David Stockman - Last Innings Of A Bad Ball Game
- Written by Karen Roche and JT Long | Wednesday, May 09, 2012
May 4, 2012
Submitted by Karen Roche and JT Long of The Gold Report
A "paralyzed" Federal Reserve Bank, in its "final days," held hostage by Wall Street "robots" trading in markets that are "artificially medicated" are just a few of the bleak observations shared by David Stockman, former Republican U.S. Congressman and director of the Office of Management and Budget. He is also a founding partner of Heartland Industrial Partners and the author of The Triumph of Politics: Why Reagan's Revolution Failed and the soon-to-be released The Great Deformation: How Crony Capitalism Corrupts Free Markets and Democracy. The Gold Report caught up with Stockman for this exclusive interview at the recent Recovery Reality Check conference.
The Gold Report: David, you have talked and written about the effect of government-funded, debt-fueled spending on the stock market. What will be the real impact of quantitative easing?
David Stockman: We are in the last innings of a very bad ball game. We are coping with the crash of a 30-year–long debt super-cycle and the aftermath of an unsustainable bubble.
Quantitative easing is making it worse by facilitating more public-sector borrowing and preventing debt liquidation in the private sector—both erroneous steps in my view. The federal government is not getting its financial house in order. We are on the edge of a crisis in the bond markets. It has already happened in Europe and will be coming to our neighborhood soon.
TGR: What should the role of the Federal Reserve be?
DS: To get out of the way and not act like it is the central monetary planner of a $15 trillion economy. It cannot and should not be done.
The Fed is destroying the capital market by pegging and manipulating the price of money and debt capital. Interest rates signal nothing anymore because they are zero. The yield curve signals nothing anymore because it is totally manipulated by the Fed. The very idea of "Operation Twist" is an abomination.
Capital markets are at the heart of capitalism and they are not working. Savers are being crushed when we desperately need savings. The federal government is borrowing when it is broke. Wall Street is arbitraging the Fed's monetary policy by borrowing overnight money at 10 basis points and investing it in 10-year treasuries at a yield of 200 basis points, capturing the profit and laughing all the way to the bank. The Fed has become a captive of the traders and robots on Wall Street.
TGR: If we are in the final innings of a debt super-cycle, what is the catalyst that will end the game?
DS: I think the likely catalyst is a breakdown of the U.S. government bond market. It is the heart of the fixed income market and, therefore, the world's financial market.
Because of Fed management and interest-rate pegging, the market is artificially medicated. All of the rates and spreads are unreal. The yield curve is not market driven. Supply and demand for savings and investment, future inflation risk discounts by investors—none of these free market forces matter. The price of money is dictated by the Fed, and Wall Street merely attempts to front-run its next move.
As long as the hedge fund traders and fast-money boys believe the Fed can keep everything pegged, we may limp along. The minute they lose confidence, they will unwind their trades.
On the margin, nobody owns the Treasury bond; you rent it. Trillions of treasury paper is funded on repo: You buy $100 million (M) in Treasuries and immediately put them up as collateral for overnight borrowings of $98M. Traders can capture the spread as long as the price of the bond is stable or rising, as it has been for the last year or two. If the bond drops 2%, the spread has been wiped out.
If that happens, the massive repo structures—that is, debt owned by still more debt—will start to unwind and create a panic in the Treasury market. People will realize the emperor is naked.
TGR: Is that what happened in 2008?
DS: In 2008 it was the repo market for mortgage-back securities, credit default obligations and such. In 2008 we had a dry run of what happens when a class of assets owned on overnight money goes into a tailspin. There is a thunderous collapse.
Since then, the repo trade has remained in the Treasury and other high-grade markets because subprime and low-quality mortgage-backed securities are dead.
TGR: Walk us through a hypothetical. What happens when the fast-money traders lose confidence in the Fed's ability to keep the spread?
DS: They are forced to start selling in order to liquidate their carry trades because repo lenders get nervous and want their cash back. However, when the crisis comes, there will be insufficient private bids—the market will gap down hard unless the central banks buy on an emergency basis: the Fed, the European Central Bank (ECB), the people's printing press of China and all the rest of them.
The question is: Will the central banks be able to do that now, given that they have already expanded their balance sheets? The Fed balance sheet was $900 billion (B) when Lehman crashed in September 2008. It took 93 years to build it to that level from when the Fed opened for business in November 1914. Bernanke then added another $900B in seven weeks and then he took it to $2.4 trillion in an orgy of money printing during the initial 13 weeks after Lehman. Today it is nearly $3 trillion. Can it triple again? I do not think so. Worldwide it's the same story: the top eight central banks had $5 trillion of footings shortly before the crisis; they have $15 trillion today. Overwhelmingly, this fantastic expansion of central bank footings has been used to buy or discount sovereign debt. This was the mother of all monetizations.
TGR: Following that path, what happens if there are no buyers? Do the governments go into default?
DS: The U.S. Treasury needs to be in the market for $20B in new issuances every week. When the day comes when there are all offers and no bids, the music will stop. Instead of being able to easily pawn off more borrowing on the markets—say 90 basis points for a 5-year note as at present—they may have to pay hundreds of basis points more. All of a sudden the politicians will run around with their hair on fire, asking, what happened to all the free money?
TGR: What do the politicians have to do next?
DS: They are going to have to eat 30 years worth of lies and by the time they are done eating, there will be a lot of mayhem.
TGR: Will the mayhem stretch into the private sector?
DS: It will be everywhere. Once the bond market starts unraveling, all the other risk assets will start selling off like mad, too.
TGR: Does every sector collapse?
DS: If the bond market goes into a dislocation, it will spread like a contagion to all of the other asset markets. There will be a massive selloff.
I think everything in the world is overvalued—stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies. Too much money printing and debt expansion drove the prices of all asset classes to artificial, non-economic levels. The danger to the world is not classic inflation or deflation of goods and services; it's a drastic downward re-pricing of inflated financial assets.
TGR: Is there any way to unravel this without this massive dislocation?
DS: I do not think so. When you are so far out on the end of a limb, how do you walk it back?
The Fed is now at the end of a $3 trillion limb. It has been taken hostage by the markets the Federal Open Market Committee was trying to placate. People in the trading desks and hedge funds have been trained to front run the Fed. If they think the Fed's next buy will be in the belly of the curve, they buy the belly of the curve. But how does the Fed ever unwind its current lunatic balance sheet? If the smart traders conclude the Fed's next move will be to sell mortgage-backed securities, they will sell like mad in advance; soon there would be mayhem as all the boys and girls on Wall Street piled on. So the Fed is frozen; it is petrified by fear that if it begins contracting its balance sheet it will unleash the demons.
TGR: Was there some type of tipping that allowed certain banks to front run the Fed?
DS: There are two kinds of front-running. First is market-based front-running. You try to figure out what the Fed is doing by reading its smoke signals and looking at how it slices and dices its meeting statements. People invest or speculate against the Fed's next incremental move.
Second, there is illicit front-running, where you have a friend who works for the Federal Reserve Board who tells you what happened in its meetings. This is obviously illegal.
But frankly, there is also just plain crony capitalism that is not that different in character and it's what Wall Street does every day. Bill Dudley, who runs the New York Fed, was formerly chief economist for Goldman Sachs and he pretends to solicit an opinion about financial conditions from the current Goldman economist, who then pretends to opine as to what the economy and Fed might do next for the benefit of Goldman's traders, and possibly its clients. So then it links in the ECB, Bank of Canada, etc. Is there any monetary post in the world not run by Goldman Sachs?
The point is, this is not the free market at work. This is central bank money printers and their Wall Street cronies perverting what used to be a capitalist market.
TGR: Does this unwinding of the Fed and the bond markets put the banking system back in peril, like in 2008?
DS: Not necessarily. That is one of the great myths that I address in my book. The banking system, especially the mainstream banking system, was not in peril at all. The toxic securitized mortgage assets were not in the Main Street banks and savings and loans; these institutions owned mostly prime quality whole loans and could have bled down the modest bad debt they did have over time from enhanced loan loss reserves. So the run on money was not at the retail teller window; it was in the canyons of Wall Street. The run was on wholesale money—that is, on repo and on unsecured commercial paper that had been issued in the hundreds of billions by financial institutions loaded down with securitized toxic garbage, including a lot of in-process inventory, on the asset side of their balance sheets.
The run was on investment banks that were really hedge funds in financial drag. The Goldmans and Morgan Stanleys did not really need trillion-dollar balance sheets to do mergers and acquisitions. Mergers and acquisitions do not require capital; they require a good Rolodex. They also did not need all that capital for the other part of investment banking—the underwriting business. Regulated stocks and bonds get underwritten through rigged cartels—they almost never under-price and really don't need much capital. Their trillion dollar balance sheets, therefore, were just massive trading operations—whether they called it customer accommodation or proprietary is a distinction without a difference—which were funded on 30 to 1 leverage. Much of the debt was unstable hot money from the wholesale and repo market and that was the rub—the source of the panic.
Bernanke thought this was a retail run à la the 1930s. It was not; it was a wholesale money run in the canyons of Wall Street and it should have been allowed to burn out.
TGR: Let's get back to our ballgame. What is to keep the U.S. population from saying, please Fed save us again?
DS: This time, I think the people will blame the Fed for lying. When the next crisis comes, I can see torches and pitch forks moving in the direction of the Eccles building where the Fed has its offices.
TGR: Let's talk about timing. On Dec. 31, the tax cuts expire, defense cuts go into place and we hit the debt ceiling.
DS: That will be a clarifying moment; never before have three such powerful vectors come together at the same time— fiscal triple witching.
First, the debt ceiling will expire around election time, so the government will face another shutdown and it will be politically brutal to assemble a majority in a lame duck session to raise it by the trillions that will be needed. Second, the whole set of tax cuts and credits that have been enacted over the last 10 years total up to $400–500B annually will expire on Dec. 31, so they will hit the economy like a ton of bricks if not extended. Third, you have the sequester on defense spending that was put in last summer as a fallback, which cannot be changed without a majority vote in Congress.
It is a push-pull situation: If you defer the sequester, you need more debt ceiling. If you extend the tax expirations, you need a debt ceiling increase of $100B a month.
TGR: What will Congress do?
DS: Congress will extend the whole thing for 60 or 90 days to give the new president, if he hasn't demanded a recount yet, an opportunity to come up with a plan.
To get the votes to extend the debt ceiling, the Democrats will insist on keeping the income and payroll tax cuts for the 99% and the Republicans will want to keep the capital gains rate at 15% so the Wall Street speculators will not be inconvenienced. It is utter madness.
TGR: It is like chasing your tail. How does it stop?
DS: I do not know how a functioning democracy in the ordinary course can deal with this. Maybe someone from Goldman Sachs can come and put in a fix, just like in Greece and Italy. The situation is really that pathetic.
TGR: Greece has come up with some creative ways to bring down its sovereign debt without actually defaulting.
DS: The Greek debt restructuring was a farce. More than $100B was held by the European bailout fund, the ECB or the International Monetary Fund. They got 100 cents on the dollar simply by issuing more debt to Greece. For private debt, I believe the net write-down was $30B after all the gimmicks, including the front-end payment. The rest was simply refinanced. The Greeks are still debt slaves, and will be until they tell Brussels to take a hike.
TGR: Going back to the triple-witching hour at year-end, if the debt ceiling is raised again, when do we start to see government layoffs and limitations on services?
DS: Defense purchases and non-defense purchases will be hit with brutal force by the sequester. As we go into 2013, there will be a shocking hit to the reported GDP numbers as discretionary government spending shrinks. People keep forgetting that most government spending is transfer payments, but it is only purchases of labor and goods that go directly into the GDP calculations, and it is these accounts that will get smacked by the sequester of discretionary defense and non-defense budgets.
TGR: I would think to unemployment numbers as well.
DS: They will go up.
Just take one example. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly report, there are 650,000 or so jobs in the U.S. Postal Service alone. That is 650,000 people who pretend to work at jobs that have more or less been made obsolete and redundant by the Internet and who are paid through borrowings from Uncle Sam because the post office is broke. Yet, the courageous ladies and gentlemen on Capitol Hill cannot even bring themselves to vote to discontinue Saturday mail delivery; they voted to study it! That is a measure of the loss of capacity to rationally cognate about our fiscal circumstance.
TGR: In the midst of this volatility, how can normal people preserve, much less expand their wealth?
DS: The only thing you can do is to stay out of harm's way and try to preserve what you can in cash. All of the markets are rigged or impaired. A 4% yield on blue chip stocks is not worth it, because when the thing falls apart, your 4% will be gone in an hour.
TGR: But if the government keeps printing money, cash will not be worth as much, either, right?
DS: No, I do not think we will have hyperinflation. I think the financial system will break down before it can even get started. Then the economy will go into paralysis until we find the courage, focus and resolution to do something about it. Instead of hyperinflation or deflation there will be a major financial dislocation, which means painful re-pricing of financial assets.
How painful will the re-pricing be? I think the public already knows that it will be really terrible. A poll I saw the other day indicated that 25% of people on the verge of retirement think they are in such bad financial shape that they will have to work until age 80. Now, the average life expectancy is 78. People's financial circumstances are so bad that they think they will be working two years after they are dead!
TGR: Finally, what is your investment model?
DS: My investing model is ABCD: Anything Bernanke Cannot Destroy: flashlight batteries, canned beans, bottled water, gold, a cabin in the mountains.
TGR: Thank you very much.
David Stockman is a former U.S. politician and businessman, serving as a Republican U.S. Representative from the state of Michigan 1977–1981 and as the director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan 1981–1985. He is the author of The Triumph of Politics: Why Reagan's Revolution Failed and the soon-to-be released The Great Deformation: How Crony Capitalism Corrupts Free Markets and Democracy.
This past Friday I visited with Bill Griffith, Maria Bartiromo and Rick Santelli on CNBC to discuss my views on the latest employment report. My take is somewhat basic in regards to the data - on a macro level the jobs that are being created are temporary, low paying, jobs that do not create long term sustainabilty for economic growth.
As I stated in "Employment: The Macro Trends":
This problem with part-time employment is that it does not increase economic prosperity. Part-time employment, as discussed in the "Labor Hoarding Effect," has been an aggressively used tool by corporations to suppress wage growth, reduce overhead costs and increase profitability. The problem is that with the Affordable Care Act gearing up to start in 2014 even more businesses will resort to part-time employment to reduce the increased health care tax burden. I stated that:
"The issue of 'labor hoarding' is an important phenomenon that is likely obscuring the real weakness in the underlying economy. Without an increase in the demand part of the equation businesses are likely to continue resorting to further productivity increases to stretch the current labor force farther to protect profitability. However, as we may currently be witnessing, businesses may be reaching the limits of what they can do to continue increasing profits at the bottom line while revenue declines at the top. The implications for the financial markets going forward are clearly negative."
There has been little improvement in the number of people working part-time for economic reasons. However, as I stated, such weak employment leads to dependence of government subsidies which explains the rise in disability claims and food stamp participation as individuals seek to make ends meet.
I also discuss my views on the market and where to invest.
- Is The Consumer Really Deleveraging?
- The Great "American" Divide
- 5 Questions That Every Market Bull Should Answer
- The Fallacy Of The Fed Model
- Why You Can't Beat The Index
- There Is No Asset Bubble?
- Market And Investing Wisdoms
- Visualizing Bob Farrell's 10 Investing Rules
- 10 Immutable Laws Of Money
- The Next Secular Bull Market Is Still A Few Years Away
- The Real Housing Recovery Story
- Housing Recovery: What Has Been Forgotten
- The Next Four Years Won't Be As Good As The Last
- Debt And Deficits - Killing Economic Prosperity
- Debt - Driving The Economy Since 1980
- Unemployment 7.8% to 22% - Is There A Better Method?
- 4 Keys To Successful Long Term Investing
- Thoughts On Long Term Investing
- 10 More Years Of Low Returns
- 5 Mistakes That Will Crush Your Retirement Dream
- Beware Of Long Term Investing Advice
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- • Economic Reports Confirm Deterioration
- ► July (20)
- • Consumer Spending Points To Weaker Employme...
- • FOMC, ECB and Jobs - A Trifecta Of Potentia...
- • 2nd Quarter GDP - Weaker In All The Wrong P...
- • ECB Spurs Short Covering Rally
- • Major Sell Signal Triggered
- • Richmond Fed - Recession Risks Increase
- • CFNAI And Market Update
- • Thoughts On Long Term Investing
- • LEI, Philly Fed, Housing And The 100 Days O...
- • Corporate Profits Surge At Expense Of Worke...
- • Markets Have Trapped Fed On QE3
- • Will QE 3 Save Us From Recession
- • Consumers Flash Warning Signal
- • Import-Export Prices And Jobless Claims
- • Trade and Mortgage Data - More Evidence Of ...
- • NFIB Weakness And Recession Risks
- • Looking At The Economic Forest
- • Homes: The Case Of M2V And The Elusive Reco...
- • Coming This Fall - The Best Time To Invest
- • Euro Crisis: 366 Days Later
- ► June (25)
- • Consumer Spending Leads To Lower Q2 GDP
- • Q1 GDP - Consumer Weaker As Weather Saves T...
- • Durable Goods - Highly Volatile But Trend T...
- • June Rally Complete - Summer Sell Off Ahead...
- • The Fed And Goldilocks Economic Forecasting
- • Negative Economic Trends Clearing Way For Q...
- • CHART OF THE DAY: Fed Lowers Economic Outl...
- • No Q.E. As Expected - "Twist" Extended
- • No QE3 Tomorrow - Replay Of 2011 Continues
- • CHART OF THE DAY: JOLT Survey And Peak Emp...
- • Have A State Pension? Don't Count On It.
- • Inflation, Dollar And Interest Rates Open D...
- • Retail Sales In Decline
- • Deflationary Presssures Rising - PPI
- • CHART OF THE DAY: Negative Net Export Pric...
- • NFIB - Shows Flaws In Current Policy Mix
- • Why Spain's Bailout May Spell The End Of Th...
- • Trade - A Wholesale And Int'l Disappointmen...
- • Risks To The Market Rebound
- • Forecasting The Rebound And Bottom
- • St. Bernanke's Fight Against The Deflation ...
- • CHART OF THE DAY: US Best Place To Invest
- • ISM Composite - Economic Weakness Returns
- • TheStreet.Com - Gold Run Not Over
- • The Lie That Is Social Security
- ► May (27)
- • Yahoo! Summer Portfolio Management Ideas
- • Yahoo! Low Interest Rates Hurts Economy
- • Fox Business - Tending Your Portfolio
- • CNBC - Eurozone Slowdown Will Impact US
- • Housing Recovery - Hope and Reality
- • Interview - Southwest Airlines, Facebook an...
- • Durable Goods Disappointing
- • 4-Issues For The Market Ahead
- • Richmond Fed Showing More Weakness
- • Sell Signal Confirmed - Initial Targets Set
- • Risk Ratio Indicating More Correction Comin...
- • Confirmed "Sell Signal" Approaches
- • Industrial Production And The Recovery
- • Composite Inflation Index Declines
- • Real Retail Sales Under Pressure
- • Sex, Money and Largesse - The Hidden Depres...
- • Trade Defict - Confirming Weaker Q1 GDP
- • The Clock Is Ticking On The Next Eurozone C...
- • Initial Sell Signal In - Confirmation Is Li...
- • NFIB - Optimistic But Still At Recessionary...
- • Economic Trends Don't Paint A Robust Pictur...
- • Strategic Investment Conference - Dr. Lacy ...
- • Strategic Investment Conference - David Ros...
- • Strategic Investment Conference - Dr. Woody...
- • Strategic Investment Conference - Niall Fer...
- • 3 Likely Triggers Of The Next Recession
- • ISM Report Bucking The Trend
- ► April (19)
- • The "Consumption Dysfunction" Continues
- • Q1 GDP - Weaker Than Expected
- • Social Security Has A Real Problem - Employ...
- • Decline In Durable Goods Indicative Of Broa...
- • Impatience Will Lead To Our Demise
- • Market Cracks Support - Correction Gets Ser...
- • LEI - Slower Growth Of The Growth Update
- • Philly Fed Points To Weaker Profits Ahead
- • Mother Nature's Bail Out Coming To An End
- • 10 More Years Of Low Returns
- • 5 Mistakes That Will Crush Your Retirement ...
- • Earnings Likely To Be "Better Than Expected...
- • Market Hits Support - Now What?
- • The Return Of Economic Weakness
- • The Correction Has Started
- • The "Real" Employment Report - March 2012
- • Now The Media Is Hooked On QE Crack
- • Wave 5 Of The Cyclical Bull Market
- • CHART OF THE DAY: Signs Of Recovery?
- ► March (24)
- • The Consumption Dysfunction
- • WTF! Chart Of The Day
- • An Update On Margin Debt
- • Hyperinflation Isn't A Threat
- • Surprise! Jobs Drive Consumer Confidence
- • Death Of The Gold Bull Market?
- • Housing And The Elusive Recovery
- • LEI - Slower Growth Of The Growth
- • The Long Road Ahead
- • The "Fly" In Ryan's Budget Ointment
- • 1.8 Million Jobs Lost In 2012
- • Why 4% GDP Will Remain Elusive
- • The Stretching Of Limits
- • Rising Costs And Profit Margins
- • Retail Sales - A Lot About Weather
- • Correction: There Has Been No Correction
- • CHART OF THE DAY: Ceridian-UCLA PCI
- • NFIB - Index Up But Internals Weaken
- • Employment Report And The Market
- • Is The Investing Game Rigged?
- • OIl Prices Will Hurt The Consumer
- • Has The Correction Started?
- • The Immediacy Trap
- • 1st Quarter GDP To Be Much Weaker
- ► February (22)
- • Oil Prices WILL Slow The Economy (Revised)
- • Don't Feed The Animals
- • The Housing Recovery In One Index
- • Consumer Sentiment Responds To Market Rally
- • The Straw That Potentially Breaks The Camel...
- • Media Headlines Will Lead You To Ruin
- • Philly Fed Future Activity Points To Weakne...
- • Housing Headlines Improve - Reality Doesn't
- • The "Real" American Dream
- • Industrial Production - The Revival May Hav...
- • Consumer Confidence Has Everything To Do Wi...
- • NFIB - Optimistic But Still In The Foxhole
- • Financial Stress Composite Rising
- • Trade Data Trends Signal Weakness Ahead
- • Consumer Credit And The American Conundrum
- • Is Now The Time To Jump In?
- • Gold - The Technical Rundown
- • Bringing The NILF Mystery To Light
- • Gallop Points To Weaker Employment Report T...
- • Earning Less - Why The Poor Get Poorer
- • ISM - Misses Expectations
- • ADP Signals Weak Job Report Friday
- ► January (23)
- • Chicago ISM - Has The Recovery Peaked?
- • Home Prices Fall Further
- • PCE Points To Weaker GDP Ahead
- • Q4 GDP - "Prognosis Still Negative"
- • Fed Meeting - Reconciling A Weak Economy
- • Why Home Prices Have Much Further To Fall
- • IMF Cuts Global Forecast - US Won't Dodge T...
- • Complacency Risk Is High
- • Prices Paid And Coming Earnings Weakness
- • Housing Is Not Affordable
- • Industrial Production Confirming Changes To...
- • Patiently Waiting For The Golden Cross
- • Consumer Sentiment Rises - Still In Recessi...
- • Why QE3 Won't Help "Average Joe"
- • Industrial Production May Be About To Weake...
- • Consumer Spending May Dissapoint
- • NFIB - Small Businesses More Optimistic
- • Markets Throw Off A Buy Signal
- • The Real Employment Situation Report For De...
- • Improvement In Employment - At Least For No...
- • Markets Getting Over Bought / Over Bullish
- • Market Rallies To Resistance - Now What?
- • ISM & Construction Spending - Modest Improv...
- ► December (19)
- ► 2011 (277)
- ► December (22)
- • 2012 Outlook - Anything Other Than The Apoc...
- • Q3 GDP - "Prognosis Negative"
- • The Eurozone Is Saved?
- • Market Rally To Nowhere
- • Housing Starts Up - Patient Still Critical
- • NAHB Housing Market Index
- • A Little Followed Indicator Hints At Recess...
- • Inflation Pressures Rising In The Core
- • Economic Deluge - Economy Shows Some Positi...
- • Is The Gold Run Over?
- • Import Prices Jump - Recession Odds Increas...
- • NFIB - Bounce Off The Bottom
- • No Holiday Cheer In Retail Sales
- • A Million Dollars Ain't What It Used To Be
- • STA RIsk Ratio Turns Up - We've Seen This B...
- • Consumer Sentiment Ticks Up
- • What Are Initial Claims Not Telling Us?
- • Is Consumer Spending Really Surging?
- • Could Gasoline Prices Trigger A Recession
- • Market Rallies Into EU Meeting
- • ISM Composite Index Ticks Up
- • The Real Employment Situation Report
- ► November (29)
- • Economic Data - Headlines Bullish
- • Markets Surge As World Engages In Global Ba...
- • Was That The Consumer's Last Gasp?
- • Housing - The Margin Effect
- • Economic "Run Down" - Weakness Emerges
- • GDP - Revised Down
- • Is Market Warning Of The Next Lehman Event?
- • EOCI Index Improves - Is It All Clear?
- • Philly Fed Survey - Predicting A Peak In Ea...
- • US Debt To GDP Now 98.9% And Rising
- • Inflation - A Continued Problem For Consume...
- • Economy Shows Tenative Signs Of Improvement
- • Debate - Is US Becoming Japan
- • Presidential And Decennial Cycles - What Ab...
- • Consumer Sentiment Driven By Market Rally
- • Net Export Prices Turn Down
- • What "Average Joe" Really Thinks
- • Blood Bath As Italy Faces Crisis
- • Are Oil Prices Confirming ECRI Recession Ca...
- • Oil Price Spike Update
- • No Joy In NFIB Report
- • Market Vs Economic Cycles And Sector Rotati...
- • Employment - The Good, Bad & Ugly
- • ISM Non-Manufacturing Index - Not Adding Up
- • Productivity Up - Costs Down
- • Fed's Outlook Much Weaker Than Reported
- • Food Stamp Usage Sets New Record
- • Fed Trapped By Inflation
- • Manufacturing Not Showing GDP Strength
- ► October (24)
- • STA Risk Ratio Turns Up
- • Buy Signal Is In - But Move Slowly
- • Recession Still Likely Despite Bump In GDP
- • A Haircut, Boost and Drop
- • New Homes Sales - Glued To The Bottom
- • Consumer Is Key To Next Recession
- • Case-Shiller 20-City Index Flat As HARP Wil...
- • CFNAI - Better But Still Negative
- • Understanding Federal Debt: Point - Counter...
- • Temporary Bounce In Philly Fed Confirmed By...
- • Inflation Rises Along With Housing Hopes
- • Snipe Hunting In The Housing Market
- • Der Spiegel is Der Wrong
- • Inventories, Sentiment and Sales - Behind T...
- • The Empire Is Tarnished
- • A JOLT To The System
- • NFIB and PCI - More Signs Of Weakness
- • 1929-45 Vs Today - Following The Same Path
- • Unemployment Report Worse Than It Looks
- • Bearish Sentiment Abounds
- • ISM Composite Index - Been Here Before
- • Yield Spread Confirming Recession Call
- • Market Breaks Its Neck
- • ISM Manufacturing Index - Backlog Drawdown ...
- ► September (34)
- • 5 Months Down - Time For A Bounce?
- • Economic Trifecta - But No Winners
- • Economy Upticks & Jobless Claims Fall
- • Gallup - Economic Confidence Slides
- • Can Margin Debt Give Us A Clue On Market Di...
- • Euro Tarp - Why It Will Be A Screaming Fail...
- • Consumer Doldrums
- • Chicago Fed National Activity "Slowing Down...
- • End Of Week Technical Wrap Up
- • The Yield Spread Is Lying About The Coming ...
- • Leading Indicators Predict Weaker Economy
- • Why The Fed's "Silver Bullet" Won't Kill Th...
- • Fed Buy's Paltry $ 400 Billion - Need A Hug...
- • Market Weak - Waiting On The Fed
- • Housing Still A Drag
- • Consumer Confidence Remains At Lowest Level...
- • Coordinated Central Bank Intervention Creat...
- • Philly Fed Survey - Predicting Recession
- • CPI Rises - Inflation Hits Home
- • Consumers Tapping Out Savings To Spend
- • PPI - Pushing A Slowdown
- • NFIB Confidence Slides Lower
- • Export Prices Still A Negative For The Econ...
- • The Great American Economic Lie
- • High Yield Spread Signaling Recession
- • The Economy Weakens More
- • Obama's $ 400 Billion For Jobs And Counting
- • Trade Deficit - Points To Possible Uptick I...
- • Another Domino Falls For The Market
- • Corporate Profits Are In Trouble
- • Are Stocks Undervalued?
- • European Markets Down Sharply
- • Jobs - What Jobs?
- • Why Unemployment Is About To Surge
- ► August (38)
- • Market Bounce OR New Bull Market
- • Chicago ISM Confirms Weakness
- • Consumer Confidence Collapses - Again
- • Personal Incomes Still Under Pressure
- • Annotated Bernanke Speech - The Elusive Eco...
- • Corporate Profits - Hinting At Recession
- • GDP - Revised Down
- • The Deficit Spending Trap
- • Will Ben Go For Another Round Of QE?
- • Boomers - Are Going To Be A Real Drag
- • No Job = No New House
- • Beware Of Long Term Investing Advice
- • Technical Market Overview
- • EOCI Index Now At Recession Levels
- • Composite Inflation Index Warning Of Slower...
- • 7 Things That Make Me Worried
- • The Difference Between "WHAT" and "WHEN"
- • Empire Fed Index - 3 Strikes You're Out
- • Rosenberg On The Economy
- • Consumer Confidence Collapses
- • Trade Deficit Points To Sub-1% 2nd Qtr GDP
- • 7 Things My Mom Taught Me About Investing
- • Blood In The Streets - Part II
- • Ceridian UCLA Consumer Pulse - Going Flatli...
- • Market Bounce - Was It Stealth QE3?
- • FOMC Meeting Ends - No Change To Stance
- • NFIB Survey Says...Higher Taxes Won't Work
- • Panic Attack! Markets Extremely Oversold
- • Employment Report Less Than Meets The Eye
- • Market Trashed Again! Panic Hits.
- • Recession Almost A Certainty
- • QE 3 Coming - But Won't Save The Economy
- • Yield Curves & The Fed Model
- • ISM Composite Index - Continues Decline
- • Market Trashed - What Now?
- • Personal Income Under Pressure
- • ISM - Clinging On For Dear Life
- • Debt Deal - A Complete Failure
- ► July (38)
- • We Are All Guessing
- • Dismal Economic Numbers
- • 10 Lessons Learned From Poker
- • STA Risk Ratio - Still On Sell Signal
- • GDP - 2nd Quarter Estimate
- • Consumer Un-Confidence
- • Are We Headed For A Second Recession? Upda...
- • Chicago Fed National Activity Index Confirm...
- • Decline In Profits Leads Index
- • EOC Index Shows Economic Weakness
- • Help Wanted - Not So Much
- • Existing Home Sales - A Resumption Of Decli...
- • Housing Starts - Bouncing Along The Bottom
- • You Can't Have A Jobless Recovery
- • NAHB Housing Index - No Signs Of Life
- • Commentary: A Default Would Devastate D.C.-...
- • Tax Reform -The Overlooked Solution
- • Empire Index - Harbinger Of Bad Things To C...
- • Consumers Believe It's Really A Recession
- • Inflation Index Flashes Warning
- • Bernanke Gives US Congress "The Finger"
- • Retail Sales & Jobless Claims
- • Why The Trade Deficit Is Warning Of Weak GD...
- • QE 3 - "To Infinity And Beyond"
- • No Fear - That's Not A Good Thing
- • More Fed Stimulus - As Expected
- • NFIB - No Jobs For You
- • Why Economists Don't Have A Clue About Jobs
- • Raising Taxes Won't Raise Revenue
- • Why The Jobs Report Is Worse Than It Seems
- • Why Oil Price Spikes "Feel" Worse
- • The Average Investor Doesn't Stand A Chance
- • How To Just Get By On Food Stamps
- • Jobless Still Jobless- Teens Hired For The ...
- • ISM Composite Index Showing Contraction
- • Outperforming The Market By 30% With No Ris...
- • ISM Report - Little To Be Excited About
- • Greenspan - QE Was A Failure
- ► June (38)
- • Market Failed At Resistance - Now What?
- • Full Employment - Hope vs Reality
- • Existing Home Sales Reflect Balance Sheet R...
- • Myths Of Retirement Planning
- • Implications Of Household Debt Deleveraging
- • LEI Warning Of Economic Stumbling Economy
- • Greece Ripple Effects Could Create US Finan...
- • Consumer Confidence Falls
- • Economy Failing Right On Time
- • New Home Starts - It's The Job Market Stupi...
- • Composite Price Index - Pushing Upper Limit...
- • Empire Composite Index Signals Economic Con...
- • PPI - Ratio Pointing To Economic Weakness
- • NFIB Employment Expectations Dispells 5% Ec...
- • Trade Deficit - A Roadmap To Economic Stren...
- • How Far Might A Bounce Go?
- • What Is Really Driving The Weakness In The ...
- • Obama Says He Has No Fear Of A Double Dip
- • NYSE Margin Debt
- • Beranke Speech - A Prelude To QE 3
- • Don't Get Suckered!
- • QE3 - Just A Matter Of Time
- • Job Report Shocker
- • Where's My Bottom
- • STA Risk Ratio Indicator Update - Still Cor...
- • ISM Composite Index Confirmed Market Top
- • Not The American Dream I Was Told About
- • Never Buy Stocks Again? Seriously?
- • Where Is The Confidence?
- • ISM Manufacturing Report Hits The Brakes
- • A Weaker Dollar Equals A Weaker Economy
- • Market Bounce
- • SF Bay Bridge - "Made In China"
- • Consumer Confidence At Recession Levels
- • The Decline Of The American "Saver"
- • Greece Fire - NY Post
- • The Breaking Point
- • Financial Profits Reduce Economic Prosperit...
- ► May (32)
- • Consumer Confidence Falls
- • Slide In Corporate Profits - Part II
- • Personal Incomes Still Feeding The Gas Tank
- • Change In Corporate Profits Leads To Market...
- • Economic Surprises - The Wrong Kind
- • New Orders For Durable Goods - Another Nail...
- • STA Buy/Sell Indicator Flashes Sell Signal
- • New Home Sales Not Inspiring
- • STA Economic Output Index Takes A Plunge
- • Debt To GDP And A Sustainable Level
- • The Virtuous Cycle Of The Economy
- • Economy Shifting Into Slower Gear
- • 7 Impossible Trading Rules To Follow
- • Housing Starts Fall - Again
- • Cyclical Bull Markets In Secular Bear Marke...
- • Empire Manufacturing Index
- • More Inflation For Consumers!
- • Headline Inflation Pushing Up
- • Weakness In GDP Continues (X-M)
- • Small Business Optimism Getting Worse!
- • Import Prices Flashing Warning Signal
- • Home Prices Following The Path To Destructi...
- • The Hyperinflation Index
- • Unemployment Rate Climbs To 9.0%
- • The Link Between Productivity & Jobs
- • Commodities Stumble
- • Jobless Claims Jump
- • ISM Composite Index vs S&P 500
- • ADP & ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Have A Lo...
- • Gallup: More Than Half Of Americans Still S...
- • "Let Them Eat IPads"
- • Have We Seen The Peak In This Business Cycl...
- ► April (22)
- • Fallacy Of The Falling Dollar
- • 1.8% GDP Not So Great!
- • Bernanke's Folly - High Oil Prices Are Flee...
- • Consumer Confidence - STILL Not So Confiden...
- • Tracking The Next Gasoline Induced Recessio...
- • New Home Sales Tick Up
- • STA Risk Ratio Throwing Off Warning Signal
- • The Philly Fed Survery Says....#&^%@!!
- • Americans Receive MORE In Government Handou...
- • NYSE Margin Debt Reaching Danger Zone
- • Housing Starts Not Starting
- • Pitchfork and Torches For The Rich
- • S&P Downgrades US Credit Outlook To Negativ...
- • Why You Can't Invest For The "Long Term"
- • Jobless Claims & PPI - Not Looking Better
- • Who Pays The Taxes!
- • Retail Sales Confirms Consumer Weakness
- • Gallop Poll Confirms NFIB Index - Economy S...
- • Small Business Still Not Optomistic
- • Trade Deficit Narrows - But Not In A Good W...
- • NYSE Margin Debt Climbs
- • High Commodity Prices Not The Result Of The...
- ► December (22)