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In the last 24 hours
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
All Of These Items Point To a Collapse in the Markets
The primary drivers of asset prices are the economy and corporate earnings. Unfortunately, both are indicating future weakness. If you want a somewhat accurate measure of GDP growth, you need to ignore the headline GDP numbers an look at nominal GDP. The reason for this is that all “adjusted” GDP data involves a “deflator” metric that is meant to adjust for inflation. The Feds often use an inflation adjustment that is even lower than their official Consumer Price Index metric (which is alread
Friday, October 31, 2014
More than 24 hours ago
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
Stocks Are On Borrowed Time
The Fed announced that QE is officially over. This is a MAJOR concern for stocks. The markets are currently holding up because it’s the end of the month. Let me explain… Unlike individual investors who don’t have to report returns until year-end, most investment funds have to report their performances for each month. For this reason, it’s very common for stocks to rally into month end as institutions buy stocks to force the markets higher. Doing this allows them to record month end returns a
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
  The Fed is Absolutely Terrified of Something… What Is It?
What is the Fed so terrified of? For five years we’ve been told that the world was in recovery. “Analysts” and pundits have trotted out every explanation imaginable for why things are in fact great and the markets should go straight up. On top of this endless and mind-numbing chatter, the Fed has spent over $4 trillion… an amount larger than most sovereign economies. To put this into perspective, the Fed could have spent less money buying EVERY SINGLE ITEM OF ECONOMIC OUTPUT FROM GERMANY FOR A
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
QE Ends in the US… And Won't Begin in the EU…
The markets continue to operate based on complete delusions. The single biggest driver of stock prices has been the Fed’s QE programs. QE has accomplished nothing other than a higher stock market. EVERY-time that the Fed was not engaged in QE, the markets have fallen as the below chart shows. QE is over. It just ended. And the Fed will not be launching it anytime soon. The media is finally catching on that QE increases wealth concentration (note the slew of stories recently pointing this out
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
Stocks Are Primed For a MAJOR Correction
Today is the last day for a Fed POMO. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it stands for Permanent Open Market Operation. This is the mechanism through which the Fed pumps money from QE into the financial system. It’s also the single most important item as far as stock market rallies are concerned. Indeed, the stock market has closely correlated the Fed’s balance sheet expansion since 2009. As the below chart shows, they are almost identical in growth. When QE ends today, the Fed balance sh
Monday, October 27, 2014
Rick Ackerman
Has Burger’s Popularity Doomed McDonald’s? 
McDonald’s, where a family of four can eat breakfast, lunch or dinner for less than it costs to prepare a meal at home, is blaming weak consumer spending for an unprecedented stretch of punk earnings . Someone should level with them: “It’s the hamburgers, stupid!”  Q3 profits were down by 30%, generating a lot of hissing and clucking on Wall Street. Portfolio managers must be scratching their heads trying to figure out how the fortunes of an American icon could have fallen so swiftly. Doubtless,
Monday, October 27, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
The Coming Dissolution of the EU
In Europe, we already know the economy is in tatters. Italy is back in recession for the third time since 2008. Germany’s economy contracted in the second quarter of 2014 and will likely be in recession before the first quarter of 2015. France has registered zero growth for six months now. None of this should shock anyone. From an economics perspective, Europe has been dead for four years now. Sure, there were little bumps in various data points here and there during that time… but overall unemp
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
Neither the US Nor China Will be an Engine For Global Growth Next Year
The investment world is banking on real growth being just around the corner. However, the data does not confirm this view. Let’s talk about China first. Half of all global growth is expected to come from China, which is forecast to grow by 6.5%-7% next year. Now, China’s economic numbers are for the most part fictitious. However, there is one metric that cannot be fudged and that is electricity consumption. Either electricity is being used or it is not. With that in mind, we must consider that C
Friday, October 24, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
The Fed's Hands Are Tied Unless the Market Crashes
The markets have a major problem. That problem, simply put, is that QE ends this month. QE has been the driving force for the stock market since 2008. This factor, more than anything else in the world, is responsible for stocks rallying to new all-time highs surpassing even the 2007 peak. To be clear QE 1 and QE 2 were widely accepted in the business community because of their context: QE 1 was a reaction to the 2008 meltdown, with QE 2 considered to be needed because QE 1 didn’t quite “get th
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
How Can You Have a Recovery Without Jobs Creators?
One of the items overlooked by the MSM regarding the dismal economic “recovery” of the last five years is the complete decimation of the self-employed. There are currently 10 million people classified as self-employed in US. That’s 5% of the total workforce. Incidentally this is also a record low. It is not coincidental the massive increase in reliance on Government handouts (46 million on food stamps, 47% of US households on some kind of Government assistance) has coincided with a significa
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
The Problem With Letting Academics Run the Economy
There is a common adage that “book learning” is not the same as “street smarts.” In the case of economics PhDs like Janet Yellen, we could adapt this to say that “theory” is not the same as “reality.” Janet Yellen is a career academic. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Career academics play a critical role in terms of both research and teaching future generations of leaders. However, unlike most career academics, Janet Yellen is in charge of the US economy. In this light, one has to ask aloud
Monday, October 20, 2014
Rick Ackerman
The Death Rattle of Europe’s Statist Dream 
Europe’s all-too-predictable relapse into recession is gathering force, threatening not only the pipe dream of economic and political unity, but eroding grandiose illusions that have helped prop up the world’s financial house of cards. The unwillingness of France in particular to play by the EU’s — i.e.,  Germany’s — rules appears to have doomed the EU dream. The idea of a borderless Europe bound by a common currency and a shared desire to forever banish war from the Continent was a lofty one, b
Monday, October 20, 2014
Rick Ackerman
The Death Rattle of Europe’s Statist Dream
Europe’s all-too-predictable relapse into recession is gathering force, threatening not only the pipe dream of economic and political unity, but eroding grandiose illusions that have helped prop up the world’s financial house of cards. The unwillingness of France in particular to play by the EU’s — i.e.,  Germany’s — rules appears to have doomed the EU dream. The idea of a borderless Europe bound by a common currency and a shared desire to forever banish war from the Continent was a lofty one, b
Monday, October 20, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
The Folks Who Know the Most About Their Firms… and the Economy… Are Selling the Farm
Stocks rallied last week when a non-voting member of the Fed stated something totally pointless (that the Fed should consider postponing its taper… when there’s only $5 billion left in QE anyway). Put another way, the markets were so desperate for a Fed intervention that the idea of $5 billion coming later rather than now makes a difference some how.  It’s pathetic, but when 70-80% of market volume comes from non-thinking computer trading programs, the words “Fed” and “President” matter more tha
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
The Great Rig of the Last Five Years is Ending
Since 2012, when Europe was about to collapse, we’ve been told that “everything was fixed.” Everyone from finance ministers to the President of the US stated that we were in recovery and the worst was behind us. Now, we find out that: 1)   Europe is completely busted. The political class over there lied to the people, and even circumvented Democracy to keep the fraud in place. It’s telling that nationalism is on the rise there again. If your vote no longer counts… and the folks in power don’t gi
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
  This is a Recipe For a Crash
Over the last 30 years, the US has built up record debts on a personal, state, and national level. Consumers thought they were financially stable so long as they could cover the interest payments on their credit cards, states created program after program few if any of which they could afford, and the Federal Government issued $30-50 trillion in debt and liabilities (counting Social Security and Medicare). This all came to a screeching halt when the housing bubble (arguably the biggest debt bub
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
Could Stocks Drop Another 30%?
The stock market is taking a breather from the recent bloodbath. The key moving average that primed us for a bounce is the 252-DMA. If you take an entire year, remove the weekends and holidays, you arrive at 252 days during which the stock market is open. As you can see in the chart below, this has been a line of great significance ever since stocks started going bananas in 2012: As you can see, the 252-DMA has been “the line in the sand” three times since 2012. It was unlikely we’d take thi
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
Who Will Save Stocks Now?
The stock market is in a perilous state. Ever since 2008, anytime stocks began to collapse sharply, “someone” stepped in and put a floor under the market. In 2010, the S&P 500 staged a death cross, where its 50-DMA broke below its 126-DMA (the half year moving average). Stocks were in a perilous state with the 2008 Crash still in everyone’s short-term memory. The Fed stepped in, hinting at, then all but promising, and then finally launching QE 2 in July, August, and then November, respectiv
Monday, October 13, 2014
Rick Ackerman
Inflation, Deflation, and Our Very Confident Bet in T-Bonds
I’ve been touting the ongoing bull market in T-Bonds as one of the best investment opportunities of our lifetime – a no-brainer, as far, as I can recommend.  About the only way this bet can lose is if inflation returns with a vengeance. This has never been much of a worry for me, since, on the inspiration of C.V. Myers’ prescient 1976 book, I’ve been writing about the threat of deflation for more than 20 years.  As Myers noted, every penny of very debt must eventually be paid – if not by the bor
Monday, October 13, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
The Next Round of the Financial Crisis is at Our Doorstep.
The next round of the financial crisis is at our doorstep. The primary driver of the stock market, since 2009, has been the expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet. Remove this expansion and the S&P 500 would have effectively flat-lined. Now the Fed is ending QE and “surprise” stocks are cratering. Is this really a surprise? After all… we know that… 1)   Stocks are expensive by just about every conceivable metric. 2)   Global GDP growth is overstated dramatically with China at most growing 3.5
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
A Reversion to the Mean is Coming...
The stock market is no longer cheap. The single best predictor of stock market performance is the cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio or CAPE ratio. Most investors price a company based on its current Price to Earnings or P/E ratio. Essentially what you’re doing is comparing the price of the company today to its ability to produce earnings (cash). However, corporate earnings are heavily influenced by the business cycle. Typically the US experiences a boom and bust once every ten years
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Wolf Richter
Hilarious Video by Australian Comedians Clarke & Dawe on Budget Deficits, the Dollar, an
Comedians Clarke & Dawe pile into the Australian budget deficits (ah yes, even in Australia), the Australian dollar, the US dollar, and then delightfully shred the US economy … which seems to have emerged from its recent “difficulties.” “With people stealing billions at the top?” “No, I was referring to the technical difficulties.” “They printed $4 trillion.” “They did, and it was quite successful.” “Yes, it prevented it from becoming a free market.” You get the idea. 2 minutes 28 seconds of eco
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
The Smart Money is Dumping Stocks
We are getting clear signals from the “smart money” that something bad is looming on the horizon. The most obvious signal comes from the ultra-wealthy (those worth $20 million or more) who are rapidly moving out of paper assets and into real assets. For this reason, I want to draw your attention to the fact that the super-wealthy are currently moving their money out of paper assets like stocks and into real assets such as Gold. The super-rich are looking to protect their wealth through buying
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
The Bond Markets Are Primed For an Epic Crash Far Worse Than 2008 
The single most important issue for understanding why the finacnial system is not healthy and why we’re set to have an even bigger crash than in 2008 has to do with one word… Collateral. Collateral is an underlying asset that is pledged when a party enters into a financial arrangement.  It is essentially a promise that should things go awry, you have some “thing” that is of value, which the other party can get access to in order to compensate them for their losses. You no doubt are familiar w
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Rick Ackerman
  How Theater Chains Can Fight Netflix 
Netflix has just inked a four-movie deal with Adam Sandler that threatens to shake up the big theater chains by radically altering the way movies are distributed and viewed.  It will allow Netflix to produce movies and to stream them directly to customers’ home entertainment centers and computers, completely bypassing exhibit houses.  The online Washington Post put this ominous headline on the story: “Why the Adam Sandler deal with Netflix could doom theaters…”  Exhibitors, especially big chains
Monday, October 06, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
What Will Trigger The Next Round of the Financial Crisis?
Last week we touched upon the “white elephant” in the room: that the biggest, most important bubble investors should worry about is in bonds, NOT stocks. Consider the following… The financial system is based on debt. US Treasuries, the benchmark for an allegedly “risk free” rate of return, is the asset against which all other assets are priced based on their relative riskiness. This “risk free” rate has been falling steadily for over 25 years. As a result of this, an entire generation of i
Monday, October 06, 2014
Rick Ackerman
How Theater Chains Can Fight Netflix
Netflix has just inked a four-movie deal with Adam Sandler that threatens to shake up the big theater chains by radically altering the way movies are distributed and viewed.  It will allow Netflix to produce movies and to stream them directly to customers’ home entertainment centers and computers, completely bypassing exhibit houses.  The online Washington Post put this ominous headline on the story: “Why the Adam Sandler deal with Netflix could doom theaters…”  Exhibitors, especially big chains
Monday, October 06, 2014
Phoenix Capital - Gains Pains & Capital
Will Europe Be Lead the World Into Another Financial Crisis?
he Markets Call “BS” on Draghi’s Promise In 2012, ECB President Mario Draghi, pulled the EU back from the brink of collapse by promising to do “whatever it takes” in the summer of 2012. Since making that promise, the two biggest problem countries for the EU, Spain and Italy, have both seen the yields on their bonds fall. Draghi’s promise also lit a fire under EU stocks, with Spanish, Italian, and German markets roaring higher. It is critical to note that Draghi accomplished this without a
Sunday, October 05, 2014
Gordon Long - Market Analytics
Douglas French of Casey Research on Financial Repression
He received his master's degree in economics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, under Murray Rothbard with Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe serving on his thesis committee. He is the former president of the Mises Institute. He is the author of Early Speculative Bubbles & Increases in the Money Supply and Walk Away: The Rise and Fall of the Home-Ownership Myth. Douglas E. French teaches at Troy University and writes for Casey Research. This is a 28 minute video discussion between D
Saturday, October 04, 2014
Mish - Global Economic Analysis
What Do Treasury Yields Say About Job Expectations, Inflation Expectations, and the Recovery?
Curve Watcher's Anonymous notes some interesting reactions in the treasury bond market following a string of good job reports. Today the jobs numbers once again beat expectations: Nonfarm Payrolls Rose by 248,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 5.9%. In seven out of the last eight months, jobs rose by over 200,000. Last month was the exception, but even then, the initial job report was revised up 69,000 to +180,000. In light of such purportedly strong data, especially with the Fed tapering
Friday, October 03, 2014

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