I gave a 45-minute presentation on Yield Purchasing Power at American Institute for Economic Research in Great Barrington, MA on October 14, 2016. I am grateful to the Institute for recording video of my presentation plus extended Q&A.
QE was never a cure but simply a means to extend and pretend just a bit longer. Could it be the pretending and extending have hit some sort of limit and the Fed fears the next Fed administered "cure" may kill the patient?
As the Millennials are making their way into adulthood, countless economists and nervous Boomers have pinned their hopes on this generation to kickstart the moribund US economy. There are 3 basic sources of consumptive growth in a nation with twin budget and trade deficits... population growth, wage growth, and/or credit growth and population growth the greatest among these to drive greater demand. So, the growth of the population, and the Millennials in particular, is worth a pretty close look.
The changing source of not in labor force is exactly opposite of the historical norm and opposite conventional wisdom. It is also an economic cancer as these millions from among the 16-54 are not building job skills, savings, or self sufficiency. They will not be home buyers nor drive economic activity. They will essentially be a lifelong societal burden.
Gold retains a key role of a major diversifier in well-structured retail investment and pension portfolios ... core defensive and hedging properties vis-à-vis global currencies and fixed income, as well as oil and a range of other commodities.
One of the strategies that has emerged in the post-squeeze normal is cornering the most illiquid stocks, and pushing them up, or down with relative ease due to the lack of liquidity and/or broad participation. But how does one go about quantifying what are the most illiquid stocks: is it the ones that trade the least on any given day (a double edge sword, because exiting a position would be that much more problematic after pushing the prices to any desired level), or is it simply those where individual trades have the highest price impact? One suggested answer is to look at the equities whose current float is a small fraction of their total outstanding stock.
If the central banks' intention was to convert "hedge" funds into what are essentially plain vanilla long-onlies (understandable in a world in which being long the most shorted names generates outsized returns year after year), they have succeeded.
The Russell 3000 — to which more than $5 trillion in assets were benchmarked as of 2013 — will be reconstituted next month based on market capitalizations calculated at the end of trading today. Here's what you need to know...
We have all read the latest crop of media articles challenging gold’s investment relevance. The typical approach to bearish gold analysis is to attribute hypothetical fears to gold investors, and then point out these concerns have failed to materialize. Sprott believes the investment thesis for gold is a bit more complex than simplistic motivations commonly cited in financial press. We would suggest gold’s relatively methodical advance since the turn of the millennium has had less to do with investor fears of hyperinflation or U.S. dollar collapse than it has with persistent desire to allocate a small portion of global wealth away from traditional financial assets and the fiat currencies in which they are priced.
Since one should always do the opposite of what Goldman recommends (because that is what Goldman itself is trading), the following is a perfectly suitable, and free, substitute of the SQZZ ETF: all one needs to do is go long the stocks Goldman recommends to short, go short the stocks Goldman thinks will be squeezed, and wait for the money to roll in courtesy of Goldman's flow and prop traders.
Risk is no longer priced into anything. Volatility has gone to sleep. Uniformity of thought has taken over the stock market. Complacency has reached a point where even central banks have begun to worry about it: the idea that markets can only go up – once entrenched, which it is – leads to financial instability because no one is prepared when that theory suddenly snaps. But all this bullishness, this complacency is only skin deep.Beneath the layer of the largest stocks, volatility has taken over ruthlessly, the market is in turmoil, people are dumping stocks wholesale, and dreams and hopes are drowning in red ink.
Aside from an opening short-squeeze that saw 'most-shorted' stocks surge 0.8% in the first 15 minutes of the day, stocks did very little for the rest of the day. Ranges were extremely narrow with whatever lift stocks got based on small AUDJPY (carry) sparks but the Dow and S&P end the day red (Nasdaq and Russell 2000 green). Nasdaq was driven by AAPL exuberance (what no a new iPhone model??) which grabbed the Tech sector to the best peformance on the day. Utes were the biggest losers as rates reversed early gains and Treasury yields (especially 30Y) surged 6-7 bps from their per-open low yields. The big story was precious metals as Silver and Gold surged on the day. Silver is now up over 9% in the last 3 days - its best run in 22 months. Interestingly, VIX was pushed notably lower on the day (but it appears investors are moving hedges further out in time - to September). Credit notably underperformed. Today was all about pre- and post-Europe (as normal).