- Central planners are showing increasing signs of insecurity in their ability to maintain control
- Credit default risk is on the rise
- So are geo-political and economic risks
- Manipulation continues to muddy price discovery
- Crime & fraud have rotted the core our financial system
- How to tread carefully in these markets
If you have not yet read Part 1: 4 Factors Signaling Volatility Will Return With A Vengeance available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.
When stock markets keep racking up records, it’s hard to imagine steep downturns. Yet that’s precisely when caution is required, particularly when volatility is rising and risk factors are not subsiding. What I’m about to say is not to scare, but to help prepare, you.
Recall that two years after achieving a then historic high on October 9, 2007 of 14,164.53, the Dow plunged by more than half to a March 2009 12-year low of 6,547. The value of US stocks dropped from $22 trillion to $9 trillion. Why? Because of a confluence of risk-laden events pelting people and markets. From the housing market drop, to the failure of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, to the unraveling of CDOs, to the obscene amounts of leverage and fraud everywhere, volatility escalated and liquidity and confidence dove. Banks entered self-defense mode, turning to governments and central banks for lifelines.
The fix of subsidized private banking was in. It still is – seven years later. There’s nothing comforting about that. It took another five years, until March 5, 2013 for the Dow to top 2007 levels. If you’re an individual, say with a pension or college tuition to pay, you’ve got to have an iron stomach to deal with that kind of chaos. You’re going to want to protect your money from the possibility of a next time. Now is a good time to start.
Today’s markets have not bubbled on organic or sustainable growth, they have been propped up by unprecedented, globally coordinated central bank policies that flooded the financial system with cheap money and like a giant financial vacuum cleaner hoovered up debt securities from big banks through massive (QE) easing programs.
Market volatility, though low compared to 2008 days, has nonetheless been inching up. It will continue increasing due to…