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.
Finland made the news recently by proposing a pilot program of guaranteed income for all, also known as Universal Basic Income: Desperate Finland Set To Unleash Helicopter Money Drop To All Citizens. Proponents claim Basic Income can be paid by redirecting existing welfare programs, but a quick review reveals this as nonsense.
It had been a relatively quiet session overnight when as reported previously, the geopolitical situation in the middle east changed dramatically in a moment, when NATO-member country Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet allegedly over Turkish territory even though the plane crashed in Syria, and whose pilots may have been captured by local rebel forces. The news promptly slammed Turkish assets and FX, sending the Lira tumbling, pushing lower European stocks and US equity futures while sending 2 Year German Bunds to record negative yields.
Sometimes you just have to stand in awe at the level of corruption and incompetence in government.
Angered that Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. pay very little tax, an entire town in Wales decided to employ the exact same tax strategies used by big companies to reduce their own tax burdens. As the proprietor of the local smokery put it, the plan is "jolly clever." Doing this is not immoral or unpatriotic.
This time is always different just before a bone-crushing decline.
The talking heads were busy this week powdering the GDP pig. By averaging up the “disappointing” 1.5% gain for Q3 with the previous quarter they were able to pronounce that the economy is moving forward at an “encouraging” 2% clip. And once we get through this quarter’s big negative inventory adjustment, they insisted, we will be off to the ‘escape velocity’ races. Again. No we won’t! The global economy is in an epochal deflationary swoon and the US economy has already hit stall speed. It is only a matter of months before this long-in-the-tooth 75-month old business expansion will rollover into outright liquidation of excess inventories and hoarded labor. That is otherwise known as a recession.
Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for Obamacare, it gets worse.
Following the first ever congressional hearing on “Stingray” cellphone surveillance, new details reveal the Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service are also using the controversial spying devices.
Yes, the United States is one of the greatest places in the world... to be a consumer. If you want to shop, spend, and consume, the US is pretty damn near #1 in the world. But if you want to build. If you want to create. If you want to be a producer in the United States... it’s a whole different story.
- Canada's Trudeau topples PM Harper in shock election win (Reuters)
- Where Canada’s Harper Hit Hurdles (WSJ)
- Pugnacious Trudeau Steps Out of Father's Shadow and Into Power (BBG)
- European Stocks Decline, Euro Rallies as ECB QE Optimism Fades (BBG)
- Valeant, Under Pressure About Price Increases, Plans Changes (WSJ)
- Syrian rebels say they receive more weapons for Aleppo battle (Reuters)
"There are so many fault lines that the nation seems consumed by a conflict of all against all... there is an inevitable “revolution” coming because our politics, culture, education, economics and even philanthropy are so polarized that the country can no longer resolve its differences."
Here is the Clinton family's adjused gross income since 2007. The summary: $139.1 million in income since 2007, most of it thanks to speeches starting at $225,000 and going much higher. And that is your "everyday Americans."
Just the tip of the iceberg?
Assuming "growth" will fund all promised pensions and entitlements is magical thinking. We're going to have to do better than indulge our Spoiled Brat Economy mindset because "we wuz promised." What we were promised based on faulty assumptions, faulty projections and wishful thinking no longer matters.