The Global Financial System Is Unraveling, and No, the U.S. Is Not Immune

Chart

 

The “recovery”/Bull Market is in its 10th year, and yet central banks are still tiptoeing around as if the tiniest misstep will cause the whole shebang to shatter: what are they so afraid of?

The cognitive dissonance/crazy-making is off the charts:

On the one hand, central banks are still pursuing unprecedented stimulus via historically low interest rates, liquidity and easing the creation of credit on a vast scale. Some central banks continue to buy assets such as stocks and bonds to directly prop up the “market.” (If assets don’t actually trade freely, is it even a market?) Continue reading

The Art of the Deal Vs. The Art of War

https://s3.amazonaws.com/agorafinancialwebsite/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/rlr_gdp.png

 

At the risk of beating a dead horse on the topic of trade wars, the sequence of unfolding events is making me cautious near term.

Let me explain why.

First, for all those market pundits, analysts and investors who are following the twists and turns of this trade tiff using Trump’s Art of the Deal as their playbook…

I have a better read for you. Pick up a copy of Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War instead! Continue reading

How Wall Street’s ‘fear gauge’ is being rigged, according to one whistleblower

Cboe’s VIX products is the target of a whistleblower (Getty Images)

 

One of the most popular measures of volatility is being manipulated, charges one individual who submitted a letter anonymously to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The letter makes the claim to regulators that fake quotes for the S&P 500 index are skewing levels of the Cboe Volatility Index which reflects bearish and bullish options bets 30-days in the future on the S&P 500 to gauge implied stock-market volatility (see excerpt from the letter below).

The flaw allows trading firms with sophisticated algorithms to move the VIX up or down by simply posting quotes on S&P options and without needing to physically engage in any trading or deploying any capital. This market manipulation has led to multiple billions in profits effectively taken away from institutional and retail investors and cashed in by unethical electronic option market makers. Continue reading

Asset prices are high across the board. Is it time to worry?

 

With ultra-loose monetary policy coming to an end, it is best to tread carefully

IN HIS classic, “The Intelligent Investor”, first published in 1949, Benjamin Graham, a Wall Street sage, distilled what he called his secret of sound investment into three words: “margin of safety”. The price paid for a stock or a bond should allow for human error, bad luck or, indeed, many things going wrong at once. In a troubled world of trade tiffs and nuclear braggadocio, such advice should be especially worth heeding. Yet rarely have so many asset classes—from stocks to bonds to property to bitcoins—exhibited such a sense of invulnerability. Continue reading

David Stockman: Trump tax reform overhaul is a pipe dream, stocks are heading for 40-70% plunge

Please see the source for the video.

 

David Stockman is warning about the Trump administration’s tax overhaul plan, Federal Reserve policy, saying they could play into a severe stock market sell-off.

Stockman, the Reagan administration’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, isn’t stepping away from his thesis that the 8½-year-old rally is in serious danger.

Continue reading

The British pound shows that US stocks are about to fall hard: Technician

Video available at the source.

 

The euro’s considerable rise against the British pound signals trouble to come for U.S. markets, according to Evercore ISI technical analyst Rich Ross.

The euro and the pound fell against the dollar after the U.K. voters opted to leave the EU, but sterling fell further, hitting three-decade lows against the dollar. According to Ross, the relative weakness in the British currency mirrors the euro’s huge rally against the British pound from 2007 to 2009.

Continue reading

Goldman Says There’s an Elevated Risk of a Big Market Selloff

Video available at the source.

 

And it’ll be tough to find a place to hide.

“With the S&P 500 close to all-time highs, stretched valuations and a lack of growth, drawdown risk appears elevated.”

So says Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Managing Director Christian Mueller-Glissmann, who highlights that selloffs in excess of 20 percent for major bourses occur relatively frequently and recently have been brought about by concerns of a global nature. With a possible Brexit, the U.S. presidential elections, and a Fed that appears committed to continuing to lift policy rates, this level of event risk is certainly on the table. Continue reading

Fasten your seatbelts: History’s about to repeat itself

https://i1.wp.com/fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/files/2016/04/13/Gambles2.jpg

 

Over the last decade, I’ve found my opinions coinciding more and more with those of SocGen strategist and “uber-bear” Albert Edwards. Last week he hit the headlines again with a claim that a “gut-wrenching slump” in profits amounts to an almost-certain predictor of recession. While the historic evidence for this is compelling, I’m not so sure this time couldn’t be slightly different — at least in terms of causes and effects. Continue reading

This Looks Like the 2008 Stock Market Crash All Over Again

U.S. markets logged their fifth straight week of gains last week, pushing the Dow and S&P 500 into positive territory for the first time in 2016. But despite those gains, the fears of a stock market crash are still very real.

In fact, Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani says this rally reminds him of the one that preceded the 2008 stock market crashContinue reading

The Deflation Monster Has Arrived

 

 

As we’ve been warning for quite a while (too long for my taste): the world’s grand experiment with debt has come to an end. And it’s now unraveling.

Just in the two weeks since the start of 2016, the US equity markets are down almost 10%. Their worst start to the year in history. Many other markets across the world are suffering worse.

If you watched stock prices today, you likely had flashbacks to the financial crisis of 2008. At one point the Dow was down over 500 points, the S&P cracked below key support at 1,900, and the price of oil dropped below $30/barrel. Scared investors are wondering:  What the heck is happening? Many are also fearfully asking: Are we re-entering another crisis?

Sadly, we think so. While there may be a market rescue that provide some relief in the near term, looking at the next few years, we will experience this as a time of unprecedented financial market turmoil, political upheaval and social unrest. The losses will be staggering. Markets are going to crash, wealth will be transferred from the unwary to the well-connected, and life for most people will get harder as measured against the recent past. Continue reading

Will the Stock Market Crash in 2016?

China’s stock market crash on Monday triggered its first ever halt and rattled markets worldwide.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average lost 3.1%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 2.7%, and South Korea’s Kospi declined 2.2%. Continue reading

Coming Soon To A Checkout Lane Near You: Stock Giftcards

This is tantamount to predatory sales of high interest credit cards to young college students. What’s going to be interesting is how the naïve “investors” may not realize the tax implications and are going to get hit for capital gains. What if there’s a “buy” or “sell” option for cards? The average person on the street might not know these basic fundamentals. Legal ramifications involving shareholder revolts and lawsuits could also get a little interesting for companies as well.

Are age limits still going to apply? Depending on what state you live in, the age limit is 18 or 21 for buying, selling and trading.

There’s many questions and this will definitely be something to keep tabs on. Wall Street has just entered into ‘desperate mode’.

 

As we noted this morning, in the New Normal world, the only marginal buyer of Index futures are central banks [and] when it comes to individual stocks, the biggest buyer is the company itself.

The retail “dumb money” abandoned ship long ago after watching 40% of their 401ks go up in smoke on the heels of a meltdown catalyzed by the implosion of the American home ownership dream which, thanks to the Fed and Wall Street, had been supercharged and securitized. To the extent the turmoil in September and October of 2008 didn’t drive the individual investor permanently onto the sidelines, the subsequent realization that the entire “market” is nothing but a giant casino being manipulated at every turn by greedy cabals with names like “The Cartel” finished the job.  Continue reading

This Is For The ‘Nothing Is Happening’ Crowd…

A lot of people out there expected something to happen in September that did not ultimately happen.  There were all kinds of wild theories floating around, and many of them had no basis in reality whatsoever.  But without a doubt, some very important things did happen in September.  As I warned about ahead of time, we are witnessing the most significant global financial meltdown since the end of 2008.  All of the largest stock markets in the world are crashing simultaneously, and so far the amount of wealth that has been wiped out worldwide is in excess of 5 trillion dollars.  In addition to stocks, junk bonds are also crashing, and Bank of America says that it is a “slow moving trainwreck that seems to be accelerating“.  Thanks to the commodity price crash, many of the largest commodity traders on the planet are now imploding.  I wrote about the death spiral that has gripped Glencore yesterday.  On Tuesday, the stock price of the largest commodity trader in Asia, the Noble Group, plummeted like a rock and commodity trading giant Trafigura appears to be in worse shape than either Glencore or the Noble Group.  The total collapse of any of them could easily be a bigger event than the implosion of Lehman Brothers in 2008.  So I honestly do not understand the “nothing is happening” crowd.  It takes ignorance on an almost unbelievable level to try to claim that “nothing is happening” in the financial world right now. Continue reading

The Clock Is Ticking On The U.S. Dollar As World’s Reserve Currency

The View From Hubbert’s Peak

In 1971, the American President put an end to a 2,500 year trend; the Wall Street Journal called it “Nixon’s Worst Weekend.” Considering the old boy had some really bad ones, this must have been something special. In August of that year (on Friday the 13th) it was decided that the U.S. would no longer pay out gold for its paper dollars. OPEC Ministers took note, and in September they met, deciding it would be necessary to collect more paper dollars, if possible, since gold was no longer on offer and oil was the only asset they had to sell.

The Wizard of Oz

The ultimate irony for this generation of investors is that, despite the occasional obligatory chant about ‘free markets’ and the wonders of capitalism, most of the day is spent obsessing about what the world’s most important central planner will do next. By Supreme Central Planner, I mean, the Fed. Continue reading

‘Death cross’ patterns spread to all corners of the stock market

https://i0.wp.com/ei.marketwatch.com//Multimedia/2015/09/01/Photos/NS/MW-DT485_RUT_DC_20150901125003_NS.png

 

Russell 2000 can’t hide from the death cross epidemic

“Death cross” patterns continue to spread through the stock market like an epidemic, even infecting market segments believed to be more insulated from overseas turmoil.

The Russell 2000 index RUT, -2.71%  of small-capitalization stocks became the latest victim among the major market indexes. The index’s 50-day moving average fell to 1,222.95 in midday trade Tuesday, crossing below the 200-day moving average (MA), which slipped to 1,224.11, according to FactSet. Continue reading