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Off The Cuff: A Dependable Crash Indicator Is Now Flashing

RV sales are signalling signs of a blow-off top
Thursday, August 3, 2017, 9:36 PM
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In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and John Rubino discuss:

  • Trade Wars
    • Suddenly arising with Russia and China
  • Modern Monetary Theory
    • A delusion that dates back to the days of John Law
  • A Great Crash Indicator
    • RV sales are sending a warning sign
  • Risky Real Estate
    • Private equity will sell fast when times get bad

Chris and John discuss the looming trade wars with Russia and China, the long-term implications of the worldwide credit binge, and the indicators that will presage a systemic correction. John shares his assessment of one of his most trusted crash indicators, RV sales:

This is a typical cycle for RVs. It’s a big toy and people are cocky now because they’ve been working for a little while. They have extremely easy credit. Interest rates are incredibly low. If you’ve got a decent credit score you can buy an RV for 2 or 3% interest and a lot of people are taking advantage of that, just as they spent the last three or four years taking advantage of incredibly cheap car loan terms, and running, basically, an auto sales bubble. They’ve kind of shifted to RVs now, which is yet another sign that the cycle is nearing an end.

This "recovery" is 8 years old now. The typical recovery is 6 years. So we already have an expansion that’s a couple of years longer than normal. It’s actually the third longest since World War II. Which means that, everything else being equal, we should be pretty close to the end of this cycle and ready for a downturn. And now you’ve got indicators like RV sales going just parabolic, indicating that, at least in that little section of the market, money is incredibly easy and buyers are euphoric. And that’s also a sign that things are nearing the end. There are lots of other signs, but that’s one.

Every time there’s a bubble in an asset class, there’s always a new reason for it that appears to explain it. But historically the explanation never holds. The cycle still reasserts itself at some point. And things go back to normal. And I suspect that’ll be the case with RVs at some point.

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