Saturday, August 6, 2022


Doom and gloom is pervasive across a variety of risk factors, which is why this society excels at ignoring it. There is a belief now that as long as everyone sees something coming, it can't happen. Which is sheer denialistic fantasy of course. This society now specializes in talking about problems full time while doing nothing about them. Always taking the easy way out. Which means that all of the "change" has been delayed and therefore all of the various crises will come crashing down at the same time...


Fortunately, I did not shred my credibility by attempting to guess Friday's jobs report which came in more than double what economists expected. These are the people that this society depends upon as experts. They've been substantially wrong for every jobs report in 2022. In just one week, the odds of a .75% rate hike in September jumped from 28% to 68%. Remember the Fed pivot? That is history. 

The pivot theory actually started back in June with the first .75% rate hike. The theory was the Fed would "front load" all of the rate hikes in June and July and obviate the need for further rate hikes. Here we are in August and the theory is already dead. 

Far too many bulls are STILL trying to front-run the Fed which has the effect of compressing risk spreads and otherwise EASING financial conditions. Which forces the Fed to keep tightening. 

From an economic standpoint, the Fed remains fixated on lagging indicators while ignoring leading indicators. The number of McJobs created in any given month has no bearing on inflation. During the 1970s, job creation continued well after the economy was already in recession in 1970, 1974, and 1980.

We are still struggling with the after effects of the pandemic when job openings sky-rocketed. But now we see they are beginning to roll over:

The labor participation rate for the key younger demographic still hasn't recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Which means that a lot of people are now going to be long-term unemployed. 

Now on to everyone's favourite topic - Disney markets and imagined realities. 

This is now the second headfake rally in 2022. 

There is now a desperate belief that institutions which have been selling all year long will soon be bidding up the stocks of retail bagholders. That has NEVER happened in the history of markets. What happens next is that retail bagholders puke out stock into a collapsing market, the Fed is forced to reverse, and THEN institutions come off the sidelines. This idea that the dumb money is now the smart money and vice versa is the height of desperation. 

This second rally of 2022 looks almost identical to the first one, and shares many of the same attributes: Extreme low volatility, overbought oscillator, overbought volume momentum, three wave retracement and of course it confirms the second quarter in a row of negative GDP. Qualitatively it's clearly different than the rallies that attended Fed bailouts in 2018 and 2020. This rally has yet to take back the 200 day moving average. Which means bulls are now facing the second failure at the 200 dma - something that has not happened since 2008. 

All of which is why I call this the "recession confirmation rally".

If you can't understand it, it's because your IQ hasn't collapsed like a cheap tent. 

Here is the Nasdaq on the weekly. This rally percentage wise is basically identical to the first one:

This week, crude oil decisively broke the 200 day for the first time since 2020:

Here we see stocks are tracking copper very closely as the world economy implodes in broad daylight:

In summary, by the time we get official confirmation of recession, bulls will be officially buried.

Like last time, except far deeper and with no hope of bailout.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022


Bulls will be happy to know that I have officially downgraded my economic forecast to economic armageddon aka. "BTFD"...

mor·al haz·ard

lack of incentive to guard against risk where one is protected from its consequences”

The Fed is clueless. Investors are complacent. Wall Street is corrupt. What's new?

Before considering any market forecast one must first discern whether or not the pundit is operating under the post-2008 rules or pre-2008 rules. The vast majority of today’s commentators are operating under the continuous monetary bailout rules that have abided since 2008. Those readers who believe THAT era still applies, should proceed straight to CNBC and Zerohedge for your daily financial infotainment enema.

This is for those who believe that the era of continuous investor bailout was always going to end with a widely embraced swan dive straight into the economic pavement at the zero bound. 

First off, we are witnessing an unprecedented event wherein the economic data is deteriorating faster than the markets. Which is a function of a Fed believing that inflation is "sticky" and therefore willfully ignoring all escalating signs of economic risk. It's clear they are not concerned that their actions are accelerating economic meltdown. The Fed has never been adept at managing soft landings and currently their own economic models predict only 10% chance this time. Hence it’s the consensus bet on Wall Street.

The Fed and investors have reached a deadly standoff. The Fed needs investors to reduce risk to bring down asset prices. Investors however expect the Fed to capitulate and bid up markets. Neither side has blinked. Yet. Therefore, the Fed is forced to continue tightening until investors capitulate. In the meantime, the economic data continues to steadily worsen.

So far, there is NO sign of fear from investors.

Institutions have been taking down their market exposure all year due to the rising economic risk. However, this has been a very orderly de-risking process with no sign of panic. As opposed to 2020 when both the VIX and market volumes skyrocketed. 

Individual investors have largely stayed the course and remained over-invested in stocks going into recession.

The housing bubble has now become the locus of primary risk. Home prices are collapsing at the fastest pace since 2008. Housing inventories are rising at the fastest pace in history and are already at a level previously associated with deep recession and economic deleveraging. Add in an over-priced auto market beginning to implode, durable goods slowdown, consumer debt skyrocketing, semiconductor glut, PC/mobile phone decline and soon you are talking about the entire market ex-narco-pharma and Disneyland.

Coming off of last week’s Fed rate hike, many pundits are saying it’s too early for a Fed pivot. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s too LATE for the Fed to pivot, because economic risk is already past the point of timely bailout. At this point the Fed should jack rates up as fast as possible so they can turn around and slash them back to zero. Gain some altitude before the crash. 

The Fed will never be able to pivot in a way that rescues today’s investors who are already over leveraged on risk. The Fed pivot will be a step along the way to investor wipeout. Investors are now trapped by the bailout rules that applied since 2008 and the pundits who espouse them: Meaning, the worse the reality of the economy becomes, the greater the expectation of large scale bailout.

Russian roulette with no spare chamber.

None of what I am saying makes any sense to those who have no memory of real markets prior to 2008. Back then valuations mattered, bad news was bad news, and the mantra was don’t fight the Fed. Now, all of that has been turned on its head.

Market reality has been on vacation for 14 years and now it’s returning home to economic apocalypse. Bought with both hands at the zero bound.

The unforeseen cost of bailing out financial criminals who are now predominant across the financial media.

Booya skidaddy!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2022


You are not imagining things, this is all far worse than it looks...

This is not the end of the world, this is the end of a Kardashian society doing everything possible to keep their facade from crumbling.

We are witnessing escalation towards all-out war in Europe (U.S.).  Escalation towards war between China and Taiwan (U.S.). The total destruction of Ukraine. The end of Russia as a functioning nation state. Mass shootings not just in the U.S. but worldwide on an unprecedented scale. Political bifurcation bordering on civil war.  40 year high inflation. Societal breakdown reaching a boiling point. And of course environmental apocalypse in real-time. 

To top it off we are now in recession with a Fed still in tightening  mode and Wall Street telling investors THIS is the start of the new bull market. When this gambit fails, don't worry about Wall Street, there won't be one. 

If you want to see a prime example of epic mass confusion, look no further than Zerohedge who have the unique ability to contradict themselves continuously and yet always be "right".

In other words the disinformation overload worked great. Mass confusion has led to mass financial complacency.

I would caution anyone who believes this Wall Street fairy tale that there will be recession for the middle class at the zero bound and a bull market for stocks. The CPI is now the biggest enemy of the economy AND stocks. It precludes the Fed from bailing out ANYONE on a timely basis. Which means that BOTH markets and the economy are at a high risk of crash. Which will be deflationary. 

In this chart we see the level of option hedging in the top pane is lower than all prior market events. And we see the CPI in the lower pane. In ALL prior Fed bailouts, the CPI had been falling for at least six months and was below 2%. Except, the pandemic when markets were limit down six times in two weeks. THAT is what it will take for another bailout. 

Unfortunately, this whiplash u-turn from an inflation narrative to a recession (deflation) narrative has come far too fast for investors as a whole to adjust. It ensures that hardcore inflationists are about to go through the windshield.

This week's confirmation of recession means that it's now clear for institutional investors to rotate from stocks and cash back to Treasury bonds. Whether you believe in Wall Street's "soft landing" fantasy or the hard landing reality, Treasuries SHOULD rally.  However, unlike Treasuries, in the hard landing scenario, stocks will crater. Treasuries are a safe haven from deflation and global meltdown. Whereas stocks are massively overvalued relative to Treasuries and in recession, earnings AND profit margins will implode.

As we see from 2018, after the Fed pivoted both performed the same. However, at the start of the pandemic, stocks crashed while T-BONDs continued to rally. I see 60% or more upside from Treasuries in the next 12 months which will take yields back down to the zero bound.     

Why am I telling you this?

Normally, I don't give financial advice. However, I feel an obligation to point out this one time that T-bonds present a rare opportunity for outsized gains over the coming 12 months. 

Here are my caveats: One, I have a core position in Treasuries that I plan to trade around. So, you know I have a bias. Secondly, if you notice above, Treasuries crashed in the early part of the pandemic for a very brief amount of time. That's because a lot of institutions panicked and sold everything to go to cash. 

I suspect they will do the same thing this time around, to gain liquidity for the impending avalanche of redemptions. You see the problem is that due to the inflation narrative, most investors are far too light on cash. And that poses a huge liquidity challenge for the Fed. It means that markets are about to get out of their control. 

If the Treasury market crashes, two things will happen. First stocks and everything else will go limit down. Second, the Fed will panic and Japanify the bond market back to 0%. Personally, on a crash I will back up the truck to buy Treasuries.

The third and last caveat of course is what if inflation continues to escalate. I have every confidence the Fed knows how to implode markets and the economy to bring down inflation. So far, I give them an A+ in 2022. Their level of recklessness is insane and the bond market happens to agree with me.

In summary, if you think that the system is rigged and you want to stand as close to the printing press as possible, buy Treasury bonds and wait until the Fed has no choice but to take you out of the trade at a much higher level. And don't tell anyone you are now part of the "elite". 


Friday, July 29, 2022


Many new traders wonder why the market would be up in a week when there is a triple rate hike AND confirmed recession. When traders buy weekly put options on the anticipation of bad news then the market makers on the other side of the trade hedge their long put position by shorting the market. This causes the market to dip ahead of the bearish event. However, once the event passes, then a combination of time decay and price movement causes those expiring options to lose value. Market makers reduce their hedges by buying back stock. This creates a feedback loop towards the end of the week as the stock buying pushes more of the put options out of the money. Ironically, bearish option traders create the rally.

However, it's not a long-term phenomenon. It has its greatest effect during central bank meetings, monthly opex (third week), and of course the end of the month during window dressing.

As we see, this three month pattern is very similar to the one ending in March. That was a bull trap, and I suspect this is a bull trap as well. When the March rally ended, the market fell -20% in six weeks. 

If the cycle repeats then the market will be in confirmed bear market territory.

For all of the fake excitement over Amazon earnings, that stock has the same form it had the last time it imploded.

This week, despite Fed tightening, yields broke to new lows:

The global Dow, fourth lower high:

Metals and mining stocks, a very similar bounce, this time off of key support:

No sign of capitulation

March and July are the only two up months for the Nasdaq in 2022. 

The summer rally is very likely over. Now comes the month that has seen the biggest crashes since 2008 (pandemic aside).

In summary, the U.S. is in confirmed recession ahead of Europe, China and the rest of the world.

Which means that hot money will now exit U.S. markets at the speed of yield collapse.

What comes in too fast, goes out too fast.


Back at the market top in 2007 Wall Street was making all manner of excuses for investors to stay the course. They are doing the same thing right now. Trying to keep the sheeple from bolting...

July 2007:

Citigroup's Chuck Prince Wants To Keep Dancing. Can You Blame Him?

"When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance"

THIS is how the era of continuous monetary bailouts and extreme moral hazard was doomed to end - with an Idiocracy now questioning the definition and even the possibility of recession while the walls are closing in on them from all sides.

This chart shows that the two quarter moving average of GDP decline now exceeds Y2K, which was an "official" recession. 

Most young investors are of the belief that the 2020 v-bottom recovery was typical - a four week recession and bear market followed shortly after by new all time highs. CNBC and Zerohedge pundits apparently don't have any recollection earlier than December 2018 which was the last time the Fed successfully "pivoted" from tightening to neutral and the market took off. The difference of course is that this time the economy is now in a confirmed recession. Stock valuations are higher now, the housing market is imploding, the car market is imploding, and inflation is at a 50 year high. Meaning consumers are TOTALLY tapped out. Which is the message coming through this quarter's earning announcements, however CNBC and Wall Street have done a great job of putting lipstick on the pig. The mantra of the day is: "Not as bad as feared". Meaning the company "beat" collapsed expectations. Bearing in mind that most of the guests on CNBC are money managers who have to put money somewhere. So all they care about is which stocks will go down the least in a recession. Apparently they've forgotten the lesson from Y2K.  

Back in the Y2K bubble, first the profitless junk stocks imploded. When that happened money rotated to the mega cap stocks: Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, and Dell on the assumption they were Tech safe havens. As a result those stocks became massively overvalued as growth slowed. And then those "safe havens" imploded. The same thing is happening now.

Meanwhile, mega cap Tech stocks remain top holdings in every portfolio.

Apple is an excellent example of Wall Street smoke and mirrors. We were told the company "beat" earnings expectations, but profit was down -11% year over year. If you take into account CPI however, REAL profit was down -20% year over year. 

CNN Business: Apple Profit Declines -11%

In other words, it was a very bad quarter and the company is using inflation to hide how bad it was.

Despite lowered expectations vis-a-vis last quarter, Microsoft missed, Google missed and Facebook missed. Amazon took expectations down to rock bottom ahead of the quarter, and Apple covered up a year over year profit collapse with the assistance of media con artists.  

Zerohedge: Apple Beats On Top And Bottom Lines

"AAPL did not disappoint...easing concerns that supply chain snags and a shaky economy would ravage the tech giant’s sales"


The CPI is hiding economic collapse in broad daylight. 

Here we see real wages have collapsed -3%, the most in 20 years and more than 2008. It's fortunate that so far GDP is only down -1%. Clearly consumers are digging into savings. 

There are eight weeks until the next FOMC. In the meantime, the economy will be weakening as the lagged impact of these most recent rate hikes takes effect. Meanwhile economic reports which operate on a lag will continue to show elevated inflation and economic activity while the real-time indicators are collapsing. During this lag period, Wall Street will be doing everything possible to paper over collapse with their standard end of cycle chicanery. 

Pundits are already telling people that inflation has peaked and it's time to pile back into the market:

“When the Fed gets out of the way, you have a real window and you’ve got to jump through it. … When a recession comes, the Fed has the good sense to stop raising rates,” the “Mad Money” host said. “And that pause means you’ve got to buy stocks.”

Here below we can see that when the Fed stopped raising rates and began lowering them in 2007/2008, that was the period of maximum drawdown. We also see that it took the National Bureau of Economic Research a FULL YEAR to declare official recession. By that time the market was down -50%. When the Fed met at their fateful Lehman meeting in September 2008 they had no idea the economy had already been in recession for nine months. 

Going into the steepest part of the decline, only 5% of Wall Street recommendations were sell:
Ritholtz May 2008:

In summary, this is a BULL TRAP of biblical magnitude.

One thing I agree with Cramer on is that the Fed is likely done hiking rates. Which means they are now going to "pivot" at a 2.5% Fed funds rate. In other words, Wall Street’s best case scenario is actually the worst case scenario. Non-normalized rates in a deep recession.

How the age of MORAL HAZARD was always going to end. With investors believing that global depression was their last buying opportunity.

Because they trusted proven psychopaths. AGAIN.

Thursday, July 28, 2022


I'm experimenting with a new type of blog post focused solely on market technical analysis. No major rants and no Econ data. That way I can show more charts and cut down on Twitter spam.

What we're looking for is a second overbought bull trap which will lead into the final meltdown phase. 

The SPX is back to overbought and upper trendline:


Lower pane is % bullish, Industrials:

Hot money is starting to leave the U.S.


"What a fool believes he sees
No wise man has the power to reason away
What seems to be
Is always better than nothing"

The pandemic marked the apex of the largest bubble in world history - Globalization. Investors lured by the promise of virtual prosperity are now trapped between recession and inflation. Which means there is no economic or financial bailout this time around. All that's left is lethal denial. Unfortunately, what the sheeple STILL haven’t learned is that Wall Street’s entire business model is predicated upon monetizing denial…

The pandemic super bubble was the first global bubble in history. It was inflated by the largest coordinated global fiscal and monetary stimulus, without any comparison. The problem is that it was far too much stimulus. Coming out of the pandemic many pundits claimed that the pandemic unemployment programs were creating inflation. There is only one issue with that theory - those programs ended almost a year ago (September) which is when inflation accelerated. It turns out the biggest accelerators of inflation were corporate profits, commodities, and the housing bubble. The prime beneficiaries of Quantitative Easing. Once again, it was socialism for the rich which was driving inflation, not the middle class. Something to keep in mind when this hyper bubble explodes. Because this time there will be no bailout for the wealthy. 

No bailout means there will be tremendous de-leveraging of the corporate sector in this impending recession. A lot of investors don't seem to know that after the pandemic, Congress removed the  Fed's *special* bailout powers
"Toomey said the deal achieved his four goals: to sweep out $429 billion in unused CARES Act funds allocated for Fed lending and repurpose the money, to shut down the four lending facilities, to forbid the reopening of those facilities, and to ban future clones of the program"

The pandemic was the first time in U.S. history when corporate debt actually grew during recession. Bulls are therefore betting this will be the SECOND recession in a row with no deleveraging. Sure. 

From a valuation standpoint, during the pandemic stocks reached a record over-valuation relative to GDP. A ratio called the "Buffett indicator". As we see, prior to the pandemic stocks were bubbling back up to the Y2K record over-overvaluation level. And then the pandemic caused a breakout above that prior peak valuation. A return back to a 1:1 market cap/GDP ratio would imply a -50% drop in stock prices ASSUMING GDP does not collapse. Which is an asinine assumption. Given the attendant collapse in GDP, stocks could easily fall -75%. 

That said, central banks will do everything possible to prevent true valuation. Which is why I say that stocks will ultimately become dead money, because they will not reflect proper valuations. Which is something the Japanese and Chinese have already learned the hard way. 

Home sales are already collapsing.

Prices will soon follow. 

Nouriel Roubini calls today's "Soft landing" proponents totally delusional:

The problem of course is that Nouriel Roubini has acquired a bearish reputation, hence he is called "Dr. Doom". Which is why many people ignore his warnings. He has always been right of course as to where this monetary orgy was heading, but it took the pandemic blow-off top to coalesce all of the risks he has warned about for years. Meaning it took a pandemic sugar rally to convince the masses to fully buy into virtual prosperity.

Make no mistake, the magnitude of this meltdown will ensure that anyone deriding Dr. Doom in the days to come, will have ZERO credibility. 

In summary, U.S. gamblers are now addicted to VIRTUAL prosperity. Japanese investors were the first to learn the hard way not to trust printed money illusions. Next Chinese gamblers learned the hard way. Japan's market peaked in 1990 and China's market peaked in 2008. 

What today's Fed pivot zealots don't understand is that after Y2K and 2008, when the Fed began cutting rates, the market STILL went down. The pivot was not the end of the bear market, it was the beginning.