Sunday, May 8, 2022


This week the Fed pulled the trigger on the first .5% rate hike in twenty-two years. In the process they very likely initiated global financial meltdown. The general consensus is that it was not enough. You can't make this shit up...

The Financial Instability Hypothesis

"Over a protracted period of good times, capitalist economies tend to move from a financial structure dominated by hedge finance units to a structure in which there is large weight to units engaged in speculative and Ponzi finance. If an economy with a sizeable body of speculative financial units is in an inflationary state, and the authorities attempt to exorcise inflation by monetary constraint, then speculative units will become Ponzi units and the net worth of previously Ponzi units will quickly evaporate. This is likely to lead to a collapse of asset values"

Why is it that every time this society gets to the end of the cycle, they conveniently decide there is no cycle anymore? This society goes from youthful naivete to aged cynicism without stopping at reality in between.  

This week Larry Kudlow deemed the .5% rate hike as "dovish":

"The basic inflation rate is running around 8%. That would require a 9% or 10% Fed funds rate, or even higher in the days of Volcker shock and awe. Volcker also reined in money supply growth and here, Powell completely struck out"

The 30 year mortgage is currently at 5.25%, can you imagine a 30 year mortgage at 18% which was the 1980 level?

We are constantly reminded this is the highest level of "inflation" in 40 years (despite nominal oil prices still below 2008 levels). However, the rate of change in interest rates is the highest level EVER in the biggest housing bubble in HISTORY. 

To cap off FOMC week, Stanford University held a conference to discuss how far monetary policy is behind the curve. 

Two Fed members were on the hot seat, Waller and Bullard:

"It's going in the right direction ... hopefully we'll be able to get away from this behind-the-curve characterization soon," Bullard said.

Indeed. Much sooner than anyone can possibly imagine. 

All of the above means that the Fed's mandate is to cool the economy and bring down inflation. NOT to save asset markets from collapse.

This change in policy taking place after FOURTEEN straight years of bailing out markets, is NOT priced in to any asset market right now. Investors are still under the delusion that the Fed can slam on the brakes as hard as possible for price inflation AND yet keep asset markets inflated. It's the delusion of the CENTURY, and it has been assiduously cultivated by Wall Street and their media acolytes. 

Not everyone took the bait:

"Wall Street titan Jeremy Grantham has been warning of a “superbubble” in the U.S. since last year, arguing the S&P 500 is set to be cut in half as an era marked by exceedingly risky investor behavior begins to fade."

Now, with interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rising to 5.27% this week, their highest levels since 2009, he sees that point coming ever closer"

Of course, not everyone is convinced that the housing market is set for a dramatic drop"

Got that? We can't even agree on what is a "bubble" anymore. In my neighborhood prices went up 30% in the past year. Apparently that's NOT a bubble, but eggs going up 30 cents, that's existential inflation.

What a bunch of fucking morons. 

Clearly these people can't spot an asset bubble over and over again in their lifetimes, so how do they know what is inflation? In other words, what if all of these asset prices are temporary? That would mean they could all come crashing back down and leave the Fed "dick in hand", just like last time. Then you will see rampant morons rioting in mass protest. Wondering how they are going to pay for cheap eggs when they don't even have a job. Buried by another housing bubble. 

What economists never noticed is that consumer sentiment NEVER recovered after the pandemic. Corporate profits sky-rocketed and consumer sentiment went in the other direction.

We've never seen this much disconnect between consumer sentiment and corporate profits. One is inflated, and one is deflated. 

The Tech bubble is DOOMED. It's collapsing for the same reason it collapsed in Y2K - slowing growth AND a Fed eager to make up for lost time. Back in 2000, the Fed purposely held off on rate hikes until after the millennium date change, because they were worried computer systems would fail. When that didn't happen, the melt-up accelerated into March 2000. By May 2000 the Fed was doing everything possible to contain inflation. Sound familiar?

The Tech sector just got rejected at the 200 dma for the first time since 2008:

In summary, the Fed and its inflation acolytes have triggered global Minsky Meltdown. Which in today's Idiocracy means they didn't do ENOUGH.

Why? Because SO FAR, most of the pain has been in non-U.S. markets.

This time, the Fed is constrained from initiating a monetary bailout. Which ensures MAXIMUM dislocation at the zero bound. 

2008 sans bailout aka. 


Thursday, May 5, 2022


The mainstream financial media deserve the majority of credit for the masses NOT seeing this coming. Zerohedge deserves credit for excellence in generating mass confusion. No one does it better. In summary, end of cycle GREEDTHINK is driving the most expensive circle jerk in human history:

"Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one's own views"

Reading the news THIS week one would never know that in April the Nasdaq had its worst month since 2008.

How soon they forget:

Two things are killing Tech right now, one is DECLINING growth as described in the article above, which is the death knell for momentum trades. The second factor is higher interest rates which are the death knell for high valuations. This week, the Fed raised interest rates .5% which is the most since May 2000 when the DotCom bubble imploded. The Nasdaq finished that year down -60%. This current Tech wreck started over a year ago and now it's spreading to the mega cap names as well. 

After Y2K, the Nasdaq didn't make a new high for 18 years. The 2008 crash required a maximum Fed bailout, but still the Nasdaq fell another -40% before hitting bottom AFTER October 2008:

In addition to the Nasdaq being down the most since October 2008, the S&P 500 was down in April the most since March 2020. This time of course, the Fed is tightening at the fastest rate in history whereas back then it was easing at a record pace.

Which means that this set-up is March 2020 deja vu EXCEPT this time sans bailout. Anyone can see that breadth during this period of time in no way resembles 2018 and 2020. 

Right now investors are piled into LATE cycle inflation trades because the stagflation hypothesis is unanimous. Here we see that commodities are the most overbought in four decades.

In addition, the stock/bond ratio is at the highest level in history, and yet today's pundits claim that investors are "too bearish" for a continued stock market decline.

Stagflation is a "RISK ON" trade. 

What today's pundits never admit is that "stagflation" is temporarily evident in EVERY late cycle just prior to recession. It just means slowing growth and high prices. Only in the late 1970s was stagflation NOT transitory. So therefore this must be the late 1970s. 

It couldn't be for example 2008 deja vu:

What these stagflation pundits forget is that Powell is doing his best imitation of Paul Volcker who KILLED stagflation in 1980.

What makes THIS situation uniquely lethal is the fact that the housing market has yet to implode. Whereas during the prior two housing bubbles (1980/2008) the housing bubble had already imploded BEFORE consumer sentiment collapsed. 

Which means THIS Fed is raising rates into an impending housing collapse at the ZERO bound which will make this recession far worse than 2008 and 1980.

When the Fed's first rate hike didn't collapse global markets (ALMOST), they decided to double down on collapse:

In summary: A Tech wreck in progress, record overbought inflation trades, collapsing Emerging Markets, and a housing  super bubble with a Fed hellbent on maximum tightening.

All of which means that the biggest policy error in market history is attended by the WORST positioning by investors at any end of cycle in history. Why? Because today's pundits are groupthink idiots and the masses wouldn't have it any other way. 



Tuesday, May 3, 2022


The plans are now set for a hard landing at the zero bound. 

Everything EXCEPT, seeing it coming...

With each FOMC meeting, the Fed keeps upping the ante. Now, the stakes have NEVER been higher, but you would never know it by today's circus quality financial commentary - by far the dumbest we've seen in our lifetimes. The longest bull market in history has succeeded in making everyone forget what a bear market looks like. The crash in March 2020 was of such short duration that it doesn't even show up on a monthly chart. All it was is a corrective pullback on the way to a pandemic-driven Tech bubble blow-off top.

Deja vu of Y2K:

Contrary to popular belief, the Fed's REAL mistake was keeping their balance sheet inflated for far too long while investors gambled with impunity. Investors only finally took notice when inflation seeped into the actual economy. Prior to that there was no complaining as profits and stocks sky-rocketed to RECORD highs.

NOW, EVERYONE knows the Fed made a big mistake. So to make up for it the Fed is making a much bigger mistake. And the same people who ignored the first mistake, are ignoring this one as well.


Unbeknownst to all of today's pundits, in the period while the Fed was asleep at the wheel, the bond market did their job for them. The two year sky-rocketed at the fastest rate in history.

Here we see the two year yield is above the Fed rate by the most since the last two recessions.

Which is where this all gets interesting. In the sense that watching an Idiocracy self-destruct is fascinating. 

The Treasury market has collapsed. Therefore the spread between junk bonds and Treasuries has narrowed. Which gives the Fed the illusion of LOW credit risk. Usually spreads compress when the junk bond market rallies. This time, spreads are compressed because Treasuries have collapsed. 

Which is why the Fed's proprietary financial risk index is at RECORD lows despite the largest bond market collapse in HISTORY.

Giving a totally erroneous signal of "low risk". When nothing could be further from the inconvenient TRUTH:

The stock bulls' case is that despite the obvious risks, there is too much pessimism in the market to allow a meaningful break lower. So far in 2022 that has been the case. The market has pounded the FOMC support level multiple times this year only to bounce higher. Which has kept everyone guessing: is this a correction in a bull market, or a top in a bear market? Most of today's investors are in the former camp - short term bearish and long-term bullish. They see this FOMC rate spurt as a mere speed bump to the next bull market. 

IF the bulls are right, there is currently TOO much bearishness. for a bull market. However, in the context of a bear market, there is not nearly enough bearishness to keep this market from breaking lower.

LONG-TERM active manager risk exposure has been above 50% for seven years straight:

The abiding delusion is that in the event of major selloff the Fed can pivot from max hawkish to max dovish quickly enough to keep markets from exploding. 

Which is why we find ourselves camped at a similar breadth level as 2018. EXCEPT, back then, the Fed rate was ALREADY at 2.5%, the balance sheet had been reduced considerably, inflation was muted, and of course Trump demanded the Fed reverse policy. 

This time NONE of those factors apply. And yet, today's investors are even MORE sanguine than they were back then, now facing DOUBLE the level of tightening. 

It's MORAL HAZARD on steroids. Investors have been bailed out so many times that they no longer manage risk. So much for the "too bearish" theory.  


In summary, despite the Fed's KNOWN prior error in keeping policy too loose, and their latest error in tightening TOO fast, today's investors maintain their belief that central banks are INVINCIBLE. And can bail them out of every situation, even when they themselves are no longer hedging. It's the imaginary Fed put. 

The Fed on the other hand is hellbent on restoring their LOST credibility. Therefore, they are not focused on the implosion of global markets and the Nasdaq.

So it is that we are pile driving straight into the zero bound at MAXIMUM VELOCITY.

And so it is that no greater fool wants to see it coming.

Thursday, April 28, 2022


When I tell people that market explosion is inevitable, they always ask me "when is that?". The fact that most people will get wiped out by it is apparently of no concern...

Most people these days assume the past is the future. They are set in their ways and have no intention of changing. Therefore, they happily extrapolate mass insanity into the indefinite future and sacrifice their mental health on the altar of mass consumption. A lifetime of bad habits doesn't change at the end. The idea of adapting to a new reality of less is more or quality over quantity, is never under consideration. This society has been brainwashed from birth to consume at any cost. 

We see this all around us at the personal level, people consumed by their addictions. But we see it at the societal level as well. No politician or pundit on either side can tell the public what they don't want to hear. There is no market for the truth these days.

Meanwhile, the average IQ has been collapsing, thereby front-running the next level of widely ignored corruption. Which has left us skeptics of rampant fraud constantly playing catch-up to the next level of delusion.  Our many critics claim we have been "wrong" timed in our prediction of the inevitable. Their ONLY concern is "when" NOT "if". The fact that this will all explode one day with extreme dislocation can wait another trading day. In the meantime, THEIR beloved financial weapon of mass destruction grows from one magnitude of destruction to the next.  

Granted, no one can predict the future with 100% accuracy. The best we can do is measure the amount of buffoonery that precedes collapse. Which in the current case is on the scale of biblical. Through necessity, the level of buffoonery has had to increase from one larger bubble to the next, according to the law of magical thinking. Central banks in their infinite hubris have constantly bailed out the masses from impending reality. And in  doing so they have painted this society into a corner. At this latent juncture, rampant corporate profiteering has forced the Fed into record tightening. They are now hellbent on creating a global depression. At the same time, home gamers are widely told to expect a "soft landing". 

Today we got news that Q1 GDP was NEGATIVE. The first quarter of incipient recession. The Dow gained 700 points on the news. 

THIS will be the epitaph for this era:

A Fed worried about inflation expectations becoming embedded in a COLLAPSING economy, oblivious to the fact that inflation expectations are ALREADY embedded in inflated stock market valuations:

"The analysis of SEC filings for 100 US corporations found net profits up by a median of 49%, and in one case by as much as 111,000%. Those increases came as companies saddled customers with higher prices and all but ten executed massive stock buyback programs or bumped dividends to enrich investors"

The level of denial is very similar to 2008. 

We are constantly told "The consumer is strong", but it's a massive lie as anyone can see:

The Nasdaq is at critical support:

Globally things are far more dire, as the relentless dollar rally collapses the various dominoes which are heading inexorably towards U.S. markets:

Beneath this market is a wall of put options. Bearishness is the highest since October 2008. For a time, a high level of hedging can keep the market from imploding, especially around a major event such as this impending FOMC meeting, which is what happened during the TARP bailout of October 2008. Back then, many investors hedged that meeting so the market rallied into the news. Soon after, the puts expired and the market collapsed.

The next major financial event is what I call "Millennial Margin Call" or MMC. It started last year with the Gamestop debacle and so-called "democratization of markets". Which was merely a euphemism for the ensuing RECORD Wall Street pump and dump.

2022 has the dubious distinction of having the WORST Nasdaq breadth (highs - lows) in market history:

So far miraculously across Cryptos, Biotechs, junk IPOs, SPACs, Chinese stocks, and Ark ETFs there has been NO capitulation. These newbie investors have been taught to "HODL" which means hold on and never sell. Because as long as you never sell, you never have a loss. Of course, this theory means nothing to margin clerks: 

"The number of active users fell 8% as compared with December 2021, mostly thanks to users with lower balances engaging “less in the current market environment”

What I see happening next is MMC (Millennial Margin Call) coinciding with FOMC DOUBLE tightening. Which when it occurs will lead to a final reach for protection into a ZERO liquidity market. 

What I call IGNITION.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022


Up until now the bullish pundits have been causing all of the problems, with their perpetual Disney World bullshit. However, now it's the latecomer bears with their half-assed predictions who are causing the most confusion...

So allow me to elucidate what's coming:

It's called THE WORST CASE SCENARIO. Featuring a Fed tightening into global meltdown.

Any questions?

Let's see, worst Nasdaq selloff since 2008. Biggest commodity spike since 2008. Worst consumer sentiment since 2008. The most global rate hikes since 2008. The biggest housing bubble since 2008. The most institutional selling since 2008. And the largest recession stock outperformance since 2008.

Therefore, it MUST be a soft landing, with an 11% probability historically:

Below we see U.Michigan one year consumer inflation expectations. Currently at ~5%. Which is the SAME level the public expected DURING the last three largest recessions since 1980. In other words, these people don't even know when they are in a recession. ACTUAL inflation in each case was at or below 2% (bottom pane). In 2009, FAR below i.e. -2%. 

Back in 2008, inflation expectations peaked in July and August. The market collapsed in September. In hindsight, the economy had been in recession for EIGHT MONTHS already:

Then as now, the Fed was SOLELY concerned about public hysteria over inflation:

"On the morning after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in  September 2008, most Federal Reserve officials still believed that the American economy would keep growing despite the metastasizing financial crisis"

"The transcript for that meeting contains 129 mentions of “inflation” and five of “recession.”

Well, this time around they are making a far greater error. They are actively raising interest rates during an incipient global meltdown. 

Back in August 2015, the Yellen Fed was planning a .25% rate hike in September which caused the Chinese Yuan to implode. That in turn caused a chain reaction crash of global risk assets. Which I called smash crash. It was a limit down gong show that forced the Fed to delay their rate hike. 

This time around, the Fed funds futures have priced in 1.75% of rate hikes between now and July, which is 7x more than what imploded China in 2015. 

And now already, the Yuan is imploding AGAIN: 


This time around, China is FAR weaker than 2015. Their zero COVID policy is a TOTAL disaster. Wall Street has been continually downgrading China GDP for 2022, now currently at ~4.5%.

Here we see the largest divergence between China GDP and commodities since the 2014 Crimean invasion. Which was followed by the largest drop in oil prices since 2008. From over $100 in 2014 down to $26/bbl in early 2016. 

Now, all of a sudden new bears are showing up trying to pick a bottom somewhere below this meltdown in progress. There's only one problem, which is that the Fed is nowhere near capitulating on rate hikes. In fact they are planning to "front load" rate hikes over the next three months. A term that has been used multiple times recently by Fed members. 

Unfortunately, the ONLY thing that has turned markets around since 2008 IS the Fed. Case in point 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2020. EVERY TIME it was the Fed pivoting from hawkish to dovish. Pausing rate hikes. Cutting rates. Or re-starting QE. 

So I created this chart, showing where the Fed might start getting worried about asset declines. This is strictly hypothetical. I will update it as we get signs that the Fed is starting to change policy. However, given the magnitude of this debacle, risks are skewed to the downside. Once the global margin call gets started, central banks will have no chance to stop it. 

All of which is why I say there are no safe assets right now. The safest is "cash" aka. t-bills and money market funds. This was the lesson from March 2020 that has already been forgotten. Even long-term Treasury bonds imploded (but they recovered first). Gold also imploded, but recovered second after Treasuries, the same sequence as in 2008.

When the Fed reinstated QE on Sunday March 15th, 2020 the S&P opened LIMIT DOWN. March 16th was the biggest down day since 2008. Day session circuit breakers were triggered. 

This time will be FAR WORSE. By the time the Fed pivots, the market will be in FULL panic mode. They will view Fed reversal as confirmation of recession. Which is what it will be. 

Only when the Fed itself panics and JAPANIFIES the bond market, will the stock market eventually find a tradable bottom. In 2008 it took four months. I make no predictions this time around. 

Regardless, the damage will be done.

What no pundit will say then or now is that the low in 1930 was a tradable low. But it was NOT the bottom. The all time high was not exceeded until 1955. TWENTY FIVE YEARS later.

Which is not so bad when you consider the Japanese are on year 32.

In summary, the *new* retirement will be buying FEAR and selling BULLSHIT. And it starts NOW. 


Thursday, April 21, 2022


The consensus RISK ON stagflation trade is not only lethally crowded, it's lethally cornered. Entering the lowest liquidity period of this CYCLE, gamblers are piled into end of cycle dead end trades...

By sheer coincidence, the stagflation hypothesis is the only market prediction that could keep the stock market RISK ON this late in the cycle. It's the same theory that abided in 2008 and we know how that turned out. Or do we? Apparently, most people have amnesia or dementia these days. 

Zerohedge didn't exist back in 2008, which is why they can recycle this stagflation CRAP with plausible deniability. 

The stagflation trade means buying stocks and dumping bonds because only stocks can "grow" their earnings in this environment. Leave aside the fact that profit margins are already at a record high. The stagflation trade means carrying minimum cash balances. It also means that MASSIVE Fed rate hikes will slow growth but will NOT create a recession.

Act now and you will get 6 free ginsu knives...

But that's not all:

We are now to believe as a worst case scenario that the Fed will raise rates 12-16 times in 2022, followed by a mild recession in 2023. Conveniently, by that time the Fed will have normalized policy enough to start cutting rates and therefore moderate the recession. In the meantime ALL asset prices will stay permanently high as will store prices, crude oil, commodities, real estate, and most importantly record corporate profits. 

It's the Cinderella story propagated by Wall Street and the mainstream financial media. Questioned by almost no one. 

What they are ignoring of course is RECORD policy divergence between the U.S. and China and Japan. Europe sliding towards recession with the ECB tightening and the EU attempting to embargo Russian gas and oil. Emerging Markets imploding due to the sky-rocketing dollar.

And they lived happily ever after.

Here is MY alternative prediction: I see a Third Wave asset meltdown across all risk assets at the same time coinciding with a Fed intent on tightening liquidity at the fastest pace in U.S. history. 

In other words, I predict that all of this end of cycle profiteering will backfire disastrously, leaving a totally bidless market. Which will cause asset shock on top of oil shock, inflation shock, rate shock leaving the "consumer" imploded.

You see, once again, ALL of today's "experts" forgot the most important variable in their economic models: The middle class. 

These elitist assholes have not even the slightest clue how much pain the average household is experiencing right now. So of course they assume that the U.S. can embargo Russia, implode China, and take money in from Emerging Markets ad infinitum. While households double down on end of cycle risk. 

It's the biggest con job ever bought and sold.

These fools have already forgotten that last year was the biggest growth stock pump and dump in history. RECORD IPO and SPAC issuance for record Wall Street profit. In addition to Crypto Ponzi schemes and myriad other Social Media ordered scams. 

However, THIS year it's all about the inflation scam. Which, is 10x larger in magnitude.

Already we are seeing a consumer slowdown in durable goods AND a nascent slowdown in the housing market. 

Notice where "Current conditions" sentiment was at during the last two real estate bubbles. It was only AFTER the bubble popped that sentiment collapsed. This time, sentiment is collapsing BEFORE the bubble has popped. Which means all of that new housing supply will be dumped onto a collapsing market:

Now consider stock market liquidity vis-a-vis the S&P (eMini) futures. When today's investors finally realize that "stonks" are not a safe haven from meltdown, who will be on the other side of the trade?

No one. 

These people are all now cornered into a massively crowded panic trade.

This chart shows the past two FOMCs (blue circles) and then the second Thursday prior to the meeting, where we are today (blue down arrows). 

I see this as wave i (blue) of 3 (red). 4x Tightening means the Fed PLANS to double tighten on the short end and the long end at the same time. Currently, there is a 95% chance of double rate hike in May, which is the first double rate hike since May 2000.

Momentum stocks are even more dire as they now have a corrective fractal very similar to the one that imploded in January AND the final stages of a one year head and shoulders top:

Crude oil:

The March rate hike is circled.


The March rate hike is circled:

The world (stocks) ex-U.S., crashed both times prior to the FOMC meeting (circled):

In summary, this week is Earth week and the hairless monkeys have ignored all warnings. 

"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"