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The Great Market Tide Has Now Shifted To Risk-Off Assets

A global sea-change in risk appetite & sentiment
Friday, July 8, 2016, 3:03 PM

In the conventional investment perspective, risk-on assets (i.e. investments with higher risks and higher potential returns) such as stocks are on a see-saw with risk-off assets (investments with lower returns and lower risk, such as Treasury bonds). When risk appetites are high, institutional managers and speculators move money into stocks and high-yield junk bonds, and move money out of safe-haven assets such as gold and U.S. Treasuries.

But recently, markets are no longer following this convention. Safe haven assets such as precious metals and Treasuries are soaring at the same time that stock markets bounced strongly off the post-Brexit lows.

Risk-on assets (stocks) rising at the same time as safe-haven assets is akin to dogs marrying cats and living happily ever after. 

What the heck is going on? » Read more

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Off The Cuff: Time To Pay For Our Sins

Over-financialization is finally catching up with us
Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 8:09 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:

  • The Sins Of Over-Financialization
    • We're finally having to pay the price we've been deferring
  • The Energy Sector Is A Time-Bomb
    • One that has just detonated
  • GDP Is Going To Drop Hard From Here
    • Not an 'if'; but a 'when'. And a 'how much?'
  • A Crash Is In Our Future
    • And that good, believe it or not
Blog

The Return Of Crisis

Suddenly banks everywhere are in deep, deep trouble
Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 12:28 AM

Financial markets the world over are increasingly chaotic and either retreating or plunging.  Our view is that there’s a gigantic market crash in our future and it’s possible that this has started now. » Read more

Insider

The Breakdown Has Begun

A wave of defaults is about to crash over us
Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 12:26 AM

Executive Summary

  • Oil patch defaults will be the trigger that burns down the markets
  • Defaults will ripple widely across many industries and sectors
  • The banks are suddenly turning on their central bank brethren
  • How to protect yourself from the coming era of wealth destruction

If you have not yet read The Return Of Crisis, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Oil Troubles

The financial sector may be suffering through a bad time, but the oil sector is experiencing something far worse. While overall demand for petroleum is flat or down nearly everywhere, every producer is pumping like mad either to achieve a geopolitical agenda (as with Saudi Arabia and Russia) or to simply survive.

This chart of the price of WTIC oil also sports a pretty convincing head and shoulders formation, a common warning of “lower prices dead ahead”:

It looks like the $30 mark is the area to keep a close eye on, as that represents one possible ‘neckline’ to the H&S formation drawn above.  If that fails, look out below. Expect that area to be defended pretty vigorously by those institutions long oil.

I'm anticipating quite a skirmish over the $30 mark. But ultimately, I believe oil prices have further to fall. I think this because the economic news is dismal – no growth, only contraction right now and that’s going to hit demand – and also because the US has too much of the stuff to store. And because the next... » Read more

Podcast

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Bill Black: Why The Banksters Are Winning

Without effective prosecution, the banks are untouchable
Sunday, November 1, 2015, 2:42 PM

Bill Black, expert on Wall Street control fraud, returns to discuss the gross abuses of power rampant in our financial, political and judicial systems. In his estimation, regulation and enforcement of financial crimes have been completely gutted and de-fanged -- intentionally by corrupt politicians, and unintentionally by inept ones. All while the Justice Department turns a blind eye. » Read more

Podcast

Gretchen Morgenson: Wall Street Really Does Enjoy a Different Set of Rules Than the Rest of Us

What type of system might work better for our interests?
Sunday, August 16, 2015, 10:43 AM

Gretchen Morgenson has earned a Pulitzer-winning career from exposing abuse and conflicts of interest on Wall Street. In this interview, she confirms that there is indeed a second set of rules enjoyed by our elite financial institutions, largely unfettered by the constraints that apply to the rest of us. » Read more

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Alamy

All Hail Our Banking Overlords!

We work for them, plain & simple
Friday, July 17, 2015, 4:39 PM

You really have to be paying attention to see what’s truly going on these days. The keepers of the system, that is the banking elites, now openly control everything -- though you'd never know that by listening to the media. » Read more

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Off The Cuff: We Pledge Allegiance, To The Banks...

It's the banks' world. We just live in it.
Thursday, July 16, 2015, 6:45 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:

  • We Live To Serve The Banks
    • Greece is now a nation of slaves for the banking system
  • Instability Risk Is Sky-High These Days
    • When central planners lose control, it's going to be bedlam
  • As Ever, Access To Resources Will Determine Everything
    • We're seeing the resource-poor countries now faltering first
  • Debt-based Money
    • As long as we have it, we'll never be free
Insider

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Off The Cuff: The Ghosts Of 2008 Have Returned To Haunt Us

Not only are the same risks still here, they're bigger
Thursday, July 9, 2015, 4:18 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Nomi Prins discuss:

  • The Ghosts Of 2008
    • Are suddenly returning en masse to haunt us
  • Growing Central Bank Insecurity
    • Beginning to realize that they've cornered themselves
  • The War On Cash
    • Central planners continue to tighten restrictions
  • No Solutions For The Status Quo
    • A massive reset is the best we can hope for

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today. » Read more

Insider

They're Coming For Your Cash

Liquidity-starved banks will take your savings via bail-ins
Friday, July 3, 2015, 12:19 PM

Executive Summary

  • The banking system runs on liquidity
  • Banks will do anything to keep it flowing -- including raiding their depositors
  • The risks of a global liquidity crunch are dangerously high today
  • Why extracting physical cash from the system is highly advised

If you have not yet read Part 1: In A World Of Artificial Liquidity – Cash Is King available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

It's All About Liquidity For The Banks

Liquidity is the buzz-word that central banks used to justify their policies of keeping short term rates at zero (give or take) percent and buying bonds from banks in return for giving them more of it. Central banks say their primary responsibility is to balance full employment with low inflation, but that’s just code for being able to keep the largest banks solvent in times of emergency by all means possible. This current emergency has lasted nearly seven years and counting.  

Here are my laws of liquidity behavior:

The first law of liquidity – when it is most needed, it will be least available.

The second law of liquidity – the easier it is to get, the less value it holds for the recipient.

The third law of liquidity – the harder it is to find, the greater its systemic cost.

Banks gain on multiple fronts from “accommodative” monetary policy with respect to their liquidity needs. First, they can borrow money at next to nothing. Second, they can hoard that extra cash under the guise of complying with capital reserve requirements and get brownie points for passing stress tests because they are holding the cash or high quality assets bought with the cash, that central banks provided them to begin with. Third, they can sell bonds they don’t want or need at full value to central banks, and afterwards mark similar bonds at higher levels than the market would otherwise value them.

This is all shell-game finance. It is why people should be diligent about... » Read more