Bonds

Peter Schiff: When Stock Bubble Pops, Trump ‘Going To Have To Take The Blame’

As I mentioned in that last post, the U.S. economic expansion is now the third-longest since World War Two.

And if the next recession hits on President Trump’s watch, a number of Americans will blame him for it.

The same goes for a stock market crash.

Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, touched on this in a recent interview with the folks over at Financial Argument, “a daily show that will cover issues surrounding the economic collapse.” From their exchange posted on YouTube.com on November 26:

FA: I wanted to start off with the stock market. I mean, we’re seeing it continually move up. And before Trump was President, he was out there saying that there’s bubbles in the stock market, there’s bubbles in housing, there’s bubbles everywhere. Now that he’s President, he really doesn’t say this anymore. And he’s saying that the stock market’s going up because of me, and it’s fantastic. When you look at the stock market, does it make any sense whatsoever, and can actually Trump take credit for this?
SCHIFF: Well, first of all, there was a bubble before Trump was elected. Clearly. And Trump pointed that out himself. That was one of his talking points on his stump speeches. There was a big, fat ugly bubble in the stock market. And if Trump wants to take credit for the bubble getting bigger, I would agree. I think there has been a lot of optimism, a lot of enthusiasm, among investors. And that has resulted in higher stock prices. But I think where Trump is getting into trouble is by claiming that the stock market going up is no longer a bubble. That now this is just a real bull market that reflects the improvement of the fundamentals since he’s been elected. That’s not the case. This is simply more air into the same bubble. And this bubble is going to burst, and I think unfortunately now that Trump has branded it- just like it was one of his buildings, he’s put the big “Trump” marker on it- when this thing pops, he’s going to have to take the blame.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“PETER SCHIFF- Worst Stock Market Crash of a Lifetime Ahead of Us 2017-2018”
YouTube Video

Schiff, who correctly-called the housing bust and economic crisis last decade, speculated on the Federal Reserve’s future moves and a coming recession. From the discussion:

FA: The Fed is keeping everything steady as she goes right now. They’re not raising interest rates. They’re slowly unwinding their balance sheet. Are they backed into a corner?
SCHIFF: They’re not slowing unwinding their balance sheet. They talked about slowly unwinding the balance sheet. But the balance sheet hasn’t unwound at all. It’s as high as it’s ever been. I think this is all a bunch of talk. There’s no way they’re going to be able to shrink that balance sheet in any significant way because it would drive interest rates up and weaken the economy and affect asset prices. In fact, I think the next major move in the Fed’s balance sheet is another big leg up when they have to launch the next round of quantitative easing. Obviously, the U.S. economy is going to go back into recession. I think we’d already be in recession had Trump not won the election. And I do think that the enthusiasm surrounding his victory and the optimism, I think, probably postponed the recession for a year or two. But, it’s going to hit, and then, how is the Fed going to respond? Well, we know. In fact, Donald Trump has appointed a new Fed chairman to follow Janet Yellen that he’s confident will do exactly what she did. Or exactly what Bernanke did. Which is slash interest rates, and print more money, and buy government bonds, and buy mortgages, or buy whatever they have to buy to keep everything from imploding.

Here’s what Schiff had to say about a potential economic crisis in 2018:

I do think we’re going to see a downturn. We could see a crisis, but chances are the crisis itself will happen later.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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Jeremy Grantham On U.S. Bonds, Stocks, And A Market Crash

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity may have noticed I retired the “Crash Prophets” page earlier this month (too much time to update). For those not familiar with this section, it’s where I compiled the investment activities/recommendations of “crash prophets” Dr. Marc Faber, Jeremy Grantham, Jim Rogers, and Peter Schiff (designation earned by being smart enough to spot the 2008 economic crisis and warning of future financial turbulence). Despite the retirement, I will continue to blog about the latest from these soothsayers.

And this morning I want to talk about Jeremy Grantham, the British-born investment strategist and founder/former chairman of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (currently overseeing $74 billion in client assets). In case readers missed it, a couple of weeks ago Grantham, whose individual clients have included former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, took part in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. The “crash prophet” discussed the booming U.S. stock market, a potential crash, and U.S. bonds. John Coumarianos wrote on the WSJ website on November 5:

With the S&P 500 up more than 15% this year, it may be time for a reality check. To that end, we spoke with Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chief investment strategist at Boston-based money manager Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. and a noted spotter of market bubbles.

He thinks U.S. stocks and bonds will fail to generate inflation-beating returns over the next seven years, but he doesn’t see an imminent crash in share prices…

Mr. Grantham has already cemented his legend by arguing that U.S. stocks were overvalued in 2000 and again in 2007, anticipating the market’s two most-recent crashes. He also noted before the 2008-09 financial crisis that the relationship between home prices and income had become unglued, and said at least one large financial institution would fail.

By Mr. Grantham’s lights, U.S. stock prices are again high, with an overall Shiller price/earnings ratio (share price relative to the past decade of real average earnings) over 30, compared with its average of 16.8 since 1880. But profit margins also are unusually high, lending support to the high valuations, he says. And the Federal Reserve’s policy of keeping interest rates low supports share prices by making fixed-income investments less attractive as an alternative to stocks.

So this time, instead of a crash, stock valuations may take decades to revert to anywhere near the long-term average, Mr. Grantham says…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The actual interview proved insightful, with Grantham communicating his bullishness on foreign stocks. The exchange can be read in its entirety here on The Wall Street Journal website.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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Jim Rogers: ‘I Want To Own More Silver But I Want To Own It At A Lower Price Which I Expect’

Tonight I just got finished reading the transcript of a February 9, 2017, interview of well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers by Macro Voices’ Erik Townsend. As usual, the former investing partner of George Soros discussed a number of topics, including:

U.S. Stocks- “Happy days are here” if President Trump carries out those “wonderful things” he said he would (cut taxes, rebuild infrastructure, bring $3 trillion home which U.S. companies have overseas) and avoids trade wars

U.S. Dollar- Despite the correction, “it’s going to go too high, may turn into a bubble, at which point I hope I’m smart enough to sell it because at some point the market forces are going to cause the dollar to come back down because people are going to realize, oh my gosh, this is causing a lot of turmoil, economic problems in the world and it’s damaging the American economy.”

Junk Bonds- “I am shorting junk bonds still”

Precious Metals- “I’m still sitting and watching. I want to own more gold. I want to own more silver but I want to own it at a lower price which I expect.”

“War on Cash”- “Probably we are not going to have as many freedoms as we have now even though we are already losing our freedoms at a significant pace.”

The Singapore-based investor mentioned in a separate interview earlier this month regarding India’s demonetization efforts:

If governments do away with cash, it gives them more power and control.

Townsend’s interview was of Rogers was thorough and interesting, particularly that bit about silver. Head on over to the Macro Voices website here to listen to/read their exchange.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

Source:

Wadhwa, Puneet. “Modi is doing everything he can to get votes: Jim Rogers.” Business Standard. 2 Feb. 2017. (http://www.business-standard.com/budget/article/modi-is-doing-everything-he-can-to-get-votes-jim-rogers-117020200389_1.html). 13 Feb. 2017.

Rogers’ latest book…

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Bix Weir Predicts 2017 Derivatives Implosion, Trump To Crash System Then Rebuild

“Donald Trump’s prediction that the U.S. economy was on the verge of a ‘very massive recession’ hit a wall of skepticism on Sunday from economists who questioned the Republican presidential front-runner’s calculations…

‘I think we’re sitting on an economic bubble. A financial bubble,’ he said.”

-Reuters.com, April 3, 2016

Precious metals and financial expert Bix Weir recently appeared on former network/investigative correspondent Greg Hunter’s latest project, Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (“Analyzing the News to Give You A Clear Picture of What’s Really Going On”). In an interview published Tuesday, Weir warned of a coming derivatives implosion and dropped a bombshell when he predicted U.S. President Donald Trump would crash the system, then rebuild. From the exchange between Hunter and Weir:

HUNTER: Isn’t this the year we get the derivatives implosion?
WEIR: Oh definitively. People keep saying, “Well, if Greece leaves the EU, it’s not going to affect the rest of Europe.” Yes it will. It will destroy all the debt based on Greek bonds. It will destroy all the banks- Deutsche Bank, great example. If Deutshce Bank goes, J.P. Morgan goes, Citbank goes, all the banks go. And then the derivative implosion happens. And that’s alway been kind of the home-built nuclear bomb in the financial system is the derivative market- the hundreds of trillions, quadrillions, in derivatives that are so dependent upon third-parties staying in business. Because they are the counter-party to Deutsche Bank, and Citibank, and J.P. Morgan. Once one large derivative holder goes, they all go. We almost saw it in 2008. I think we’re real close to it again. I think Trump is going to push that ticket…
HUNTER: Do you think that we’re close to this derivatives explosion, this implosion, right now? Do you think it’s this year?
WEIR: I do think it’s this year. I think it can happen at any moment. I think Trump has long said that we’re in some huge bubbles and they’ve got to pop. He doesn’t want them popping after he’s fixed half the things in America. So, I would assume he’s going to pop them very soon, in the first few months of his administration. And we’re into that now. There are certain people that I know he needs to get in place. Because the popping of this bubble- this is the big mother of all bubbles.
HUNTER: So he is rushing to get his people in place so he can execute his plan. You’re saying he has a grand plan. That things aren’t just going to happen willy-nilly. You’re saying he’s going to get his people in place and he’s going to force the collapse, the reorganization.
WEIR: Yes. But it’s not his grand plan. This is the plan of the “good guys” that I’ve been talking about…
HUNTER: So why do you think we’re close to an economic reset, an implosion, a derivatives problem, the whole system resetting, changing, whatever. Why do you think we are close?
WEIR: Well, I know that Donald Trump is in charge of the exchange stabilization fund. So it’s basically he has the keys to ending this market rigging game. And once you end the market rigging game, then you can’t support the stock market. And everything has to go to its true fair market value, with real trades, no more derivatives. So Trump can do it. The question is, “Does he want to?” And it’s not just Trump. It’s the people who are behind Trump. I call them the “good guys.”
HUNTER: The Pentagon.
WEIR: Well, there’s people at the Pentagon. Within the military. Patriots. Going back since the sixties a lot of these guys are looking for a little retribution on the “bad guys” taking out Kennedy. But all this goes back to- what does Trump want to do? Trump and his people. Do they want to fix things? Go down that road to starting to fix things with the bubbles still there, with the Fed still printing money. Or, does he really want to fix them. Which means you crash the system first, and then you rebuild. I think it’s the latter. I think he’s trying to get people in place, and then he will crash the system and rebuild.


“Bix Weir-Trump Will Crash System Then Rebuild”
YouTube Video

Weir, who has a presence on the Web at RoadtoRoota.com, recommends selling “anything that has a third-party between you and your hard asset” like stocks and bonds, and buying Bitcoin (“get it out of the system”), gold, and silver- particularly silver. He concluded:

If you’re looking to make money, silver and Bitcoin- you can’t go wrong.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’d heard of Bix Weir before, but never read/listened to anything by him before. Very interesting, to say the least.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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State Of Illinois Downgraded By Fitch Ratings

Fitch Ratings, a major U.S. credit rating agency, announced this afternoon it had downgraded the State of Illinois. From their news release:

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the following ratings of the state of Illinois:

Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+;
$25.9 billion in outstanding general obligation (GO) bonds to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+’;
–$431 million Illinois Sports Facilities Authority sports facilities bonds (state tax supported) to ‘BBB-‘from ‘BBB’;
–$2.6 billion Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority McCormick Place expansion project bonds to ‘BBB-‘ from ‘BBB’;
–$267.8 million city of Chicago motor fuel tax revenue bonds to ‘BBB-‘ from ‘BBB’.

The Rating Watch Negative is maintained…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

With this downgrade, Illinois’ new credit rating is just two notches above “junk” status.

Fitch noted:

The downgrade of Illinois’s IDR and related ratings reflects the unprecedented failure of the state to enact a full budget for two consecutive years and the financial implications of spending far in excess of available revenues, which has resulted in increased accumulated liabilities and reduced financial flexibility. Even if the current attempts at a resolution to the extended impasse prove successful, Fitch believes that the failure to act to date has fundamentally weakened the state’s financial profile….

Fitch expects to resolve the Rating Watch within the next six months based on an assessment of the state’s fiscal trajectory as it starts fiscal 2018. If the state continues on the current path, a further downgrade would be warranted

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

You can read the entire Fitch Ratings news release here on their website.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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James Rickards: ‘Fed Will Have To Go Dovish’ And Bonds, Gold Will Rally

Back on December 27, James (Jim) Rickards, an American lawyer, economist, investment banker, and best-selling author appeared on CNBC TV’s Squawk Box (Asia) and made this prediction about Trump’s first term in the Oval Office:

I definitely see a stock market correction, perhaps a disorderly one… I’m not sure the Fed is ready to cut rates yet. But I expect it will raise rates in March. I think that’s on track. But beyond that, we’re going to go into a recession or the stock market is going to have a very severe correction. Either one of those will cause the Fed to back-pedal.

On January 12, James Rickards elaborated on this forecast on The Daily Reckoning website. He informed readers of “Be Prepared for a Violent Fed Reversal”:

My short-term expectation is the Fed will raise rates in March. My intermediate-term expectation is that the market is going to be disappointed with the stimulus, the Fed tightening is going to be at the wrong time, the stock market’s going to “fall out of bed,” the economy’s going to slow down, and the Fed will have to go dovish.

At that point you’re going to see rallies in bonds, rallies in gold, and a decline in the stock market…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

Source:

Rickards, James. “Be Prepared for a Violent Fed Reversal.” The Daily Reckoning. 12 Jan. 2017. (https://dailyreckoning.com/be-prepared-violent-fed-reversal/). 23 Jan. 2017.

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Moody’s On Chicago Public Schools Crisis: Consider Tax Levy, Pension Contribution Stoppage, Or Bankruptcy

“Chicago and New York rank at the bottom of a new analysis of fiscal strength based primarily on data from 2015 financial reports issued by the cities themselves. The analysis includes 116 U.S. cities with populations greater than 200,000.

Chicago’s position at the bottom of the ranking is no surprise to anyone who follows municipal finance. The Windy City has become a poster child for financial mismanagement, having suffered a series of ratings downgrades in recent years. Aside from having thin reserves and large volumes of outstanding debt, Chicago is notorious for its underfunded pension plans…”

The Fiscal Times, January 9, 2107

Moody’s Investors Service recently weighed in on Chicago’s well-publicized financial crisis. Last Thursday its Global Credit Research division published the following on the Moody’s website:

While unfunded pension liabilities will continue weighing on the City of Chicago’s (Ba1 negative) credit profile, plans to significantly increase contributions with higher taxes is a favorable departure from prior funding practices. However, the liquidity crisis at Chicago Public Schools (CPS — B3 negative) is worsening amid a continued budget impasse at the state level, Moody’s Investors Service says in two new research reports released today…

In “City of Chicago: Frequently Asked Questions,” Moody’s says despite the city’s expanding economy, revenue growth, and healthy liquidity, its pension burden is likely to remain among the highest of any rated, major local government for many years.

“While Chicago’s recent tax increases will provide revenue to significantly increase pension funding, the city’s unfunded pension liabilities exceed seven times its revenue and are projected to grow for at least 15 more years,” says Matt Butler, Vice President of Moody’s…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The well-known credit rating agency added this about the city’s public school system:

In a separate report, “Chicago Public Schools: Frequently Asked Questions,” Moody’s states CPS’ fiscal pressures are intensifying due to depletion of reserves following years of imbalanced operations, unrealistic budget assumptions, and escalating pension costs…

Moody’s says CPS could consider more difficult options to address its finances should the State of Illinois (Baa2 negative) be unable or unwilling to provide additional relief: levy for debt service on GO alternate revenue bonds, stop making employer pension contributions, or seek state authorization to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

MarketWatch news editor Rachel Koning Beals expanded on Moody’s suggestions for dealing with the CPS situation. She wrote Saturday:

Moody’s has a revised shortlist of painful fixes for the public school system in Chicago.

One idea is to approve another increasingly politically unpopular property-tax levy to pay off debt, as the nation’s third-largest school district just issued another batch of high-interest bonds.

The second idea from the credit-ratings agency is to skip a pension payment to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund, which would come just months after the district and its teacher‘s union hammered out an 11th-hour contract to avoid a second labor strike in a span of four years.

And last resort? Just declare bankruptcy already

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Who’s the say the City will act on any of these suggestions (at least, right away)? That being said, Chicago taxpayers and CPS employees/retirees might want to take heed of all this.

Head on over to the Moody’s Investors Service website here to read the entire release from the Global Credit Research division. It ain’t pretty.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Koning Beals, Rachel. “Maybe Chicago schools should declare bankruptcy and get it over with, says Moody’s.” MarketWatch. 14 Jan. 2017. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/maybe-chicago-schools-should-declare-bankruptcy-and-get-it-over-with-says-moodys-2017-01-13). 16 Jan. 2017.

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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