The Stock Market’s Shaky Foundationby Chris Martenson
According to the stock markets in the US and in Europe, the world’s economy is not just in good shape, but is in the best shape it’s ever been.
The S&P 500 hit an intraday new record high of 1858.71 on Feb 24, 2014, and is now 18.6% above the peak it hit in 2007, a moment everybody now recognizes was heavily overvalued.
A nearly 19% gain above the prior all time high is an enormous and unusual event. Surely there must be an equally compelling story and loads of fundamental data to support such a bull market?
Brian Pretti: The World’s Capital Is Now Dangerously Boxed Inby Adam Taggart
This week Chris speaks with Brian Pretti, managing editor of ContraryInvestor.com, a financial commentary site published by institutional buy-side portfolio managers. In their discussion, they focus on the global movement of capital since quantitative easing (QE) became the policy of the world's major central banks.
The ensuing excellent discussion is wide ranging, but the key takeaway is that capital is being herded into fewer and fewer asset classes. With such huge volumes of money at play, very crowded trades in assets like stocks and housing have resulted — bringing us back to familiar bubble territory in record time.
Dan Ariely: Why Humans Are Hard-Wired to Make Irrational Decisions Around Moneyby Adam Taggart
Looking back at the carnage created by the bursting of the credit bubble, it’s natural to scratch your head and ask How did we ever let that happen? Behavioral economics exists to answer questions like this.
Chris sat down with Dan Ariely, gallivanting behavioral-economics-researcher-extraordinaire, who is breathing new life into this previously obscure field of study. The resulting interview is full of fresh, non-intuitive insights and shines light on how the human brain is often hard-wired for irrational action when it comes to money.
Why the Bullwhip Effect All But Guarantees Another Poorly-Handled Liquidity Crisisby Adam Taggart
One of my more memorable moments in business school came during an Operations class. The topic for the day was the Bullwhip Effect, a very real and vexing phenomenon that occurs in forecast-driven distribution systems.
Essentially, when there are multiple parties in a distribution system, the imperfections in each player's forecasts (no forecast is consistently perfect) compound to wreak increasing havoc over time, even if demand stays relatively stable.
Grasping how this works is somewhat non-intuitive…
This Gold Slam is a Massive Wealth Transfer from Our Pockets to the Banksby Chris Martenson
I am very disappointed by, but not surprised at, the latest transfer of wealth to the bankers from everyone else. The most recent gold bear raid has vastly enriched the bullion bankers, once again, at the expense of everyone trying to protect their wealth from global central bank money printing.
The central plank of Bernanke's magic recovery plan has been to get everybody back borrowing, spending, and "investing" in stocks, bonds, and other financial assets. But not equally so, as he has been instrumental in distorting the landscape towards risk assets and away from safe harbors.
Investors Beware: Market Risks Today Are Higher than Everby Chris Martenson
James Howard Kunstler: The Dangers of the Age of Delusionby Adam Taggart
It’s characteristic of the time that we’re living in that there simply is no sense of consequence. And that’s exactly what you get when you have a Federal Reserve that’s out of control and a public that is filled with technological narcissistic visions of Santa Claus delivering rescue remedies on demand. And so there’s no general sense that when you do things, bad things can happen.
James Howard Kunstler is concerned. Sure, he still has the same issues with the West's highly energy-consuming suburban lifestyle that he famously brought to light in his books, The Long Emergency, the World Made by Hand series, and Too Much Magic. But beyond our decaying fundamentals, he's distressed by society's unwillingness to be honest with itself about the issue's it's facing.
Time to Chooseby Adam Taggart
Whether you’re aware of it or not, a great battle is being waged around us.
It is a war of two opposing narratives: the future of our economy and our standard of living.
The dominant story, championed by flotillas of press releases and parading talking heads, tells an inspiring tale of recovery and return to growth.
The other side, less visible but with a full armament of high-caliber data, tells a very different story. One of growing instability, downside risk, and inequality.
As different as they are in substance, they both share one fundamental prediction – and this is why you should care: This battle is about to break. And when it does, one side will turn out to be much more ‘right’ than the other. The time for action has arrived. To position yourself in the direction of the break you think is most likely to happen.
It’s time to choose a side.