Real Estate v Quantitative Easing


QUESTION: Hi Martin,
I just finished your new NYSE Boom/Busty report. This is excellent work and as always extremely fascinating. Thank you for continuing to share these profound views with us.
My question relates to your view that we are looking at a complete collapse of Quantitative Easing and that will likely see a massive capital flight to the dollar and the major safe haven will be EQUITIES. In the context of this possibility, are you able to comment on how this may relate to Real Estate. Your ECM seems to be calling for Real Estate to top out and structurally fall in 2032. Is it not possible that with the collapse of QE and potentially economies that we will see more negative rates in the short end and with the government powers to seize assets in bank accounts, would it not be prudent to have zero cash in hand and hence we see a massive capital flight to Real Estate too? Or will the collapse of QE lead to significantly higher rates across the curve and hence blow all leveraged exposure sky high?

Many thanks as always,

David

ANSWER: The problem with real estate has been that its value depends upon lending. This was what the government did as part of the New Deal by creating 30-year mortgages. This was a scheme to get prices up by extending the period people could pay off the loan. Typically, the duration was 5 years previously.

The collapse in Quantitative Easing will have the effect of causing rates to rise on the long-term. However, there will be a shift toward private assets and this will help to a large extent. However, keep in mind that many institutions will be trapped and unable to shift to private assets. Many boards will not understand the shift and still believe, wrongly, that unsecured government debt is best.

Prices of real estate will decline in proportion to the decline in mortgage availability. We are already witnessing banks beginning to withdraw from lending on real estate.

I have provided the guide-posts for what is to come. This will be an interesting future.

Right Angle: A Real Black Panther


Meet Robert Smalls, a swashbuckling hero of the Civil War, whose story has been lost to history. Unfortunately, he’ll stay there unless we’re willing to admit the real history of our political parties.

Short v Long-Term Rates


QUESTION: Hi Mr Armstrong, I have read somewhere that you think that interest rates will go up higher than expected and at faster pace. I don’t understand its relations with bonds. Also your opinion seems to be in clear contrast to everyone else who thinks it will go up slowly over the next few years. If this happened this year, this would be one of your many landmark predictions.
thanks

HH

ANSWER: To some extent, you are mixing short v long-term. The short-term is set by the rates the central banks set. Even this will rise beyond what the central bank desires because of demand.

The long-term is set by the market. That is why the central banks tried Quantitative Easing buying in long-term bonds hoping that would lower the long-term rates which are set by the auction process.

I am not forecasting that the central banks will rapidly raise rate all on their own. They will be forced to follow long-term rates and as Quantitative Easing is reduced, rates will rise when government deficits expand because the fiscal side of the balance sheet has been on life-support by the monetary policy

Understanding the Reversals


QUESTION: Martin,

Last week, we had elected the weekly reversals at 24741.6 and 24395. Yesterday, we briefly recaptured, then re-lost those levels again.

Do weekly reversals expire at the end of the week, expire once they are elected, or do they remain active from week to week?

As always, thanks for all you do with your blog and with Socrates.

DB

P. S. – Do you prefer “Martin” or “Marty”? Many address you as “Marty”, but I don’t know if you reserve that name for your close friends. I certainly do not want to offend you.

ANSWER: No worry. I answer to both. As far as the Reversal System is concerned, when you pass beyond Reversals electing them on the close by more than 1% away from the number, you will typically rally back to test them before proceeding. In this case, you went to the third one and bounced. You always generate counter-trend reversals when you are making a low. In most cases, they are above the market activity.

In this case, two Weekly Bullish Reversals were elected and that is why we bounced. It was also why I have warned that it appeared this was not a 1987 meltdown, but a consolidation and choppy period. There were no Double Weekly Bearish Reversals that would indicate a meltdown if elected as was the case from the 1987 and 1989 highs.

The two reversals 24741.6 and 24395 were elected and they will provide overhead resistance. In the case of 1987, you took out all four Weekly Bearish Reversals and there was a gap from 286 on the S&P500 to 181.

The great thing about the Reversal System is we eliminate human opinion. The numbers are very black and white. How they are laid-out in a given market identifies the potential for a meltdown or just a correction. Then our Timing Array showed turning points every two weeks indicating also a choppy pattern. In this way, we are able to eliminate the human subjectivity that is always hit or miss.

Conflict between Fiscal & Monetary Policy


We are moving into a crisis of monumental proportions. There has been a serious fundamental problem infecting economic policy on a global scale. This conflict has been between monetary and fiscal policy. While central banks engaged in Quantitative Easing, governments have done nothing but reap the benefits of low-interest rates. This is the problem we have with career politicians who people vote for because they are a woman, black, or smile nicely. There is never any emphasis upon qualification. Every other job in life you must be qualified to get it. Would you put someone in charge of a hospital with life and death decisions because they smile nicely?

Economic growth has been declining year-over-year and we are in the middle of a situation involving low-productivity expansion with high and rapidly rising budget deficits that benefit nobody but government employees.  Once upon a time, 8% growth was average, then 6%, and 4% before 2015.75. Now 3% is considered to be fantastic. Private debt at least must be backed by something whereas escalating public debt is completely unsecured. The ECB wanted to increase the criteria for bad loans, yet if those same criteria were applied to government, nobody would lend them a dime.

Monetary policy, after too long a phase of low-interest rates and quantitative easing, has created governments addicted to low-interest rates. They have expanded their spending and deficits for the central banks were simply keeping the government on life-support – not actually stimulating the private sector. Governments have pursued higher taxes and more efficient tax collection. They have attacked the global economy assuming anyone doing business offshore was just an excuse to hide taxes.

The combination of fiscal policy and monetary policy around the world has produced historically the most irresponsible economic mismanagement in history. This assumption that government can manipulate the economy is extremely dangerous for we remain clueless about how the global economy even functions. This entire Marxist/Keynesian proposition that governments are capable of managing the economy has implemented various miserably conceived theories that will lead to a budget crash and a debt crisis for every reasonably rational contemporary society. Historically, there were debt jubilees mentioned in the Bible.

You shall then sound a ram’s horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement, you shall sound a horn all through your land. You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you (Leviticus 25:1-4, 8-10, NASB).

Religion aside, was a debt forgiveness a way to prevent monument collapses of society? The Romans never even had a national debt. Today, we have government hawking 100-year bonds. We have pension funds that required 8% returns and then governments ordered that the bulk of such funds if not 100% should be “conservative” and invest in only government bonds. We are reaching a crisis point in longer-dated yields because investors are unwilling to lend money at low rates long-term. Smart money is beginning to wake up to the perpetual mismanagement of the long-term trend by the government. The central banks have been backing off of continually buying government debt and the Fed in the USA has announced it will not reinvest when its holdings of government debt mature.

This is the Sovereign Debt Crisis and Monetary Crises we face in the years ahead.

China’s One Belt and One Road


QUESTION: What is your view of China’s One Belt and One Road policy?

ANSWER: The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, also known as the One Belt and One Road Initiative, (OBOR),  is a development strategy proposed by Chinese Government that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the ocean-going Maritime Silk Road (MSR). It was unveiled by Xi Jinping in September and October 2013. This is really nothing new. Trade between China and the Roman Empire existed. There are even records of Marcus Aurelius (161-180AD) sending a diplomat to China. Even the color purple was the royal color of an emperor who only he was allowed to wear. That was a dye which came from the East as was the case with spices and silk.

This strategy underlines history and China’s push to take a larger role in global affairs with a China-centered trading network is the very aspect that will make China the Financial Capital of the World once again. This project was initially called One Belt and One Road, but in mid-2016 the official English name was changed to the Belt and Road Initiative. China has been focusing on infrastructure investment, construction materials, railway and highway, automobile, real estate, power grid, and iron and steel. This is the largest infrastructure project in history, covering more than 68 countries, equivalent to 65% of the world’s population and 40% of the global GDP as of 2017. China never issued historically gold or silver coins. What has survived are private ingots known as Sycee that is a testament to the level of trade China enjoyed in the past.

All our models are bullish LONG-TERM on China – Post 2032. We have opened offices in China and have been granted our business license in China which took three years to be approved

The Supreme Court Could Destroy the Economy in One Decision


In a 1992 case, the Supreme Court refused to require that mail-order retailers collect sales taxes from buyers in other states. For a quarter-century, that has given the online retailers a competitive advantage over brick-and-mortar stores. The States are broke and they are pushing to compel everyone online to collect sales taxes for them. We are looking at a complete nightmare. There are sites where people make arts and crafts and sell them. Suddenly, everyone would be legally required to file tax forms every month in all 50 states even notifying them they sold nothing to one of their citizens.

Legally, this will absolutely destroy the internet in one swift decision. Some states are particularly onerous and quite frankly even I would have to consider that people in certain States would have to be blocked from purchasing anything from us.

The only solution for us would be to simply close up shop in the USA and move everything offshore. There would then be no way for individual states to demand we collect their taxes from a foreign country.

When we moved to Florida, there was a mistake made in shifting our taxes on employees. The amount we failed to pay was $74. The penalty was $125 and then there was a late fee of $33. The tax owed with penalties and interest came to $236 on $74. Can you imagine simple mistakes by retailers can wipe them out! If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the States, all they care about is money. To hell with the economy. This is how the governments will destroy Western Civilization. There is never any consideration of reform. It is always scheming new ways to get more. They never solve the problem, so they constantly hunt for new ways to rob the people to pay their own salaries and pensions.

Counter Party Risk – The Truth


Counter-Party Risk

Last week (2nd of February, 2018) ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority) published the results of its second EU wide stress test for CCP’s (Central “Clearing” Counterparties). These tests are conducted under EMIR (European Markets Infrastructure Regulations) and were first published back in April 2016. There are sixteen CCP’s currently under this structure with around 900 clearing members, which includes multiple entries belonging to one group.

The result of this second test, under greater regulatory risk measures, found that using the test samples at different stages throughout 2017, two of the 16 would have problems under the credit stress test. Market volatility always acts as a platform for this kind of scenario so if they failed in 2017, what will they do in 2018! The volatility we forecast for this year should already be making you nervous.

Having years of actual trading experience, it is the fear that just one counterparty is experiencing problems occurs way before the clearing houses are even aware is what will drive volatility! The overnight repo market, collateral management triparty flow, and individual share price action are the early indicators of risk. Once these start to move you can forget about the end of day obligations to clearing counterparties, the money has already gone. There are always going to be problems when the derivative market sizes become multiples of the underlying.

This is how the credit risk is just pushed up the food chain. Initially, a brokerage is pushed up to the bank/exchange members, the exchange to other clearers and the bank pushed up to the central bank, the central bank is the currency. A collection of central banks (possibly the EU and the ECB) and exchanges results in global demand for the reserve currency. What could possibly go wrong!

The First Step is Admitting a Mistake


QUESTION:  Marty, Friends and Princeton Economics Staff,
I’ve certainly had a Hate and Love relationship with you over the past few years.!
I’ve travelled a path that has been financially stunting and painful on the markets for the last 10 years.
I’ve felt like that guy that just keeps donating to the markets and not ever understanding why things go down, when I think UP?!
You guys are doing the world a great service. Please continue, so people like me can change things for the better!

My Question is…
do you ever think about the people that lose on the other side of your trades?
The ones that are talked into rubbish investments by the banks and institutions?
I was one of them and I’m sure most of your readers have to admit some of the same at some point!? (its been quite the ride!)

Thank You for your service Marty .

Please. never get disheartened by the nay Sayers.
Please don’t bow to the institutions and RICH MEN/Women that want you for themselves!
You said a few things in Question Time at the Hong Kong Seminar that solidify your humanity and service to this world and I appreciate that.
Take Care and I hope to attend another seminar and shake your hand this time (You are a Bit of a rockstar at the cocktail party) I am a stand to the side kinda guy.
Yourself, Your Family and then the and then the world. That is my promise Marty.
Better the world…
Alex…

ANSWER: We have all been on the losing side of a trade. The critical point is understanding why you were wrong and NOT blaming other people. As long as you blame the bankers or some manipulative cabal, you are not admitting that you were wrong. The only way to advance is to accept your mistakes and then learn from them.

You are making that first step by admitting you were wrong. That is really the first step on the road to successful trading. The old saying, you can lead a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink. The world is speaking to us. We just have to learn to listen. The gold promoters, bankers, brokers, and government, all pitch a scenario that benefits them. No different from the used car salesman who tells you every one was driven by a little old lady only once a week.

We are looking at hopefully Singapore

The Transitional Flight to Quality


QUESTION: Hey Martin, … My question is: is there an influence of the Dow at this moment on the cryptocurrency market and the precious metal market? As you say, gold is not ready yet… Will the possible correction of the Dow play the confidence game and scare a lot of markets off?

ANSWER: Yes. With Dow declining, we are failing to see a rally in cryptocurrency or gold and the long-touted flight to quality is not unfolding as most have expected.

When Equities typically decline, people run to the government bonds, and this we call the Flight to Quality. Others have touted that gold would soar when the stock market crashes. That too has not unfolded. Others have forecast that the dollar will collapse when the stock market crashes. Hm, even the Euro has declined.

What nobody seems to be talking about is what happens when the crisis is confined to government? Is that when gold rises? But then what about stocks? When CONFIDENCE collapses in government, the Flight to Quality becomes the opposite of tradition sell equities and buy bonds. Even when gold was rising moving up into 1980, bonds were declining.

So what is going on this time? We are in the midst of the Transition from the confidence in government to the private sector but nobody seems to understand what is unfolding. This is why we are getting mixed signals and strange relationships.

People will invest in the private sector and sell government bonds, smelling a default in the wind.We are more than likely going to get the first kneejerk reaction, where equities will DECLINE and people will rush into government bonds, even with negative yields. This should create the final bubble top in debt, and then it will reverse in a Flash Crash type move. Traditional people will buy bonds and lose a fortune. Others will sell their stocks at the lows and jump on short positions. This will set the stage for a crazy period that comes around every so often, measured in hundreds of years