Wall Street’s proclivity to create serial equity bubbles off the back of cheap credit has once again set up the middle class for disaster. The warning signs of this next correction have now clearly manifested, but are being skillfully obfuscated and trivialized by financial institutions. Nevertheless, here are ten salient warning signs that astute investors should heed as we roll into 2016.
The point is, if you are going to attempt to catch a proverbial falling knife on a chart, at least do so only at a point you deem to be a “make or break” type level. Whether or not you can likely accurately identify a “make or break” level is another matter. The point is that, should that level fail, like it did on the CRB Index a year ago, you know the security is broken and it is time to walk away.
If you think you're fighting the market, or the banks, or the Fed, you're dead wrong!
The sums in play are so staggering (an estimated $11 trillion in emerging market debts denominated in other currencies) that even the Fed won't be able to stop the meltdown.
If the Fed raises the short-term interest rates next month, it will do so only as a token. And it will continue doing so only as long as it has no negative effect on asset prices. Higher rates, in other words, will only happen as long as – and only insofar as – they are irrelevant. Should higher rates begin to do the work of tightening credit, as they are supposed to, the Fed will back off and fly to the aid of Wall Street and fellow bankers coast to coast. They have rigged the system to function on fraudulently low interest rates; now the fraud has gotten into its bones. The economy – especially the Wall Street economy – depends on cheap money. It will fall in a heap without it.
The torrid October, with its historic S&P500 point rally, is finally in the history books, and at least for a select group of hedge funds such as Glenview, Pershing Square and Greenlight and certainly their L.P.s, a very scary Halloween couldn't come fast enough, leading to losses between 15% and 20%. How did everyone else fare? Below, courtesy of Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid, is a summary of what worked in October (and YTD), and what didn't.
We can however state with confidence that the bubble will eventually burst and that the greatest monetary policy experiment of the post WW2 era will fail – in all likelihood quite spectacularly. So we have every reason to remain long term bullish on gold and gold-related investments. Moreover, by looking closely at past lows of significance we have hopefully been able to provide a bit of a road map in case the recent low does indeed represent a major pivot point.
Correction continues, but it is only a correction.
Here is the paradox as succinctly summarized by Deutsche Bank, which notes that the current -29% year-over-year drop in the CRB index implies YoY headline CPI inflation falling from 0.1% to -0.9% over the next couple of months, or just in time for the September or December FOMC meetings both proposed as the "lift off" date. This would be the largest year-over-year drop since September 2009 (-1.3%) and one of the lowest prints in modern history.
On a day when market participants will care about only one thing - how hawkish (or dovish) the FOMC sounds at 2:00 pm (no Yellen press conference today) - Chinese stocks provided the usual dramatic sideshow and traded unchanged or modestly negative for most of the day despite the latest $100 billion injection, the close of trading on Wednesday was a mirror image of what happened in the last hour on Monday, as various Chinese "plunge-protection" mechanism went into a furious buying frenzy and government-backed funds rushed to buy anything that trades in the last 60 minutes of trading in what may be the most glaring example of banging the close yet.
The biggest overnight story was neither out of China, where despite the ridiculous surge in new account openings and margin debt the SHCOMP dipped 08%, or out of Japan, where the Nikkei dropped 2.7%, the biggest drop in months, after the BOJ disappointed some by not monetizing more than 100% of net issuance and keeping QE unchanged, but Europe where for the second day in a row there was a furious selloff of Bunds at the open of trading, which briefly sent the yield on the 10Y to 0.38% (it was 0.6% two weeks ago), in turn sending the EURUSD soaring by almost 200 pips to a two month high of 1.1250, and weighing on US equity futures, before retracing some of the losses.
There is a tremendous denial by analysts and economists currently of the deteriorating economic underpinnings.
Can the US economy ignore or even benefit from the winds of deflation blowing from offshore? With a current CAPE (Cyclically Adjusted PE) in excess of 27X, the US market is clearly answering this question in the affirmative. It is worth pausing to ponder just how much this optimism for a US de-coupling has already been reflected in prices. The Solid Ground was very bullish on global equities from 1Q 2009 to 1Q 2011, but then turned bearish, believing that QE was insufficient to prevent deflation. The failure of QE to generate ever higher inflation is now a matter of record, but very clearly US equities cheered this failure and the need for continual QE from 2011 to 2014.
A bull market in the US Dollar is underway and its magnitude and duration are likely to catch everyone by surprise