As noted in Part 1, historically, blow-patterns in stock markets share many characteristics. One of them is a shifting monetary backdrop, which becomes more hostile just as prices begin to rise at an accelerated pace, the other is the psychological backdrop to the move, which entails growing pressure on the remaining skeptics and helps investors to rationalize their exposure to overvalued markets. In addition to this, the chart patterns of stock indexes before and after blow-off moves are displaying noteworthy similarities as well……Why do we assume the current move is a speculative blow-off and not just another “normal” up-leg? The main reasons are the speed and size of the move, the fact that it happens at the tail end of a very sizable advance that has already lasted a full eight years, the chart pattern, and above all, valuations.
The ninth largest economy in the entire world is currently experiencing “its longest and deepest recession in recorded history”, and in a country right next door people are being encouraged to label their trash so that the thousands upon thousands of desperately hungry people that are digging through trash bins on the streets can find discarded food more easily. Of course the two nations that I am talking about are Brazil and Venezuela. The Brazilian economy was once the seventh largest on the globe, but after shrinking for eight consecutive quarters it has now fallen to ninth place. And in Venezuela the economic collapse has gotten so bad that more than 70 percent of the population lost weight last year due to a severe lack of food. Most of us living in the northern hemisphere don’t think that anything like this could happen to us any time soon, but the truth is that trouble signs are already starting to erupt all around us. It is just a matter of time before the things currently happening in Brazil and Venezuela start happening here, but unfortunately most people are not heeding the warnings.
At Mar-a-Lago this weekend President Donald Trump was filled “with fury” says The Washington Post, “mad — steaming, raging, mad.” Early Saturday the fuming president exploded with this tweet: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” The president has reason to be enraged. For what is afoot is a loose but broad conspiracy to break and bring him down, abort his populist agenda, and overturn the results of the 2016 election.
If you didn’t know better, you might be tempted to think that “Space Available” was the hottest new retail chain in the entire country. As you will see below, it is being projected that about a third of all shopping malls in the United States will soon close, and we just recently learned that the number of “distressed retailers” is the highest that it has been since the last recession. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can possibly believe that the U.S. economy is in “good shape” after looking at the retail industry. In my recent article about the ongoing “retail apocalypse”, I discussed the fact that Sears, J.C. Penney and Macy’s have all announced that they are closing dozens of stores in 2017, and you can find a pretty comprehensive list of 19 U.S. retailers that are “on the brink of bankruptcy” right here. Needless to say, quite a bloodbath is going on out there right now.
The market for high-yield mining and energy debt is suffering from the some of the same issues that sparked the 2008 crisis as investors turn a blind eye to poor credit in their desperation for fatter returns, according to an executive with one of Canada’s largest hedge funds. Fund managers are snapping up lower-quality debt in a bid to outperform their competitors and retail investors don’t understand the underlying credit risk, particularly in exchange-traded funds, said Rick Rule, chief executive officer of Sprott U.S. Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Toronto-based Sprott Inc. with C$9.2 billion ($6.9 billion) under management.
Everyone is suddenly talking about the Deep State – the configuration of spy agencies, career bureaucrats, and overseas spooks whose murky omnipresence has been brought to light by President Trump’s contention that he was “wiretapped” by his predecessor……All the leakers had to do was comb through the material gathered by the NSA and cherry-pick what looked incriminating – although, to be sure, if they had a smoking gun we would surely have known about it by now…..It’s difficult to see how anyone could deny that the Surveillance State did a number on Trump. Two days after the loosened NSA rules went into effect, the Washington Post ran a story headlined “US Intercepts Capture Senior Russian Officials Celebrating Trump Win.”
During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised legislation that “fully repeals ObamaCare.” Monday night, the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives released legislation it claims would repeal and replace ObamaCare. Tuesday afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Capitol Hill to pressure members of Congress to support the bill. On Wednesday, two House Committees will begin to mark-up the legislation. House and Senate leaders are hoping for quick consideration and a signing ceremony, maybe by May, so they can move on to other things, like tax reform and confirming Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. Everyone needs to take a step back. This bill is a train wreck waiting to happen.
And we can extend this analysis to the economy as a whole, especially as it was financialized from the early 1980’s forward. When I look at GDP, real or nominal, in the US and other places around the world I can’t help but think of the destructive aftermath of what sure looks like a global war. It would normally take some cataclysm to produce these kinds of results, where the economy not only contracts but is actually robbed and defeated of so much potential. Physical and literal destruction is practically the only plausible candidate for what we find almost everywhere.
Legendary NSA whistleblower William Binney (and creator of NSA’s global surveillance system) confirmed to Fox News, that President Trump is “absolutely right” to claim he was wiretapped and monitored…… Binney is the NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, who managed six thousand NSA employees, the 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency and the NSA’s best-ever analyst and code-breaker, who mapped out the Soviet command-and-control structure before anyone else knew how, and so predicted Soviet invasions before they happened.
This only happened once before over the last decade – during the 2008/2009 recession. In a shocking correlation (especially for brain dead tax and spend liberals), when there are less jobs, there are less drivers on the roads going to work. I tried to think of other reasonable explanations for why traffic appeared to be contracting so dramatically. But lo and behold, certain data can’t be easily manipulated by the government. Gasoline demand is plunging, with the year over year trend crashing to levels last experienced during the 2001 recession. Gasoline demand was higher during the 2008/2009 crisis. Demand was higher when oil was over $100 per barrel. Based on this crash in gasoline demand, Goldman Sachs issued a report saying we should be in a recession.