March 15: Daily Contrarian Reads

Why Robert Shiller Thinks the Trump Rally is March 2000 Redux

The last time Robert Shiller heard stock-market investors talk like this in 2000, it didn’t end well for the bulls. Back then, the Nobel Prize-winning economist says, traders were captivated by a “new era story” of technological transformation: The Internet had re-defined American business and made traditional gauges of equity-market value obsolete. Today, the game changer everyone’s buzzing about is political: Donald Trump and his bold plans to slash regulations, cut taxes and turbocharge economic growth with a trillion-dollar infrastructure boom.

Stockman Releases Urgent Warning For Today

David Stockman, Reagan’s former budget director, has issued a major market warning for TODAY. He’s recorded a brand new 1-minute video describing a perfect storm happening TODAY. The historical evidence he’s provided going back to 1919 show a disturbing market pattern that’s proceeded every crash for 100 years.

Crash Guru Warns Dow Could Plunge 30%

But if the technical stars collide, as one chartist predicts, the blue-chip gauge could soon plunge by more than 6,000 points to 14,800. That’s nearly 30% lower, based on Friday’s close. Sandy Jadeja, chief market strategist at Master Trading Strategies, claims several predicted stock market crashes to his name — all of them called days, or even weeks, in advance. (He told CNBC viewers, for example, that the August 2015 “Flash Crash” was coming 18 days before it hit.) He’s also made prescient calls on gold and crude oil. And he’s extremely concerned about what this year could bring for investors. “The timeline is rapidly approaching” for the next potential Dow meltdown, said Jadeja, who shares his techniques via workshops and seminars. Timelines are at the heart of his predictions, which he bases on repeating cycles in the market that are connected to specific times.

Restaurant Recession Meets February Debacle

Restaurants should have done well in February…. the warmest February in 100 years. Weather-sensitive industries, such as construction, went on a hiring binge. The exuberance should have led to activity at restaurants. Compared to Februaries when people stayed home because polar vortices marauded much of the nation, this time, the weather invited them to head out. But no…….Same-store restaurant sales in February dropped 3.7% and foot traffic dropped 5.0% from a year ago, according to TDn2K’s Restaurant Industry …..A macro view leaves little room for optimism,” the report said, whose data is based on sales from over 26,000 restaurant units and 145 brands, representing $66 billion dollars in annual revenue. “February’s results were among the weakest in the last four years,” it said.

Three Charts Showing That Stock Market Valuations Are Totally Unprecedented

Last week I updated the Warren Buffett yardstick, market cap-to-GNP. The only time it was ever higher than it is today was for a few months at the top of the dotcom mania.

Fed Near To Hitting Rate Hike Accelerator

The Federal Reserve, which has struggled to stoke inflation since the financial crisis and up until now raised rates less frequently than it and markets expected, may be about to hit the accelerator on rate hikes. On Wednesday, the U.S. central bank is almost universally expected to raise its benchmark interest rates, a move that just a few weeks ago was viewed by the markets as unlikely. And with inflation showing signs of perking up, Fed policymakers may signal there could be more than the three rate rises they have forecast for this year…. Policymakers have their eyes on achieving full employment and 2-percent inflation. The faster the economy approaches those goals, Duy said, the quicker the Fed will want to tighten policy to avoid getting behind the curve. “That’s an acceleration in the dots,” he said, referring to forecasts published by the Fed that show policymakers’ individual rate-hike forecasts as dots on a chart.

The Catastrophe In The Levant—–Imperial Washington Stumbles In Even Deeper

We are now moving rapidly into stage II of Levantine Madness as the US boosts its intervention in the war-torn Mideast. Five thousand US troops are back in Iraq to bolster the shattered nation’s puppet regime that is propped up by American bayonets.  New Iraqi military formations have been formed, totally equipped with modern US M1 Abrams tanks, Humvees, and fleets of trucks.  More US forces are on the way…..Meanwhile, thousands of US troops and Special Forces are now also engaged in Syria though just whom they are battling remains confused.  Syria has become a mad house of warring factions backed by outside powers – a sort of modern version of Germany’s dreadful 30 Year’s War of the 1600’s.

Why China’s Growth Miracle Is Over

China’s economic miracle, like that of Japan before it, is over. Its resurrection simply isn’t working, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Sustained double-digit economic growth is possible when you begin with a wrecked economy. In Japan’s case, the country was recovering from World War II. China was recovering from Mao Zedong’s policies. Simply by getting back to work an economy will surge. If the damage from which the economy is recovering is great enough, that surge can last a generation…..The idea that China was going to economically dominate the world was as dubious as the idea in the 1980s that Japan would. Japan, however, could have dominated if its growth rate had continued. Since that was impossible, the fantasy evaporates — and with it, the overheated expectations of the world.

Anti-Russian Hysteria—How Its Fed By Dems And Media McCarthyites Like Rachel Maddow

The anti-Russian McCarthyism that has spread out from the United States to encompass the European Union, Canada and Australia has at its core an implicit recognition that neoliberal economics and neoconservative foreign policy have failed….This anti-Russian hysteria began some years ago when Russian President Vladimir Putin made clear that Russia would no longer bow to dictates from Washington and Brussels. Russia bristled at the encroachment of NATO on its borders, rejected the neoconservative agenda of “regime change” wars in Muslim countries, and resisted the U.S.-backed putsch ousting Ukraine’s elected president in 2014. But the anti-Russian frenzy gained unstoppable momentum with the U.S. election in 2016. The Democrats, liberals and neoconservatives were horrified at the shocking upset of their presidential choice, Hillary Clinton, by the boorish and buffoonish Donald Trump

BAT Is Buckling—- The Lynchpin of Corporate Tax Reduction

The politics are no less complicated. Texas Representative Kevin Brady, the Republican chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, has been on a media blitz since the start of the year to sell the concept to the public and fellow lawmakers. So far he’s struggling. A core group of House Republicans has come out in recent weeks against the BAT, citing the higher prices they’d inflict on consumers. Republican Senate support is in doubt, too. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Walmart’s home state of Arkansas, told a Senate floor session on Feb. 15 that border adjustments are “a theory wrapped in speculation inside a guess.” The next day, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said, “The hard reality is the border tax is on life support.”

The Labor Market Is Not “Strengthening—Looks More Like The Eve of the 1990-91 Recession

The last time the LMCI indicated the same sort of durable and lasting trend was from 1987 through 1991. Starting around the Crash of ’87 and continuing through the building S&L crisis, the labor market moved variably lower over a period of just more than three years. The ultimate end of that slowing was, of course, the recession of 1990-91, a fate sealed with very unexpected events in the Middle East (a sudden sharp rise in oil prices as an Iraqi dictator invaded his neighbor and caused a short-term oil spike during a period where the US and global economy was so weakened as to be unable to withstand it).