Social Mood

Stock Market Bubble Will Pop, Social Mood Will Get Extremely Ugly

Buying equities will put additional pressure on corporate CEOs to cut expenses and to postpone investments, fostering even greater Main Street resentment toward the financial elite. Consumer confidence won’t rise as consumption and economic growth stagnate. Having so clearly sided with owners of capital, rather than the employees of capital, global central banks are likely to become an easy target for populist ire.

Do Newly Built Skyscrapers Signal The Top Of The Stock Market?

In the market, extreme optimism results in price bubbles. One of the real-life manifestations of extremely positive social mood is the construction of enormous buildings. Market tops and skyscrapers often seem to emerge simultaneously, because both phenomena are the result of the illusion of infinite prosperity. But extreme psychological conditions do not last very long...

In Latest Shocking Twist, Brazil Impeachment Back On Track After Lawmaker Revokes His Own Annulment Call

Another day, another stunning reversal in Brazil's neverending Rousseff impeachment saga. Just hours after Brazilian stocks and currency tumbled when the head of Brazil's lower house Waldir Maranhao said he would annul the soon to be former president's impeachment process, the drive to oust President Dilma Rousseff is once again back on track after Maranhao reversed a decision that had earlier threatened to throw the entire impeachment process into chaos.

All Is Not Well In Leveraged Speculation-Land

Not many months ago bullish Wall Street strategists and pundits were celebrating the backdrop. It appeared to many that global central bankers had mastered the perpetual “money” machine. Markets could only go higher. Yet one would have to be delusional not to recognize the darkening clouds overtaking the world and U.S. Look no further than global terrorist attacks, geopolitical tension and the sour U.S. political discourse as confirmation that All is Not Well.

The Biggest Short

Some reversals of financial trends prove so momentous they define the generation in which they occur. The stock market crash in 1929 kicked off the Great Depression, which ushered in the welfare and then the warfare state and redefined the relationship between government and citizens. Bonds and stocks began their bull market runs in the early 1980s. Now, those markets are fonts of optimism increasingly unhinged from reality. The US has come full circle. The New Deal and World War II marked a massive shift of resources and power to the federal government. Conversely, financial reversal will fuel a virulent backlash against the government and its central bank.

Trumpomania & Trumpopanic

The country’s social mood is apparently ripe and it finally seems actually possible for a perceived outsider to win by challenging the established order. Our main regret is that it wasn’t yet ripe at the time Ron Paul tried his hand at winning the nomination. Everything Trump is saying and doing should probably be seen in the context of his strategy. It’s quite Machiavellian actually. The alleged lack of discernible policy stances, the occasional contradictions and often hair-raising statements are all in pursuit of the same goal: to win the nomination. Other than that, we mainly enjoy the growing discomfort of assorted cronies and professional politicians.

"My Career Basically Ended Today": What Is Really Happening In China

Liu Lang, a Chinese migrant worker, left his rural hometown in Sichuan Province two decades ago to work in the factories of the southern province of Guangdong, China’s manufacturing powerhouse. Now, he is moving back. “I worked my way up from a basic worker to a department head. And my career basically ended today,” Mr. Liu said on the train leaving Guangdong. Factories in Guangdong have been hit hard by the slowing economy, and many of them have closed, including the shoe factory where Mr. Liu worked.

Breadth, Buybacks, & The Piercing Of The "Grandaddy Of All Bubbles"

Global policymakers have gone to incredible measures to stabilize market, financial and economic backdrops. Yet reflationary measures will continue to only further destabilize. When policy-induced “risk on” is overpowering global securities markets, fragilities remain well concealed. Fragilities, however, swiftly manifest with the reappearance of “risk off.” Rather quickly securities markets demonstrate their proclivity for illiquidity and so-called “flash crashes.” So after an unsettled week in global markets, the critical issue is whether “risk on” is giving way to “risk off” dynamics.

Incumbents Are Being Swept From Office Around The World

Evidently, voters are in a very bad mood just about everywhere. Unfortunately, they are bereft of good choices in most places. Usually one essentially gets to exchange one bunch of psychopathic looters for another – so it is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Very often, things will simply go from bad to worse, as the underlying basic problems are usually misdiagnosed, resp. there is no-one willing to actually tackle them. Investors should pay very close attention to this trend...When the performance of financial markets diverges from underlying social mood trends, it is usually time to be very careful.

Putin's Approval Rating Reaches A New High

Vladimir Putin’s approval rating in Russia has soared to yet another all time high; leaving all those who don’t like Putin or were hoping for some sort of regime change in Russia continue to be out of luck. One reason why we are even posting about this is that the Western press has also reported on the event, employing a somewhat less neutral tone of voice. What makes the sour grapes style reporting in the Western media especially funny is that while it is true that the Kremlin exerts extraordinary influence on the media in Russia, one wonders in what way their reportage on Syria is different from the reporting in the happily self-censoring US mainstream media on the Iraq war, especially in the run-up to said war.

"You Get A New Car; You Get A New House" - Saudi Prince Alwaleed Hands Out Bribes To Saudi Citizens

In a dramatic show of faux generosity, staple CNBC commentator and billionaires, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who several years ago sued Forbes for "underestimating" his net worth at "only" $20 billion (Forbes won) decided to show the world just how noble (and rich) he is. According to Arabian Business, Alwaleed Philanthropies, chaired by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has given out "10,000 housing units and 10,000 cars to Saudi citizens who are eligible as per the criteria set by the organisation."