All ASSET BUBBLES MUST BURST… Today’s guest, John Rubino, shares his thoughts on why this current bubble economy has lasted so long. During our chat he elaborates on how Central Banks and Governments are trapped into experimenting with more ways to keep the economy afloat. Unfortunately, the music has to stop at some point and the only people that will be left standing will be holders of sound money.
Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome back Michael Pento, President and founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies. Michael’s 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 we always love getting his fantastic insights.
Well, we’re having a hard time seeing a big move higher in metals prices until one of two things happen. We’ll start here. The first would be a pickup and safe haven demand. In our view there is too much investor complacency given the circumstances as has been the case for a while now, equity market valuations are sky high. Now we’ve got an election coming up, and there is at least some chance our next president will be an avowed socialist. This does not seem like the time for investors to be all in on risk trades, but we suppose the only thing that really matters is the Fed. They are going to do whatever it takes to keep the party in the stock markets going.
But what are your thoughts? Are we likely to see the markets get a wakeup call anytime soon or is the Fed likely to maintain complete control for the foreseeable future? Let’s start there.
Michael Pento: What a great question. Geez, you hit me over the head with a, a big anvil. That’s the $20 trillion question. I mean, can the market continue to defy gravity – and it is defying gravity, make no mistake about it. If you look at the total market cap to GDP, I look at the Wilshire 5000, that doesn’t have 5,000 stocks anymore. I think it’s like 3,500 but it’s the widest measurement of stocks, their market cap, to the underlying economy. That ratio is now 155%. Outside of March of 2000 when it was 145 or 148 around there, it’s never been near this. The average ratio is 0.8%… 80% or 0.8 in the ratio. So 155%, 1.55% above where the underlying supporting economy is. I mean it’s never been anywhere near this outside of that epic bubble in the NASDAQ debacle where the NASDAQ lost 80% of its value.
The US stock markets are becoming more unstable, fueling mounting anxiety about what’s likely coming. After surging to new all-time-record highs in late July, stocks plunged in a sharp pullback as the US-China trade war escalated. Stock markets’ resiliency in the face of bearish news is partially determined by how companies are faring fundamentally. The big US stocks’ just-reported Q2’19 results illuminate these key indicators.
Four times a year publicly-traded companies release treasure troves of valuable information in the form of quarterly reports. Required by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, these 10-Qs and 10-Ks contain the best fundamental data available to traders. They dispel all the sentiment distortions inevitably surrounding prevailing stock-price levels, revealing corporations’ underlying hard fundamental realities.
By Roger Caiazza – Re-Blogged From WUWT
One of the biggest issues with plans to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy is intermittency. At some point that can only be addressed by energy storage but tracking down those costs is difficult. I recently found a recently released report from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL): “2018 U.S. Utility-Scale Photovoltaics-Plus-Energy Storage System Cost Benchmark” that provides information that can be used to estimate the costs of the energy storage option.
According to the NREL summary, authors Fu and Margolis, along with fellow NREL researcher Timothy Remo, provide NREL’s first cost benchmarking of energy storage and PV-plus-storage systems. The abstract for the report states:
The combination of American trade protectionism and the end of a failing credit expansion is leading into a global economic downturn, and potentially a systemic crisis. Meanwhile, investors still believe more extreme monetary policies will stabilise economies and that the ultra-low interest rate environment will persist without renewed price inflation. As Samuel Johnson reputedly said of a second marriage, it represents the triumph of hope over experience.
There is a moment just after the top of every credit cycle where positive momentum stalls before a new reality emerges. When the stall begins, as appears to be the case today, everything is still read positively. Perennial bulls say “Don’t worry, the central bank will reduce interest rates and inject enough money into the banking system to ensure any recession will be minor and growth will resume”. With interest rates falling, confidence in the final outcome means stocks continue to rise. With this mindset, bad news for the economy is always good news for stocks.
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.
To put into perspective how overvalued and dangerous the US market has become; I often cite the figure of total market cap to GDP—currently 145% of the economy. How high is 145% of GDP? It is a full 30% higher than it was before the start of the Great Recession.
The twin sister to this metric is the Household Net Worth to GDP Ratio. Household net worth as a percent of GDP is calculated by dividing the current bubbles in home prices and equities by the underlying economy, which has been artificially inflated by interest rates that have been pushed into the sub-basement of history. This metric is now an incredible 535% of GDP, which is a record high and 19% higher than the NASDAQ bubble of 2000. To put that figure in perspective, the good folks at Daily Reckoning have calculated that the historical average is 384%.
These valuation measurements are much more accurate than Wall Street’s favorite PE ratio valuation barometer because they cannot be easily manipulated by corporate share buybacks that have been facilitated by record-low borrowing costs. And, as hinted at already, the GDP denominator of today is much more tenuous because it has become more than ever predicated on the record amount of fiscal and monetary stimulus from the government.
By Gary Christenson – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle
The economic world is always changing, but the 2018-2019 period will mark an important transition. Consider credit market debt, interest rates, stock indices, individual stocks, and several ratios.
TOTAL CREDIT MARKET DEBT per the St. Louis Fed.
That measure of U.S. debt increased exponentially from 1951 to 2007 at a rate of 8.8% per year. However, the rate from 2008 to 2017 has been only 2.6% per year. A sixty-year trend changed during the 2007-08 financial crisis. As suggested by others the U.S. reached debt saturation. The economy has not recovered since the crisis. The graph of credit market debt supports that thesis.
By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle
Stock markets are forever cyclical, an endless series of alternating bulls and bears. And after one of the greatest bulls in US history, odds are a young bear is now gathering steam. It is being fueled by record Fed tightening, bubble valuations, trade wars, and mounting political turmoil. Bears are dangerous events driving catastrophic losses for buy-and-hold investors. Different strategies are necessary to thrive in them.
This major inflection shift from exceptional secular bull to likely young bear is new. By late September, the flagship US S&P 500 broad-market stock index (SPX) had soared 333.2% higher over 9.54 years in a mighty bull. That ranked as the 2nd-largest and 1st-longest in US stock-market history! At those recent all-time record highs, investors were ecstatic. They euphorically assumed that bull-run would persist for years.
By Bill Holter – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix
People continually ask “when” will it happen? For the last 6 months we have responded “it is happening right before your very eyes”! In fact, as of this morning 52% of global markets are now down over 20% from their highs and qualifying as bear markets. Please understand the financial backdrop these weakening markets are falling into. Bluntly, the world is facing a giant margin call that cannot be met.
Liquidity had become extremely tight even as markets made their high water marks. It is this lack of liquidity which threatens to become a self-reinforcing flash crash to hell via margin calls. “Don’t worry” they say, central banks will come to the rescue. There is one fundamental problem with this line of thought, the value of the issued currencies themselves. There is zero mathematical way to service and pay off current debt with current currency values … currencies must be massively printed and thus devalued if they are to pay off the mountains of debt! Central banks created the problem, they will not be the solution. Rather, their demise will be part of the solution.
By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse
One of the strangest things about this strangest-ever expansion has been the way pretty much everything went up. Stocks, bonds, real estate, art, oil – some of which have historically negative correlations with others — all rose more-or-less in lock-step. And within asset classes, the big names behaved the same way, rising regardless of their relative valuation.
This seemingly indiscriminate buying created a paradise for index funds that simply accumulate representative assets in their chosen sectors. And it made life a nightmare for the higher-order strategies of hedge funds that get paid to beat the market.
By Mike Gleason – Re-Blogged From Money Metals
Tenuous Markets Bracing for Vindictive House Dems, Budget Crunch, plus an interview with Michael Pento.
Welcome to this week’s Market Wrap Podcast, I’m Mike Gleason.
Coming up Michael Pento of Pento Portfolio Strategies joins me for a conversation you will not want to miss. Michael weighs in on the recent words from Fed Chair Jerome Powell and why he believes the initial reaction from Wall Street about what the Fed will now be doing on interest rates is misguided, and he reveals the inside scoop on why he’s been blackballed by CNBC and others in the mainstream financial media. So, make sure you stick around for an explosive conversation with Michael Pento, coming up after this week’s market update.
Re-Blogged From Newsmax
Nobel Prize-winning Yale economist Robert Shiller warns that the weakening housing market is showing the same symptoms as it did just before the subprime housing bubble burst a decade ago.
The economist, who predicted the 2007-2008 crisis, recently told Yahoo Finance that current data reflects “a sign of weakness.”
“The housing market does have a momentum component and we’re seeing a clipping of momentum at this time,” said Shiller, the co-founder of the Case-Shiller Index, which tracks home prices around the nation.
By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse
Hedge fund managers sit at the top of the financial world’s food chain. They’re generally seen as the smartest money managers, and their companies have the most flexibility to pursue new opportunities. The result is supposed to be the best possible returns – for clients who can afford the high fees.
But lately things haven’t worked out that way. Hedge fund managers appear baffled by the behavior of stocks, bonds and pretty much everything else, as time-tested strategies fail and brand-name managers report terrible results, in a growing number of cases throwing in the towel, returning their investors’ money and riding off into the sunset.
By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com
The lofty US stock markets remain riddled with euphoria and complacency, fueled by an exceptional bull. Investors believe downside risks are trivial, despite long years of epic central-bank easing catapulting valuations to dangerous bull-slaying extremes. This has left today’s markets hyper-risky, with a massive bear looming as the Fed and ECB increasingly slow and reverse their easy-money policies. Caveat emptor!
By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com
The mega-cap stocks that dominate the US markets have enjoyed an amazing bull run. But February’s first correction in years proved things are changing. With that unnatural low-volatility melt-up behind us, it’s more important than ever to keep leading stocks’ underlying fundamentals in focus. They help investors understand which major American companies are the best buys and when to deploy capital in them.
For some years now, I’ve been doing deep dives into the quarterly financial and operational results in the small contrarian sector of gold and silver miners. While hard and tedious work, this exercise has proven incredibly valuable. With each passing quarter my knowledge of individual companies grows, helping to ferret out miners with superior fundamentals and the greatest upside potential. Traders love the resulting essays.
By Patrick Watson – Re-Blogged From Newsmax
The long-awaited Strategic Investment Conference 2018 kicked off with a keynote from David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff titled, “Year of the Dog: Will It Bark or Bite?” (Spoiler: The answer is “bite.”)
Rosenberg began by running through a list of his own metrics: forward P/E, price/sales, price/book value, enterprise value/EBITDA. All of them point to record-high valuations.
By Michael Ballanger – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com
Before I launch into one of my classic, bitter, vitriolic diatribes against all forms of modern-day interventionalist-type, fraudulent excuses for what use to be “free markets,” have a gander at the chart below. Pay particular attention to the smiles on all of those beaming faces. . .
I invest in Gold & Silver, mostly miners.
Most people, I expect, are unwilling or don’t have the temperament to put all their eggs in one basket. The most familiar of the highly liquid investments is stocks – shares of most of the companies you know and love plus many that you’ve never heard of.
But, by pretty much any objective measure, stocks are in Bubble territory today, and the FED has started a tightening cycle – and has promised major tightening leading up to the mid-term elections this November.
I suggest that you still can make money in stocks today, using a strategy that Hedge Funds originally were designed to use – buy stocks that you think have the brightest prospects and sell short stocks that likely will be dogs (by comparison). If your ‘good’ stocks indeed do better than your ‘bad’ stocks, then you’ll make money. It matters not whether they both go up, both go down, or the ‘good’ is up and the ‘bad’ down, so long as the ‘good’ does better than the ‘bad.’
Stocks this year have surged to record highs on speculation that President Trump’s push for tax reform will help to boost the economy and give corporations a chance to reward shareholders with dividends and buybacks.
But the strong gains shouldn’t distract investors from some worrisome signs that portend of a market decline, Albert Edwards, global strategist at Societe Generale, said in a Nov. 15 report.
“Investors are beginning to punish the corporate debt and equity of highly indebted U.S. companies,” Edwards said. “Excess U.S. corporate debt is probably the key area of vulnerability that could bring down the QE-inflated pyramid scheme that the central banks have created.”
By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com
Gold has largely been drifting sideways for the better part of a couple months now, sapping enthusiasm. Gold investment demand has stalled due to extreme stock-market euphoria. Investors aren’t interested in alternative investments led by gold when stocks seemingly do nothing but rally indefinitely. But once stock-market volatility inevitably returns, so will gold investment demand which fuels major gold uplegs.
Like nearly everything else in the global markets, gold prices are heavily dependent on investment capital flows. When investors are buying gold in a meaningful way, demand exceeds supply which drives gold’s price higher. When they’re materially selling, supply trumps demand thus gold’s price naturally retreats. The past couple months have been stuck in the middle, with gold investment flows neutral on balance.
I see in the commodities markets that the price of oil has gotten into the mid 50s, after spending years it seems in the 40-50 Dollar range. Prices always fluctuate, but this uptick at least bears watching.
As with many resources, oil exploration and development takes years, so once the decision is made, the cost to produce oil from any particular well or oil field are known. Yes, costs also fluctuate for oil production, but in a very narrow band. So, what happens when prices fluctuate is that it is magnified when the bottom line is calculated.
The stock market’s seemingly unstoppable rise to record highs has boosted investor optimism to levels not seen since the Crash of ’87 – a very worrisome sign.
The difference between bulls and bears hasn’t been this high in 30 years, according to Investors Intelligence. The last time investor sentiment was this far apart, stocks rallied – until they didn’t. The Dow Jones Industrial Average collapsed 22 percent on Oct. 19, 1987, the worst one-day selloff in history.
Euphoria is a dangerous stage in the market cycle — when investors feel invulnerable and start to overpay for stocks. They become complacent with the expectation that they can sell their stocks to a “bigger sucker.”
By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com
– Listen to Jesse Livermore and ignore the noise of short term market movements, central bank waffle and daily headlines
– Stock and bond markets are overvalued but continue to climb… for now
– What goes up must come down and investors should diversify and rebalance portfolios despite market noise
– Behavioural biases currently drive markets, prompting legendary investors to be confused and opt out
– Lesson is to prepare portfolios for long-term and invest in assets that will act as hedge in next market correction or crash
– Gold performs well over the long-term and delivers to those “sitting” and being patient
Warren Buffett’s favorite market indicator says stocks are in trouble.
The billionaire chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway once wrote that the “single best” way to see if the market is too expensive by comparing the total value of all publicly traded stocks with the total size of the economy.
It’s like determining the value of a car by the horsepower of its engine.
By David Chapman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com
Every time we pick up some article on the stock market of late, all we read is the stock market is on the verge of a devastating wipeout, or that the next collapse is just around the corner. One of the best headlines we saw recently was from a famed market guru with a headline of “2017 Is Going to Be Worse than the Great Depression!” It is enough to make you run home, pour a long hot bath, slit your wrists, and climb in to the tub.
Okay, maybe that is extreme. Naturally, there are many reasons writers give to back up their case. Those range from the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, rising interest rates in the US, and of course the best one—that the bull market is now into its ninth year from the major low of March 2009 without a correction exceeding 20% and is in the mother of all bubbles. All of that is true. But none of that makes for a final top just because the stock market has been rising for eight years plus.
By Axel Merk – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com
We increasingly see claims low volatility in the markets may be structural. Even as we agree that some of the analyses we see make good points, we are concerned we may be setting ourselves up for a major shock. Let me explain.
By Vitaliy Katsenelson – Re-Blogged From Contrarian Edge
The Great Recession may be over, but seven years later we can still see the deep scars and unhealed wounds it left on the global economy. In an attempt to prevent an unpleasant revisit to the Stone Age, global governments have bailed out banks and the private sector. These bailouts and subsequent stimuli swelled global government debt, which jumped 75 percent, from $33 trillion in 2007 to $58 trillion in 2014. (These numbers, from McKinsey & Co., are the latest we have, but we promise you they have not shrunk since.)
A lot of things about today’s environment don’t fit neatly into economic theory. [tweet_dis]Ballooning government debt should have brought higher — much higher — interest rates. [/tweet_dis]But central banks bought the bonds of their respective governments and corporations, driving interest rates down to the point at which a quarter of global government debt now “pays” negative interest.
By Mark J Lundeen – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com
As seen in the Bear’s Eye View (BEV) chart below, the last all-time high for the Dow Jones Index happened on March 1st. Since then however, it’s been slowly deflating. The post-election run up in the Dow Jones (enclosed in the Red Circle) was an excellent advance; one of the best in the post March 2009 market. So we shouldn’t begrudge the bulls should they now take a rest before their next upward assault on the stock market, which I’m sure they are planning. However, some plans never get past their conception stage.
I like this BEV chart for the Dow Jones. It displays each advance and percentage decline of the Dow from its 09 March 2009 bottom (6,547) to its last all-time high of 01 March 2017 (21,115.55). The typical correction was a little over 5%, with only four double digit declines (none greater than 17%) since March 2009.
By John Mauldin – Re-Blogged From http://www.newsmax.com
We didn’t have all of this big data or computing power when I started in the investment publishing industry in 1982. But we do today.
This data not only shows us the present state of the stock market, but also tells what that means in terms of probable returns over the coming 7, 10, and 12 years and what it means in terms of relative risks.
Below, I picked out three telling charts that reveal how pricey the stock market is and what that tells us about probable forward returns.
Median P/E (Price-to-Earnings Ratio) Shows That We Are At The Second Most Overvalued Point Since 1964