Federal Reserve

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Hoping For A Market Crash

If we inflate much higher, the fall is likely to kill us
Thursday, July 28, 2016, 1:32 AM

We desperately need to have new national and global conversations about everything from how we’ll feed everyone in 2050, to developing a coherent sustainable energy policy, to the fact that each year is hotter than the year before, to the idea that we’re living with a soul crushing sense of scarcity in a world of abundance.

There’s lots that needs addressing, and the process should begin with letting go of the old narrative so that we can make space for assembling the new one. » Read more

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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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Investing For Crisis

The future of stocks, gold & safe havens
Friday, July 8, 2016, 3:03 PM

Executive Summary

  • Which coming developments we can predict with certainty
  • Why the next crisis won't be like 2008
  • Why what worked post-2008 won't work this time
  • Where stocks and gold are headed
  • Where to find safe haven for your investment capital

If you have not yet read The Great Market Tide Has Now Shifted To Risk-Off Assets, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we reviewed the market’s risk-on, risk-off gyrations and laid out the case for long-term declines in confidence, political stability and profits.  What does this new era of uncertainty mean for individual investors?

What’s Predictable?

We can start by asking—is there anything we can predict with any certainty?

I think we can very confidently predict that future central bank monetary policies will fail to generate sustainable growth or fix what’s broken in the global financial system.

I think we can predict that uncertainty will only increase with time rather than decrease. This rise of uncertainty will predictably lower the attractiveness of risk-on assets, other than as short-term speculative bets after some central banker issues yet another “whatever it takes” proclamation.

It’s also a pretty good bet that if central banks and states continue expanding credit/money that isn’t matched by a corresponding expansion of goods and services, the purchasing power of those currencies will decline.

We can very confidently predict that the authorities will continue to do more of what has failed spectacularly until they are removed from power or the system breaks down.

We can predict with some confidence that issuing more debt will provide little productive results.

I also think we can hazard a guess that the next financial crisis will be of a different sort than the 2008-09 Global Financial Meltdown.

Just as generals prepare to fight the last war, with predictably dismal results (unless the exact same war is replayed, which rarely seems to happen), central bankers are fully prepared to stave off a crisis like the one in 2008: a financial crisis that emerges from leveraged bets going bad in money-center investment banks.

My basic presumption is... » Read more

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The Approaching Moment Of Market Capitulation

Can you feel it?
Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 9:42 PM

Today, on Wednesday June 15th, the Fed made its latest 'non-decision' and did not raise interest rates. The stock market first rose but then tumbled, likely indicating that the Fed's magic is all used up. As we all know, that’s about the only thing that’s been keeping the stock market levitated of late.

I’m on record as saying that not only would the Fed not raise rates this meeting, but that their next move, when it arrives, will be to lower rates; not raise them.

Got that? Down; not up. » Read more

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Why The Fed’s Efforts Will End Badly

We've been down this road before. Quite recently, in fact
Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 2:26 PM

It’s no secret that I've taken the contrarian position for seven long (and frequently frustrating) years.

Look, we’ve been down this road before, and the sheer stupidity of our current situation is that we’ve been down it recently enough to know better.  It worked out poorly for us in 2000, again in 2008, and will soon enough again. That's why I'm currently short the US stock market and plan to increase that short position as time goes on.

I'm quite familiar with, and even sympathetic to, the idea that the central banks will not... » Read more

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Off The Cuff: Jackass Leadership

We'd be so much better off with so much less
Monday, May 23, 2016, 4:52 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Mish Shedlock discuss:

  • Implications Of The Recent Fed Minutes
    • Per usual, good for stocks/bad for gold
  • The Dying Middle Class
    • Sucked dry by central planning policy
  • The Dirty Trick Of Politics
    • Both parties are worth throwing out
  • Jackass Leadership
    • In the Fed, on the Hill, in the White House...
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Observations From The Heart Of Silicon Valley

The calm before the storm?
Thursday, May 19, 2016, 8:11 PM

Yesterday I made the 2-hour drive back to Silicon Valley, where I lived for 15 years before moving out to the country.

I rarely go back, as I miss very little about the hyper-elite scene there. When I do, though, I feel I have a useful 'insider-now-outsider' perspective that allows me to see things there more accurately than those who live in that fishbowl 24/7.

What hit me most strongly upon arriving back in the Menlo Park/Palo Alto area, is how little of the craziness has changed since I left 4 years ago. I don't mean 'unchanged' though; rather that the same craziness is there, just more extreme than ever. » Read more

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Off The Cuff: The Fed's Frenzy Of Emergency Meetings

Are things more dire than we're being told?
Friday, April 22, 2016, 1:34 AM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Mish Shedlock discuss:

  • Part Time Nation
    • Our job market has been hollowed out
  • Emergency Fed Meetings
    • What exactly is going on behind the scenes?
  • Lower Returns & Lower Prices
    • Pretty much what we have to look forward to from these markets
  • Chinese Capital Flight
    • Driving so much of today's overvaluations
Podcast

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Eric Hunsader: The Financial System is 'Absolutely, Positively Rigged'

And the abuses are getting worse, not better
Monday, April 18, 2016, 8:36 PM

Eric Hunsader, founder of Nanex, has been at the vanguard of warning about the dangers and the rampant fraud that the rise of high-frequency trading (HFT) algorithims have let loose in today's financial markets.

While he usually feels like a lone voice in a world happy to deceive itself, he was shocked to receive a $750,000 whistleblower award from the SEC for his efforts. He's been sadly less shocked to see that since the award was publicly announced, the abuses he reported have only become more extreme and frequent. » Read more

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Off The Cuff: The Folly Of Financialization

Its cures are worse than the diseases it tries to fix
Thursday, April 14, 2016, 12:22 PM

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

  • The Future Of Oil
    • Much more volatile prices lie ahead
  • The Folly Of Financialization
    • Central planners are creating cures worse than the diseases they're trying to fix
  • The Dollar Dilemma
    • The direction of dollar now hurts as many player as it helps
  • Return Of 'Race To The Bottom'
    • We risk a global currency war like that seen in the 1930's