government 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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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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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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Martin Armstrong Covered By Washington’s Blog

When I last blogged about economist Martin Armstrong, I discussed his November 24 post on the Armstrong Economics Blog in which he talked about the elimination of cash and his belief “the United States will most likely break apart by 2036.” Disturbing stuff.

Like I’ve said before- for me, the jury’s still out on Armstrong. However, Washington’s Blog, which bills itself as “Real-Time, Well-Researched and Actionable News on America and the World,” published an insightful piece on the man and his forecasts back on December 30. From that post:

Martin Armstrong is a controversial market analyst who correctly predicted the 1987 crash, the top of the Japanese market, and many other market events … more or less to the day.

Many market timers think that Armstrong is one of the very best. Armstrong credits a computer program he created (which he calls “Socrates”) for the accuracy of his forecasting.

Armstrong’s background is even more dramatic because he was jailed for 11 years on trumped-up allegations of contempt, fraud and an alleged Ponzi scheme. Armstrong was ultimately released without any charges, and – as the documentary The Forecaster explains – the 11-year imprisonment was a way to try to pressure him to hand over his forecasting program.

Washington’s Blog sent a reporter to Armstrong’s annual conference in Orlando, Florida, to see what all the buzz is about …

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Washington” noted Armstrong’s take on:

-Capital flows (declining)
-Debt (private superior to government)
-Europe (more chaos dead-ahead)
-U.S. stocks (bubble coming, then bust)
-European Union (Britain will survive because of Brexit)
-Cash (being eliminated by goverments for taxation purposes, negative interest rates)
-Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA (negative impact on global economy, yet positive for taxation)
-Politicians (self-interested, greedy bastards)

Read all about it on Washington’s Blog here.

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

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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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Jim Rogers: Signs Of Next Economic Crisis ‘Already Happening’

The next two days I’ll be focusing on two “crash prophets” who correctly-called the 2008 global economic crisis and who see more carnage on the way. First up is the widely-followed investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers, who appeared on the RT TV show SophieCo earlier today. From his exchange with host Sophie Shevardnadze (RT transcript):

SHEVARDNADZE: You’ve been talking about this impending recession for a while now, ready to strike the U.S., for instance, but, you know, we see American economy picking up, the unemployment rate is going down, so- why does it keep postponing itself?
ROGERS: Wait, wait. First of all, you are listening to government figures. You remember the Soviet Union, the government had a lot of numbers, they were very good. The U.S. now puts out a lot of figures that are not legitimate, accurate figures. Look at unemployment, what do they do? For instance, they just stopped counting many people, said they’re not looking for a job anymore – so the numbers are artificial in the U.S. Yes, some parts of the U.S. economy are doing very well. If you’re on Wall St. or if you’re in finance, you’re doing fine, because the government has been printing a lot of money and a lot of debt has been put out. But you go to Texas, go to the MidWest- they’re not doing well at all. Most of the country is not doing well.
SHEVARDNADZE: Alright, but give me something concrete- when do we have to expect this crisis to hit and what’s going to cause that meltdown?
ROGERS: Sophie, for the last 18 months in the U.S., most stocks have been going down. The average is a fraud, because of the few big companies that make the average go up and that’s because the government, the Fed Reserve, Central Bank is printing a lot of money. Stocks are going down in the U.S., most stock are down. So, the signs are already there. Now, unfortunately, they’re not visible, they don’t make headlines, so it’s already happening. Parts of the country are in recession, stock market, most stocks are going down – it’s already happening

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Back on March 28, I noted Rogers had warned on the Nikkei Asian Review (Japan) website eight days earlier:

I expect the American economy to be in recession sometime in the next year or two…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And earlier that month I quoted a March 4, 2016, Bloomberg.com piece where it was reported:

The famous investor said that there was a 100 percent probability that the U.S. economy would be in a downturn within one year

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Shevarnadze did a good job extracting some investment nuggets from the former investing partner of George Soros. Rogers still thinks there will be a better chance to buy gold “sometime in the next year or two,” and added later in the discussion:

If the dollar goes up, gold may go down. But, if it goes down, I hope to buy a lot more gold, because eventually gold is going to go through the roof. As this turmoil increases and people lose more and more confidence in governments, more and more confidence in paper money, they’re going to look for something, and gold and silver will be a couple of those places. If you’re looking for something right now- agriculture

I have sold short the U.S. stocks and I have sold junk bonds, low-grade bonds, in the U.S., I own shares in China, I have shares in Russia, I bought Russian government bonds, several days ago. These are places that I am looking at, I am looking at Kazakhstan as a place to invest, Iran I’m looking at, Nigeria I am looking at

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Kazakhstan and Nigeria are two markets not often mentioned by Rogers. A terrific interview, which you can read in its entirety over on the RT website here.

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.)

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Jim Rogers: ‘I Am Looking For More Investments In Asia And In Russia’

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers is bullish on Asia (China in particular) and Russia. As recent as April 6, I blogged about a GoldSeek.com Radio interview (released April 1) in which the former investing partner of George Soros said:

I own Chinese renminbi. I own Chinese shares… I bought recently some Russian government short-term bonds in rubles.

He added later:

There are other places I’m looking at but I’m really not very active at all. I’m mainly just watching the world unfold. Be knowledgeable, be worried, and be prepared.

That last sentence is indicative of a lot of what Rogers has been sharing with the investing public lately.

Still, it’s being reported that the CEO of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc. is actively looking for places to put his substantial “war chest” ($300 million estimated net worth) to work. Katya Golubkova wrote on the Reuters website last Tuesday:

Veteran U.S. investor Jim Rogers is looking at possible investments into Russian oil firm Bashneft (BANE.MM) and diamond miner Alrosa (ALRS.MM) as he aims to add more Russian assets to his portfolio, he told Reuters…

“If they (Bashneft and Alrosa) are not under sanctions, I will take a look – as I said, I am looking for more investments in Asia and in Russia but I am an American and I have to be a little bit careful.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Golubkova added:

He already has interests in Russian state airline Aeroflot (AFLT.MM), the Moscow Exchange (MOEX.MM) and fertilizer producer PhosAgro (PHOR.MM). He owns some exchange traded funds (ETFs) and is investing in Russian treasury bonds.

“I am looking for more investments in Russia. I am trying to buy into a Russian tourist company, I am optimistic about Russian tourism,” Rogers said, adding that he was also looking to buy more stocks of Russian agriculture companies

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A little over a year ago, I discussed an April 6, 2015, Reuters piece in which Yelena Orekhova and Olga Popova wrote:

Russia could now be “the right place at the right time” for investors, he said. His own portfolio consists largely of Russian shares, he said, among them fertiliser company Phosagro , airline Aeroflot and the Moscow Exchange…

About those “Russian government short-term bonds in rubles” mentioned a week-and-a-half ago, Rogers expounded in the April 12, 2016, Reuters article:

“If I got a chance I would probably buy more,” Rogers said, adding that he was only investing in Russian rouble bonds, not Eurobonds.

“I want to buy rouble bonds, I am more optimistic about rouble bonds than I am in Eurobonds. Rouble bonds have much higher yields.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Nice work by Reuters for staying on top of Rogers’ (potential) Russian investments.

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:

Goubkova, Katya. “Veteran U.S. investor Rogers looks to add more Russia to portfolio.” Reuters. 12 Apr. 2016. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-rogers-idUSKCN0X90SC). 17 Apr. 2016.

Jim Rogers’ latest book…

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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