Blind faith in policymakers remains a bad trade that’s still widely held. Pressure builds everywhere we look. Not as a consequence of the Fed’s ineptitude (which is a constant in the equation, not a variable), but through the blind faith markets continuing to place bets on the very low probability outcome – that everything will turn out well this time around. And so the pressure keeps rising. Managers are under pressure to perform and missing more targets, levering up on hope. Without further delay we present our slightly unconventional annual list. Instead of the usual what you should do, we prefer the more helpful (for us at least) what we probably wouldn’t do. Five fresh new contenders for what could become some very bad trades in the coming year.
The big selloff in 2015 will come from housing and housing-related investments as the marginal cost of capital rises through regulation and through “margin calls” on banks as their profit-to-GDP ratios grow too high for the economy to function properly. The dividend society is here and the true manifestation of Japanisation is not a future event but a thing we are living in right now…
We’ve landed in the next phase of what arguably started in 2007, but what you could place back many years before that, an economic system based on the fantasy that is debt driven growth, inflated by a factor of a trillion, give or take a few zeros. That system is in the process of dying. And the people who have tried to make you believe, and succeeded, that it would all be fine in the end, are now jockeying for position in the aftermath of the demise of a world built on debt. And they are the same people who built that world, profited from it to an insane degree, and want to use those profits to hang on to power in a world that will be dramatically different from the one they called the shots in. And that doesn’t bode well; it tells us violent clashes will be on the horizon.
The Bank of Korea - South Korea’s central bank - released data that says South Korean domestic deposits have reached 16.19 billion Chinese renminbi in July this year, which is a 55-fold increase from the same period last year when renminbi deposits accounted for only 290 million. The signs are clearly all there. Everyone realizes that the present system is on its way out and are taking appropriate measures. The Russians, the Germans, the French, the Brits, the Canadians, the Koreans…
"If you call a life of surveillance, anxiety and ceaseless toil in the service of a government you didn’t elect 'freedom', then you and I have a very different idea of what that word means." There are only two possible futures facing the United States, and neither one is pretty. Whether the collapse is gradual or gut-wrenchingly sudden, the results will be chaos, civil strife and fascism.
"It is a bad sign for the market when all the bears give up. If no-one is left to be converted, it usually means no-one is left to buy.” The extraordinarily low level of "bearish" outlooks combined with extreme levels of complacency within the financial markets has historically been a "poor cocktail" for future investment success.
History teaches clear lessons about how this episode will end – namely with a decline that wipes out years and years of prior market returns. The fact that few investors – in aggregate – will get out is simply a matter of arithmetic and equilibrium. The best that investors can hope for is that someone else will be found to hold the bag, but that requires success at what I’ll call the Exit Rule for Bubbles: you only get out if you panic before everyone else does. Look at it as a game of musical chairs with a progressively contracting number of greater fools.
The 30 statistics that you are about to read prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class in America is being systematically destroyed. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a staggering pace. Yes, the stock market has soared to unprecedented heights this year and there are a few isolated areas of the country that are doing rather well for the moment. But overall, the long-term trends that are eviscerating the middle class just continue to accelerate.
Look for a speech on Friday August 22nd by Janet Yellen where she officially signals financial markets that they better start finding their respective chairs.
The continuity bias is astounding as many with assets address this as an “extra rough patch” to get through rather than the clear paradigm shift it has been telegraphed to be.
We are entering a completely new era in economics. Either (1) if countries perceive that their borrowings curtail their ambitions (thus we have a check and balance), however (2) if countries cannot borrow, then they may invade and revert to the old Conquest Model relying upon the spoils of war, which included the confiscation of assets belonging to an adversary. Either Putin backs down, or he asserts the same principles and is then forced to invade in short-order just to economically survive.
Even if you don’t buy that QE and ZIRP will lead to a dollar collapse, you do have to admit that these Fed policies have severely brainwashed investors. The Federal Reserve is the boiler room operation that has pumped up the equities market by way of QE and ZIRP. You are investing in a pump-and-dump scam. And like in all such scams, you will lose. Clear enough for ya?
It has been revealed, thanks to Edward Snowden, that Google and other US tech companies received millions of dollars from the NSA for their compliance with the PRISM mass surveillance system. So just how close is Google to the US securitocracy?
"Google is getting WH [White House] and State Dept support and air cover. In reality they are doing things the CIA cannot do"
That Google was taking NSA money in exchange for handing over people’s data comes as no surprise. When Google encountered the big bad world, Google itself got big and bad.
With the ongoing musical chairs at the COMEX (focused on JPMorgan's volatile holdings), the bank's precious metals team now sees a number of reasons to be long gold. Noting the market's shrugging off of Paulson's unwind ("delivering an exclamation mark to define the end of the fall in gold stocks"), JPMorgan (ironically) suggests the questionable price action in the paper markets in light of unprecedented physical demand combined with the seasonal positives (and physical supply restrictions) all points to "getting long the gold space," with gold and silver miners offering value. The question remains, given that none of these are 'new' facts, why the change of heart now (especially as JPM is also buying)?