Is it the Elections or Interest Rates?


QUESTION: Dear Marty,
Thanks for the continuous enlightening blogs about increasing interest rates and its effects on EM’s and others.
Today on Bloomberg , they were discussing that the earlier 60:40 Equity bond correlation is breaking down and now it’s 100:0 i.e. both go up and down together.
If I understand your view correctly , the increasing interest rates is a death knell for the Bond trade/Sovereign Debt but totally opposite for the Equity mkt which might surge as capital flees to Private assets i.e Equity.
Would you care to comment please ?
Thanks again for all that you do and the fresh perspective you provide.
Best Regards,
US
ANSWER: They are misreading the impact of interest rates. It is really a political impact at this time and as we head into the week of 11/05, there is a rising concern because the Gallup Poll shows that the Democrats may take back the House and them everyone assumed they will do everything in their power to overturn everything Trump has done. So international capital is deeply concerned about the Democrats right now.

We are still in this consolidation transition period. Capital is trying to figure out the future and it is very confusing. This analysis you refer to is myopic at best. They ignore worldwide concerns and focus only on domestic issues. Interest rates have been rising since the 4th quarter of 2015. The decline has NOTHING to do with interest rates. They just have to blame something.

Pension Crisis hits Russia


Vladimir Putin tried to reform Russia’s pensions system which is crumbling as is the case in the West. This giant Ponzi Scheme is collapsing and it has been the heart of Socialism. Putin’s approval rating plummeted this year in the aftermath dropping from 82% in April 2018, dropping to 66% here in October 2018. His decision to reform Russia’s pensions was met with tens of thousands of Russians taking to the streets to protest. This is what we are to expect over the course of the next two years. It is also why the Federal Reserve is desperately trying to gradually raise interest rates in hopes of stabilizing the Pension Crisis.

There is simply NO system that will survive this Pension Crisis because the design was faulty from the outset. The traditional way people took care of their future was to build a family structure. The children took care of the parents. The promises of socialism have relieved the children of such obligations for the government was there. As we begin to witness this crisis unfold, the world financial system will be turned on its head.

Eurozone will Collapse – There is No Other Choice Economically


QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I can see what you have been arguing about the faulty design of the euro. After the EU rejected Italy’s budget, is there any hope left for Italy?

RS, Rome

ANSWER: For those who do not follow Europe closely, the European Union took the unprecedented step Tuesday (23rd of Oct) of rejecting Italy’s draft budget as incompatible with the bloc’s rules on fiscal discipline. This has simply validated the position many take in Italy that they are an occupied country. The Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis publicly stated that the Italian government was “openly and consciously going against commitments made” to drive down the country’s debt and deficit levels. The decision is escalating a battle between Europe’s establishment and Italians and the sooner you exit the Euro, the better Italy will survive.

From the outset, in designing the Euro they deliberately lied about just about everything. They told everyone that they would be paying the same interest rates because of the single currency. I explained that was absolutely false. They appear to have deliberately used the example of the dollar to pitch the euro but never mentioned that the single interest rate was the Federal level they were referencing. All 50 states issued their debt in the single currency of the dollar but they all paid rates according to their own credit rating.
I warned them that they MUST consolidate all the debts making that a national debt that they would have a single interest rate and that would compete with the dollar. Thereafter, each state would then issue its own debt as deeded and the free markets would price that accordingly. Under the system that I instructed them to adopt, this budget crisis would not exist. Because they FAILED to consolidate the debts from the outset, then the EU interferes with everyone’s budgets and dictates terms to them which in reality does make each state and occupied country.
This system cannot possibly survive. The Euro will collapse. There is no possible way for it to survive under this scheme. Italy should simply announce it is exiting the Eurozone. Those in Britain who want to remain are complete idiots. I cannot express it any more politely. Nobody will talk reality here!

Why Has the USA been “Pinnacle of Global Success”


To the shock of everyone in politics and economics who can’t get enough socialism and want to bash that the disparity of income is so evil, these Marxists are beside themselves when the World Economic Forum released a study that shows the United States is the most competitive nation on earth. They have, however, concluded that their international economic index which finds America at the “pinnacle of global success”  cannot be attributed to the actions of any one leader or administration. Indeed, people fled Europe to American to get away from bureaucracy. This remains reflected in attitudes.

A majority of Europeans (58%) would prefer to work as an employee rather than risk starting their own business. The promises of pensions and the social state have created a vast economic different picture between Europe and America and in Asia, we see a trend that is beginning to surpass the United States. This contrasts starkly with attitudes in the United States, where a majority (51%) say they would prefer to strike out alone. The United States allowed the property to be owned whereas in Europe the title to the property remains fixed in most of London and is leased out for 100 years where people pay the value as if they had purchased the property, to begin with. Property in London that was “freehold” was rather rare. Many fled to America which was the land of opportunity to actually own property, build wealth, and leave it to your family.

Then rushes in the Marxists. They hate people inheriting wealth and call it unfair. Every generation should start at zero in their mind. Then we have the economists who argue that it is the disparity in income that suppresses the economy in Europe. So what is their solution? Regulate everything excessively and take the wealth away from those who have it and pretend you are handing it to the people if anything is left once they government gets its hands on it for their own lavish pension schemes.

The United States is the venture-capital capital of the world. That will soon be displaced by China. Nevertheless, how to actually measure entrepreneurship is a very distorted view of the economy. One popular approach among economists which overlooks the depth of a nation’s economy is to count how many new businesses with paid employees start up each year, then divide them by the number of companies that are already up and running. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), calls this percentage the “employer enterprise birth rate.” Others just call it the “start-up rate”.

From this distorted perspective, the United States scores fairly low on that definition coming in second to last when looking at the years 2007 through 2009 during the crash. The glaring flaw in this view is the fact that in the economies which are least developed come out on top, which was Slovakia and Mexico. The United States was predominantly small business also before the Industrial Revolution. Creating criteria of this nature are extremely misleading. Also, the period in question saw many young individuals start out on their own unable to find jobs with their costly degrees. They entered the self-employment segment but were not hiring people. They were breaking out and doing work in various services.

The greatest economic growth follows the LOWEST taxes, developed economies, and lower regulation. When the government attacks all three areas, our computer simply shows that economic growth declines.

China & the Hidden Debt Crisis in the Provinces


The Sovereign Debt Crisis in China among the provisional governments is alive and well. The off-balance sheet government liabilities in the regions amounted to an estimated 40 trillion yuan which is almost $6 trillion. Some are calling this a “gigantic credit risk” which is a hidden liability. This represents 60% of  GDP which bypasses the debt-to-GDP ratio set by the central government on the provinces. They have created financial vehicles called LGFVs. Beijing has focused on shadow banks, regulatory loopholes, and hidden bad loans. They have curbed the shadow banking and brought the BitCoin outflow down. However, the Beijing government has only been able to reduce the credit risks associated with LGFVs marginally. The current view is that it will take China up to a decade or more to deal with the problem of LGFVs, as we enter this debt crisis cycle between 2019 and 2021, the pressure will build much sooner.

Nevertheless, we see that this debt crisis is what is holding back China short-term. Once this adjustment is addressed, we will still see China emerge as the Financial Capital of the World after 2032.

What is Wrong with Formal Education


QUESTION: I too am French and nobody in school ever connected the weather to the defeat of Napoleon even with so many deaths on his failed invasion of Russia. History is interesting, but it seems to be taught based upon some political agenda. What would you recommend for students to study since the formal education system is such a failure?

PG

ANSWER: Yes, when I was in Paris, I was asked if I would debate the top three economic students. I agreed. However, instead of a confrontation for TV viewers, it turned out to be a question session of how to fix the French economy conceding that what they were being taught was wrong.

From a historical viewpoint, I always refer to contemporary writers. However, you must keep in mind that history is very often written only by the victor. We all learn quite a lot about history in school, but it is typically slanted. Nevertheless, it is also true that who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. However, those of us who know history are also doomed to watch others repeat it. Ever since man has done anything, there has been someone nearby going “huh, maybe I should write this down.”

The way to understand the past REQUIRES a discipline that embraces all the fields of science. Back in the 1980s, I attended a lecture by a Scientist on the findings of the ice core samples from Greenland. When they disp[layed a graf of the energy output of the sun and documented from the ice core samples, I was stunned. I approached the presenter and informed them that their chart projected the rise and fall of empires which matched the Economic Confidence Model.

Back in the 1980s, I knew the model worked, but I could not explain why other than simply saying there were cycles. Suddenly, I saw history impacted by weather. I knew the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake set off the Panic of 1907 due to capital flows and that led to the creation of the Federal Reserves with all its branches that operated independently to manage the capital flows internally within the nation.

By keeping an open mind, I began to look at every field of science for explanations. By putting everything together, the picture became focused and suddenly the light went off. The key is being a diverse explorer. School is the opposite. I would go to Physics class and the professor would say nothing is random. Einstein said he did not believe God played dice with the universe. I then went to economics class and the professor said everything is random so don’t bother trying to forecast something. Because it’s random, that meant government could and should manipulate society to eliminate recessions. They have not succeeded in doing so even once.

The ECB on the Verge of Collapse?


 

The European Central Bank (ECB) will NOT aid Italy with an EU rescue program if the country or its banks are in financial turmoil. The Italian government is taking the view that Italy has become an “occupied” country and that Germany has conquered Europe imposing austerity and its view of inflation upon the whole of Europe without firing a shot. While the spin is that the ECB is making Italy a test case to demonstrate that Europe and its mechanisms work, in reality, it is a realization that the ECB cannot save Italy’s financial institutions because austerity has created the greatest economic depression perhaps in economic history.

The new five-star Movement in Rome and Lega have been on a confrontational course with the EU Commission, as they plan a higher level of new debt to fulfill election promises. The EU Commission, on the other hand, is calling for less spending and the implementation of austerity as demanded by Germany. Italy is already sitting on a debt of around 131% of GDP. The financial markets are nervous for they see a confrontation that could tear Europe apart at the seams. Italy now has to offer investors significantly higher interest rates when placing its government bonds in order to raise money. In addition, the gap to the yield of German government bonds widened. But in reality, stopping the ECB’s Quantitative Easing will result in interest rates rising by at least 300% very rapidly. Italy is getting ahead of the curve BEFORE everything comes crashing down.

The EU rules prohibit the ECB from helping a country unless it has agreed to a rescue program of EU partners. Then, for example, the Euro-watchdogs could buy up Italian government bonds in order to contain a rise in yields. This provides for a monetary policy emergency tool adopted in 2012 – called “OMT”. However, this has never been used before. The ECB, behind the curtain, fears that if they try to use this mechanism and it fails, as our model warns, then the CONFIDENCE in the entire EU system will collapse.

It Ain’t Interest Rates – It’s the Elections Stupid!


Jeff Bezos of Amazon loses about $80 million for every dollar the stock goes down.  No billionaire was hit as hard by the drop this week in the share market than Jeff Bezos. During the Wednesday selloff alone, the Amazon founder and CEO lost more than $9 billion. This is how they measure people’s worth by the value of shares they hold which is NOT cash. If he ever tried to sell everything, the share price would also crash. At the peak, his net worth reached $160 billion, according to Forbes.

 

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows Bezos total net worth is $145 billion, comfortably ahead of Bill Gates, who sits second at $96.3 billion. Gates lost more than $2 billion, while Warren Buffett lost nearly $4.5 billion. When we look at the Arrays, the week coming up as a key target has nothing to do with interest rates – it’s the elections STUPID

Currency War – The Misguided Understanding of the FOREX Markets


 

While the IMF chief Christine Lagarde has come out expressing her fear that not only a trade but also a currency war may emerge that could dampen the growth of the global economy, there are some serious issues that need to be addressed.  The problem with misunderstanding currency and its role in the floating exchange rate system can easily engulf even bystanders in this clash of the titans – US v China.

 

The background behind the smoldering trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies, the US and China, demonstrates that there are serious misconceptions of the role of currency. President Donald Trump has fanned these flames for he too fails to understand the FOREX markets. Trump accuses China of unfair trading practices and theft of intellectual property. The People’s Republic is also accused of devaluing its currency against the dollar, which tends to widen the already high US trade deficit.

 

The dollar has been rallying against the yuan since the March low here in 2018. Clearly, the dollar is going to rise further for a trade war will hurt China more so than the USA. While we see critical turning points in January and March in 2019 followed by May, we must keep in mind that this pattern of a dollar rally is impacting the entire world. Trump FAILS to understand Capital Flows and his accusations against China is manipulating its currency to beat the USA in trade is NOT justified. Our models are showing the capital flight from China but also from Europe overall which contributed to the US share market rally into October basis the Dow Jones Industrials, which foreign capital buys looking always for the trophies.

We have tremendous Panic Cycles throughout 2019 and we see even the yuan is lining up with the targets concerning BREXIT. This is by no means a Chinese manipulation. What we see ahead in 2019 is anything but a nice steady market projection.

IMF Warns Their Forecast Was Wrong


COMMENT: It really does appear that the IMF is following you and repeating your forecasts. They first said the world economy was booming at the start of the year for the next several years. Now they have revised that forecast and saying we are at risk of a decline. Any comment?

HK

ANSWER: Yes, at the start of this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was very bullish. The world economy’s “broad-based momentum” was their call which produced an upgrade to its forecasts for global growth over the next few years. Now, they have admitted that they were “over-optimistic” and they have cut its projections down to where they were last year. They are warning that “the likelihood of further negative shocks to our growth forecast has risen.” What they have completely failed to take into consideration is the economic meltdown in Emerging Markets coupled with the failure of Europe as a whole under the EU