US Stock Bubble Bursting As The US Fed Begins To Shrink Its Balance Sheet

By IM Vronsky – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

All serious students of economics well know there are several factors that can inflate stock values…and even cause them to soar beyond common sense and corresponding fundamentals. However, there is one factor that dwarfs all others in its disproportionate material effect on pumping up stock prices beyond all historical and reasonable metrics:  AND THAT IS EXCESSIVE GROWTH IN THE FED’S BALANCE SHEET. 

One must recall that the S&P500 Stock Index suffered a bear market loss from 2007-2008…including the first two months of 2009.  During this bear market the S&P500 plunged well more than 55% by the time it finally bottomed in first week of March 2009.  Subsequently, the Fed relentlessly pumped up its Balance Sheet…with a view to stem the horrific two year rout in US stock prices.

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List of IMF and BIS Systemic Risk Warnings

Re-Blogged From http://lonestarwhitehouse.blogspot.com

Over the past year we have documented numerous warnings which the IMF and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) have issued in regards to risks that exist to the stability of the global financial system. Some of the warnings come directly from IMF and BIS officials and publications. One comes from a speech by BIS General Manager Jaime Caruana. Others come from articles appearing on the IMF Direct blog. One is a link to former IMF Peter Doyle who says despite issuing risk warnings, the IMF has failed in providing early warnings for systemic crisis.

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A 30-50% Stock Plunge ‘Would Not Be A Surprise’

By HENRY BLODGET – Re-Blogged From http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com

As regular readers know, for the past ~21 months I have been worrying out loud about US stock prices. Specifically, I have suggested that a decline of 30% to 50% would not be a surprise.

I haven’t predicted a crash. But I have said clearly that I think stocks will deliver returns that are way below average for the next seven to 10 years. And I certainly won’t be surprised to see stocks crash. So don’t say no one warned you!

So far, these concerns have just made me sound like Chicken Little. The S&P 500 is up strongly from where I first sounded the alarm.

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China’s Stock-Bubble Burst

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

China’s stock bubble has burst, with its stock markets utterly collapsing after rocketing parabolic.  The failure of this popular speculative mania has grave implications for the global stock markets.  It shatters the universally-believed myth that central banks can nullify normal market cycles.  No government has more power over its stock markets than China’s, yet not even it could magically eradicate greed and fear.

Even before their recent calamity, the Chinese stock markets had been the most-interesting financial story of 2015.  Having the world’s second-largest economy, China is immensely important in global markets.  And its stock markets were soaring, as evidenced by China’s flagship benchmark stock index.  It is the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index (SSEC), the local equivalent of the US S&P 500.

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Why The Fed Is Afraid To Raise Interest Rates

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Even though the major stock market averages are flat for the first six months of the year, by nearly every measure the stock market is still extremely overvalued. This point is not lost on Ms. Yellen and company, as the Fed Chair herself has recently assented that the current value of stocks are “quite high”. Given this, the Fed must privately be afraid that even a small change in the Fed Funds Rate could serve as the needle that pops the massive bubble in the stock market.

Exactly How Overvalued Is This Market?

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The Punch Bowl Stays

By Peter Schiff – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

It is well known that I don’t think much of the ability of government officials to correctly forecast much of anything. Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke have made famously clueless predictions with respect to stock and housing bubbles, and rank and file Fed economists have consistently overestimated the strength of the economy ever since their forecasts became public in 2008 (see my previous article on the subject). But there is one former Fed and White House economist who has a slightly better track record…which is really not saying much. Over his public and private career, former Fed Governor and Bush-era White House Chief Economist Larry Lindsey actually got a few things right.

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Shiller And Goldman Say US Stocks Are Overvalued

Goldman Sachs’ chief equity strategist, David Kostin, said that “by almost any measure, US equity valuations look expensive”, which echoed Robert Shiller’s earlier opinion. Is the U.S. stock bubble finally going to burst? How will it affect the gold market?

More and more analysts are warning against a U.S. stock market bubble. Last weekend, Yale professor and Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller said that in his opinion U.S. stocks were overvalued. Although he is not sure that the current situation is a classic bubble, he clearly sees the bubble element. For example, Shiller pointed out that the CAPE (cyclically adjusted P/E) ratio has been recently around 27, which is high by U.S. historical standards (the only other times it was that high or higher were in 1929, 2000, and 2007 – all moments before market crashes).

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End FED Manipulation of Interest Rates

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

When interest rates are kept low artificially, as has been the FED’s policy for at least the last 10 years, some benefit while others are hurt. Many times, those who are hurt don’t even know it is happening to them.

An insurance company, for example, collects premium money from policy holders, and then it invests that money. The actuaries working for the company are charged with figuring out the odds of a claim so that the premium can be set to very closely offset the money paid out in claims (plus the overhead).

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Three Sigma Extremes In The Bond Market

By Gary Christenson – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

US T-Bond futures closed Friday, March 27 up nearly 12% from the February close.  That was the 3rd largest monthly percent move since 1977 when my data begins and created a 3.61 standard deviation change.  This is a huge move.  What does it mean?

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NYSE Margin Debt At An All-Time Record High Heralds An Impending Stocks Crash

By Doug Short – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silvr-Phoenix500.com

The astonishing surge in leverage (i.e. NYSE Margin Debt) in late 1999 peaked in March 2000, the same month that the S&P500 hit its all-time daily high, although the highest monthly close for that year was five months later in August. A similar surge NYSE Margin Debt began in 2006, peaking in July 2007, three months before the market peak…and subsequent crash.

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NYSE Margin Debt

By Doug Short – Re-Blogged From http://www.advisorperspectives.com

The New York Stock Exchange publishes end-of-month data for margin debt on the NYXdata website, where we can also find historical data back to 1959. Let’s examine the numbers and study the relationship between margin debt and the market, using the S&P 500 as the surrogate for the latter.

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To Infinity and Beyond? Don’t Be Surprised If the U.S. Stock Market Cracks.

By Vasily Katsenelson – Re-Blogged From http://www.imausa.com

(I wrote this article for Institutional Investor Magazine awhile back, but it is still as relevant today as it was when I wrote it)

In 1986 Jeremy Grantham — an investment legend and co-founder of Boston-based asset manager GMO — started to warn his firm’s clients about, and even created an investment product to protect them from what he believed would be, the eventual bursting of the Japanese stock bubble. We all know how that story ended: In 1990 the Japanese market crashed, stocks declined more than 70 percent from their peak, and the Japanese economy slipped into a 25-year coma.

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Major Stock Selloff Looms

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

The latest record highs in the US stock markets have unleashed astounding complacency.  Traders are utterly convinced that the past couple years’ massive Fed-fueled rally will continue indefinitely.  But with today’s lofty stock markets extremely overvalued, wildly overextended, and rampantly euphoric, a serious selloff is looming.  The prudent contrarians preparing for this inevitable major reversal are going to earn fortunes.

Though you wouldn’t know it from recent history, stock markets rise and fall.  They are forever cyclical, an endless parade of alternating bulls and bears.  Market history simply couldn’t be clearer on this.  Yet ironically after long bull or bear markets, the great majority of traders forget this.  They get caught up in their own emotions, and wrongly assume the long-in-the-tooth trend is the new norm that will endure perpetually.

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Party Like It’s 2015

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

In 1982 the artist formally known as Prince released a popular party anthem called “1999”. The song was a premonition that 1999 would be a year we would all aspire to “party like”.  It was obvious that Prince was making reference to the excitement associated with ringing in a new century.  However, unbeknownst to him, the accommodative policies of the Federal Reserve would lead to a festal bubble in NASDAQ stocks, making his call to party in 1999 that much more appropriate.

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Beware The Stock Bear!

The US stock markets’ latest record highs have left traders exceedingly euphoric and complacent.  They are utterly convinced this stock bull will power higher for years to come.  But their enthusiasm is very misplaced.  In real inflation-adjusted terms, the US stock markets only just regained breakeven levels 15 years after the last secular bull peaked.  Now the secular stock bear ever since is overdue for a new cyclical bear.

The flagship benchmark index for tracking the US stock markets is the mighty S&P 500, often shortened to SPX.  The whole financial world literally revolves around this dominant index, with most global equity markets and even some major commodities markets like oil usually mirroring it.  American stock traders can directly trade the SPX through a handful of gargantuan ETFs including the leading SPY S&P 500 ETF.

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FED Policy & Government Spending

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

During the 1970s, inflation, as measured by the CPI, started to reemerge as a national problem. By the end of the decade, the US had “Double Digit Inflation.”

Paul Volker, the FED chief at the time, observed a steep rise in long dated Treasury Bonds, and slowly raised the short term Fed Funds interest rate, to keep the “spread” between the two rates reasonably close together. At the time, Volker was roundly criticized in the financial press for being “behind the curve” for being late consistently in raising the FED Funds rate.

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