In the last few weeks, more bad news was released about the actions and composition of U.S. Treasury debt holders. What this presented was a snap shot of an increasingly vulnerable U.S. public finances (and ultimately economy) dependent on constant infusions of cash in exchange for debt. Foreign creditors have long been among the most stalwart and significant of U.S. Treasuries buyers and long term holders out there. Yet this has at long last begun to decline, and it is a troubling development to say the least. For the 12 months that ended in October, the total non-U.S. resident inventories… Read More

This past week saw Wall Street finish up its worst trading year since the end of the Global Financial Crisis. All of the significant stock indices recorded their worst annual performances going back to 2009. The S&P 500 declined seven percent for the year. It was not just the indices taking a beating either. Legendary hedge fund managing all-star (and billionaire investor) David Einhorn suffered by far and away his worst year. His primary Greenlight Capital fund suffered a dramatic 34 percent decline for 2018, of which nine percent of it came for December alone. These are easily the most… Read More

December has not been encouraging for pensions funds' financial stability and solvency. Within the last few weeks it became evident that the pension system in the United States has become so precarious that Congress is literally preparing for its complete failure. While Congress busily worked out its latest budget deal and boost to spending, they slipped in a provision to start up a new committee to deploy federal government funds to financially save up to 200 multi-employer pension plans. In these pension plans, labor unions alongside employers together fund retirement benefits for benefiting employees. The enormous funds then take on… Read More

You can not have missed the continuing wild swings and dramatic losses in the stock markets the last week and month. They only seem to be getting worse and even accelerating. Now the S&P 500 charts have started sounding dire alarm bells that more selling is on the way. This pattern in question has been aptly and ominously named the "death cross." With the last Friday plunge in the markets, this dreaded sign showed up on the S&P 500 charts. It means that the last 50 day price average fell below the 200 daily moving average. This warning sign of… Read More

This past week saw the Dow Jones crater more than 800 points in a single session. The largest route since October was blamed on everything from the U.S. versus China global struggle for dominance to a bond market inversion that likely means a coming economic recession. Meanwhile, the air continued to deflate out of various bubbles in the economy, and most noticeably these past weeks from the auto bubble. GM announcing that it is closing five North American plants and laying off about 14,000 workers because of slow car sales is a significant moment in the twilight of the decade-long,… Read More

This past week saw some more wildly volatile and negative sessions on Wall Street. One day the Dow cratered around 400 points while the Nasdaq slid further in its correction territory with another three percent drop. Even the mighty five FAANG stocks Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google/Alphabet settled officially in bear market territory. With the Nasdaq having fallen over 12.5 percent in the third quarter, the long-time tech engine that powered the longest bull market in history forward has simply run out of gas. There are all kinds of speculations and reasons for why the markets could be down,… Read More

This past week, legendary billionaire investor and international business deal financier Paul Tudor Jones warned the world that it has taken on far too high an amount of debt. He predicts that this will cause problems for all asset classes and markets in the not too distant future. Jones has a painfully obvious point for those who take off their rose colored glasses. Total debt in the world notched a scary new all-time high amounting to $247 trillion per the Institute of International Finance (the IIF). Economists are starting to wake up to the increasing danger of out of control… Read More

Treasury yields may not be the most interesting subject on the planet, but they are critically important. As you saw the last week, they are also closely connected with Federal Reserve interest rate decisions. When the Fed did not show any apparent intent to change its course on the planned additional upcoming interest rate hikes (even with upheaval and volatility in the global equities and bond markets), this caused the Two Year Treasury yields to spike to their greatest level dating back to June of 2008. That is the same mid-2008 when the Global Financial Crisis and Great Recession were… Read More

The Wall Street Journal and Zero Hedge have recently both come out with a strong and dire warning (really more of a prediction actually) about an upcoming wave of inflation, coming to American cities near you soon. Zero Hedge put it this way in summarizing the Wall Street Journal: "Many U.S. consumer staple and industry leading companies are either already in the process of raising prices, or have set concrete plans to do so in the very near future." This is not just a shadowy vague threat for the future either. According to the Journal and Zero Hedge, price increases… Read More

The last few weeks have been somewhat quietly ushering in the beginnings of a bear market. Last week saw another day in which the stock market plunged and then recovered a little. The DJIA Dow Jones Industrial Average moved over 900 points in a single session. The reason of the day for the drop was supposedly because of fears over additional American and Chinese tariffs, still higher to come interest rates, and tech stocks' continuing to drop. Whatever the real reason may be, the Dow Jones has declined a sharp 6.9 percent for October. This represents the worst track record… Read More

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