Tag Archives: Stock Market

Reefer Madness and More, by David Stockman

Some marijuana has hallucinogenic properties, and that’s what they’re smoking on Wall Street and the Federal Reserve these days. From David Stockman at davidstockmanscontracorner.com via lewrockwell.com:

We sometimes wonder what they are smoking down on Wall Street, but today the question might better apply to the homegamers who are apparently hitting their bongs down in mom’s basement.

We are referring to Wednesday’s rip-snorting 47% rise in the stock of Tilray – the lead rabbit in the Reddit run on pot stocks.

As it happened, the day that GameStop peaked on January 27th, the once left for dead Tilray was valued at $2.9 billion. Thereafter it went vertical, weighing-in at $10.6 billion upon Wednesday’s close.

That’s not bad, of course, for a company with a mere $201 million of LTM sales, a net loss of $487 million and negative free cash flow of $261 million. And it’s not getting any better, either.

Since going public in 2018, the company’s net loss (blue line) has grown by 60X and its free cash flow (orange line) hemorrhage has worsened by 15X.

Indeed, when you look at Tilray’s three-year history as a publicly traded company, the massive swings in the market cap of this money loosing marvel are about as close to pure reefer madness as you can get without inhaling.

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Is This The Biggest Financial Bubble Ever? Hell Yes It Is, by John Rubino

It’s hard to argue with John Rubino; this is undoubtedly the biggest financial bubble ever. From Rubino at dollarcollapse.com:

If you’re over 40 you’ve lived through at least three epic financial bubbles: junk bonds in the 1980s, tech stocks in the 1990s, and housing in the 2000s. Each was spectacular in its own way, and each threatened to take down the whole financial system when it burst.

But they pale next to what’s happening today. Where those past bubbles were sector-specific, which is to say the mania and resulting carnage occurred mostly within one asset class, today’s bubble is spread across, well, pretty much everything – hence the term “everything bubble.”

When this one pops there won’t be a lot of hiding places.

Way too much money
Most bubbles start when an influx of outside cash sends the price of something up dramatically. This captures the imagination of the broader investing public and the process takes on a life of its own, culminating in an orgy of bad decisions and eventually a wipe-out of the easy fortunes made on the way up.

So to understand the everything bubble, let’s start at the beginning with that influx of outside money. This time it’s coming from the Federal Reserve in what can only be described as the mother of all print runs. M2, a medium-broad measure of the US money supply, has more than tripled so far in this century, and lately the arc has gone vertical, rising by nearly a third in just the past year.

M2 everything bubble

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The Stock Market Is Broken, Now for All to See, by Wolf Richter

The stock market seems like a great place from which to stay away right now, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is because it’s a rigged game. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

The historic short squeeze, engineered by a bunch of deeply cynical small traders, exposed just how rigged the market has been.

It has finally blown into the open for all to see. The stock market has been broken for a while, for a long time, actually. The idea that the stock market is where price discovery takes place on a rational transparent basis, with ups and downs, and some amount of chaos, but free of rampant manipulations – that idea has now totally imploded.

What has been visible for a long time but now blew into the open is just how manipulated the market is, by all sides, how overleveraged the big players are because the Fed encouraged them to, and how enormous the risks are, and how crazy the trading strategies are.

And the stock market soared to record out-of-whack valuations, in a terrible economy where at least 10 million people have lost their jobs and are still out of work, and where entire industries have gotten crushed. The whole thing is propped up by stimulus and bailout payments to consumers and companies alike.

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The Stock Market, Fatally Wounded by the Truth, Will Stumble and Crash, by Charles Hugh Smith

Pull the curtain back on the financial system and it’s obvious to all, there’s nothing there. That’s been the case for quite some time. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

It didn’t have to be this way, but this is the reality we must now face: truth is fatal to fraud, and our entire financial-political system is a fraud.

The stock market has just been punctured by the thin blades of truth. It is fatally wounded but nobody dares notice. The wounds are barely visible, but the internal damage is mortal. The stock market is already stumbling and will soon crash.

The banquet’s participants ignore the faltering market because the rules are we never reveal the truth, or acknowledge it, or discuss it, no matter how obvious, because truth is fatal to fraud. So the stock market’s vital signs are in freefall but the conversation remains upbeat and light: stimulus, rapid growth in the second half, etc., all the patter of a carefully constructed illusion that fraud is forever as long as the truth never comes out.

Alas, the truth has emerged from the shadows, despite the silence of the insiders and the financial media. Here are the truths that have emerged like karmic genies:

1. The stock market is nothing but one giant fraud. The entire market is corrupt and rigged from the ground up. The fraud is systemic, designed into every tendril of the market. It was a useful deception to blame it all on “bad players,” but now the truth has been revealed: the market is nothing but a rigged game enriching insiders.

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Peter Schiff: Biden Takes the Helm of a Sinking Ship

The ship of state has been taking on water for a long time, and Biden is just lucky enough to be head of state as it sinks. From Peter Schiff at schiffgold.com:

Joe Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20, becoming the 46th president of the United States. And as Peter Schiff put it in his podcast, he took the helm of a sinking ship.

But the stock markets sure don’t act like the ship is taking on water. All four major stock indices closed at new record highs on inauguration day. Peter said this proves that the stock market rally really didn’t have much to do with Donald Trump.

If the stock market gains were really attributable to Donald Trump’s policies, and Joe Biden is already unwinding those policies and reversing as many as he can by executive order, why are all the stock markets making record highs? To me, that shows you that the stock market couldn’t care less about Biden being president, because it didn’t matter that Trump was president. This stock market rally that Donald Trump took credit for was not the result of Donald Trump’s policies.”

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Doug Casey on the Rise of Day Trading and Why it Will Lead to Financial Disaster

Take it from a former bond trader: trading is one of the toughest ways in the world to make a living. Your biggest enemy is yourself—your own psychology. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

International Man: The Fed’s unprecedented money printing, trillions of dollars in government bailouts, and artificially low interest rates have changed people’s behavior.

There’s a shift from saving to spending, borrowing, and gambling.

Many people are becoming day traders who otherwise would not. They’re treating the markets like a casino.

What are your thoughts on all this?

Doug Casey: The stock market originated as a means for raising capital for new productive ventures, a means of price discovery for what they were worth, and a means of providing liquidity when investors wanted to buy or sell. An entrepreneur provided an idea and the labor, and the public provided the capital. It was simple, and useful to everyone. But a relatively minor part of the economy.

The stock market has mutated tremendously, however. Now trillions of new politically-created dollars are inundating the system. Over the last decade especially, it’s become a vehicle for speculation more than anything else.

There’s nothing wrong with speculation, of course. But it’s very different from investing. An investor adds his capital to others’ labor, plants a seed, and hopes to reap a harvest. A speculator, however, is generally someone who attempts to profit from facts or events that aren’t well-known or understood. Often things with a political flavor. There would be few speculators in a true free market economy with sound money.

Worse, when billions and trillions of new currency units are created—like now—the public is almost forced to do things they normally wouldn’t and shouldn’t. Like make wild bets on things they don’t understand, for “fear of missing out” on a runaway bull market. At some stage they’ll gamble on anything, trying to outrace the currency’s depreciation.

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Exposed, by Sven Henrich

Monetary policy has become exclusively about the care and feeding of the stock market. From Sven Henrich at northmantrader.com:

While this weekend’s headlines are dominated by who got exposed to and infected by Coronavirus from the President on down I want to make sure other key news items are not lost in the shuffle, specifically those that expose a system that has self corrupted itself and is desperately trying to keep the balls in the air while causing ever more long lasting damage to our global economy.

Let’s face it: This week’s market action was dominated by dozens of stimulus headlines. Stimulus progress and markets rip higher, stimulus disagreements and markets dropped lower exposing markets again to be a toy thing of the liquidity game.

Will they or won’t they is the question on everyone’s mind and many bets are placed that they will, for likely they must as the jobs growth picture is slowing dramatically from the summer sugar recovery high and keeping markets and consumer confidence high into the election is a political imperative.

nd don’t think for a second that they are not political imperatives. Market levels are as much a national security imperative as is having a strong military. For the last few years Larry Kudlow’s curiously timed TV appearances have become a fodder of Twitter jokes and yours truly has been at the forefront on Twitter of mocking the ever so obvious attempts to manipulate markets higher at every corner and opportunity.

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David Stockman on the Economy’s Role in The Upcoming Presidential Election

Will the economy continue to float on a sea of debt through the election? Probably. From David Stockman at internationalman.com:

Presidential Election

International Man: Bill Clinton’s infamous phrase during the 1992 presidential election was “It’s the economy, stupid.” How important of a role do you think the economy and a continued rally in the stock market will play in the outcome of the presidential election?

David Stockman: Well, in the befuddled mind of Donald Trump, probably a considerable role as manifest in his campaign oratory. And since there are less than 50 days left, he might get away with his groundless boasting. That is, we seriously doubt that the great reckoning will commence before November 3, meaning that he will keep peddling the “but for COVID” canard, claiming that, before that, he single-handedly created the Greatest Economy Ever.

Actually, it’s the greatest BS story ever told. It rests on the utterly misleading circumstance that the Donald entered office in month #90 of what became the longest business cycle expansion in history (at 128 months in February).

Consequently, his “record” was artificially flattered by the low U-3 unemployment rates (3.5%) that naturally occur during the last 38 months of the cycle as the inventory of unused labor is finally exhausted. Of course, that’s also exactly what occurred during the final months of the 118-month expansion of the 1990s and the 106-month expansion of the 1960s, when Democrats happened to be incumbent in the Oval Office.

But when measured by something relevant, such as the average real GDP growth rate during his tenure, it turns out that the Donald’s cherished “score” is the very worst among all the presidential terms since 1948.

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We’re at Peak Insanity, by Mitchell Feierstein

I thought we had reached peak insanity some time ago, but they keep surprising me. From Mitchell Feierstein at lewrockwell.com:

The Fed’s fiscal profligacy and greedy tech oligarchs are sinking capitalism faster than the Titanic

During my 40-year Wall St career, I’ve never seen a mania like this. The problem is that central banks are rogue hedge funds with printing presses who are not elected or accountable and make policies that are consistently wrong.

US stock markets were rocked last week by massive volatility that saw the most significant declines since the March correction. The US Congress and Federal Reserve policy of endless bailouts, moral hazard and exponential money printing are extreme fiscal profligacy that will sink capitalism faster than the Titanic on its maiden voyage.

Stock market indexes have recently rocketed to record highs. The NASDAQ traded up at 12,050.46, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index traded at 3,588.11, achieving another benchmark. Stock valuations are the highest they’ve ever been, exceeding the crash of 1929 and the 2000 technology bubble. Just six stocks have driven this rally: Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Tesla.

Should you worry that the world has never witnessed a stock mania that has seen valuations skyrocket during the worst economic depression the world has ever experienced? Yes, indeed, you should step back from the cliff’s edge immediately.

The billionaire oligarchs of Silicon Valley, whose stocks are at all-time highs during an economic depression, will utilize censorship to manipulate the outcome of the 2020 election. These oligarchs demand one rule for thee and another for me. They demand equality of outcome and will implement laws that prevent equality of opportunity. The US is in a class war dressed up as a race war. Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter are “all in” on ensuring their power base is protected with the election of Biden and Harris.

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Deep State to Powell: Stop Goosing Stocks Higher Or You’ll Re-Elect Trump, by Charles Hugh Smith

Traditionally there’s been a strong correlation between the stock market and the electoral fortunes of presidents and their challengers. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Come on, Jay, you can always goose stocks back to new highs after the election.

Indulge me for a moment in some backroom speculation. It’s absurdly obvious that the unelected, permanent, ever-expanding National Security State, a.k.a the Deep State, and its Democratic Party allies have been attempting to torpedo Donald Trump since the 2016 election took them by surprise. (Imagine doing everything that worked so well in the past and failing at the last minute. Ouch. Revenge is best served cold, n’est pas?)

The comedy-of-errors RussiaGate collapsed in a foul heap, the impeachment backfired, and so what’s left in the Deep State quiver other than its usual bag of, ahem, accidents?

Some might argue that urban riots and civil unrest might be enough to cause Trump to lose the election in November, but this strategy can backfire just as easily as the previous Deep State strategies.

Assuming Americans will ultimately vote their pocketbook as in the past, the only sure way to sink Trump is to crash the stock market, the jewel in Trump’s crown. This is blinding obvious, but the Deep State’s political allies have been wary of shrinking the bloated wealth of their donors, and wary of a backlash from the wealthy who want to see Trump lose but not if it requires the personal sacrifice of surrendering any of the $548 billion they’ve gained in the recent stock market melt-up.

But with the election just months away, the pressure is now so intense that the Deep State is demanding Powell and the Fed stop the money-printing that’s goosing stocks higher. Hints have been elevated to suggestions which are about to become demands.

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