Category Archive: 6b.) Acting Man

“Sell in May”: Good Advice – But Is There a Better Way?

If you “sell in May and go away”, you are definitely on the right side of the trend from a statistical perspective: While gains were achieved in the summer months in three of the eleven largest stock markets in the world, they amounted to less than one percent on average. In six countries stocks even exhibited losses!

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How to Stick It to Your Banker, the Federal Reserve, and the Whole Doggone Fiat Money System

Somehow, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke found time from his busy hedge fund advisory duties last week to tell his ex-employer how to do its job.  Namely, he recommended to his former cohorts at the Fed how much they should reduce the Fed’s balance sheet by.  In other words, he told them how to go about cleaning up his mess.

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A Cloud Hangs Over the Oil Sector

As we noted in a recent corporate debt update on occasion of the troubles Neiman-Marcus finds itself in (see “Cracks in Ponzi Finance Land”), problems are set to emerge among high-yield borrowers in the US retail sector this year. This happens just as similar problems among low-rated borrowers in the oil sector were mitigated by the rally in oil prices since early 2016.

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The Triumph of Hope over Experience

On Wednesday the socialist central planning agency that has bedeviled the market economy for more than a century held one of its regular meetings. Thereafter it informed us about its reading of the bird entrails via statement (one could call this a verbose form of groping in the dark).

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“Sell in May and Go Away” – in 9 out of 11 Countries it Makes Sense to Do So

An Old Seasonal Truism Most people are probably aware of the saying “sell in May and go away”. This popular seasonal Wall Street truism implies that the market’s performance is far worse in the six summer months than in the six winter months.

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Central Banks’ Obsession with Price Stability Leads to Economic Instability

For most economists the key factor that sets the foundation for healthy economic fundamentals is a stable price level as depicted by the consumer price index. According to this way of thinking, a stable price level doesn’t obscure the visibility of the relative changes in the prices of goods and services, and enables businesses to see clearly market signals that are conveyed by the relative changes in the prices of goods and services.

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The Fed Will Blink

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – The Dow rose 174 points on Thursday. And Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said we’d have a new tax system by the end of the year. Animal spirits were restless. But which animals? Dumb oxes? Or wily foxes? Probably both.

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Cracks in Ponzi-Finance Land

Retail Debt Debacles The retail sector has replaced the oil sector in a sense, and not in a good way. It is the sector that is most likely to see a large surge in bankruptcies this year. Junk bonds issued by retailers are performing dismally, and within the group the bonds of companies that were subject to leveraged buyouts by private equity firms seem to be doing the worst (a function of their outsized debt loads).

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French Selection Ritual, Round Two

The nightmare of nightmares of the globalist elites and France’s political establishment has been avoided: as the polls had indicated, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen are moving on to the run-off election; Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s late surge in popularity did not suffice to make him a contender – it did however push the established Socialist Party deeper into the dustbin of history.

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Central Banks Have a $13 Trillion Problem

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – The Dow was down 118 points on Wednesday. It should have been down a lot more. Of course, markets know more than we do. And maybe this market knows something that makes sense of these high prices. What we see are reasons to sell, not reasons to buy.

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Simple Math of Bank Horse-Puckey

We stepped out on our front stoop Wednesday morning and paused to take it all in. The sky was at its darkest hour just before dawn. The air was crisp. There was a soft coastal fog. The faint light of several stars that likely burned out millennia ago danced just above the glow of the street lights.

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On the Commemoration of World War I: From Woodrow Wilson to Donald Trump

It is altogether fitting that the US attack on a Syrian airport, the dropping of a MOAB on defenseless Afghanistan, and the potential outbreak of nuclear war with North Korea have all come in the very month in which an American president led the nation on its road to empire one hundred years earlier.

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India – Is Kashmir Gone?

Everything Gets Worse (Part XII) – Pakistan vs. India After 70 years of so-called independence, one has to be a professional victim not to look within oneself for the reasons for starvation, unnatural deaths, utter backwardness, drudgery, disease, and misery in India.

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French Election – Bad Dream Intrusion

The French presidential election was temporarily relegated to the back-pages following the US strike on Syria, but a few days ago, the Economist Magazine returned to the topic, noting that a potential “nightmare option” has suddenly come into view. In recent months certainty had increased that once the election moved into its second round, it would be plain sailing for whichever establishment candidate Ms. Le Pen was going to face. That certainty...

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Hell To Pay

Economic nonsense comes a dime a dozen. For example, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen “think(s) we have a healthy economy now.” She even told the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy so earlier this week. Does she know what she’s talking about?

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The Cost of a Trump Presidency

Last Thursday’s wanton attack on a Syrian air field by the US and its bellicose actions toward North Korea have brought the real cost of candidate Trump’s landslide victory last November to the forefront. Unlike most laymen, accountants, and financial analysts, economists look at cost differently.

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The American Empire and Economic Collapse

Despite widespread optimism among libertarians, classical liberals, non-interventionists, progressive peaceniks and everybody else opposed to the US Empire that some of its murderous reins may finally be pulled in with the election of Donald Trump, it appears that these hopes have now been dashed.

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LIBOR Pains

If one searches for news on LIBOR (=London Interbank Offered Rate, i.e., the rate at which banks lend dollars to each other in the euro-dollar market), they are currently dominated by Deutsche Bank getting slapped with a total fine of $775 million for the part it played in manipulating the benchmark rate in collusion with other banks (fine for one count of wire fraud: US$150 m.; additional shakedown by US Justice Department: US$625 m., the price...

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Price Inflation – The Ultimate Contrarian Bet

If there is one thing apparently no-one believes to be possible, it is a resurgence of consumer price inflation. Actually, we are not expecting it to happen either. If one compares various “inflation” data published by the government, it seems clear that the recent surge in headline inflation was largely an effect of the rally in oil prices from their early 2016 low.

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March to Default

“May you live in interesting times,” says the ancient Chinese curse. No doubt about it, we live in interesting times. Hardly a day goes by that we’re not aghast and astounded by a series of grotesque caricatures of the world as at devolves towards vulgarity. Just this week, for instance, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters tweeted, “Get ready for impeachment.”

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