Wall Street is Chasing Ghosts

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Pento Portfolio Strategies

Wall Street’s absolute obsession with the soon to be announced most wonderful trade deal with China is mind-boggling. The cheerleaders that haunt main stream financial media don’t even care what kind of deal gets done. They don’t care if it hurts the already faltering condition of China’s economy or even if it does little to improve the chronically massive US trade deficits—just as long as both sides can spin it as a victory and return to the status quo all will be fine.

But let’s look at some facts that contradict this assumption. The problems with China are structural and have very little if anything to do with a trade war. To prove this let’s first look at the main stock market in China called the Shanghai Composite Index. This index peaked at over 5,100 in the summer of 2015. It began last year at 3,550. But today is trading at just 2,720. From its peak in 2015 to the day the trade war began on July 6th of 2018, the index fell by 47%. Therefore, it is silly to blame China’s issues on trade alone. The real issue with China is debt. In 2007 its debt was $7 trillion, and it has skyrocketed to $40 trillion today. It is the most unbalanced and unproductive pile of debt dung the world has ever seen, and it was built in record time by an edict from the communist state.

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Why Monetary Easing Will Fail

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The major economies have slowed suddenly in the last two or three months, prompting a change of tack in the monetary policies of central banks. The same old tired, failing inflationist responses are being lined up, despite the evidence that monetary easing has never stopped a credit crisis developing. This article demonstrates why monetary policy is doomed by citing three reasons. There is the empirical evidence of money and credit continuing to grow regardless of interest rate changes, the evidence of Gibson’s paradox, and widespread ignorance in macroeconomic circles of the role of time preference.

The current state of play

The Fed’s rowing back on monetary tightening has rescued the world economy from the next credit crisis, or at least that’s the bullish message being churned out by brokers’ analysts and the media hacks that feed off them. It brings to mind Dr Johnson’s cynical observation about an acquaintance’s second marriage being the triumph of hope over experience.

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Will The 35th Recession Bring A Swift Return To Zero Percent Interest Rates?

By Dan Amerman – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Many people view the seven years of zero percent interest rates experienced in the United States between 2008 and 2015 as being safely in the past, with normal times having returned.

As explored in this analysis, so long as the business cycle of expansions and recessions has not been repealed – then we are highly likely to see a swift return to a potentially protracted bout of zero percent interest rates with the next major downturn in the economy.

Indeed, even the staff of the Federal Reserve itself expects more frequent episodes of zero percent interest rates in the future, and for those episodes to be on a more protracted basis.

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Federal Reserve Confesses Sole Responsibility for All Recessions

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.

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Has The Fed Already Gone Too Far?

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%.

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How We Went from Fake Recovery to Freefall

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Until you got to this tax and spending deal a year ago, it was one of the most hated bull markets. The markets steadily climbed one wall of worry after another, and the problem was that the economic data did not confirm it.

Bloomberg

That’s right. The market was not rising for the past ten years due to a healthy underlying economy. On the contrary, the market was rising due to the Federal Reserve pumping out stratospheric amounts of thin-air money, all of which needed somewhere to land.

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EU Recession Imminent – Euro Disunion As Brexit, Italy And End Of QE Loom

By John Mauldin – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Someone asked recently how many times I had “crossed the pond” to Europe. I really don’t know. Certainly dozens of times. It’s been several times a year for as long as I remember.

That makes me an extremely unusual American. Most of us never visit Europe, except maybe for a rare dream vacation. And that’s okay because our own country is wonderful and has a lifetime of sights to see. But it does affect our perspective on the world.


Graphic: European Central Bank

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