Purchasing Power

Is America The Greatest Country In The World?

Yes, the United States is one of the greatest places in the world... to be a consumer. If you want to shop, spend, and consume, the US is pretty damn near #1 in the world. But if you want to build. If you want to create. If you want to be a producer in the United States... it’s a whole different story.

The Central Bankers' Death Wish

There is no alternative except to take cover because the latest stock market rip is based on pure central bank hopium. Indeed, Mario Draghi has confirmed once again that the world’s central bankers have a monetary death wish. Unlike the gamblers who bought Cramer’s top 49 stock picks, the best course of action is to sell, sell, sell—–and do it now.

Peak Debt, Peak Doubt, & Peak Double-Down

Investors are too complacent (the Minsky-Moment).  Too many are still trying to profit from the Fed subsidy of past stimulus. Investors remain loaded in risk assets, incentivized by the need to beat peers and benchmarks and comforted into complacency by the Fed ‘put’. The true level of risk is being ignored. The pervasive mentality of seeking maximum risk has become a terrible risk/reward trade for two main reasons...

Wall Street's Latest Bounce - Ostrich Economics At Work

It is more evident than ever that the world economy is heading into a deflationary conflagration, but today’s generation of house trained bulls wouldn’t recognize a warning if it slapped them upside their horns. They refused once again last week to exit the casino because they got another signal from Hilsenramp that the Fed is on “hold” until at least next March. Call it Ostrich Economics. But do it quick. Those side-effects are coming to the casino some day real soon.

China Vs. United States: A Visual Tale Of Two Economies

The United States has had the world’s largest economy for about 140 years, and it roughly accounts for 22% of global GDP. However, in recent times China has overtaken the US by at least one measure of total economic strength, which is GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP). Either way you slice it, the economies are the two strongest globally in absolute terms. That’s where the similarities end.

Hyperinflating Argentina Forces Government To Increase Banknote Denomination

For the first time in years, as PanAm Post reports, lawmakers from Argentina’s ruling Front for Victory coalition have proposed upping the size of the country’s largest denomination banknote to AR$200. While some 42% of Argentineans deemed it necessary in a 2014 survey the Cristina Kirchner administration has ignored repeated requests by economists, banks, and other financial institutions to issue larger-denomination bills. Indeed, Congressman Carlos Kunkel, author of the current bill initiative, claims the measure has nothing to do with inflation, but would "reduce the cost of printing and circulating money."

Gold & Gold Stocks - How To Recognize An Emerging Bull Market

We can however state with confidence that the bubble will eventually burst and that the greatest monetary policy experiment of the post WW2 era will fail – in all likelihood quite spectacularly. So we have every reason to remain long term bullish on gold and gold-related investments. Moreover, by looking closely at past lows of significance we have hopefully been able to provide a bit of a road map in case the recent low does indeed represent a major pivot point.

Ludicrous Proposal By Venezuela's Maduro To Combat Oil Price Damage

Venezuela’s economy is in desperate trouble. The country is highly dependent on oil reserves and has no significant substitute for black gold in the near term. That reality makes Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s recent efforts to tout the country’s technology industry laughable.

BlackRock, The Stock Market, & The Alleged Evils Of "Volatility"

We would argue the main reason for Blackrock’s attempt to persuade the exchanges to adopt its recommendations on trading halts is that Blackrock itself is inconvenienced by downside volatility. Presumably the company is no stranger to leverage (how else can it squeeze out large returns with a portfolio this large in a ZIRP world?) and is therefore forced to exercise stop loss orders itself when the market declines fast. Such attempts to “regulate” everything, even the price swings markets are allowed to make, are attempts to stem oneself against nature.

Another Petro-State Throws In The Towel: The Last Nail In The Petrodollar Coffin

While record mainland deficits covered by the petroleum sector is nothing new in Norwegian budget history, on the contrary it is closer to the norm, the 2016 budget did raise some eyebrows. The other side of the ledger, the net inflow to the SWF from activities in the North Sea will, again according to budget, be lower than the required amount to cover the deficit. This has never happened before and is testimony of the sea change occurring in the world of petrodollar recycling. 

Happy Days Are Not Here Again

The Dow-Jones Industrial average closed over 17,000 today, for the first time since August. Do not misinterpret this recent rise. Happy Days are not here again.