It has been a rough start to a new year as all of the gains following the end of the Federal Reserve's flagship "QE-3" campaign have been erased. There is currently little concern by the majority of Wall Street analysts that anything is currently wrong with the markets. While earnings estimates are rapidly being guided down, it is likely only a temporary issue due to plunging oil prices. However, not to worry, the economy is set to continue its upward growth trajectory. Maybe that is the case. But as investors we should always have a watchful eye on the things that could possibly go wrong that could lead to a rapid decline in investment capital.
Remember, years ago, when the markets were a mechanism for honest price discovery and a gathering place for buyers and sellers to participate in open, unvarnished capitalism?
The majority of the jobs "created" since the financial crisis have been lower wage paying jobs in retail, healthcare and other service sectors of the economy. Conversely, the jobs created within the energy space are some of the highest wage paying opportunities available in engineering, technology, accounting, legal, etc. In fact, each job created in energy related areas has had a "ripple effect" of creating 2.8 jobs elsewhere in the economy from piping to coatings, trucking and transportation, restaurants and retail. Simply put, lower oil and gasoline prices may have a bigger detraction on the economy that the "savings" provided to consumers.
Another day, another Kermit kicks the can. .
The French are disarmed and utterly socialized. Millions of them march in Paris in a display of solidarity, but solidarity behind what solution? Even more government; the same government that created the problem in the first place? Even more centralization? The globalization of despotic security policies? The French have dug their grave, and now they are going to have to lie down in it. Americans do not have to follow the same path. We do not need more government. We do not need more surveillance, more police militarization or more troops on the streets. Make no mistake, many illusions are about to be shattered. You can be caught up in the storm as a helpless spectator and victim or you can become a barrier.
For all the hype about jobs and the booming (GDP) economy, the major portion of the retailer calendar around Christmas was a total bust. In many ways it was worse than last year, which emphasizes simply how the business “cycle” as it was understood in textbook economics no longer applies. In other words, the dichotomy between growing pessimism in credit/funding and economists is due to the continued failure of the economy to produce what economists expect.
Remaining fully invested in the financial markets without a thorough understanding of your "risk exposure" will likely not have the desirable end result you have been promised. All five of the charts below have linkages to each other, and when one goes, they will all go. So pay attention to the details.
The current premise is that global equities markets will rise regardless of economic fundamentals. Money must flow into equities [perceived as the only asset class capable of producing “acceptable” returns] because the alternatives offer virtually no return…with interest rates pinned near zero in most western economies. Just buy any equity [akin to dart throwing] and a “greater fool than you” will buy after your purchase, at a higher price, ad infinitum... thus ever increasing the asset’s value This is such an obviously flawed argument on so many levels... albeit, like almost any strategy, is surprisingly effective from time to time.
When the citizenry cease to believe the lies, the nation suffers a nervous breakdown.
Do you know what an “extremist” is? In the wake of the horrible terror attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in France, Barack Obama is speaking very boldly about the need to win the war against “extremists”, and he has announced plans to host a major global summit on “extremism” next month. And on the surface that sounds great. But precisely how are we supposed to determine whether someone is an “extremist” or not? What criteria should we use?
For Sale To The Highest Bidder – How Middle Eastern Governments Are Buying Off The US Political ProcessSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/13/2015 23:15 -0500
The quaint notion that the U.S. political system remotely resembles either a Republic or a Democracy should have been abandoned long ago. Any lingering illusions were surely extinguished last year, when an academic study empirically proved that the USA is nothing more than a corrupt oligarchy...
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.