednesday.
There are growing signs that the global economic slowdown is for real. As was the case in 1929, the combination of the peak of the credit cycle coupled with trade protectionism in the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act are similar conditions to those of today and potentially pose a serious economic challenge to the post-Bretton Woods fiat currency system. Therefore, we must consider the consequences if monetary policy fails to contain the developing recession and it turns into a full-blown slump. Complacency over broken markets is no longer an option, with rising prices for gold and bitcoin signalling the prospect of a new round of currency debasement to avoid market distortions unwinding. This article shows why this outcome could undermine fiat currencies entirely and looks at the alternatives of bitcoin and gold in this context.
By Rick Mills – Re-Blogged From Ahead of the Heard
When Americans elect or re-elect a president in the fall of 2020, there is a very good chance the closest thing to their hearts – their wallets – will be top of mind.
That’s because many are predicting the longest-running economic expansion in US history is about to slam on the brakes. It’s been over a decade since The Great Recession of 2007-09 plunged the world into monetary despair. That downturn was particularly bad because it combined an economic slowdown with problems in the financial system, rudely exposed by the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
In this article we are asking, what is the best indicator for predicting the next recession? What does the current data say about a recession?
These record US stock-market levels are very dangerous, riddled with extreme levels of euphoria and complacency. Largely thanks to the Fed, traders are convinced stocks can rally indefinitely. But stock prices are very expensive relative to underlying corporate earnings, with valuations back up near bubble levels. These are classic topping signs, with profits growth stalling and the Fed out of easy dovish ammunition.
Stock markets are forever cyclical, meandering in an endless series of bulls and bears. The latter phase of these cycles is inevitable, like winter following summer. Traders grow too excited in bull markets, and bid up stock prices far higher than their fundamentals support. Subsequent bear markets are necessary to eradicate unsustainable valuation excesses, forcing stock prices sideways to lower until profits catch up.
By Daniel Amerman – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle
The Federal Reserve is currently communicating to the markets that it will likely pivot, and pause two strategies. The first pivot is to stop increasing interest rates. The second pivot is to stop unwinding the Fed balance sheet.
While the interest rate pause is getting the most attention – the balance sheet pause could be the most important one for investors over the coming years.
As explored herein, the impact of pausing the unwinding the balance sheet is to create a new floor at about $4 trillion in Federal Reserve assets. And if the business cycle has not been repealed and there is another recession – the Fed fully intends to go back to quantitative easing, potentially creating more trillions of dollars to be used for market interventions, and to stack another round of balance sheet expansion right on top of the previous round.
By Dave Kranzler – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix
“Our advice is to own as little exposure U.S. equity exposure as your career risk allows.” – Martin Tarlie, member of portfolio allocation at Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo investment management.
The following is an excerpt from the latest Short Seller’s Journal:
Economy is worse than policy makers admit publicly – Less than four months ago, the FOMC issued a policy statement that anticipated four rate hikes in 2019 with no mention of altering the balance sheet reduction program that was laid out at the beginning of the QT initiative. It seems incredible then that, after this past week’s FOMC meeting, that the Fed held interest rates unchanged, removed any expectation for any rate hikes in 2019, and stated that it might reduce its QT program if needed. After reducing its balance sheet less than 10%, the Fed left open the possibility of reversing course and increasing the size of the balance sheet – i.e. re-implementing “QE” money printing.
By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From The Great Recession Blog
Here is a single chart that proves how completely the Fed’s end-game for its recovery failed, which means the fake recovery, itself, is failing. It’s not hard to figure out what happened here.
Talk about a euphoric rise at the end of the Trump Rally heading into 2018, followed immediately by a massive blow-off top. When you compare the size of the blow-off to the total size of the S&P 500, it looks almost like Mount Saint Helens blew its top off.
In a surprisingly candid admission, two former Federal Reserve chairs have stated that the Federal Reserve alone is responsible for creating all recessions in the United States.
First, former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke said that
Expansions don’t die of old age. They get murdered.
The M2 measure of money supply has increased about 6.7% per year since 1971 when President Nixon severed the last hint of gold backing the dollar. The subsequent deluge of digital dollars levitated prices for oil, trucks, hamburgers, the S&P 500 Index, silver and almost everything else. Examine the log scale graph of M2 and smoothed silver prices. M2 rises, while silver prices increase to unsustainable levels, fall too low and then rise again.
In late 2018 silver prices are too low! They hit bottom in December 2015 and have risen since then. First slowly, then rapidly, as Hemingway said…
Analysis: Silver prices are too low.
Silver prices rise along with M2, but they are now well below trend. This graph shows that silver could rise above $30 in 2019.
By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From PentoPort
It is crucial for investors to understand that the Federal Reserve has not yet turned dovish and the Fed “Put” it not yet in place. Wall Street sometimes hears what it desperately needs, but that does not make it fact. While Jerome Powell has moved incrementally towards the dovish side of the ledger in the past few weeks, the Fed is still firmly in hawkish territory. If, however, Mr. Powell was actively reducing the Fed Funds Rate (FFR) and expanding the balance sheet, then we would have a dovish Fed. However, by just indicating that the FOMC might be close to finishing its rate hiking campaign, while still selling nearly $50 billion of bonds every month from its balance sheet, the Fed is still tightening monetary policy–and in a big way.
However, “The Fed is now dovish, so it’s a good time to buy stocks” mantra from Wall Street is a dangerous one indeed. This argument is false on two fronts. First, as already mentioned, Jerome Powell is still tightening monetary policy through its reverse QE process. Second, the fact that the Fed may be cutting rates soon doesn’t mean the stock market automatically goes up. The Fed began cutting rates in September of 2007 and reached 0% by December of 2008. Was it a good time to buy stocks during that time? No, it was a very dumb idea that cost you half of your investable assets. The market actually peaked around the same time the Fed began cutting rates and didn’t bottom until March 2009, three months after interest rates hit 0%.