Brian Pretti

Insider

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Off The Cuff: A Lot Of Deterioration...

The global economy's woes have worsened quickly
Thursday, January 14, 2016, 1:26 AM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Brian Pretti discuss:

  • A Lot Of Deterioration
    • Why 2016 is off to a very grim start
  • There Will Be Blood
    • The carnage from the drop in oil prices will be horrific
  • Ugly, Ugly Data
    • The economic numbers are shouting sickness worldwide
  • Gold
    • Why 2016 will mark the low
Blog

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Has The Market Trend Shifted From Bull To Bear?

Why the recent volatility may mark a secular shift
Friday, October 23, 2015, 3:12 PM

Emotions are running high for the investment community in the wake of recent market volatility. Up until August, we had been in the third longest period in market history without a 10% correction. Since then, stock indices sold off hard, only to bounce once again over the past two weeks of trading.

And certainly the truth is….No one knows. Especially in today’s world where global central banks can concoct further QE/monetary schemes at the drop of a hat.  Let’s face it, at this point the global central banks are all in. In fact, beyond all in. Without question, the US Fed knows that if equities fall, they lose the high end consumer. (Wal-Mart shoppers have already long been lost)  » Read more

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Why The Next Drop Will Likely Be 30-40%

A re-awakened bear can do a lot of damage to a bubble market
Friday, October 23, 2015, 3:12 PM

Executive Summary

  • New bear market + re-enter recession = 30-40% drop in stock prices
  • What are the chart of the best technical indicators telling us?
  • Confusion reigns during the transition from bull market to bear
  • Why volatility will reign & capital protection should be prioritized

If you have not yet read Part 1: Has The Market Trend Shifted From Bull To Bear? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

It’s The Global Economy, Stupid!

I believe another key question for equity investors right now is whether the recent noticeable slowing in global economic trajectory ultimately results in recession.  Why is this important?  According to the playbook of historical experience, stock market corrections that occur in non-recessionary environments tend to be shorter and less violent than corrections that take place within the context of actual economic recession.  Corrections in non-recessionary environments have been on average contained to the 10-20% range.  Corrective stock price periods associated with recession have been worse, many associated with 30-40% price declines known as “bear market” environments.

We can see exactly this in the following graph.  We are looking at the Dow Jones Global Index.  This is a composite of the top 350 companies on planet Earth.  If the fortunes of these companies do not represent and reflect the rhythm of the global economy, I do not know what does.  The blue bars marked in the chart are the periods covering last two US recessions.  US recessions that were accompanied by downturns in major developed economies globally.  As I’ve stated many a time, economies globally are.... » Read more

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Off The Cuff: When The Bond Market Fails, Everything Will Fail With It

Why financial collapse is all about the credit markets
Thursday, June 25, 2015, 7:37 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Brian Pretti discuss:

  • Bonds Are For Dough
    • The size of the risk in the credit market is staggering
  • The War On Cash
    • Will going cashless help the credit bubble live longer?
  • Greece & Derivatives
    • How a Grexit could trigger Armageddon
  • The End Of Confidence
    • When it arrives, the collapse will happen swiftly
Blog

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As Goes The Credit Market, So Goes The World

When confidence cracks, we'll see it there first
Friday, June 5, 2015, 10:46 AM

During the prior economic cycle of 2003-2007, one question I asked again and again was: Is the US running on a business cycle or a credit cycle?

That question was prompted by a series of data I have tracked for decades; data that tells a very important story about the character of the US economy. Specifically, that data series is the relationship of total US Credit Market Debt relative to US GDP. » Read more

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The Future Of Interest Rates

The Fed faces an increasingly bad set of options
Friday, April 17, 2015, 2:36 PM

Executive Summary

  • Why the Fed may no be able to raise rates from here
  • Will the Fed go to negative interest rates instead?
  • Why the next recession will limit the Fed's options greatly
  • Why it may well be too late for the Fed at this point to act

If you have not yet read Part 1: Has The Fed Already Lost? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

What If The Fed Isn't Actually Able To Raise Rates From Here?

Let’s start with a look at the history of the Federal Funds rate (the shortest maturity interest rate the Fed directly controls).  Alongside the historical rhythm of the Funds rate are official US recession periods in the shaded blue bars.   

Chart Source:  St. Louis Federal Reserve

Of course there is one striking and completely consistent historical commonality in the behavior of the Funds rate over time.  The Fed has lowered the Federal Funds rate in every recession since 1954 at least.  There are no exceptions.  You can see the punchline coming, can’t you?  Just how does one lower interest rates from zero to stimulate a potential slowdown in the economy?

Of course in the banking system... » Read more

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Off the Cuff: Hot Money, Cold Econony

Global capital is fleeing Asia, while US GDP stagnates
Thursday, April 16, 2015, 1:28 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Brain Pretti discuss:

  • Global Capital Flows
    • The hot money is fleeing Asia and inflating Western assets
  • What Recovery?
    • GDP growth appears to be returning to 0%
  • What Will Happen When The Fed Raises Rates
    • Or better put: can it raise rates without destroying the economy?
  • Lack Of Competent Leaders
    • Those making the big decisions are not the ones we want making them
Insider

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Off the Cuff: Pinball Markets

Expect more volatility & price riccochets
Thursday, March 26, 2015, 1:41 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Brian Pretti discuss:

  • Pinball Markets
    • Volatility & unpredictability is on the rise
  • Lack Of Liquidity
    • Becoming a top market concern
  • Capital Flows
    • May keep US markets better than the rest, but not forever
  • Watch The Bond Markets
    • When they fail, it will be ugly
Blog

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Time To Toss The Playbook

In uncharted territory, flexibility & open thinking are key
Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 9:07 AM

Just when you thought the world could not spin much faster, global monetary events in 2015 have picked up speed. 

Buckle up. » Read more

Insider

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Investing In The Age Of Anomalies

More important than ever to follow the flows of capital
Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 9:06 AM

Executive Summary

  • Will global capital continue to push US stocks higher, despite their stretched valuations?
  • Global capital is becoming more cautious
  • S&P outperforming as capital seeks the safety of "blue chip" companies
  • Investing in the age of anomalies

If you have not yet read Part 1: Time To Toss The Playbook available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

This leads us to equities and, again, this very important concept of being flexible in thinking and behavior. Historically, valuation metrics have been very important in stock investing. Not just levels of earnings and cash flow growth, but the “multiple” of earnings and cash flow growth investors have been willing to pay to own individual stocks. This has been expressed in valuation metrics such as price-to-earnings, price relative to book value, cash flow, etc. To the point, in the current market environment, common stock valuation metrics are stretched relative to historical context.

In the past we have looked at indicators like total stock market capitalization relative to GDP. The market capitalization of a stock is nothing more than its shares outstanding multiplied by its current price. The indicator essentially shows us the value of stock market assets relative to the real economy. Warren Buffet has called this his favorite stock market indicator.

The message is clear. By this valuation metric, only the... » Read more