Goldman Sachs

Why The Stock Market Is Detached From The Economy

The recent mid-term elections sent a very clear message to Washington, D.C., which was simply "the economy sucks."  While statistical economic data suggests that the economy is rapidly healing, it has only been so for a very small percentage of the players. For most American's they have only watched the "rich" prosper as the Federal Reserve put Wall Street before Main Street. Stock buybacks, dividends and acquisitions are great for those that have money invested in the financial markets, however, for the rest of America it is only a spectator sport. The risk to the markets currently is that the wave of deflationary pressures engulfing the globe have only begun to wash back on the domestic economy. The drag on exports, combined with the potential for extremely cold winter weather, puts both economic and earnings growth rate projections at risk. With the markets in extremely overvalued territory, the risks to investors clearly outweigh the rewards over the long-term.

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Chris Martenson is an economic researcher and futurist, specializing in energy and resource depletion, and co-founder of PeakProsperity.com. As one of the early econobloggers who forecasted the housing market collapse and stock market correction years in advance, Chris rose to prominence with the launch of his seminal video seminar, The Crash Course, that interconnected forces in the economy, energy, and the environment that are shaping the future, one that will be defined by increasing challenges as we have known it. Chris’s insights are in high demand by the media as well as academic, civic, and private organizations around the world, including institutions such as the U.N., the U.K. House of Commons, and the U.S. State Legislatures. So with that we’d like to welcome Mr. Chris

Are You Expecting A Recession?

Recession is a useless discussion by now. The US is a painted pig, the EU needs to let countries go or they’ll go to war, Japan hung its head in a noose for Halloween and China has its 32nd consecutive month of falling factory-gate prices. Lower oil prices may for now hide some of the pain, but even that is too much for Japan, because of the deflationary effect of even less consumer spending. And it’s that lack of spending that’s everyone’s worst enemy. But you can’t solve that with central bank stimulus. The formerly rich world is loaded with burger flippers, food stamps and underwater homes, and that means less, not more, spending. All ‘formerly rich’ governments have historically unequaled spin doctors on their payroll, so the real numbers across the board are much much worse even then what we are ‘allowed’ to know. And what we do know is already awful once you sweep away the propaganda. You’re only going to be OK as an investor if the Fed continues to hold your hand and lead you softly through the ups and downs. You really think they will? Recession? In your dreams.

And The Biggest "Source Of Equity Demand In Recent Years", According To Goldman Sachs, Is...

Spoiler alert: it's not the Fed, even though the portfolio rebalancing channel courtesy of a $4.5 trillion Fed balance sheet certainly assured that the artificially inflated bubble in stocks, as a result of the Fed's own purchases of bonds, is unlike anything seen before (and to all those debating whether the bubble is in bonds or stocks, here is the answer: it is in both). The answer, according to Goldman's David Kostin is the following: "From a strategic perspective, buybacks have been the largest source of overall US equity demand in recent years."

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Dr. Faber prudently advises clients not only to diversify among asset classes but to also to diversify within asset classes. We share this view. We advise our clients to hold gold and silver in various locations and in various forms but always in secure vaults and safe jurisdictions such as Singapore or Switzerland.

US Economy Shudders: East Coast Set To Freeze As Polar Vortex 2 Arrives

Remember when last December, a bout of cold weather crushed the US economy for the next 3 months, and subtracted about $100 billion from trendline growth, and when one after another economist (who were then predicting the yield on the 10 Year would "greatly rotate" to 4% by right about now, and who expected the US economy to have reached escape velocity in the second half only to see a 2014 GDP trendline as follows Q2: 4.6%, Q3: 3.5% (soon to be reviser lower), and Q4 now estimated just about 2.0%) blamed the then -3.0% GDP print on snow in the winter? Well here comes round two, because as CBS reports, "prepare for an invasion from the north. A blast of polar air is about to send temperatures plunging in the heart of America." The polar vortex is back, and this time it means even less business: A mass of whirling cold air will dip southward this weekend, sending the mercury plunging. As the cold air moves south and east, it has the potential to affect as many as 243 million people with wind chills in the single digits in some places and snow.

Speculators Have Never Been More Long The Dollar

After a brief hiatus the previous week, speculators have piled back into the most-over-crowded trade in the world - Long The US Dollar. As Goldman Sachs notes, overall USD speculative net long positioning increased $2.0bn to $45.7bn - a new record high.

Pandemic Implications

The recent spread of Ebola has led to a tragic loss of human lives and stands to devastate West African economies. As the situation has evolved, and despite the equity market's apparent belief that it's all over, Goldman has examined the global economic and market implications of the outbreak.

PBOC Dashes Hope/Hype For System-Wide Chinese Rate Cuts

Following the release of the quarterly monetary policy report from the People’s Bank of China, it is becoming clear, as Goldman Sachs notes, that stimulus - via cuts to system-wide RRR and/or benchmark interest rates - is becoming less and less likely. The PBOC's introduction of a new facility called the medium-term lending facility (MLF) allows 'targeted' easing, and as one local economist noted, "it shows the central bank is very reluctant to loosen monetary policy." The PBOC has broadened its toolkit to arrest an economic slowdown, while seeking to avoid adding financial risks, as The PBOC said it would "continue to implement a 'prudent' monetary policy and use various tools to manage liquidity." Not the exuberant stimulus-fest the talking-heads are calling for reminding us, as Pettis previously concluded, "In China, it will be no different. Growth miracles have always been the relatively easy part; it is the subsequent adjustment that has been the tough part."

Physical Gold Shortage Worst In Over A Decade: GOFO Most Negative Since 2001

As noted over the past week there has been a massive shortage of precious metals - most notably silver which as of this moment is indefinitely unavailable at the US Mint - as a result of the tumble in the paper price, and following 8 days of sliding and negative 1 month GOFO rates, today the physical metal shortage surged, as can be seen by not only the first negative 6 month GOFO rate since last summer's much publicized gold shortage when China was gobbling up every piece of shiny yellow rock available for sale, but a 1 month GOFO of -0.1850%: the most negative it has been since 2001!

Goldman's Midterm Election Post Mortem

Republicans have won majorities in the House and Senate. Results in some states have not yet been finalized, but Republican gains appear to be somewhat larger than most observers expected. On the bright side, Goldman expects a more active legislative agenda (gettng things done) but on the more worrying side, they warn of risk of renewed uncertainty ahead of fiscal deadlines.

Goldman Shows "Equity Bust" Risk Highest Since 2008

With the equity market back to near-historical highs, Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius revisits his analysis of the predictability of asset price busts. The main predictors of busts are past asset price appreciation and past credit growth, followed by a rising investment/GDP ratio. Hatzius warns that their model says that the further US equity price gains of 2014 have pushed the risk of an equity bust back up - as the chart below shows to levels not seen since 2008/9. Interestingly, the main factor holding down the risk of another bust, especially in the housing market, is the weakness of credit growth since the crisis.