European stocks

Marc Faber: ‘I Think Before The Year End We’ll Have Some Form Of QE 4 In The U.S.’

Swiss-born investment advisor/money manager Marc Faber was on the phone with the FOX Business Network this morning. The publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report discussed additional intervention by the world’s central banks in the wake of the “Brexit” vote and more quantitative easing in the United States. “Doctor Doom,” as the financial news media likes to call him, told viewers:

Regarding the confidence, I’m not so sure, because if you look at the performance of Treasury bonds, they would indicate that there is a sense that the economy’s weakening and that there are problems in the financial system. Also if you look at the performance of European bank stocks, they are horrible performers. So the confidence coming back- I’m not sure. But clearly Brexit means more money printing by central banks. They will continue to intervene. And I think before the year end we’ll have some form of QE4 in the U.S…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“Marc Faber: Brexit means more money printing by central banks”
FOX Business Network Video

On the spectre of recession, Dr. Faber added:

I think the problem will be if there are no additional QEs around the world- not just in the U.S. but around the world- is that asset prices will no longer go up and we’ve seen this already in London properties, in New York properties- and this will have a negative impact on the economy. The recession in my view is not going to come from really the economy per se, but from asset price deflation

(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.)

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Robert Shiller: ‘I Think Now Could Be A Good Time To Invest In Oil’

Yale economics professor Robert Shiller spotted the U.S. housing bubble last decade and the dot-com bubble a few years earlier. And these days, the “crash prophet’s” observations have led him to think crude oil may be a good investment. According to an Agence France-Presse article from March 23:

Asked how he would invest his money, Shiller replied: “It’s difficult. But I think now could be a good time to invest in oil or in a rise in oil prices,” he said.

“Prices are very low and there are a lot of reasons to assume that they won’t stay low. That’s what I’ve bet on,” Shiller said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Dr. Shiller repeated his belief that European stocks were more reasonably priced than U.S. equities. From the AFP piece:

Shiller said European stocks, including German stocks, were still a bargain, compared with US stocks.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I blogged back on February 19:

The Nobel Prize-winning economist was on CNBC’s Squawk Box TV show Wednesday and talked equities (among other things) with Becky Quick, Andrew Ross Sorkin, and Brian Sullivan. From their exchange:

SHILLER: The things that is really striking- and maybe not today- is the low-level, long-term interest rates. It is just stunning how low they have gotten. Recently, the 30-year TIPS real rate was at half-a-percent. That’s incredible for 30 years. And that is pushing the stock market up. But it’s not the kind of euphoria that we saw notably in 2000.
SORKIN: What percentage do you have in equities?
SHILLER: It’s about half.
SORKIN: Half?
SHILLER: Yeah.
SORKIN: Have you changed it recently? Will you change it?
SHILLER: Yeah. I’m thinking of getting out of the United States somewhat.
SORKIN: You are?
SHILLER: Yeah. I think Europe is so much cheaper.
SORKIN: And you’d buy big multinationals based in Europe? You’d buy smaller companies in Europe? What would you do?
SHILLER: Well, what I have done is I’ve invested in Italy indexes. Spain index.
SORKIN: Are you hedging currency?
SHILLER: No, I’m not.

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

(Editor’s note: I am 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 herein)

Source:

“ROBERT SHILLER: It’s not euphoria driving this stock market boom- it’s fear.” Agence France-Presse. 23 Mar. 2015. (http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-fear-behind-current-stock-market-highs-nobel-laureate-2015-3?utm_source=gatehouse&utm_medium=referral). 28 Mar. 2015.

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Lord Rothschild Warns ‘Geopolitical Situation Perhaps As Dangerous As Any We Have Faced Since World War II’

Jacob Rothschild, or 4th Baron Rothschild Bt, OM, GBE, FBA, as he’s known across “the pond,” has issued a warning to investors in RIT Capital Partners, an investment trust chaired by the 78-year-old banker. Lord Rothschild wrote in the £2.3 billion trust’s 2014 annual report (Report & Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2014) under “Chairman’s Statement”:

Our policy has been clearly expressed over the years. Simply put, it is to deliver long-term capital growth while preserving shareholders’ capital; the realization of this policy comes at a time of heightened risk, complexity and uncertainty. The economic and geopolitical environment therefore becomes increasingly difficult to predict.

The world economy grew at a disappointing and uneven rate in 2014 after six years of monetary stimulus and extraordinarily low interest rates. Stock market valuations however, are near an all-time high with equities benefiting from quantitative easing. Not surprisingly, the value of paper money has been debased as countries have sought to compete and generate growth by lowering the value of their currencies – the Euro and the Yen depreciated by over 12% against the US Dollar during the course of the year and Sterling by 5.9%. The unintended consequences of monetary experiments on such a scale are impossible to predict.

In addition to this difficult economic background, we are confronted by a geopolitical situation perhaps as dangerous as any we have faced since World War II: chaos and extremism in the Middle East, Russian aggression and expansion, and a weakened Europe threatened by horrendous unemployment, in no small measure caused by a failure to tackle structural reforms in many of the countries which form part of the European Union.

However, in a world of zero or even negative bond yields, equities may well remain the destination of choice for investors. Furthermore, the majority of companies are reporting profits exceeding forecasts together with steady earnings growth. In Europe, the combination of a more competitive Euro, an aggressive programme of quantitative easing and the yields available on equities, may well lead to even higher valuations…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

In 2012, it was reported the elder member of the Rothschild banking family took a $200 million position against the euro.

You can read the entire report on RIT Capital Partners website here (.pdf format).

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

(Editor’s note: I am 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 herein)

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Robert Shiller: ‘Stocks In Europe Are MUCH Cheaper Than In The United States’

The last time I blogged about Yale economics professor Robert Shiller, he was saying that the bond market “doesn’t clearly fit my definition of a bubble.” Dr. Shiller knows a thing or two about bubbles, considering he spotted the U.S. housing bubble last decade and the dot-com bubble a few years earlier.

Last Thursday, Shiller was interviewed by Bertha Coombs on CNBC’s Futures Now TV show where he shared his thoughts about bonds again (“it’s definitely high”) and some advice for investors. From their exchange:

SHILLER: One of them is, don’t use your usual assumptions about returns going forward. So that means you might want to save more. A lot of people are not saving enough. And incidentally, people are living longer now and health care is improving- you might end up retired for 30 years. People are not really preparing for that. The other thing is, diversify. And that helps reduce risk. And you can diversify outside the United States. Stocks in Europe are much cheaper than in the United States. So some people never invest in Europe- I think that’s a mistake.
COOMBS: So you’d rather go to Europe rather than emerging markets…
SHILLER: Or emerging markets, yeah…


“Robert Shiller’s unconventional investment advice”
CNBC Video

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

(Editor’s note: I am 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 herein)

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Jeremy Grantham: Thanks To Fed, ‘All Global Assets Are Once Again Becoming Overpriced’

It’s been quite some time since I blogged about Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chief investment strategist of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (GMO). I’ve noted before that the British investor has a special talent for correctly-calling the direction of the markets. For example:

• In 1982, said the U.S. stock market was ripe for a “major rally.” That year was the beginning of the longest bull run ever.
• In 1989, called the top of the Japanese bubble economy
• In 1991, predicted the resurgence of U.S. large cap stocks
• In 2000, correctly called the rallies in U.S. small cap and value stocks
• In January 2000, warned of an impending crash in technology stocks, which took place two months later
• Saw the 2008 global financial crisis coming. In April 2007, said we are now seeing the first worldwide bubble in history covering all asset classes.

Keep in mind that bit about “the first worldwide bubble in history covering all asset classes.”

Grantham pens a quarterly investment letter on the GMO website. And I recently read his latest installment (covering Q4 2012) which was released in February. Entitled “Investing in a Low-Growth World,” Grantham discussed what he called the Federal Reserve’s negative real rates regime, which is:

Designed to badger us into riskier investments in order to push up equity prices and grab a short-term wealth effect (that must be given back one day when least comfortable and least expected), has gone on for a long and, for me, boring time.

And the consequences? The investment manager whose individual clients have included Secretary of State John Kerry and former Vice President Dick Cheney wrote later on in “Investment Implications:”

Courtesy of the above Fed policy, all global assets are once again becoming overpriced. This reminds me of the idea sometimes attributed to Einstein that a workable definition of madness is constantly repeating the same actions but expecting a different outcome! But, as always, asset prices are not uniformly overpriced: emerging markets and, we believe, Japan are only moderately overpriced. European stocks are also only a little expensive, but in today’s world are substantially more risky than normal. The great global franchise companies also seem only moderately overpriced. Forestry and farmland, which is not super-prime Midwestern, is also only moderately overpriced but comes with our nook and cranny sticker attached. But much of everything else is once again brutally overpriced. Notably, U.S. stocks (ex “quality”) now sell at a negative seven-year imputed return on our numbers and most global growth stocks are close to zero expected return. As for fixed income – fugetaboutit! Most of it has negative estimated returns on our data, and longer debt, as always, carries that risk that may be slight in any period, but is horrific if it occurs – accelerating inflation.

When one combines the apparent determination and influence of those who do the bullying with the career risk and short-termism of the bullied and the desire of the general public to believe unbelievable good news, these overpricings can go much further and the Fed can win another round or two. That’s the problem. A clue to timing would be when we begin to hear more passionate new era arguments: profit margins will always be higher; growth will snap back to 3% for the developed world; and new ones I can’t think of … maybe “when the discount rate is this low the Dow should sell at, perhaps, 36,000.” In the meantime, prudent managers should be increasingly careful. Same ole, same ole.

You can read the rest of Grantham’s 4Q 2012 letter on the GMO website here.

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am 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 herein.)

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Survival And Prosperity
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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