"The first half of 2017 could look like a normal business cycle, but in the second half it seems plausible the cycle in the US could face significant challenges, and so could equities. The potential problems are as follows."
The US intelligence community has released the unclassified findings of its investigation into what it says was Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and Russia's RT.com apparently takes a significant chunk of the blame, "by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences." Or does it?
"I have been reflecting for quite a while on the destructive effects that fake and distorted media are having on our society’s well-being...This is not just a fringe media problem; it is a mainstream media problem... and it is questionable whether the world will be just fine if this fake and distorted media epidemic is not arrested."
Since Trump’s election, the US stock market has climbed unstoppably along a remarkably steep path to round off at a teetering height. Is this the irrational exuberance that typically marks the last push before a perilous plunge?
"Markets don’t have a purpose any more - they just reflect whatever central planners want them to. Why wouldn’t it lead to the biggest collapse? My strategy doesn’t require that I’m right about the likelihood of that scenario. Logic dictates to me that it’s inevitable..."
As we head into 2017, trying to predict the markets is often quite pointless. The risk for investors is “willful blindness” that builds when complacency reaches extremes. It is worth remembering that the bullish mantra we hear today is much the same as it was in both 1999 and 2007. We don’t need to remind you what happened next.
Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index has never been higher than it is today. The “Trumphoria” that has gripped the nation ever since Donald Trump’s miraculous victory on election night shows no signs of letting up. Tens of millions of Americans that were deeply troubled by Barack Obama’s policies over the last eight years are feeling optimistic about the future for the first time in a very long time. But of course not everything is rainbows and unicorns...