Tag Archives: Stock market crash

Look Out Below: Why a Rug-Pull Flash Crash Makes Perfect Sense, by Charles Hugh Smith

You can make a ton of money on stock index and individual stock put options when the markets and sentiment are as they are now and the market crashes. With all the fun and games that go on in financial markets, one or more of the bigger players in the market could probably make it happen . . . after they buy those put options. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

It makes perfect financial sense to crash the market and no sense to reward the retail options marks by pushing it higher.

An extraordinary opportunity to scoop up mega-millions in profits has arisen, and grabbing all this free money makes perfect financial sense. Now the question is: will those who have the means to grab the dough have the guts to do so?

Here’s the opportunity: retail punters have gone wild for call options, churning $2.6 trillion in mostly short-term calls–bets on gains now, not later. This expansion of retail options exposure is unprecedented not just in its volume but in its concentration in short-term bets (options that expire in a few days) and in mega-cap tech companies that are commanding rich premiums for options.

Goldman Stunned By The Record $2.6 Trillion In Option Notional Traded Last Friday

The options market is like every other market only more so. The price of an option–a bet that a stock, ETF or index will go up or down before the option expires–is sensitive to the volatility of the underlying equity, the demand of other punters for options and the premium being demanded for time: the farther out the expiration date, the higher the cost of the option.

Recall that anyone with 100 shares of the underlying equity can write/originate an option. Each option controls 100 shares, so a call option that is listed at $1 costs the buyer of the call $100.

This is very sweet leverage if the market goes your way. You get all the gains of the 100 shares for a cost considerably less than buying the 100 shares outright. No wonder retail punters are going crazy for this cheap leverage to maximize gains in “can’t lose” trades.

Options have one funny trait: they can expire worthless and the punter loses the entire bet. Each option has an expiration date and a strike price–the price of the underlying equity that’s the pivot point for the bet: calls gain value if the equity’s price moves above the strike price and puts gain value if the equity’s price falls below the strike price.

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The Market Crash Nobody Thinks Is Possible Is Coming, by Charles Hugh Smith

Charles Hugh Smith foresees a thunderous crash and believes the stock market has already topped out. SLL isn’t arguing with him. From Smith at oftwominds.com:

The banquet of consequences is being served, and risk-off crashes are, like revenge, best served cold.

The ideal setup for a crash is a consensus that a crash is impossible–in other words, just like the present: sure, there are carefully measured murmurings about a “correction” but nobody with anything to lose in the way of public credibility is calling for an honest-to-goodness crash, a real crash, not a wimpy, limp-wristed dip that will immediately be bought.

What I’m calling for is a rip your face off, weeping bitter tears over the grave of the speculative wealth that you thought was forever crash. All those buying the dip because the Fed will never let the market go down will be crushed like scurrying cockroaches and all those trying to rotate into the next hot sector or asset class will also be crushed like scurrying cockroaches because when the Everything Bubble pops, well, everything pops. There is no shelter in a risk-off cascade.

The crash is coming as a result of multiple mutually reinforcing dynamics, the first being that no “serious person” believes a crash is possible, much less imminent. In no particular order, here are a raft of other causally consequential triggers of a cascading market crash:

1. As I noted in my call for the top, Is Anyone Willing to Call the Top of the Everything Bubble? (September 6, 2021), there is no history to support the widespread confidence that the extremes of over-valuation, leverage, euphoria and speculation last forever, or even much longer than the lifespan of a cockroach. We’re well past that benchmark into unprecedented insanity. So what happens next: squish.

Just for the record, the Dow topped out on August 13, the S&P 500 topped out on September 2 and the Nasdaq topped out the day after my call, September 7. (Close enough for gummit work…)

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Things Have Changed, by James Howard Kunstler

The coronavirus, and more pertinently governments’ response to it and the financial collateral damage, may change things permanently. Eventually something good might come of it, but things are going to be rocky for awhile. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

At least in wartime, the bars stay open. That’s how you know this is a different thing altogether from whatever else you’ve seen in your lifetime. Even those of us who signed up for this trip — that is, who expected a long emergency — may be a little bit in cosmic awe at just how much shit is flying into the ol’ fan. I know I am. The gods must have glugged down a mighty draft of Dulcolax.

Did you get the feeling, as I did, watching the Sanders-Biden debate last night — the inadequate versus the irrelevant — that the world they were blathering about possibly doesn’t exist anymore? The world of institutions that actually function? Like, the ones that conjure up whatever sum of money you demand to keep all the wheels spinning? Remember that Hemingway line about the guy who went broke? Slowly, then all at once. That’s us. Medicare for all now? Really? More like, a year from now every physician in America may be the equivalent of the old country doc toting a black bag around to home visits. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough horses left in America, and the few buggies we’ve got are all in the museum.

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No, the world is not coming to an end… by Simon Black

We’re in for some rough times, but only if the idiots running things do something really idiotic will the world come to an end. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

This is going to be a rough day for a lot of folks. But it’s one that I’ve been writing about for quite some time.

I’ve been saying for years that, at some point, there will be a severe financial reckoning. We wouldn’t know how, and most likely, we would have very little advance warning.

As an example, in June 2018 I wrote “whatever causes the next major downturn can be something completely obscure and unpredictable. And no one realizes it until it’s too late.”

That day is now upon us.

Financial markets have crashed around the world. Stock markets from Britain to Japan to Australia fell as much as 7% in a matter of hours, and are off 20% over the past few weeks. Oil prices crashed as low as $27 earlier and are down by nearly 50% from just 2 weeks ago.

And bond yields have crashed to lows that have never been seen before in the history of the world.

You can now loan money to the US government for THIRTY YEARS and earn just 0.85% per year. Or you could loan money to the German government for five years and earn NEGATIVE 1% per year.

Most of this is obviously due to the Corona Virus.

First thing’s first: DON’T PANIC.

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If Impeachment Fails, Will The Elite Crash The Economy In Order To Prevent Four More Years Of Trump? by Michael Snyder

The impeachment will fail and the economy will crash—it doesn’t need any help from the elite. Actually, we’ve been in a slow motion crash for at least 10 years, so the proper terminology is that the crash will accelerate. From Michael Snyder at theeconomicollapseblog.com:

By now, it is exceedingly obvious that the global elite absolutely hate Donald Trump.  No president in U.S. history has faced such a relentless assault by the corporate media, and there have been attempts to sabotage his presidency at every turn.  Miraculously, Trump has survived all of these attacks so far, but now the specter of impeachment looms large over his administration.  The Democrats have a solid majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, they are working quickly toward drafting articles of impeachment, and they actually hope to have Trump impeached by Christmas Day.  But in order to have Trump removed from office, 67 votes will be needed in the Senate, and right now Democrats only control 47 of those seats.  It was always going to be tough for Democrats to get 20 Republicans in the Senate to turn on Trump, but they have bungled this process so badly that they might not end up getting any at all.

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Is The ‘Mother of all Bubbles’ About to Pop? by Ron Paul

Is the repo market the canary in the coal mine for global financial markets? From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

When the New York Federal Reserve began pumping billions of dollars a day into the repurchasing (repo) markets (the market banks use to make short-term loans to each other) in September, they said this would only be necessary for a few weeks. Yet, last Wednesday, almost two months after the Fed’s initial intervention, the New York Federal Reserve pumped 62.5 billion dollars into the repo market.

The New York Fed continues these emergency interventions to ensure “cash shortages” among banks don’t ever again cause interest rates for overnight loans to rise to over 10 percent, well above the Fed’s target rate.

The Federal Reserve’s bailout operations have increased its balance sheet by over 200 billion dollars since September. Investment advisor Michael Pento describes the Fed’s recent actions as Quantitative Easing (QE) “on steroids.”

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Advancing Time: Crashing The Financial System For Fun And Profit, by Bruce Wilds

Most people lose a lot of money in financial crashes, but a few make a killing. From Bruce Wilds at brucewilds.blogspot.com:

It would be wise to remember we are in uncharted waters and this market could reverse on a dime. The stories flowing out of companies such as WeWork that are burning through cash screams danger ahead! This means we should not discount the idea that those in charge might reach a tipping point where they crash the financial system for fun and profit. While this may seem outlandish the possibility is real. This doesn’t mean that every rich guy and gal would sign on to this plan, just enough to push things over the edge. When things have gone too far in one direction history shows that a correction always takes place. It could be argued we have reached that point and true price discovery has been lost.

A huge amount of money can be made during a market crash for those properly positioned. As long as the Fed and the big banks survive those who control these institutions couldn’t care less about how the 99.5% at the bottom fair. In fact, the Dodd-Frank Act which is over 2,300 pages allows this under Title II what is viewed by many as a “bank bail-in”. This is done by imposing the losses of insolvent financial companies on their common and preferred stockholders, debt holders, and other unsecured creditors including depositors.

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The Fourth Turning and War of the Worlds, by Jim Quinn

Fourth Turnings produce massive conflict and violence, and the US looks right on schedule. From Jim Quinn at theburningplatform.com:

“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe

The paragraph above captures everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen during this Fourth Turning. It was written over two decades ago, but no one can deny its accuracy regarding our present situation. The spark was a financial crash. The response to the financial crash by the financial and governmental entities, along with their Deep State co-conspirators who created the financial collapse due to their greed and malfeasance, led to the incomprehensible election of Donald Trump, as the deplorables in flyover country evoked revenge upon the corrupt establishment.

The chain reaction of unyielding responses by the left and the right accelerates at a breakneck pace, with absolutely no possibility of compromise. A new emergency or winner take all battle seems to be occurring on a weekly basis, with the mid-term elections as the likely trigger for the next phase of this Fourth Turning.

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Pushing Past the Breaking Point, by MN Gordon

Something’s got to give in the US and global economy. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

Mankind’s willful determinations to resist the natural order are in vain.  Still, he pushes onward, always grasping for the big breakthrough.  The allure of something for nothing is too enticing to pass up.

Systems of elaborate folly have been erected with the most impossible of promises.  That prosperity can be attained without labor.  That benefits can be paid without taxes.  That cheap credit can make everyone rich.

Central to these promises are the central government and central planning authorities.  They take your money and, in return, they make you a dependent.  They promise you a secure retirement, and free drugs, while running a scheme that’s well beyond anything Charles Ponzi ever dreamed of.

According to the government’s statistics, the economy has never been better.  By the official numbers, we’re living in a magical world of full employment, 2.3 percent price inflation, and the second-longest growth period in the post-World War II era.  Agreeable reports like these are broadcast each month without question.

Still, we have some reservations.  How come, with the nirvana of full employment, 62 percent of all U.S. jobs don’t pay enough to support a middle class life?  An economy with full employment should be an employee’s market; one where employees can name their price.

Surely, workers would select a middle class life if they could.  But they can’t…because full employment’s a sham.

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New Fed Chairman Will Trigger A Historic Stock Market Crash In 2018, by Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith further elucidates his hypothesis that the Federal Reserve will deliberately make the stock market crash. From Smith at alt-market.com:

Ever since the credit and equities crash of 2008, Americans have been bombarded relentlessly with the narrative that our economy is “in recovery”. For some people, simply hearing this ad nauseam is enough to stave off any concerns they may have for the economy. For some of us, however, it’s just not satisfactory. We need concrete data that actually supports the notion, and for years, we have seen none.

In fact, we have heard from officials at the Federal Reserve that the exact opposite is true. They have admitted that the so-called recovery has been fiat driven, and that there is a danger that when the Fed finally stops artificially propping up the economy with constant stimulus and near zero interest rates, the whole farce might come tumbling down.

For example, Richard Fisher, former head of the Dallas Federal Reserve, admitted a few years ago that the U.S. central bank has made its business the manipulation of the stock market to the upside:

What the Fed did — and I was part of that group — is we front-loaded a tremendous market rally, starting in 2009.It’s sort of what I call the “reverse Whimpy factor” — give me two hamburgers today for one tomorrow.

I’m not surprised that almost every index you can look at … was down significantly.

Fisher went on to hint at the impending danger (though his predicted drop is overly conservative in my view), saying: “I was warning my colleagues, don’t go wobbly if we have a 10-20% correction at some point…. Everybody you talk to … has been warning that these markets are heavily priced.”

One might claim that this is simply one Fed member’s point of view. But it was recently revealed that in 2012, Jerome Powell made the same point in a Fed meeting, the minutes of which have only just now been released:

“I have concerns about more purchases. As others have pointed out, the dealer community is now assuming close to a $4 trillion balance sheet and purchases through the first quarter of 2014. I admit that is a much stronger reaction than I anticipated, and I am uncomfortable with it for a couple of reasons.

 

To continue reading: New Fed Chairman Will Trigger A Historic Stock Market Crash In 2018