Tuesday, August 30, 2022


Global central banks agreed at Jackson Hole to tighten as quickly and brutally as possible. The exact inverse of the pandemic. What we are watching in real-time is a global coordinated collapse...

The major policy mistake being made globally is believing that inflation is driven by wages and is hence "sticky" and intractable. Today's inflation is driven primarily by asset prices and therefore it will collapse far faster than anyone predicts. Central bankers are already tightening far past the point of "neutral" and thereby collapsing the global debt bubble that has grown inexorably since 2008. You have to be a dunce not to see this coming, hence it's largely unforeseen.

Another widely ignored "feature" of the pandemic and resulting inflation was mass hoarding across every consumer and industrial sector. Buyers responded rationally to the supply side shortages by increasing their inventories. Now we are facing a glut of everything at the same time. What started with toilet paper is now reaching semiconductors, housing inventories, mainline retailers, durable goods, and smartphones. Next it will be automobiles. 

The hoarding artificially inflated profits which sucked in maximal capital. Now, as central banks unwind liquidity, they will force asset values lower which will reverse the wealth effect. This in turn will implode the economy and bring profit margins back down to the historical baseline. The pandemic in effect created an end of cycle bull trap for global capital. 

EM currency crisis is the locus of maximum risk. China is allowing their currency to weaken dramatically. The British Pound is near record lows relative to the dollar. The European central bank is planning to potentially increase rates by .75% on September 8th. Their second shock rate hike in consecutive meetings. Central banks are now competing to see who can raise rates the fastest in order to avoid currency-driven inflation. So far, the Fed and U.S. dollar are winning by a long shot. However, all it would take is for Japan to join this hunt and the Yen carry trade would explode global risk markets spontaneously. There is already talk of currency market intervention to support the Yen. 

The other enormous policy error is not understanding that Quantitative Easing will be inert at the zero bound. All it will do is ensure that asset prices are totally disconnected from the underlying fundamentals. Central banks have no means to bail out the middle class which will lead to extreme societal acrimony. Financial institutions are in no way equipped to deal with the impending level of insolvency. They have not been "stress tested" to withstand a global margin call on a scale larger than 2008. 

As I've said many times, Wall Street analysts have been intentionally slow to re-rate their 2022 earnings estimates. Now this Powell hawkish pivot puts them even further behind the curve. Analysts who had been pounding the table for a Fed pivot, finally got crushed on Friday. It took a Powell sledgehammer to finally get the message across. An indication of the level of denial that has been weaponized against the public. The level of fraud and criminality that is about to be exposed will make 2008 seem like a boy scout jamboree by comparison. 

The likelihood of an economic hard landing just increased dramatically. However most economists still believe that recession can be "avoided", which is to assume it's not ALREADY happening. It would indeed be a miracle if somehow two negative quarters of GDP could be reversed after the fact. Only China's government can pull that off.    

“We’ll definitely have a recession as the lagged impacts of this major monetary tightening start to kick in...They haven’t kicked in at all right now”

“Go back to the type of pain Paul Volcker had to impose on the U.S. economy to wring out inflation. He had to take the unemployment rate above 10%”

We learned recently that half of U.S. companies are already planning to cut jobs and the other half are freezing hiring.

August 18th, 2022:

"Half of respondents said they’re reducing headcount or plan to, and 52% have implemented hiring freezes"

In summary, what investors face is either a markets crash which very quickly brings down inflation and forces global central banks to quickly pivot. Or, central banks will continue tightening monetary policy until an economic depression is a foregone conclusion. Regardless, in either case asset prices will decline to a nadir far below this current level. At which point depression becomes inevitable. Amid all of the sturm and drang surrounding the stock market on Friday, it's shocking that no one mentioned the impact this will have on the already imploding housing market. We face a GLOBAL housing collapse of biblical magnitude. Which will bring far greater economic dislocation than the stock market which is skewed towards wealthy households. 

Of course investors always want to know the precise timing of the event, so they can front-run other investors in and out of the market. What I call the "FIFO" method of investing, as demonstrated on Reddit via Gamestop and AMC. However, this event is binary and it's highly unlikely anyone will "time" it with any sort of satisfactory precision. Suffice to say the velocity of this next decline will make the first half decline - already a record - look gentle by comparison. 

We're all gamblers now and when the music stops what we will face is an epic everything glut at the same time. Spilling out onto the streets alongside rioters.

There it is - the most likely outcome and therefore least predicted.

Sunday, August 28, 2022


The full cost of sugar coated bullshit is about to be revealed...

Allow me to be the first and last person to inform today's bulls that their final season of Bailout Watch is over.


“Restoring price stability will likely require maintaining a restrictive policy stance for some time. The historical record cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy.”

That last line is a nod to the 1970s when the Fed eased too quickly following a tightening regime only to watch inflation surge back even stronger. As I've shown many times, this period is nothing like the 1970s with respect to unionization, employee job security, capacity utilization or bond yields. Oil prices are lower than they were in 2014 and 2008. Therefore this idea that the Fed can keep tightening with impunity until the CPI returns to 2% is lethally delusional with an economy already in recession. 

The risks of a global market crash have now risen to record levels. Far from being a "Black Swan" event, a global Minksy Moment is now the most likely scenario. It's what I call a Brown Swan event - what happens when bulls have an "accident" because they don't get bailed out for the first time since 2008. The Fed has never been this far from an easing bias. Featuring double tightening at both ends of the yield curve at the same time.

It's abundantly clear that most people have never heard of or don't understand the concept of moral hazard. Which is why the most widely telegraphed hawkish pivot in history came as a shock to markets. A warning to bullish investors that the market is no longer discounting any form of reality. The only thing that was priced into markets up until Friday is bailout fantasy.  

The conference kicked off on Thursday and the conference host Esther George gave an interview to Bloomberg prior to Powell's speech. She indicated she had already previewed Powell's speech but she couldn't comment on it. But she believed that rates would have to be raised north of 4% and remain there for an extended period of time. Only a hyper fool would believe she would contradict her boss in the 12 hours prior to his seminal speech. Right up until Powell's speech, Wall Street had been assuring investors that Powell would not be overly hawkish.


Goldman's Biggest Bear Expects Powell To Be Dovish

Goldman Sachs doesn't have any bears. That's not how the model works. Giving investors false hope is the Wall Street business model. The stock market is now badly lagging the economy. Over on Marketwatch, Mark Hulbert asserts that the fundamentals of the market have improved since the beginning of the year. Which is a load of crap. What he means is that the price / earnings multiple has improved IF we assume that today's earnings projections can be relied upon. Unfortunately, at the end of the cycle, Wall Street earnings extrapolations have the veracity of a Magic 8 ball. What most people call "fundamentals" is merely a guess at where things will stand a year from now based upon where they are today. That type of "prediction" doesn't make the turn. The game Hulbert and company are playing works great through most of the cycle and then fails catastrophically when it causes the most pain to investors. 

Taking 4% as a likely end target for the Fed Funds rate, means that the Fed is about halfway done tightening. Hence, bulls made a very bad miscalculation when they bid the market following BOTH the June and July rate hikes. 

What I call premature misallocation.

What comes next I call "System test". It's what happens when a generation of new gamblers discovers the sell order for the first time. 

Those who tell themselves that the "smart money" this time around are the ones who trusted Wall Street, will soon realize they are the dumb money.

In summary, what was widely viewed over the summer as the last chance to buy, was very likely the last chance to sell. The exact opposite. So far, the Nasdaq has declined -30% in 2022. So about half way to a bullish Fed "pivot".  


Thursday, August 25, 2022


The pandemic was a last stage consumption orgy prior to global collapse. The first pandemic in world history in which demand went up instead of down. The bill is due, but the accounts have already been plundered...


Macron's detour into the truth today was a shocking bolt from the blue:

"I believe that we are in the process of living through a tipping point or great upheaval...because we are living through the end of what could seem like the end of abundance...A
 tipping point that can lead our citizens to feel a lot of anxiety"

...Faced with this, we have duties, the first of which is to speak frankly and very clearly without doom-mongering"

Three paragraphs of truth before returning to sugar coated bullshit. Not bad for a politician. It's not going to "seem" like the end of abundance it IS the end of abundance. And what a wild ride it has been. For some. But not so great for the majority on this planet. When I first started blogging in 2007 I was writing about the collapse of the U.S. middle class. Now, here we are talking about the collapse of Globalization. While so many were eagerly telling me I'm wrong, the table stakes grew by an order of magnitude. And yet like a tsunami in the open ocean this incipient collapse is imperceptible to the average person, because the super wave has yet to break on shore. We all have a personal choice to step back and gain historical perspective or just get buried under a deluge of disinformation.  

The anxiety Macron speaks of is something we all must confront. I have embraced the fact that pursuing a less stressful lifestyle is a central part of life now. A critical part of repudiating what I call the corporate death style, which is physically, mentally, and spiritually toxic on every level. 

Getting back to the topic of markets and the economy...

One year ago at the Jackson Hole meeting, Powell was doubling down on his transitory inflation theory while at the same time, continuing record monetary easing. Which is where it all went wrong. He basically stated that loose policy would be indefinite but inflation would be transitory. We all know that inflation is "always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon". Or at least we used to know. Therefore how could the continuation of record easing lead to transitory inflation with the CPI already at 5%?

No surprise, inflation accelerated right after Jackson Hole last September (see chart below). 

This year, he is making the exact same error in the opposite direction. While engaging in record tightening, he is telling people that inflation is no longer transitory. He has already forgotten the fact that he's been playing catch up on rates for six months now. He raised rates as much in the past six months as the Fed raised rates in eight years after 2008.

These two Jackson Hole meetings one year apart are at the polar extremes of Fed policy error. Here we see the CPI in the top pane with the 30 year mortgage in the bottom pane. Since he announced inflation is transitory, prices skyrocketed and mortgage rates DOUBLED. Both of which are deflationary to a middle class far behind the curve on wage increases. 

This week we learned that unsold housing inventories are rising at the fastest pace in 75 years of data i.e. likely in history.

For the past year, the middle class has been imploding due to inflation shock, oil shock, war shock, and now rate shock. Not a day goes by when we don't learn that this mid-market retailer or another is seeing collapsing demand. Today it was the dollar store (DLTR). And yet at the high end of consumption everyone is fat and happy.

One thing NO pundit wants to admit is that Quantitative Easing is inflationary. The bailout drug of choice since 2008 is the primary driver of today's trickle down asset inflation. 

So it is that the Fed must now specifically target asset markets. Meaning the Fed "put" is now the Fed "call". Instead of bidding up risk assets from below, they will be selling down risk assets from above. 

"When interest rates were at rock-bottom levels, market analysts used to talk about “the Fed put” — the notion that the Fed would step in to backstop the market if equity prices tumbled. Now that the Fed is in tightening mode, this relationship has become inverted"

Unfortunately, a swirling cloud of disinformation has enveloped the permanent plateau of financial delusion. Fully exploiting financial PTSD. Financial pundits have been behind the curve all year on adjusting their wrong forecasts. Every day they are falling further behind the curve and they have ZERO incentive to catch up. Therefore we can fully expect that the economic data will continue to surprise to the downside until such time as this society realizes they have been led into the abyss by serial con men. 

However where some see risk, some see opportunity:

"The growing risk of a “major financial accident” that causes a market capitulation later in the year could open up opportunities for investors to “pile up on quality risk assets,”

He said there is a danger that a “weak link” in the financial system breaks and investors flee en masse, providing investable bottoms for shrewd investors"

We are watching an accident alright. 

It's called FOMC: Fear of missing crash.

Monday, August 22, 2022


Both Japan and China are now in deflationary liquidity traps. The U.S. and Europe are following close behind. Soon the masses will learn the hard way, you can't borrow your way out of a debt crisis. They will all find out, once it's officially too late...

As of this writing, Japan and China are both easing while Europe and the U.S. are both tightening. It's the biggest global policy divergence we've seen in our lifetimes. Despite the falling Yen, Japan has steadfastly maintained easy monetary policy. Why? Because they know what happens when you don't respect the zero bound. Consider that Japan's inflation rate is currently 2% while the U.S. inflation rate is 9%, even though Japan is easing and the Fed is record tightening. Which makes even less sense when you consider the dollar is sky-rocketing and the Yen is collapsing. It only makes sense in the context of a country that has been caught in a liquidity trap for decades. Which means that consumers are averse to borrowing money, whereas in the U.S., consumers are not averse at all. YET.

China is also well along the path to liquidity trap. In 2008, China pulled the world out of recession as their GDP growth rate was 14% that year. It never went negative during that global recession. Subsequently, they built massive empty "ghost cities" and real estate development is now 30% of GDP. So it is they find themselves at a point wherein lower interest rates no longer spur demand. 

"Taken together, the data shows banks are flush with cash but are struggling to boost lending to customers against the backdrop of weak growth and turmoil in the property market.

The data is a classic sign of a liquidity trap. Liquidity is ample, but no one wants it. Under these circumstances, monetary policy can do little to support the economy”.

Sound familiar?

China's GDP is collapsing faster than Wall Street can keep up. Not a month goes by when they don't revise lower China's full year growth rate. Only a serial fool would believe that this current GDP reduction will be the last. 

Now consider that in all of the major stumbles since 2008: 2015, 2018, and 2020, global central banks were all on the same page with respect to monetary bailout. Whereas now, they are diverging massively between Asia and Europe /U.S. /Canada /Australia etc.

What happens when there is a global collapse and two of the largest central banks are already flailing away. And the remaining central banks refuse to bailout markets?

What happens is a far worse crash that damages markets, the economy, and consumer confidence. Followed by a clusterfucked bailout and loss of confidence in central banks. 

Many of today's bulls are claiming that this currently collapsing housing bubble is not as big a risk as 2008 because there's "no subprime this time". What they don't acknowledge is that most of the global economy IS subprime this time.

This epic risk of a global liquidity trap combined with global monetary policy divergence are the two biggest economic and financial risks, however they are completely ignored. Investors are currently betting on an imaginary pivot to an imaginary Fed bailout followed by an imaginary global recovery. 

And no one will tell them any different, because today's financial press have the attention span of a coked up flea. Today's financial press are eagerly monetizing false optimism because that is their largest market for readers and they don't want their audience to be disappointed by reality. They have gladly sacrificed all shred of credibility on the altar of continuous monetary bailout. They are in the exact same closed loop as investors, incapable of seeing the risk to their groupthink circle jerk.

In the U.S., the biggest beneficiary of "inflation" was corporate profit. So, bringing prices down, axiomatically means lowering profit margins from record highs back down to historic levels. 

What we see from this chart is that after the pandemic, it took a mere one year for corporate profits to skyrocket to new all time highs. Versus four years in Y2K and 2008.

Profit is 90% correlated to CPI (not shown). 

In 1980, Paul Volcker purposely engineered a recession to bring down inflation, because he knew that he had ample dry powder in case he needed to cut rates to bring back the economy. In the event, he brought rates down 12% to offset the worst recession since the Great Depression.

This Volckerized Fed has a 2.25% rate buffer on the economy. And yet untold numbers of pundits have been pounding the table for them to raise rates as quickly and brutally as possible. To bring down "inflation".

At no time in this entire debacle did the Treasury market believe that inflation was ANYTHING like 1980.

What these people all need is an education on economics. And they're going to get one. 

When it's officially too late.

"The velocity of money is a measurement of the rate at which money is exchanged in an economy. It is the number of times that money moves from one entity to another. It also refers to how much a unit of currency is used in a given period of time. Simply put, it's the rate at which consumers and businesses in an economy collectively spend money"

Saturday, August 20, 2022


The Fed needs markets to capitulate to get to neutral, but markets are anticipating neutral so they never capitulate. In the meantime rates keep climbing...

The seeds of this disaster were planted over a decade ago when the Fed switched from interest rate based policy to balance sheet policy at the zero bound. Over the past 14 years they've been using financial markets to manipulate the economy, instead of the other way around.

It's totally asinine to believe that a 1.5% interest reduction during the pandemic caused a 9% inflation rate and yet that's exactly what the majority of pundits currently believe.

One year ago at Jackson Hole 2021, Powell made a mistake when he said that inflation was transitory. Back then everyone believed that inflation was caused solely due to the pandemic unemployment fiscal programs. A $300/week unemployment stipend was causing hyperinflation. You would have to be an idiot to believe that, therefore it was consensus view. Only one of the many dunce theories propagated by Zerohedge during the past year. Of course those fiscal programs ended a year ago, which is when inflation accelerated. So in 2022 the Fed hurriedly raised interest rates back to pre-pandemic levels. And here we are with inflation STILL near 9%. Why? Because the Fed balance sheet is too large and the wealth effect is still working its way into the economy via asset markets. The Fed's entire strategy for 14 years has been market based but still market participants think  that interest rates control inflation and the economy. We are now in a trickle down fake wealth economy:

August 2022:

"Ferrari has reported record quarterly sales and profits as concerns over the global economy fail to dent the enthusiasm for buyers of luxury trophy vehicles.

The company, the latest luxury or supercar manufacturer to post record profits after Lamborghini and Bentley"

We've seen four consecutive rate hikes of increasingly shocking magnitude, the last two being .75%. Now ANOTHER .75% is back on the table, all because markets have been front-running  the Fed again. Which was due to the mistake Powell made in July of this year stating the Fed rate was in the territory of neutral. Now this week, he has to back out of his mistake from last month and from the entire past year. 

Which means he is going to club markets like a baby seal.

He is going to crush any hopes of a near-term pivot and in the process he is going to force RISK OFF. His credibility is at stake.

"The chair of the Federal Reserve may have a hard time convincing markets that the central bank is serious about defeating inflation. But he’ll have to try"

Powell must take care to disabuse markets of the notion that the Fed will soon be done tightening monetary policy"

What a lot of people forget is that even the mighty Volcker screwed up forty years ago. He raised rates initially and shocked markets, but then he quickly lowered rates. Which caused inflation to resume. Which is why he had two recessions, one in 1980 and another in 1982 when we was forced to shock markets a second time. Today's Fed members know all this about Volcker history which is why in this week's FOMC minutes there was a discussion around raising rates and keeping them elevated for an extended period of time. Which is the opposite of what stock market bulls expect.

"Some officials indicated that once rates had been raised to the point where they were cooling down the economy “sufficiently”, it would probably “be appropriate to maintain that level to ensure that inflation was firmly on a path back” to the Fed’s target of 2 per cent"

This week, Fed member Bullard reiterated that he sees the Fed rate at 4% this year. Sooner than later. Which would be almost DOUBLE the pre-pandemic interest rate. 

Risk markets are now overbought going into the riskiest period of this year and this cycle. On the belief that bailout is imminent. When, nothing could be further from the truth.

This week the Nasdaq 100 reached the most overbought level in history based on MACD. Tied with August 2020 another low volume levitation period. MACD is a momentum indicator based upon the convergence and divergence of two moving averages - one short-term and one long-term. When MACD is high it means that the market is going parabolic and the short-term indicator is moving quickly relative to the long-term trend. 

Hedge fund short covering is highly evident in this chart of active manager risk exposure:

In summary, soon all risk markets will be at new lows for the year. And the Fed will be doing nothing about it except waiting for bulls to finally capitulate. 

And then when that happens and the machines abiding this low volume illusion go offline, EVERYONE is going to realize that the big mistake didn't start in 2022. It started when investors were systematically conditioned by the Fed to become bailout whores. 

With the USD at the highest level in 20 years, the risk of a policy error has never been higher. 

Consider that the Fed was cutting rates the last two times the dollar was sky-rocketing in a recession.

And to think, investors are front-running rate cuts in a recession. Which equals a long bear market.

The current "best case scenario", is actually the worst case scenario.

Which is what you would expect in a Full IDIOCRACY. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022


The bullish case is borderline hyper moronic, but in the spirit of "fair and balanced" reporting, no theory is too asinine not to be bought and believed on a massive scale...

I've had it with trolls on Twitter so now I've blocked all comments. Unfortunately, I have to block the good with the bad, because I can't afford to have my sanity polluted by the dregs of humanity. That said, from time to time I review the "other" standpoint to see where or when it may actually be correct. So now I will tackle the bullish point of view and show where it's right, and where it's wrong. 

Fortunately, the entire bullish pivot theory can easily be evaluated since it already recently happened in back in late 2018. Back then the Fed was tightening on both ends of the curve at the same time as they are now. In December 2018 the market imploded into bear market and the Fed pivoted from a hawkish stance to a dovish stance and the market took off. 

So, why can't it happen now?

From a purely technical point of view, this rally has the same breadth thrust as the one from early 2019 (see second chart below). Which is another point for the bulls. This is what has caused the majority of bullish pundits to assume the "bear market is over". No question, it's a strong technical signal with a good track record in economic expansions, but unfortunately one indicator does not erase all other risk. 

So here are the differences between the 2018 pivot and now:

First off, there was no capitulation this time around, whereas the put/call ratio spiked in late 2018. Here we see the equity put/call ratio is lower this year than during every other market event since 2008. And of course we also see the other huge difference in the CPI. Back during every other Fed bailout, the CPI was falling and already at or below 2%. Right now, it's still above 8%. 

The entire bullish thesis is predicated on the idea that the Fed is almost done raising rates and will soon be lowering them. 

Another difference is that back then Trump demanded the Fed pivot and a week later Powell acquiesced. This time, Trump has not demanded the Fed pivot and Powell has not signaled that he will. Quite the contrary, recently Fed members have been taking turns informing the public that interest rate hikes will not end any time soon. 

Back in the Spring of 2019 the economy was stalling, so the Fed gave forward guidance of potential rate cuts in the summer, which kept the rally going. And then they cut rates three times over the summer of 2019. In addition, they phased out QT and re-started QE during the repo crisis in September 2019. That juiced the market even higher. 

All of which you can see in the chart below:

Now let's revisit these same factors for this "Pivot" time period. This time, the economy is ALREADY in recession. CME Fed futures are right now pricing in 100% chance of rate hike in September: 60% chance of a .5% rate hike and 40% chance of a .75% rate hike. There were no rate hikes larger than .25% in the prior rate hiking period (2017-2018). In addition, QT will be at $95b/month in September, which is DOUBLE what it was in early 2019. 

There you have it. Story time is over.

Here is where it gets interesting.

While so many people are in a hurry to tell me my timing is "bad", I happened to notice that this meltdown is taking place at the exact same rate as the one in 2008. The top was in late 2007/2022. There was a lower high in Spring 2008/2022, and a third lower high in August. 

Another myth that's circulating is that hedge funds and institutions are bearish and waiting to buy stocks. However, they were TWICE as bearish in August 2008 and yet still the market crashed in the Fall. We also recall that even after Lehman failed the Fed was STILL preoccupied with inflation. So they committed a policy error of letting Lehman fail. 

Imagine if China melts down tomorrow and the Fed meets and decides that inflation is the greater risk. Because that's what is  very likely going to happen. I predict the Fed will be very slow to reach a neutral stance this time around. And even slower reaching panic mode of re-starting QE. 

Another thing I predict is that over these coming weeks ALL risk markets from stocks, cryptos, commodities, junk bonds are going to explode at the same time. Making what happened in 2008 seem like a picnic. The inflation hypothesis has caused investors to hold too little cash which will lead to a global liquidity crisis. 

My last prediction is that when markets do crash, the NBER will come forward and state that we are now officially in a recession that started at the beginning of this year. And then, trapped bulls will learn the true meaning of bad timing.  

Too late.

Monday, August 15, 2022


The extent of lies bought and believed right now are both pathetic and lethal. There is an entire media industry built around propagating the fantasy of perpetual financial bailout...

And while that is NOT happening, we are not imagining things - the gunfire IS getting closer. Two thirds of the largest mass shootings in U.S. history took place since 2007.

What do we expect this time when the sheeple realize they've been conned all over again by the same psychopaths as last time? 

A society in latent moral collapse has no clue it's in moral collapse. What used to be illegal is now common place. Pump and dump schemes used to be prosecuted by the SEC. Now they're deemed "social investing". The only question regulators had about the Gamestop debacle was why did brokers prevent people from fully participating. Social media has weaponized financial Ponzi schemes against newbie bagholders. Stock buybacks used to be illegal, now they're used to facilitate insider selling on an industrial scale. Buybacks hide collapsing revenues at the end of the cycle by shrinking share count to give the illusion of rising profit. Stock buybacks have weaponized passive indexing against retirement bagholders. Record buybacks did nothing to prevent the worst first half for stocks in 60 years.  

The U.S. deficit is now fully considered "GDP". 2022 growth is so far negative while the deficit is almost 5% of GDP. In any other time that would be considered a deep recession.

We've now seen the exact same profiteering take place across EVERY major industry since the pandemic. In each case, temporary supply chain interruptions deplete inventories and lead to a spike in demand. Followed by higher prices and expanded profit margins. And then it all collapses. No one says anything. Economists fear a wage-price spiral when what they should really fear is the wholesale collapse of the middle class. Buried by profiteering in every direction. 

Home prices rose the most during the past two years in U.S. history. Auto prices have sky-rocketed 30% in two years. Retail inventories are already piling up and it's only a matter of time before the glut is everywhere.

Like now: 

August 15th, 2022:

"A gauge of New York state manufacturing activity plunged by the second-most in data back to 2001, with sharp declines in orders and shipments that indicate an abrupt downturn in demand"

"The survey likely shows “that industries extrapolated orders from the Covid period and they ordered too much stuff”

We should fully expect that economic data will "surprise" to the downside from this point forward. Today's pundits have a lethal bias towards optimistic predictions and their audience wouldn't have it any other way. This current belief that the Fed won't over-tighten is a sheer fantasy. The Fed already HAS overtightened. The NAHB states that housing affordability is the worst since 2008. The combination of price increases and rate hikes has caused the financing costs of a new home to TRIPLE since 2020.

Still, for now the lying flows like a river in between collapsing data points. Over on Zerohedge, yet another pundit fears the imminent debasement of the currency. What these fools should really fear is the debasement of humanity into Third World squalor while the dollar is sky-rocketing. To believe in the hyper-inflation argument one must first ignore the past 40 years of deflationary debasement at the hands of Supply Side Ponzinomics. This so-called "model" has imported far too much poverty to lead to inflation. We can be fairly certain that the true MMT experiment won't lead to the largest rise in global billionaire wealth on record.

This continual false optimism is what will make this burial even more lethal. Since the Fed began raising rates in .75% increments, financial conditions have eased as investor complacency has increased. It's the law of too many bailouts.

In summary, the truth is a choice. And those who choose to believe today's rampant criminals will pay with everything they own.

And then the chattering classes who dominate the media will be silenced.

For good.

And the new investor sentiment won't be greed.

It will be fear.

And THAT will make me bullish. 

Friday, August 12, 2022


Despite the fact that the CPI came in weaker than expected, cyclicals enjoyed a major rally this week due to the fiscal stimulus bill that just passed. Will this bill remediate Global Warming? Of course not. But the attendant short covering rally could initiate global meltdown, which will do more to reduce the carbon footprint than any legislation imagined by any government...

Banks rallied this week, despite the flattest yield curve in 40 years.

This is the first weekly close for crude oil below the 200 dma since the pandemic started:

Inflationists wrong. 


What is more cynical, to vote AGAINST a bill to finally address Climate Change? Or to vote FOR a bill that is too little too late?

"Once I stood to lose her

When I saw what I had done

Bowed down and threw away the hours

Of her garden and her sun

So I tried to warn her

I turned to see her weep

Forty days and forty nights

And it's still coming down on me"

Wednesday, August 10, 2022


By the time the National Bureau of Economic Research finally declares official recession, their astute observation will be only useful to archaeologists attempting to figure out what happened to the deeply buried Kardashian society...

While playing history's greatest central bank following fools, today's gamblers believe that time is on their side. Nothing could be further from the truth. With each passing day the hole gets deeper. But you would have no way of knowing by reading the mainstream financial media. They have a skill at turning all economic risk into gold plated opportunity. If Bernie Madoff was alive he would be head of the SEC.

We have now crossed over into the back half of the year, well into the months (August/September) that have caused the greatest financial dislocation in the past two decades. It appears that for whatever reason, the worst first half stock market performance in 60 years ignited a massive short-covering squeeze. Many hedge funds that were short in the first half decided to book profit. Which means that now currently there is no short buffer below the market:

Bloomberg July 28th, 2022:


"The rally, and attendant change in sentiment, has forced speculators to unwind bearish positions that once served as a key source of (stock) demand...With short sellers retreating, stocks might be exposed to a downdraft if the Fed turns more aggressive on future rate increases or corporate profits start to crater"

This implies that there is plenty of room for CTAs to start building up short positions again.” 

In other words, shorts covered despite the fact that risks have grown steadily since the beginning of the year. Goldman Sachs started the year with a prediction for four rate hikes in 2022 (1%) and they are currently predicting 16 rate hikes (4%). All Wall Street economic growth predictions have now been updated with minus signs. 

We can see the reduction in short positions via the CBOE option skew which is an indicator of short positions in the options market:

Another risk that still never gets mentioned is the Fed's Quantitative Tightening program which in September will be twice as lethal ($95b/month) as the prior tightening in 2018. And yet commodities are already collapsing deja vu of 2008 and from the exact same level:

Basically what happened since the end of the first half is that bearish money managers took profit while betting the worst was over. When in actual fact the worst hasn't even started yet. 

Which is why investors are now praying for recession to get them to their imaginary promised land of a Fed reversal near the zero bound. Their safety net is no longer shorting, their new safety net is believing that the Fed can finish tightening and pivot to bailout fast enough to prevent wholesale meltdown. 

Even at this late juncture I have yet to hear ONE pundit inform the public that a 2.5% Fed Funds rate is not enough to prevent economic depression, much less deep recession.

Yield curve inversion is now the flattest in forty years, meaning that long-term rates are significantly lower than short-term rates as the bond market predicts the Fed is making a COLOSSAL mistake by overtightening:

So it is that investors now believe that all bad news is good news for stocksTheir new buying mantra. A mantra that has been assiduously cultivated during the era of financial Disneyland that has abided since 2008.

Today's CPI showed that inflation may well be peaking, however some context is in order, because the CPI is still a long way from where the Fed will stop raising interest rates. If the past twenty years is any guide, that level comes in at about 4.5% on the CPI:

Deja vu of the March rally, this latest rally is an overthrow of the June high and a backtest of the 200 dma, coming off of the lowest volatility of 2022. In addition, VIX below 20 attracts a lot of bulls who believe it's a sign the bear market is over. It was a bull trap in April but for these amnesiacs that is long forgotten.

Here we see via AAII positioning data, the shocking divergence in cash balances from 2008 versus now:


In summary, it's abundantly clear that today's investors missed the "pivot" from inflation to deflation and from fantasy to reality.

And who can we thank for that but all of the pundits who told them that inflation was NOT transitory in 2022.

Wrong again. This time with no cash buffer AND no monetary safety net.