After making over $1 billion in one day last August, and warning that “the markets are overvalued to the tune of 50%,” Mark Spitznagel knows a thing or two about managing tail risk.
The outspoken practitioner of Austrian economic philosophy tells The FT, “Markets don’t have a purpose any more – they just reflect whatever central planners want them to,” confirming his fund-management partner, Nassim Taleb’s perspective that “being protected from fragility in the financial system is a necessity rather than an option.”
“This is the greatest monetary experiment in history. Why wouldn’t it lead to the biggest collapse? My strategy doesn’t require that I’m right about the likelihood of that scenario. Logic dictates to me that it’s inevitable.” Continue reading »
The STOXX Europe 600 is trending below declining and bearishly positioned 26 and 40-week moving averages, and as BofAML’s Stephen Suttmeier warns, ECB quantitative easing has not reversed this bearish trend.
The 2016 set-up is similar to early 2001 and early 2008 with important resistance at 350 and important support at 300. Both 2001 and 2008 saw rebounds into bearishly positioned and falling 26/40-week MAs that formed important lower tops in May.
Over the past year, based on his increasingly more dour media appearances, billionaire Carl Icahn had been getting progressively more bearish. At first, he was mostly pessimistic about junk bonds, saying last May that “what’s even more dangerous than the actual stock market is the high yield market.” As the year progressed his pessimism become more acute and in December he said that the “meltdown in high yield is just beginning.” It culminated in February when he said on CNBC that a “day of reckoning is coming.”
Some skeptics thought that Icahn was simply trying to scare investors into selling so he could load up on risk assets at cheaper prices, however that line of thought was quickly squashed two weeks ago when Icahn announced to the shock of ever Apple fanboy that several years after his “no brainer” investment in AAPL, Icahn had officially liquidated his entire stake.
As it turns out, Icahn’s AAPL liquidation was just the appetizer of how truly bearish the legendary investor has become. Continue reading »
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold about a million shares of Amazon, around 1% of his stake, and netted $671 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission spotted by Fortune.
This is the biggest sale Bezos has ever made of the stock. He sold $534 million of shares last August, according to GeekWire.
After the sale, Bezos owns 81.91 million shares (~17% of Amazon). Continue reading »
Eric Hunsader, founder of Nanex, has been at the vanguard of warning about the dangers and the rampant fraud that the rise of high-frequency trading (HFT) algorithims have let loose in today’s financial markets.
While he usually feels like a lone voice in a world happy to deceive itself, he was shocked to receive a $750,000 whistleblower award from the SEC for his efforts. He’s been sadly less shocked to see that since the award was publicly announced, the abuses he reported have only become more extreme and frequent. Continue reading »
And since stocks follow junk bonds….
Junk bonds started to decline in June 2014, and earlier this year threatened to implode. Contagion was spreading from the collapsing energy sector to the brick-and-mortar retail sector, telecom (Sprint), the media (iHeartMedia), and other sectors. It was really ugly out there. Continue reading »
Was it ever in doubt?
Oh just one thing…
Earnings expectations have plunged over 6% since the last time The Dow was here.
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Over the weekend, Bloomberg View’s quasi-economist wrote his latest laughable article, one which supposedly “explained” how “Everyone Worries Too Much About ‘Black Swans‘”, which in addition to being a rambling, meandering stream of consciousness that as is regularly the case with this particular author, made little sense, sparked a Twitter feud with the Nassim Taleb, the person who made the concept of a Black Swan into a household name.
We were therefore very amused to note that none other than former FX trader and fund manager, Richard Breslow who also writes for Bloomberg, seemingly had an epileptic fit upon reading the abovementioned drivel and wrote his own scathing reaction from the perspective of an actual trader, a rection which not only threw up on every argument of the so-called economist’s logic, but on everything else that now is passed off simply as, well, “the new normal.”
Here is Richard Breslow: Continue reading »
I keep hearing that the past 6 or 7 years in equities is just part of an even longer term secular bull market. And it strikes me very curious that investors continue to pay these fee based money managers and chief market strategists who continue to sell this theory. Let me show you a chart and then provide a very brief parable for you to consider.
Donald Trump continued to streamroll over all conventional narratives when during a massive 96-minute interview with the Washington Post on Thursday which was released today, in which he talked candidly about his aggressive style of campaigning and offered new details about what he would do as president, he said that economic conditions are so perilous that the country is headed for a “very massive recession” and that “it’s a terrible time right now” to invest in the stock market, which, the traditionally cheerful WaPo said embraces “a distinctly gloomy view of the economy that counters mainstream economic forecasts.”
Unfortunately, his “gloomy view” is supported by such events as the record surge in gun violence and deadly shootings in Chicago, where the locals also do not ascribe to the WaPo’s rosy take on events, and instead blame the economy and the lack of jobs for the ongoing social collapse in the windy city. Continue reading »
CHRIS HEDGES: We’re going to be discussing a great Ponzi scheme that not only defines not only the U.S. but the global economy, how we got there and where we’re going. And with me to discuss this issue is the economist Michael Hudson, author of Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy. A professor of economics who worked for many years on Wall Street, where you don’t succeed if you don’t grasp Marx’s dictum that capitalism is about exploitation. And he is also, I should mention, the godson of Leon Trotsky.
I want to open this discussion by reading a passage from your book, which I admire very much, which I think gets to the core of what you discuss. You write, Continue reading »
On gold & silver:
The first in a series.
By Harry Dent, author of the new book, How to Survive (and Thrive) During the Great Gold Bust Ahead:
The story on Wall Street and CNBC continues to be that we’re in a correction and this is a buying opportunity. Even Warren Buffett joins the chorus of stock market cheerleaders for the skeptical public. Well, I agree with the skeptical public, not the experts here!
The bull market from early 2009 into May 2015 looks just like every bubble in history, and I’m getting one sign after the next that we did indeed peak last May. The dominant pattern in the stock market is the “rounded top” pattern:
After trading in a steep, bubble-like channel from late 2011 into late 2014, with only 10% maximum volatility top to bottom, the market finally lost its momentum… just as the Fed finished tapering its QE. That’s because the Fed was the primary driver in this stock bubble in the first place! Continue reading »
Last week, when Bloomberg was celebrating the 7 year anniversary of the third longest, most central bank-supported, and thus “most hated” bull market in history, it said that “investors are awash in angst, showing little faith the run can continue. They worry about contracting corporate earnings, slowing Chinese growth and uncertainty over interest rates. And they’re walking the talk by pulling cash from stocks at almost the fastest rate on record. It’s not unwarranted – the S&P 500 has gained just 0.5 percent in the last 18 months.”
While confused by this unprecedented equity outflow, it then promptly spun the “bullish angle”and noted that just because the rally is the “most hated in history”, it probably will continue: Continue reading »
According to DoubleLine’s Jeff Gundlach, this is his favorite chart – backing his persepctive that equity markets have “2% upside and 20% downside) from here.
In his words: “These lines will converge…”
It should be pretty clear what drove the divergence, and unless (and maybe if) The Fed unleashes another round of money-printing (or worse), one can’t help but agree with Gundlach’s ominous call.
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Having successfully called the market’s retreat in the fall of 2015, Universa’s Mark Spitznagel is not taking a victory lap as he warns Bloomberg TV that “the crash has only just begun.”
Investors are facing the most binary “let’s make a deal” market in history in Spitznagel’s view: choose Door #1 to bet on Keynesianism, central planners, and monetary interventionism; or Door #2 to bet on free markets and natural price discovery.
“There is massive cognitive dissonance here,” Spitznagel explains as history teaches us that door #2 is the right choice… but it’s not possible to do that today as investors have been coerced to choose door #1, but when door #1 is slammed open “we will see that dreaded black swan monster.”
That is what is going on right now: Continue reading »
Back in the 1970’s as recession gripped the world for a decade, stocks stagnated and commodities crashed, investor Jim Rogers made a fortune. His understanding of markets, capital flows and timing is legendary.
As crisis struck in late 2008, he did it again, often recommending gold and silver to those looking for wealth preservation strategies – move that would have paid of multi-fold when precious metals hit all time highs in 2011. He warned that the crash would lead to massive job losses, dependence on government bailouts, and unprecedented central bank printing on a global scale.
Now, Rogers says that investors around the world are realizing that the jig is up. Stocks are over bloated and central banks will have little choice but to take action again. But this time, says Rogers in his latest interview with CrushTheStreet.com, there will be no stopping it and people all over the world are going to feel the pain, including in China and the United States.
We’re all going to suffer… I can think of very few places that won’t suffer. But most people are going to suffer the next time around.
Central banks will panic. They will do whatever they can to save the markets. Continue reading »
Do you remember how much stocks went down when the first dot-com bubble burst? Well, it is happening again, and tech stocks are already down more than half a trillion dollars since the middle of 2015. On Friday, the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped to its lowest level in more than 15 months, and it has now fallen more than 16 percent from the peak of the market. But of course some of the biggest names have fallen much more than that. Netflix is down 37 percent, Yahoo is down 39 percent, LinkedIn is down 60 percent, and Twitter is down more than 70 percent. If you go back through my previous articles, you will find that I specifically warned about Twitter again and again. Irrational financial bubbles like this always burst eventually, and many investors that got in at the very top are now losing extraordinary amounts of money.