Smart Money

Why The Friedman/Bernanke Thesis About The Great Depression Was Dead Wrong

No, Ben S. Bernanke will be someday remembered as the world’s most destructive battleship admiral. Not only was he fighting the last war, but his whole multi-trillion money printing campaign after September 15, 2008 was aimed at avoiding an historical Fed mistake that had never even happened!

3 Things: "You Should Buy, Professionals Need To Sell"

Every day when you flip on the media, there is someone telling you that now is the time to "buy" into the market. Of course, if you are buying, then who is selling? The only "net buyers" of equities this year have been "individuals," while "professional" firms have been "net sellers." This is the epitome of the classic "smart money/dumb money" analysis where individuals are used by institutions to offload positions that are no longer optimal. The question is with corporate profits and earnings declining, weak economic data, and the threat of tighter monetary policy - will individuals once again be left "holding the bag" while institutions derisk portfolios in advance of the next decline?

"Smart Money" Sold Stocks For Third Consecutive Week To Corporate Buybacks, Scrambling Shorts

Last week, in the aftermath of dovish announcements by first the ECB and then the PBOC, the S&P500 jumped another 2.1% rising to its best level since early August. But who was buying? We now know who wasn't: according to BofA "BofAML clients were net sellers of US stocks for the third consecutive week, in the amount of $1.7bn. Similar to in the prior two weeks, institutional clients, hedge funds, and private clients alike were all net sellers."

Peak Housing 2.0: Sam Zell Dumps 23,000 Apartments In 2007 Deja Vu

Why is the deal particularly notable? Because Zell has traditionally had a very keen nose about such things as "market peaks": the 74 years old is credited with calling the top of the real-estate market in 2007, when he sold another of his companies, Equity Office Properties Trust, to Blackstone for $23 billion. Soon after, the commercial-property market crashed as prices fell and debt defaults surged when it became apparent that subprime was not contained.

Hedge Funds Suffer Worst Year Since 2011

Following the latest hedge fund underperformance, it is no longer possible to ignore the obvious:in the year in which central banks will unleash the greatest amount of liquidity in the "markets" in history, and where we have seen at least 77 easing steps taken by global central banks, hedge funds are poised to record their worst performance since 2011, according to JPM.

"Hedge Fund Hotels" Blow Up: September Slams Billionaire Stock Pickers

In August, hedge funds blamed risk-parity funds for their dramatic underperformance. In September, the underperformance continued however this time, with risk-parity funds supposedly buying stocks, one can't blame them. To be sure, some such as Ackman whose 20 million shares of Valeant are hurting badly, will blame the Martin Shkrelis of the world for the biggest biotech tumble in years, but others may have to bite the bullet and admit it is their own lack of ability to come up with alpha in a centrally-planned "market" that is the reason.

Guest Post: It’s Not If But When

Since the 2008 crash there has been much talk about how the fundamentals have not been dealt with and the fact that the can has only been kicked down the road. Political mavericks and commentators such as Ron Paul have frequently pointed out that nothing has really changed and that we are heading for even bigger disasters ahead if we continue to play ostrich... The truth is that we never left the economic downturn – we are currently in a period of manipulation that’s sole purpose is to mask the fact that there has not been a boom (or recovery if you like) to trigger the next bust.

"(Not Always) Smart Money" Hedgers Are Record Long S&P 500 Futures

The only other time the S&P 500 Hedgers’ net long position exceeded 60,000 contracts was... September 25-October 9, 2007. We may or may not have to remind you that October 9, 2007 marked the all-time high in the S&P 500 to that point – and for 6 years to follow. Obviously, this was decidedly NOT a well-timed long extreme.

Soros, Icahn And Major New Players Rushing Into Gold: "Things Are In The Works As We Speak"

"I do believe that markets ultimately prevail. I do believe that supply and demand will ultimately prevail. I’m confident that we will see that occur... The fact there are some very substantial new players coming into the sector and taking positions in gold and silver... I think that’s showing that things will change and I think things are in the works as we speak."

For Hedge Funds, The Real Pain Is Only Just Starting

Presenting Exhibit A: Goldman's latest YTD performance breakdown by strategy basket. It reveals is that far from suffering even the most modest correction, the "Hedge Fund Hotel" strategy (aka the most concentrated holdings), is massively outperforming not only the broader market, but has returned double the second most profitable strategy - investing in companies with high revenue growth. In a world in which the Fed just saw its credibility crushed, expect this to change shortly.

Selling The Blips

If anyone has not noticed, the market has changed from rewarding buying the dips to rewarding selling the blips. Selling the blips is how smart money leaves markets. Smart money is also big money. There is too much of it to fit through the exit door at the same time. That is why market crashes rarely occur in a day (August of 1987 was an exception) or even short periods like a month. Even the Great Depression took multiple years for the stock market to reach its ultimate bottom.

The Elite Have Prepared For The Coming Collapse – Have You?

Why are the global elite buying extremely remote compounds that come with their own private airstrips in the middle of nowhere on the other side of the planet?  And why did they start dumping stocks like crazy earlier this year?  Do they know something that the rest of us don’t?

If You Think That Was A Crash...

Last week’s volatility to the downside was entirely predictable, as the first leg down during this ongoing market crash reached the correction stage of 11%. The technical bounce was a given, as the 30 year old HFT MBAs on Wall Street have been trained like rats to BTFD. In their lemming like minds, it has worked for the last six years of this Federal Reserve created “bull market”, so why wouldn’t it work now. Last week was their first lesson in why it doesn’t work during bear markets, and we’ve entered a bear market. John Hussman seems amused at the shallowness of the arguments by Wall Street shills and CNBC cheerleaders about the future of the stock market in his weekly letter. After this modest pullback from all-time highs, the S&P 500 is still overvalued by 92%...

BofA Saw Record "Buying Across The Board" Last Week, Just Before The Market Resumed Sliding

Llast week, during which the S&P 500 was up 0.9% as the market rebounded off of Tuesday’s lows, BofAML clients were net buyers of $5.6bn of US stocks—the biggest inflow in our data history (since ’08) following five weeks of selling. The last time  flows were close to these levels was during the (less extreme) volatility in early January of this year, as well as following the Tech/Biotech sell-off in early 2014 (see chart below). Net buying last week was broad based—while no client group saw record flows relative to its own history, hedge funds, institutional clients and private clients were all big net buyers which led to record inflows when combined.