Commentary

Powell Changes The Rules On QE

The markets took a tumble to start this week as rising interest rates and inflationary pressures begin to weigh on outlooks. Those worries quickly diminished as Jerome Powell changed the rules to reassure Wall Street that “QE” is here to stay.

Commentary

The Only Reason To Be “Bearish” Is “No One Is Bearish”

More than 90% of investors believe the economy will be more robust in 2021, with a consensus it’s a V-shape recovery. For the first time since January 2020, chief investment officers want to increase capital spending rather than improve balance sheets.

Commentary

Howard Marks On Speculative Manias

One of my favorite investing legends is Oaktree Management’s Howard Marks. His investing wisdom and in-depth knowledge of investor psychology and market dynamics are unparalleled. Given the “speculative mania” we continue to watch in the market, I thought a review of some of his previous thoughts is appropriate.

Commentary

Powell Is Wrong. More Stimulus Won’t Create Employment

As discussed in Friday’s #Macroview, stimulus, mainly when it comes from debt, does not create organic economic growth. In the second part of this analysis, we delve into why Powell is wrong when he says more stimulus will solve the employment problem.

Commentary

Bull Mania & The Charge Of The Light Brigade

2021 has certainly started off interesting. From Reddit readers chasing the most heavily shorted stocks, to the new Administration discussing more stimulus, investors have had plenty to deal with. A market review seems appropriate as the bulls seem to remain bulletproof even as the mania grows.

Commentary

The Fed, Zombies, & The Pathway To Japanification

The Fed recognizes their ongoing monetary interventions have created financial risks in terms of asset bubbles. They are also aware that most policy tools are likely ineffective at mitigating financial risks in the future. Such leaves them being dependent on expanding their balance sheet as their primary weapon.

Commentary

The Illusion Of Soaring Savings Amid Rising Economic Uncertainty

The illusion of surging savings rates or the decline in the debt-to-income ratios obfuscates the real economic problems and fosters the belief that monetary policies are working. They aren’t.

Commentary

The Problem With Analysts Forecasts

We can’t predict the future. If we could, fortune tellers would all win the lottery. They don’t, we can’t, and we aren’t going to try. However, this doesn’t stop the annual parade of Wall Street analysts from putting out forecasts on the S&P 500.

Commentary

NFIB Survey: Sends A Strong Warning About Small-Cap Stocks

In September 2019, I wrote “NFIB Survey Trips Economic Alarms,” Of course, it was just a few short months later the U.S. economy fell into the deepest recession since the “Great Depression.” The latest NFIB survey is sending a strong warning to investors piling into small-cap stocks.

Commentary

Yes, Virginia. There Is A Stock Market Bubble.

As we enter 2021, there are two myths told to investors to support the bull market narrative. The first, as we debunked recently, is that low-interest rates justify high valuations. The second is that since valuations are not as high as the “dot.com” crisis, there is no “stock market bubble.”

Commentary

Why There Is Literally No “Cash On The Sidelines.”

In the current bull market advance, few people are willing to sell, so buyers must keep bidding up prices to attract a seller to make a transaction. As long as this remains the case, and exuberance exceeds logic, buyers will continue to pay higher prices to get into the positions they want to own.

Commentary

Why The Second Stimulus Won’t Have Much Economic Impact

In October, I discuss how the “2nd Derivative Effect” would mute the impact of future stimulus programs. With the passage of the $900 billion stimulus package, we can update the estimates for the economic impact heading into 2021.

Commentary

Shades Of 1999 As “Market Mania” Returns In 2020

“Maybe this time is different. Those words, supposedly the most dangerous to utter in the investing realm, came to mind amid the frenzied pops in the highly anticipated initial public offerings recently.” That quote was from Randall Forsyth discussing why the current market mania reminds him of the “Shades of 1999.”

Commentary

Yellen’s “Arranged Marriage” To The Fed

Recently, President-Elect Joe Biden named Janet Yellen to be his administration’s Treasury Secretary. Yellen quickly proclaimed the reason “I became an economist was because I was concerned about the toll of unemployment on people, families, and communities.” Such provides excellent commentary, but her track record as Federal Reserve Chairman shows she is more for the top 10% of the economy than the bottom. In reality, and what the markets already suspect, her appointment is an “arranged marriage” to the Fed.

Commentary

A Major Support For Asset Prices Has Reversed

In 2019, we wrote about how corporate share repurchases, or “stock buybacks,” had accounted for nearly all buying in the market. A year later, that significant support for asset prices has reversed.