Insider

Enter a comma separated list of user names.
Insider

Shutterstock

Off The Cuff: Why Most Will Remain Unaware Until Its Too Late

The masses are focused on the wrong signals
Thursday, August 9, 2018, 9:35 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris discusses:

  • The Folly Of Pursuing Infinite Growth On A Finite Planet
    • Limits simply matter
  • The Signs Of Limits Are All Around Us
    • Depleting resources, stagnating wages, weakening economies
  • Few See The Signs Though
    • The "noise" of politics, media & markets distracts the masses
  • Where To Direct Your Focus
    • What to watch to track the onset of the approaching crisis

This week Chris gives a 30,000-foot view of the big predicaments facing our global society. Most of the signals of the arriving crises won't be tracked by most people -- draining aquifers, species loss, declining net energy. The masses are only going to pay attention when the signaling media they focus on -- the financial markets, the news reports, the unemployment rate, home prices  -- start to show panic. By then, it will be far too late to avoid the unfolding pain.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of PeakProsperity.com's other premium content. » Read more

Insider

Mark Mulligan

Building Resilience In A Warming World

Preparations for a world on fire
Friday, August 3, 2018, 3:46 PM

Executive Summary

  • Future shock (on track, unfortunately)
  • Hope for the best, plan for the worst
  • What too little water means to those living without reliable rains
  • Planning for too much water
  • How great garden soils mitigate...well...practically every ill
  • Electricity at risk.  Plan accordingly.
  • Storms and rising seas.  Got any coastal real estate in low lying areas?  Get rid of it.

If you have not yet read Time For Some Climate Honesty, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Truth be told, I would prefer to live in a world that is 3 degrees warmer than 3 degrees cooler. Ice ages and cooling are associated with crop failures and famines. In New England, where I live, there was a mile or two of ice overhead as recently as 10,000 years ago.

I love my garden here in western MA and know nothing at all about how to grow veggies on top of a mile-thick sheet of ice. I suspect it’s difficult.

So I guess that’s the best spin I can put on it. Warmer is better than colder, all things being equal.

However, beyond that there are a growing number of new risks that we need to take into account. Heat waves. Too much rain. Too little rain. Punishing arctic cold making winters long and delaying spring planting. Crop failures.

These are all things that I laid out in the Crash Course back in 2008. Here’s what I said about the convergence of dangerous trends in the... » Read more

Insider

Shutterstock

The Coming Valuation Crisis

And why it will be so difficult to contain
Friday, July 27, 2018, 6:49 PM

Executive Summary

  • The Fed's inability to recognize the true dynamics of the 2008 crisis has re-inflated a market bubble and unfairly rewarded the big banks
  • More credit/liquidity cannot solve valuation/collateral crises. But that's exactly what central banks tried to do -- creating today's "Everything Bubble"
  • How the Crisis of 2018/2019 will differ from 2008
  • Why this time, the Fed's fixes will be futile

If you have not yet read The FAANG-nary In The Coal Mine, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first. Note that this Part 2 is an updated version of a report first published in 2014.

In Part 1, we noted the eroding good options for investment capital in today's "Everything bubble" financial markets, as well as the dangerous risks that another 2008-style crisis is brewing. If markets are fractal, as argued by Benoit Mandelbrot, then we can anticipate more “once in a lifetime” crises than economists expect, and that such crises will be less predictable than expected.

In Part 2 of this report, we explain why the policies of the governments and central banks around the world that have boosted assets such as stocks, bonds and real estate to new bubble highs will cause a crisis that will be as damaging as 2008 -- yet unfold quite differently, in ways the system is not prepared for.

Fighting the Wrong Battles

The outlines of the coming crisis were readily visible in 2007; the subprime domino was toppling the market for mortgage backed securities which in turn was toppling the market for credit defaults, collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and a host of other exotic financial instruments.

Those of you who were actively following stock markets in 2007 and 2008 may recall the wild surges of euphoria that accompanied every Fed policy announcement. Stock indices shot up every time, only to falter once again as the liquidity injections failed to resolve the underlying collateral/valuation crisis.

When liquidity programs failed to fix the erosion of collateral, markets went into a free-fall.

We can anticipate that the Fed (and other central banks) will respond to a renewed collateral/valuation crisis in the same way they resolved the crisis in 2009—by buying assets directly in vast quantities.  The Fed’s option of buying stocks directly (for example, index contracts or funds) is sometimes referred to as the Nuclear Option, the ultimate backstop to a global meltdown.

But the nuclear option won't fix anything, because... » Read more

Insider

John Tenniel

Off The Cuff: Tax Donkeys & Debt Serfs

The many are increasingly in servitude to the few
Friday, July 27, 2018, 12:15 PM

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

  • Broken Signals
    • We're focusing on the wrong priorities, in the wrong order
  • Dangerous Hubris
    • We've removed critical buffers to risk
  • Tax Donkeys & Debt Serfs
    • The many are in servitude to the few
  • Late-Stage Empire Decline
    • Signs of it are everywhere in our economy & society

Charles breaks down for Chris how the masses are trapped by today's economy, forced to work harder and harder for a system that rewards them less and less, while the elites and unneccessary bureaucracy syphon off what profits remain.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of PeakProsperity.com's other premium content. » Read more

Insider

The Rich Are Planning For Catastrophe

What do they know that you don't?
Friday, July 20, 2018, 3:10 PM

Executive Summary

  • Why the wealthy are plotting to leave us behind
  • The "madness of crowds" virtually ensures a period of social chaos when the system breaks
  • The media is, and will continue to be, used to manipulate the masses
  • The growing risk of a new kind of civil war in America
  • Preparing today will give you vastly more options tomorrow

If you have not yet read Part 1: America The Insolvent available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The Wealthy Are Plotting To Leave Us Behind

In the absence of an official plan, you'd better have your own -- something the extremely wealthy are already working on for themselves.

As the co-founders of Peak Prosperity, Adam and I happen to know and/or interact with quite a few wealthy people who are deeply concerned about the future and taking steps to assure their survival in it.  These people have access to the very best information; they know the system better than your average citizen.  They know what the weak points are and what could go wrong.

From our observations, it’s safe to say that the more insider-experience an individual has, the greater their concern.

The least-concerned people are those without much knowledge of the system (i.e., most "regular" folks). Or a weak sense of curiosity. Or, most damagingly, a propensity to get their news from the mainstream media.  Let’s just say that the information available to the “retail crowd” is either incomplete or misleading (and quite often intentionally so).

What I mean to say more directly is: if you're not already a billionaire and getting access to the very best and most accurate information, you’d do well to.... » Read more

Insider

Allexxandar/Shutterstock

Off The Cuff: Moral Hazard

The culprits (banks & corps) are protected from their crimes
Friday, July 20, 2018, 12:43 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and John Rubino discuss:

  • Moral Hazard
    • We've unwisely insulated the banks from the repercussions of their actions
  • The Protected Class & Rising Populist Anger
    • In many ways, the elite today are above the law. And public resentment is brewing.
  • Global Debt Is Accelerating
    • Wherever the breaking point is, we're now going to hit it sooner
  • The Coming Tech Wreck
    • Faith in the FAANGs is higher than ever. That's dangerous.

By insulating the players from the consequences of their actions, we've created the incentive to take extreme risk in the puruit of extreme profit. Why shouldn't the banks manipulate the system if their worst punishment is a weak slap on the wrist?

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of PeakProsperity.com's other premium content.
Insider

Dreamstime

The Case For Starting To Build A (Small) Short Position

Why I just took on a new short trade in my portfolio
Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 3:01 PM

So, we're in the midst of (yet) another rally in the markets. But this one feels different...

For those sitting on large cash positions, it's increasingly looking like the long-overdue and long-awaiting end to the secular bull market may indeed arrive this year.

There is NOTHING wrong with remaining 100% in cash and simply letting your cash appreciate realtive to stocks/bonds/etc when the correction hits.

But, if you want to have some upside exposure to the correction, now is a good time to consider how much of your portfolio to allocate to that strategy. And what to put it in. And to start putting small positions in place.

Technically, it continues to look like something broke at the start of 2018. The ruler-straight run-up in the major stock indeces seen over the past decade suddenly stopped as the year began. Since then, we've seen more price volatility than in the past several years combined.

And despite the most recent price action, both the Dow and the S&P 500 remain below their all-time-highs set in early January. And while the NADAQ is now higher, there are many reasons to be concerened about its ability to rise much further -- a rationale I'll lay out shortly below.

Technical Red Flags

This latest rally is rising two important red flags.

The first is volume-related. This most recent rally has occured on exceptionally low volume, near the lowest levels seen over the past year.

This indicates that the optimism represented by today's buyers is not widespread across market participants (i.e., there's not a horde of buyers eager to keep pushing prices higher). This hints that the rally may soon run out of steam.

Low volume driving a rising market also suggests fewer buyers willing to step in to defend today's price levels if they start falling.

The second warning sign is that we're seeing Rising Wedge formations appearing in the major equity indices as we see in this chart... » Read more

Insider

Off The Cuff: Yes, The Central Banks Really Are Starting To Tighten

Expect EVERYTHING you know about the markets to change
Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 10:40 AM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Wolf Richter discuss:

  • Tesla As A Symbol Of Silicon Valley
    • Way more hype than substance right now
  • Are Central Banks Really Starting To Tighten?
    • It's looking like indeed so
  • How The Rising Dollar Is Killing Emerging Markets
    • It's just math. Really cruel math.
  • Popping Of The Global Housing Bubble?
    • Australia may be leading the way down

The Fed has reduced its balance sheet so far this year to the tune of $100 billion, and is hoping to be reducing at the rate of $50 billion per month by October. The ECB has announced it will stop making purchases by the end of the year. And, surpringly, even the profligate Bank of Japan is showing signs of reducing its balance sheet.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of PeakProsperity.com's other premium content.
Insider

Stepan Kapl/Shutterstock

How The Coming Oil Shock Will Impact Absolutely Everything

Price spikes, supply crunches, and recession everywhere
Friday, July 6, 2018, 7:44 PM

Executive Summary

  • The Inevitable Supply Crunch
  • Why The Central Planners Are Making This Worse
  • Why The US Shale Industry Will Implode (And Soon)
  • The Growing Geopolitical Risks To Oil Supply
  • The Shock Felt Round The World

If you have not yet read Part 1: Why The Coming Oil Crunch Will Shock The World available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

As I’ve written extensively in the past, there are four entire years of missing upstream oil and gas investment (2014—2017) that will lead to an equivalent period of missing oil and gas supply sometime in the future. With the usual 5-7-year lag between discovery and production, my time frame for that was somewhere between the end of 2018 and 2022.

When -- not if -- that supply shock hits, there is no amount of fresh investment money that can rapidly bring new supply on line. Doing so just takes time -- measured in quarters or years:

As we enter into the second half of 2018, the supply/demand balance has already tipped into a slight deficit. I am clearly predicting that:

  1. this supply imbalance will only get worse, and that
  2. oil prices will have to rise to compensate.

The only development that could possibly prevent this from happening would be a rip-roaring recession, as only economic decline has proven to be able to reduce demand by as much as will needed to avoid this supply crunch.

As we can see from the below chart, the world has been... » Read more

Insider

barkingdogma.com

Off The Cuff: The Trouble With Trade Wars

The uncertainty whipsaws markets, media & investors alike
Thursday, June 28, 2018, 6:37 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Axel Merk discuss:

  • The Trouble With Trade Wars
    • The uncertainty is whipsawing the markets
  • Actions Have Repercussions
    • China's investment in the US plummets
  • The Rules Of Brinksmanship
    • Chris & Axel give book recommendations
  • Oil & Gold
    • Where to from here?

It's hard to keep one's head in today's world. Developments are changing at a pace the world just can't handle. As a result, the uncertainty and confusion makes it very difficult to 'surf' events as they unfold.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of PeakProsperity.com's other premium content.