#MacroView: Could A “Transaction Tax” Be A Good Thing?
I recently discussed why “Free, Isn’t Really Free” regarding the retail investor. While “free trades” have certainly reduced the transaction costs, the selling of data to the highest bidder has likely cost investors more than they saved.
Retail Investors Are Long Confidence And Short Experience
In a “market mania,” retail investors are generally “long confidence” and “short experience” as the bubble inflates. While we often believe each “time” is different, it rarely is. It is only the outcomes that are inevitably the same.
Sugar Rush! Why The Economy Will Run Hot, Then Crash
The expected “sugar rush” from more stimulus is why the economy will “run hot” then crash. As every parent knows, giving a child too much “sugar” leads to a “rush” of energy. Then comes the crash, where you find them in some odd place taking a nap.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Shiller: ECY & Justification For Sky-High Stock Prices
There is much to debate about the current level of interest rates and future stock market returns. However, what is clear is the 40-year decline in rates did not mitigate two extremely nasty bear markets since 1998, just as falling rates did not mitigate the crash in 1929 and the subsequent depression.
Earnings Growth Will Disappoint In 2021
It’s that time of year when Wall Street analysts started trotting out the predictions for earnings growth and stock market targets for the coming year. Unfortunately, each year these overly optimistic estimates are ground down as the year progresses. Next year will be no different as earnings growth will disappoint in 2021.
The “Roaring 20’s” – The Fundamental Problem Of The Bullish View
Recently, Ed Yardeni discussed his view of why another “Roaring 20’s” may lie ahead. However, while I certainly can appreciate his always “bullish optimism,” there is a significant fundamental problem with his view.
Technically Speaking: Investors Go “All-In” Without A Net
We have recently written a couple of posts about the “exuberance” that has invaded the market since the election. Such is often seen near short- to intermediate-term peaks in markets as investors go “all-in” without a net.
#MacroView: A Vaccine And The “New New Normal”
Moderna and Pfizer recently announced they had potential vaccines for COVID-19 that are more than 90% effective. With that, the market surged, and a rotation into “economically sensitive” sectors occurred. While a “vaccine” will eventually come to the market, it will only ensure a return to the “New New Normal.”
Buffett Indicator: Why Investors Are Walking Into A Trap
“The stock market is not the economy.” Such has been the “Siren’s Song” of investors over the last couple of years as valuation expansion has been the sole driver of the market’s performance. However, given that corporations derive their revenue from economic activity, the “Buffett Indicator” suggests investors may be walking into a trap.
The Rescues Are Ruining Capitalism
I want to discuss a recent WallStreet Journal article by Ruchir Sharma entitled “The Rescues Ruining Capitalism.” We talk much about the bailouts and stimulus programs related to the economic shutdown and pandemic. However, the bailouts began back in 2008 when the Federal Reserve intervened with the insolvency of Bear Stearns.
3-Reasons Why There Really Is No Housing Shortage
One of the most recent mantras in the financial media is that housing prices rise because there is an inventory shortage. While it is an excellent headline for “getting clicks,” the are 3-reasons why there really is NO housing shortage.
Why Debt-To-Income Ratios Are Worse Than They Appear
I recently published an article discussing why “recessions” are a good thing by reverting debt buildups excesses during expansions. The argument against debt reversions is always the same in that “debt-to-income” ratios low.
Policies Over Politics. Whoever Wins, We All Lose
As we near the 2020 Presidential election, rhetoric from both sides is ramping up. Depending on your personal “echo chamber” of social media, you are likely confident why your candidate is the best choice, and the opposition is the worst. However, when it comes to economic prosperity and the financial markets, who is the best choice? To answer that question, we will focus on the “policies,” not the “politics.”
Neel Kashkari Is The Definition Of “Moral Hazard”
Neel Kashkari, in a recent CNBC interview, said, “I don’t see any moral hazard here“ when asked if the Fed’s massive liquidity injections have blown a bubble. What exactly is the definition of “moral hazard.”
Recessions Are A Good Thing, Let Them Happen
It is a given that you should never mention the “R” word. People immediately assume you mean the end of the world: death, disaster, and destruction. Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve and the Government also believe recessions “are bad.” As such, they have gone to great lengths to avoid them. However, what if “recessions are a good thing,” and we just let them happen?
More Stimulus And The 2nd Derivative Effect
There is currently much hope for another fiscal stimulus package to be delivered to the economy from Congress. While President Trump recently doused hopes of a quick passage, there a demand for more stimulus by both parties. While most hope more stimulus will cure the economy’s ills, it will likely disappoint due to the “2nd derivative effect.”
CBO – The “One-Way Trip” Of American Debt
The amount of outstanding debt, and the subsequent deficit, has long been a problem in the U.S. For the last two decades, policymakers have made annual promises for more substantial economic growth. Yet with each passing year, growth rates weaken, and economic prosperity worsens.