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A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall

The prospects for the rest of the year are awful
Friday, June 15, 2018, 6:55 PM

As the Federal Reserve kicked off its second round of quantitative easing in aftermath of the Great Financial Crisis, hedge fund manager David Tepper predicted that nearly all assets would rise tremendously in response. 

History proved Tepper right: financial and other risk assets have shot the moon. Equities have long since rocketed past their pre-crisis highs, bonds continued rising as interest rates stayed at historic lows, and many real estate markets are now back in bubble territory. 

And everyone learned to love the 'Fed put' and stop worrying.

But as King Louis XV and Bob Dylan both warned us, what's coming next will change everything. » Read more

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If The Saudi Arabia Situation Doesn't Worry You, You're Not Paying Attention

A key geopolitical axis is swiftly shifting
Friday, November 10, 2017, 7:57 PM

While turbulent during the best of times, gigantic waves of change are now sweeping across the Middle East. The magnitude is such that the impact on the global price of oil, as well as world markets, is likely to be enormous.

A dramatic geo-political realignment by Saudi Arabia is in full swing this month. It’s upending many decades of established strategic relationships among the world's superpowers and, in particular, is throwing the Middle East into turmoil. So much is currently in flux, especially in Saudi Arabia, that nearly anything can happen next. Which is precisely why this volatile situation should command our focused attention at this time. » Read more

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The Cardinal Sin Of Investing: Permanent Impairment Of Capital

How to avoid making it
Friday, September 15, 2017, 8:47 PM

Permanent impairment of capital is the cardinal sin of investing.

Well, today's markets present a clear and present danger of coming capital impairment for those who don't take prudent action in advance of a market downturn. Don't be guilty of inaction.

 
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The Periphery is Failing

The next big economic dislocation might be only weeks away
Tuesday, August 27, 2013, 4:04 PM

For years we've preached the From the Outside In principle of markets: When trouble starts, it nearly always does so out in the weaker periphery before creeping towards the core.

We saw this in the run-up to the housing bubble collapse, as sub-prime mortgages gave way before prime loans, and in Europe, as smaller economies like Greece, Ireland, and Cyprus have fallen first and hardest (so far).  We see this today in accelerating food stamp use among poorer U.S. households.  In each case, the weaker economic parties give way first before being followed, over time, by the stronger ones.

Using this framework, we can often get several weeks to several months of advance notice before trouble erupts in the next ring closer to the center.

Which makes today notable, as we're receiving a number of new warning signs.  The periphery is giving way. » Read more