David Rosenberg

ECRI Leading Economic Index Plunges At -6.9% Rate, Back To December 2007 Levels When Recession Officially Started

It's getting close: the fabled -10% annualized change (see David Rosenberg) which guarantees a recession is now just 3.1% away, which at this rate of collapse will be breached in two weeks. The ECRI is now at December 2007 levels, the time when the last recession officially started. The index dropped from an annualized revised -5.8% (previously -5.7%) to -6.9%. As a reminder, from Rosie, "It is one thing to slip to or fractionally below the zero line, but a -3.5% reading has only sent off two head-fakes in the past, while accurately foreshadowing seven recessions — with a three month lag. Keep your eye on the -10 threshold, for at that level, the economy has gone into recession … only 100% of the time (42 years of data)." We are practically there.

China's Trade Balance By Country, And Why The FX Action Is Less Of A Deal Than The Media Will Have You Believe

As every kitchen sink appears to have a definitive opinion on the impact on the CNY rebalance, we would like to step back for a second and present a historical chart of the country's trade balances not only in total, but by individual country. As the chart shows, and as David Rosenberg also highlights, providing a blanket summary as to the impact of a CNY revaluation is a rather foolhardy thing: while China may enjoy a positive trade surplus with the US and EU, it certainly has a trade deficit with some other key producer countries, namely Korea ($61 billion LTM), Japan ($47 billion), Taiwan ($79 billion), and Australia ($27 billion). So while it could be argued that the US and EU's manufacturing sectors benefit from a stronger Yuan, what happens to the exports of the traditional Chinese partners? Absent the PBoC going full tilt and scaling up its imports across the board, there will be some very unhappy traditional Chinese trade counterparts. Although in this age, when even presumably smart economists beckon to "Spend now, save tomorrow", why bother with something as simple as the Capital to Current account equality. China should buy up everything, and use reverse money or something to then reinvest the reverse proceeds from all the exports into sovereign bonds... or something.

Don Coxe Dissects Gold, As "The Oldest-Established Store Of Value Moves To Center Stage"

Don Coxe of Coxe Advisors is out with his latest monthly newsletter, a must read report on why the Loonie may be a better investment than both the CNY and the USD combined, why investors should beware of Greeks baring facts, the BP disaster, and, most importantly, quotes Browning, in an extensive analysis of gold: "Leave the fire ashes. What survives is gold."

ECRI Index Continues To Plunge, Drops By 2.2 To -5.7, And Just 4.3 Away From "Guaranteed" Double Dip Territory

The ECRI weekly leading index is continuing its accelerating dive, and is now well into negative territory, hitting -5.7 for the past week: a 2.2 decline from the prior week. Here is why, as David Rosenberg, this is a critical indicator, and why we may have just 4.3 more points to go before the critical -10 threshold: "It is one thing to slip to or fractionally below the zero line, but a -3.5% reading has only sent off two head-fakes in the past, while accurately foreshadowing seven recessions — with a three month lag. Keep your eye on the -10 threshold, for at that level, the economy has gone into recession … only 100% of the time (42 years of data)." At this rate of decline -10 will be taken out in the first week of July.

Low Volumy, With An 80% Probability Of A Double Dip

Last week, we pointed out that the ECRI Leading Index dipped to negative for the first time in over a year, which on a historical basis tends to predict a recession with surprising regularity. Today, David Rosenberg takes this data and expands on his views of the probability of a double dip.An interesting observation: when the ECRI drops to -10 (from the current -3.5, and plunging at the fastest rate in history), the economy has gone into a recession 100% of the time, based on 42 years of data. At the current rate of collapse, this means in two months we should know with certainty if the double dip has now arrived.

Is The Market Correction Over?

Now that the market has decisively entered into correction territory, two of the most bullish investment banks around, Goldman and Deutsche Bank, are long overdue for reports that describe just how this event was dully expected and in fact, priced in, and that investors should in now way draw and conclusions about a potential recession emerging from something as innocuous as a recession. Furthermore, the 10%+ pullback is "perfectly normal", and has no impact on either Goldman's 1,250 or DB's 1,375 end of year target for the S&P. And yet, there is a 'but' - both firms now sound far less confident than they did a few short months ago, and the hedging of year end targets has begun (more so at GS than DB). And while Goldman's report is more focused on the European context, and is thus appreciably more bearish, Goldman's tone is far more subdued than Deutsche's, which is understandable: with assets at two thirds of German GDP, and with a government dead set on minimizing bank bailouts for the foreseeable future, the German bank has far less margin for reality than the primary recipient of Hank Paulson's bailout generosity.

Perspectives On Gold Demand

In today's letter, David Rosenberg, among other things, answers the question of where demand for gold is coming from. For many this is rhetorical: a mere glance at ETF gold accumulation, and PHYS' recent follow-on are sufficient. Today, GLD alone bought 8 tons of gold to hit a new all time record of 1,306 tonnes. Yet for some, like the author of the WSJ's ongoing hit piece on gold, this is not sufficient, so here is Rosie, patiently explaining to the cheap seats, that even at record prices, demand for gold is not going away.

Bearish Trio Complete: Albert Edwards Chimes In: "We Have Not Seen The Worst Yet"

First confirmed permabull Jim O'Neill presented 10 "grizzles" why the bear market may be coming back, then Bob Janjuah reiterated his very bearish outlook on life, and, right on cue, here is Albert Edwards with his latest crucifixion of unwarranted bullish sentiment."As we head into a double-dip, the current technical correction will rapidly turn into a resumption of the structural bear market for stocks. We have not seen the worst yet." Perhaps BMO's recommendation for a zero equity weighting is spot on...

Why The Ongoing Push To Inflate The Debt Overhang By The Fed Is Suicidal

One of the once again widely accepted market certainties is that the economy has now openly reentered a deflationary phase. Nothing surprising here, and it is consistent with huge demand for UST paper, as every incremental auction demonstrates, an outcome that will eventually confirm yet again that credit is leaps and bounds ahead of stocks (today's most recent record of gold priced in Euros is not an indication of inflation or deflation, but merely of mistrust in paper - a totally separate dynamic). Yet, as always, the market is not efficient, and does not exist in its own vacuum - every analysis about market trends has to include at the very top, anassessment of what the Fed will and will not do. And the Fed is fully determined to inflate the economy by any means necessary: the debt maturity cliff in CRE, in Financials, and even in the LBO HY names, is rapidly approaching (yes, that long REIT trade may soon be in jeopardy if nothing is done to "fix" the first issue). Therefore Bernanke has T minus 2 years and counting to pull an ink-stained rabbit out of his monetary printer. The problem, as David Rosenberg points out in his letter from today, is that due to the short maturity profile of government paper, an all out attempt to reflate will certainly lead to that most expected black swan of all - a failed bond auction, absent fully-blown debt monetization. It would also have various other unpleasant side effects, such as a complete eventual collapse of the economy, which is the second backstop reason why gold will likely continue going higher, despite numerous risky-asset liquidation episodes still to come.

Why Incomes Are So Much More Important Than Jobs

After today's NFP number, even the most rosy-eyed optimists know that the jobs situation in the US is if not openly reverting into a double dip yet, then certainly scraping the bottom. What many are confused about is just why Obama and Biden were touting today's NFP so aggressively: the massive disappointment in the market post the announcement leaves only two possible explanations: 1) the president's advisors are all truly incompetent and have no idea what the market perceives as good or bad news, or 2) this was a calculated move to send markets lower, which in turn would hit the euro. If the latter is indeed the case, the question remains whether this is a benevolent (assist European exporters) or malevolent (throw Europe into unfixable turmoil) move. The response should be made clear long before the mid-term elections. Yet even with all these open items, the bottom line is that today's BLS report was very much irrelevant. As David Rosenberg highlights, it is not the actual employment, it's the income that this employment generates, that is important. And as he observes: "real organic income is still not growing and down nearly $500 billion from pre-recession levels."

The WSJ's Hit Piece On Gold

The WSJ issues an amusing hit piece on why gold is nothing but a "Ponzi Scheme", ignoring the fact that by its definition the stock market is precisely the very same. Either way, since we are seeing no let up in the currency debasement department of Central Banks, and gold continuing to trade near record highs, it is a good thing to occasionally have a shake out of the weak hands. After all it will merely provide far better entry prices for countries like Russia, which as we disclosed recently, have been buying up all the IMF has to sell in the open market. At the end of the day - the opinion of Brett Arends or of David Einhorn, David Rosenberg, Jim Rickards, Eric Sprott, and, oh yeah, John Paulson.

Gold To $10,000?

Gold At $6,000? That was so May 2010. The next target, according to deflationist David Rosenberg, may be $10,000.