Are Bonds Preferable to Stocks in a Crisis?


QUESTION: There are a few people coming out claiming the stock market will crash so buy bonds even though you will lose money. How can people keep calling for a mega-crash so long with constantly being wrong since 2010?

Thank you for your reason

NR

ANSWER: These people are still living in a world that is defined by the event of the Great Depression. Even Germany forces austerity upon Europe because they do not understand the events behind their own hyperinflation and stupidly assume it was merely an increase in the supply of money that caused the event. Nobody seems to be bothered to ask which comes first – the chicken or the egg?

Here is a chart of the stock market with the US Long Bond. Andrew Jackson paid off the national debt in 1835. President Jackson also shut down the Second Bank of the United States on Sept. 10th, 1833. Jackson announced that the government would no longer deposit federal funds in the Second Bank of the United States, which was a quasi-governmental national bank. The stock market peaked in 1835 and began its decline without a central bank. Then during July 1836, Jackson issued the Specie Circular. Under this act, the government would only accept gold or silver in payment for federal land.

Jackson’s Bank War closing down the Bank of the United States was personal because they funded his opposition. By shifting deposits to state banks, Jackson set off a major crisis undermining the entire monetary system. He effectively devalued all the circulating currency in the country with one law – the Specie Circular. Suddenly, there was a run on gold. The Panic of 1837 unfolds as New York banks suspended all withdrawals of gold. Jackson created massive austerity, but he had shut down the national debt as well. This was a very complicated financial crisis with an interesting mix of events combining together.

There were NO federal issues of paper money and the first paper dollar to be issued by the government did not unfold until 1860 to fund the Civil War. Therefore, Jackson effectively canceled all paper money by refusing to accept it and this resulted in a gold panic forcing the banks to suspend all payments. People were rushing to banks to exchange their paper currency for gold and banks could not meet the demand and suspended all demands for gold.

When federal bonds resumed in 1842, they had declined in value as interest rates rose. There was no flight to quality, only to gold given there were no federal bonds. This is when several states moved into default permanently upon their debt. Therefore, the Monetary Crisis Cycle that hit then was felt in the state and local levels – not federal. The Monetary Crisis Cycle that hit in 1931 resulted in widespread sovereign defaults outside the USA.

Each cycle that hits is slightly different characters and reasons. I highly warn against buying any sovereign debt whatsoever. Any federal debt to hold must be short-term no more than 90-day paper. In the case of the Hard Times of 1837-1842, the stock market crashed in terms of gold because all money was effectively canceled. Paper money collapsed as notes lost their legal-tender value. Thus, only gold rose in value as the medium of exchange thanks to Jackson refusing to accept anything but gold.

This time around, bonds are legal tender so that is the money that will decline in value far more than anyone expects. Both the Bank of Japan and the ECB in Europe have wiped out their bonds markets for they have been the primary buyer of government debt which they cannot now resell.

 

The Stock Market – Up & Away or Crash & Burn?


QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong,

In your blog you talked about a global recession and hard landing. Does this mean the US stock market will rally because funds will flow from the rest of the world to the US stock market? Or will the US stock market succumb to the global recession and go lower too?

This is very confusing for most of us and a very critical time in the markets. I hope you will guides us with your knowledge and experience.

Thank you for all you do!

KC

ANSWER: The key to pushing capital fleeing into the stock market will be the decline in public confidence within the government. Everything is unfolding on schedule. You see turmoil everywhere from Canada to France and Italy. The level of people distrusting government is climbing. Normally, it will take a 45% level of people turning against the government to set off the spark.

So no, there still does not appear to be a major crash of 50-62% as the majority are calling. The market is testing resistance, but here too we do not see this as breaking out and taking off just yet. We are in a choppy consolidation building a higher base that qualifies as a cycle low. We will be ready to take off soon. Just be patient.

 

The Rally Beyond 2015 in the Dow Has Proven We are in a Cycle Inversion


QUESTION: There are many people who are now saying we are headed into a recession. Your model shows we are coming to the end. Yet you have been the only analyst who has been correct. There are bankers warning the stock market will collapse by 50% because it always goes down in a recession. I watched the market rally to new high as you forecast back in 2010 going into 2015. Then you warned the market would invert and continue the rally after 2015. The market rallied into nearly your Pi Target in 2018. You said at the last WEC there would be a correction back to retest the monthly bearish reversal.

You have been correct at every turn. Back in 2014, you posted: “What will not go down when the cycles shift, inverts and rises even further.” It seems that this has been a cycle inversion where the market has just been rising through the upside and downside of your model. My question is this. You still forecast that this is just the staging ground and we are about to see a different pattern altogether. Is this all part of the cycle inversion you have been stating is underway?

NM

ANSWER: Yes. I also wrote in that post: “This is why I have been warning a cycle inversion is coming. We may be in that process now starting from November 19th/20th.” With all the craziness on the horizon economically, the government was the one in trouble, not the private sector. That meant we had to undergo a cycle inversion. That is what is underway. A normal cycle would have seen the market peak in October 2015 and then decline. The fact that the market has continued to rally past 2015 proves this is a cycle inversion. We will be addressing this at the Rome WEC. We are about to make a major play that will be critical to understanding for the future.

Can European Sovereign Debt Really Crash Without a Free Market?


QUESTION: Hi Marty,

When the stock market crashed in 1929, followed by the bonds into 1933, we saw a minor bump in the stock market. As this occurred during a Public Wave, are u suggesting during our current Private Wave, we will see bonds collapse first 2020+, as capital flees into the stock market for a peak in 2022/2023? How will European bonds collapse when the ECB continues QE? Or will the catalyst be one or two large bank ( DB), or country failures (Italy), or Brexit?

Who ranks in importance?

Thank you?

ANSWER: One of the fascinating aspects of what we face is clearly the sovereign bond markets. The ECB and the Bank of Japan fund their government debts without end, and they have both destroyed their bonds markets. I will have to run back to Europe because things are just getting really crazy there. The ECB cannot sell the bonds it has already bought. They have already stated that as bonds mature, they will reinvest that money aside from any new purchases because there is no market. Since they have destroyed their own bond markets, we are UNLIKELY to see a crash if there are no bids and offers. They will simply pretend that sovereign debt is perfectly fine.

What we should expect to see is private sector debt decline as rates rise. The premium of private over government will widen simply because the government debt is not a free market number. I can say that there are a lot of people in various governments who are contacting us these days. This shows there are people who are deeply concerned that this is not going to end very nicely.

As far as which is more serious, BREXIT or an Italian exit, it will be the latter and not the former. Why? Italy was a founding member of the euro and it uses the euro. Therefore, Britain never joined the euro thanks to Maggie Thatcher. Italy leaving the euro will be far more devastating to the euro itself and will complicate matters since the ECB is saturated with Italian debt. There are a lot more ties that have to be cut besides trade, as is the case in Britain.