Barack Obama recently stated that anyone that is claiming that America’s economy is in decline is “peddling fiction“. Well, if the economy is in such great shape, why are major retailers shutting down hundreds of stores all over the country?
While 'our' President was out this week patting himself on the back and taking victory laps over the "supposed" 4.9% unemployment rate, he forgot to mention a few important tidbits about what is really going on.
Since 1929, there have been only eight such instances, and each one was followed by bear market losses of 30% or more...
"Deteriorating market breadth and herding into an ever-narrower number of stocks is classic market top behavior. Currently, there are many other warning signs that are also being ignored. The merger mania, the stock buyback frenzy, the year-over-year declines in corporate sales and falling earnings for the entire S&P 500 index, the plunges this year in the high-yield and leveraged loan markets, the topping and rolling over of the massive (record) level of stock margin debt... and I could go on."
What follows is Mark, armed with just a bullhorn, taking on several hundred consumption zombies waiting in line at Best Buy, armed with just their overdrawn credit cards, or as he calls them "enemies of America. A symptom of this failed country. When this country is bankrupt, and it will be soon, you look in the mirror and that's who you blame."
"The hardest questions we are trying to reconcile here are how is that possible to see all these signs of weakness under the surface being balanced by very strong equity markets and upbeat employment picture. One of these sides has to be wrong..."
The hardest questions we are trying to reconcile here are how is that possible to see all these signs of weakness under the surface – including weak commodities, tightening credit, retrenching consumer spending – being balanced by very strong equity markets and upbeat employment picture. One of these sides has to be wrong in its assessment of the current macro environment, and seeing both of them extending well into the future appears unlikely to us.
If it looks like a recession, walks like a recession and quacks like a recession, it’s a recession.
It is not hard to see history repeating itself all over again. Just look at the Chinese central bank this week cutting interest rates, just like the Fed had to do in 2008-9.
News That Matters
Those possessing the anti-capitalist mentality — so ascendant in our culture today — often critique market actors as being solely motivated by “greed.” Surely economic systems based on nobler motivations, they say, would better promote the long-run interests of the planet. These ideas ran through my head when I read about the new probate court “fees” approved by the Connecticut legislature this month, reinforcing its status as being among the worst states in which to die. The “fees” were justified on an expected budget shortfall of $32 million that the legislature wanted to fill, but I wondered: Where was the outcry from the greed-police?
- Chinese shares tumble 8.5 percent in biggest one-day drop since 2007 (Reuters)
- Japan’s Economy Shrank Last Quarter, Top Forecaster Says (BBG)
- Creditor teams in Athens to work on third bailout (AFP)
- Tsipras’s Paradox Is Six Months of Pain and Enduring Popularity (BBG)
- Goldman-Backed Instant Messaging Company Seeks New Investment (WSJ)
- Best Buy will sell the Apple Watch on August 7th (Engadget) - when is it coming to Dollar General?
- Senate votes to revive Ex-Im (Hill)
- U.S.-Turkey Deal Paves Way to Set Up Buffer Zone in Northern Syria (WSJ)
If the U.S. economy really is improving, then why are big U.S. retailers permanently shutting down thousands of stores?
“What’s going on is the customers don’t have the f***ing money. That’s it. This isn’t rocket science.”