What I am about to share with you is quite stunning. A well-respected financial expert that correctly predicted the last two stock market crashes is now warning that we are right on the verge of the next one. John Hussman is a former professor of economics and international finance at the University of Michigan, and the information in his latest weekly market comment is staggering. Since 1970, there have only been a handful of times when a combination of market signals that Hussman uses have indicated that a major market peak has been reached. In 1972, 2000 and 2007 each of those peaks was followed by a dramatic stock market crash. Now, for the first time since the last financial crisis, all four of those signals appeared once again during the week of July 17th. If Hussman’s analysis is correct, this could very well mean that the next great stock market crash in the United States is imminent.
It was an excellent article by Jim Quinn of the Burning Platform that first alerted me to Hussman’s latest warning. If you don’t follow Quinn’s work already, you should, because it is excellent.
When someone is repeatedly correct about the financial markets, we should all start paying attention. Back in late 2007, Hussman warned us about what was coming in 2008, but most people did not listen.
Now he is sounding the alarm again. According to Hussman, when there is a confluence of four key market indicators, that tells us that the market has peaked and is in danger of crashing. The following comes from Newsmax…
He cited the metric among the indicators that foreshadowed declines after peaks in 1972, 2000 and 2007:
*Less than 27 percent of investment advisers polled by Investors Intelligence who say they are bearish.
*Valuations measured by the Shiller price-to-earnings ratio are greater than 18 times.
*Less than 60 percent of S&P 500 stocks above their 200-day moving averages.
*Record high on a weekly closing basis.
“The most recent warning was the week ended July 17, 2015,” Hussman said. “It’s often said that they don’t ring a bell at the top, and that’s true in many cycles. But it’s interesting that the same ‘ding’ has been heard at the most extreme peaks among them.”
It is quite rare for the market to set a new record high on a weekly closing basis and have more than 40 percent of stocks below their 200-day moving averages at the same time. That is why a confluence of all these factors is fairly uncommon. Hussman elaborated on this in his recent report…
The remaining signals (record high on a weekly closing basis, fewer than 27% bears, Shiller P/E greater than 18, fewer than 60% of S&P 500 stocks above their 200-day average), are shown below. What’s interesting about these warnings is how closely they identified the precise market peak of each cycle. Internal divergences have to be fairly extensive for the S&P 500 to register a fresh overvalued, overbullish new high with more than 40% of its component stocks already falling – it’s evidently a rare indication of a last hurrah. The 1972 warning occurred on November 17, 1972, only 7 weeks and less than 4% from the final high before the market lost half its value. The 2000 warning occurred the week of March 24, 2000, marking the exact weekly high of that bull run. The 2007 instance spanned two consecutive weekly closing highs: October 5 and October 12. The final daily high of the S&P 500 was October 9 – right in between. The most recent warning was the week ended July 17, 2015.
The following is the chart that immediately followed the paragraph in his report that you just read…
When I first took a look at that chart I could hardly believe it.
It appears that Hussman’s signals are able to indicate major stock market crashes with stunning precision.
And considering the fact that we just hit a new “ding” for the first time since the last financial crisis, what Hussman is saying is more than just a little bit ominous.
According to Hussman this is not just a recent phenomenon either. Even though advisory sentiment figures were not available back in 1929, he believes that his indicators would have given a signal that a market crash was imminent in August of that year as well…
Though advisory sentiment figures aren’t available prior to the mid-1960’s, imputed data suggest that additional instances likely include the two consecutive weeks of August 19, 1929 and August 26, 1929. We can infer unfavorable market internals in that instance because we know that cumulative NYSE breadth was declining for months before the 1929 high. The week of the exact market peak would also be included except that stocks closed down that week after registering a final high on September 3, 1929. Another likely instance, based on imputed sentiment data, is the week of November 10, 1961, which was immediately followed by a market swoon into June 1962.
Of course the past is the past, and what has happened in the past will not necessarily happen in the future.
Other financial professionals are concerned that a market crash could be imminent as well. The following comes from a piece authored by Andrew Adams…
More than 13% of stocks on the New York Stock Exchange are at 52-week lows, which is about 6 standard deviations above the average over the last three years (1.62%) and an extreme only seen one other time during said period (last October when the S&P 500 was percentage points away from a 10% correction).
This dichotomy has created what I believe to be the biggest question about the stock market right now – have we already experienced a stealth correction in the majority of stocks that will soon come to an end or will the market leaders finally succumb to the weight of the laggards and join in on the sell-off? The answer to this could end up being worth at least $2.2 trillion, which is how much money would essentially be wiped out of the stock market if we finally get the much-discussed 10% correction in the overall market (the total U.S. stock market capitalization was $22.5 trillion as of June 30, according to the Center for Research in Security Prices).
Sometimes, a picture is worth more than a thousand words. I could share many more quotes from the “experts” about why they are concerned about a potential stock market collapse, but instead I want to share with you a “bonus chart” that Zero Hedge posted on Tuesday…
Do you understand what that is saying?
In 2007 and 2008, junk bonds started crashing well before stocks did.
Now, we are witnessing a similar divergence. If a similar pattern holds up this time, stocks have a long, long way to fall.
Like Hussman and so many others, I believe that a stock market crash and a new financial crisis are imminent.
The month of August is usually a slow month in the financial world, so hopefully we can get through it without too much chaos. But once we roll into the months of September and October we will officially be in “the danger zone”.
Keep an eye on China, keep an eye on Europe, and keep listening for serious trouble at “too big to fail” banks all over the planet.
The next several months are going to be extremely significant, and we all need to be getting ready while we still can.
If you are looking for a “canary in a coal mine” type of warning for the entire global economy, you have a whole bunch to pick from right now. “Dr. Copper” just hit a six year low, Morgan Stanley is warning that this could be the worst oil price crash in 45 years, the Chinese economy is suddenly stalling out, and world trade is falling at the fastest pace that we have seen since the last financial crisis. In order not to see all of the signs that are pointing toward a global economic slowdown, you would have to be willingly blind. In recent months, I have been writing article after article detailing how the exact same patterns that happened just before the stock market crash of 2008 are playing out once again. We are watching a slow-motion train wreck unfold right before our eyes, and things are only going to get worse from here.
Copper is referred to as “Dr. Copper” because it does such an excellent job of indicating where economic conditions are heading next. We saw this in 2008, when the price of copper started crashing big time in the months leading up to the stock market implosion.
Well, now copper is crashing again. Just check out this chart. The price of copper plunged again on Wednesday, and it is now the lowest that it has been since the last financial crisis. Unfortunately, the forecast for the months ahead is not good. The following is what Goldman Sachs is saying about copper…
“Though we have been bearish on copper on a 12-mo forward basis for the past two and a half years, we have maintained a more bullish medium to long-term stance on the assumption of Chinese copper demand growth of 4% per annum and a major slowing in supply growth around 2017/2018 … we substantially lower our short, medium, and long-term copper price forecasts, on the back of lower Chinese copper demand growth forecasts (we have been highlighting that the risk has been skewed to the downside for some time), increased conviction in copper supply growth over the next three years, and increased conviction in the outlook for mining cost deflation in dollar terms.”
It is funny that Goldman mentioned China so prominently. Even though China’s fake GDP figures say that everything is fine over there, other numbers are painting a very dismal picture.
For instance, Chinese electrical consumption in June grew at the slowest pace that we have seen in 30 years, and capital outflows from China have reached a level that is “frightening”…
Robin Brooks at Goldman Sachs estimates that capital outflows topped $224bn in the second quarter, a level “beyond anything seen historically”.
The Chinese central bank (PBOC) is being forced to run down the country’s foreign reserves to defend the yuan. This intervention is becoming chronic. The volume is rising. Mr Brooks calculates that the authorities sold $48bn of bonds between March and June.
Charles Dumas at Lombard Street Research says capital outflows – when will we start calling it capital flight? – have reached $800bn over the past year. These are frighteningly large sums of money.
Just last month, the Chinese stock market started to crash, but the crash was interrupted when the Chinese government essentially declared a form of financial martial law.
And I don’t think that “financial martial law” is too strong of a term to use in this case. Just consider the following excerpt from a recent article in the Telegraph…
Half the shares traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen were suspended. New floats were halted. Some 300 corporate bosses were strong-armed into buying back their own shares. Police state tactics were used hunt down short sellers.
We know from a vivid account in Caixin magazine that China’s top brokers were shut in a room and ordered to hand over money for an orchestrated buying blitz. A target of 4,500 was set for the Shanghai Composite by Communist Party officials.
So a stock market crash was halted, but in doing so Chinese officials have essentially destroyed the second largest stock market in the world. China’s financial markets have lost all legitimacy, and foreigners are going to be extremely hesitant to put any money into Chinese stocks from now on.
Meanwhile, there is no hiding the fact that trade activity in China and in most of the rest of the planet is slowing down. In fact, world trade volume has now dropped by the most that we have seen since the last global recession. The following comes from Zero Hedge…
As goes the world, so goes America (according to 30 years of historical data), and so when world trade volumes drop over 2% (the biggest drop since 2009) in the last six months to the weakest since June 2014, the “US recession imminent” canary in the coalmine is drawing her last breath…
As Wolf Street’s Wolf Richter adds, this isn’t stagnation or sluggish growth. This is the steepest and longest decline in world trade since the Financial Crisis. Unless a miracle happened in June, and miracles are becoming exceedingly scarce in this sector, world trade will have experienced its first back-to-back quarterly contraction since 2009.
As you probably noted in the chart above, a decline in world trade is almost always associated with a recession.
That was certainly the case back in 2008 and 2009.
Another similarity between the last crisis and what is happening now is a crash in the price of oil.
According to Business Insider, we have just officially entered a brand new bear market for oil…
Oil is officially in a bear market.
On Thursday, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures fell more than 1% to settle near $48.55 per barrel in New York.
A bear market is roughly defined as a 20% drop from highs. Crude has now fallen by about 20% in the last six weeks.
So what does all of this mean?
All of these signs are indicating that another great economic crisis is here, and that a global financial implosion is just around the corner.
As regular readers know, for the past ~21 months I have been worrying out loud about US stock prices. Specifically, I have suggested that a decline of 30% to 50% would not be a surprise.
I haven’t predicted a crash. But I have said clearly that I think stocks will deliver returns that are way below average for the next seven to 10 years. And I certainly won’t be surprised to see stocks crash. So don’t say no one warned you!
For those that don’t know, Henry Blodget is definitely not a bear. In fact, he is one of Wall Street’s biggest cheerleaders.
So for Blodget to suggest that we could see the stock market drop by half is a really big deal.
The closer that we get to this next crisis, the clearer that everything is becoming.
Where are things going to go from here? Please feel free to add to the discussion by posting a comment below…
Did you know that the percentage of children in the United States that are living in poverty is actually significantly higher than it was back in 2008? When I write about an “economic collapse”, most people think of a collapse of the financial markets. And without a doubt, one is coming very shortly, but let us not neglect the long-term economic collapse that is already happening all around us. In this article, I am going to share with you a bunch of charts and statistics that show that economic conditions are already substantially worse than they were during the last financial crisis in a whole bunch of different ways. Unfortunately, in our 48 hour news cycle world, a slow and steady decline does not produce many “sexy headlines”. Those of us that are news junkies (myself included) are always looking for things that will shock us. But if you stand back and take a broader view of things, what has been happening to the U.S. economy truly is quite shocking. The following are 12 ways that the U.S. economy is already in worse shape than it was during the depths of the last recession…
#1 Back in 2008, 18 percent of all Americans kids were living in poverty. This week, we learned that number has now risen to 22 percent…
There are nearly three million more children living in poverty today than during the recession, shocking new figures have revealed.
Nearly a quarter of youngsters in the US (22 percent) or around 16.1 million individuals, were classed as living below the poverty line in 2013.
This has soared from just 18 percent in 2008 – during the height of the economic crisis, the Casey Foundation’s 2015 Kids Count Data Book reported.
#2 In early 2008, the homeownership rate in the U.S. was hovering around 68 percent. Today, it has plunged below 64 percent. Incredibly, it has not been this low in more than 20 years. Just look at this chart – the homeownership rate has continued to plummet throughout Obama’s “economic recovery”…
#3 While Barack Obama has been in the White House, government dependence has skyrocketed to levels that we have never seen before. In 2008, the federal government was spending about 37 billion dollars a year on the federal food stamp program. Today, that number is above 74 billion dollars. If the economy truly is “recovering”, why is government dependence so much higher than it was during the last recession?
#4 On the chart below, you can see that the U.S. national debt was sitting at about 9 trillion dollars when we entered the last recession. Since that time, the debt of the federal government has doubled. We are on the exact same path that Greece has gone down, and what you are looking at below is a recipe for national economic suicide…
#5 During Obama’s “recovery”, real median household income has actually gone down quite a bit. Just prior to the last recession, it was above $54,000 per year, but now it has dropped to about $52,000 per year…
#6 Even though our incomes are stagnating, the cost of living just continues to rise steadily. This is especially true of basic things that we all purchase such as food. As I wrote about earlier this year, the price of ground beef in the United States has doubled since the last recession.
#7 In a healthy economy, lots of new businesses are opening and not that many are being forced to shut down. But for each of the past six years, more businesses have closed in the United States than have opened. Prior to 2008, this had never happened before in all of U.S. history.
#8 Barack Obama is constantly telling us about how unemployment is “going down”, but the truth is that the percentage of working age Americans that are either working or considered to be looking for work has steadily declined since the end of the last recession…
#9 Some have suggested that the decline in the labor force participation rate is due to large numbers of older people retiring. But the reality of the matter is that we have seen a spike in the inactivity rate for Americans in their prime working years. As you can see below, the percentage of males between the ages of 25 and 54 that aren’t working and that aren’t looking for work has surged to record highs since the end of the last recession…
#10 A big reason why we don’t have enough jobs for everyone is the fact that millions upon millions of good paying jobs have been shipped overseas. At the end of Barack Obama’s first year in office, our yearly trade deficit with China was 226 billion dollars. Last year, it was more than 343 billion dollars.
#11 Thanks to all of these factors, the middle class in America is dying. In 2008, 53 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be “middle class”. But by 2014, only 44 percent of all Americans still considered themselves to be “middle class”.
When you take a look at our young people, the numbers become even more pronounced. In 2008, 25 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket considered themselves to be “lower class”. But in 2014, an astounding 49 percent of all Americans in that age range considered themselves to be “lower class”.
#12 This is something that I have covered before, but it bears repeating. The velocity of money is a very important indicator of the health of an economy. When an economy is functioning smoothly, people generally feel quite good about things and money flows freely through the system. I buy something from you, then you take that money and buy something from someone else, etc. But when an economy is in trouble, the velocity of money tends to go down. As you can see on the chart below, a drop in the velocity of money has been associated with every single recession since 1960. So why has the velocity of money continued to plummet since the end of the last recession?…
If you are waiting for an “economic collapse” to happen, you can stop waiting.
One is unfolding right now before our very eyes.
But what most people really mean when they ask about these things is that they are wondering when the next great financial crisis will happen. And as I discussed yesterday, things are lining up in textbook fashion for one to happen in our very near future.
Once the next great financial crisis does strike, all of the numbers that I just discussed above are going to get a whole lot worse.
So as bad as things are now, the truth is that this is just the beginning of the pain.
Keep an eye on the shadow banking system – it is about to be shaken to the core. According to the Financial Stability Board, the size of the global shadow banking system has reached an astounding 75 trillion dollars. It has approximately tripled in size since 2002. In the U.S. alone, the size of the shadow banking system is approximately 24 trillion dollars. At this point, shadow banking assets in the United States are even greater than those of conventional banks. These shadow banks are largely unregulated, but governments around the world have been extremely hesitant to crack down on them because these nonbank lenders have helped fuel economic growth. But in the end, we will all likely pay a very great price for allowing these exceedingly reckless financial institutions to run wild.
The shadow banking system (or shadow financial system) is a network of financial institutions comprised of non-depository banks — e.g., investment banks, structured investment vehicles (SIVs), conduits, hedge funds, non-bank financial institutions and money market funds.
How it works/Example:
Shadow banking institutions generally serve as intermediaries between investors and borrowers, providing credit and capital for investors, institutional investors, and corporations, and profiting from fees and/or from the arbitrage in interest rates.
Because shadow banking institutions don’t receive traditional deposits like a depository bank, they have escaped most regulatory limits and laws imposed on the traditional banking system. Members are able to operate without being subject to regulatory oversight for unregulated activities. An example of an unregulated activity is a credit default swap (CDS).
These institutions are extremely dangerous because they are highly leveraged and they are behaving very recklessly. They played a major role during the financial crisis of 2008, and even the New York Fed admits that shadow banking has “increased the fragility of the entire financial system”…
The current financial crisis has highlighted the growing importance of the “shadow banking system,” which grew out of the securitization of assets and the integration of banking with capital market developments. This trend has been most pronounced in the United States, but it has had a profound influence on the global financial system. In a market-based financial system, banking and capital market developments are inseparable: Funding conditions are closely tied to fluctuations in the leverage of market-based financial intermediaries. Growth in the balance sheets of these intermediaries provides a sense of the availability of credit, while contractions of their balance sheets have tended to precede the onset of financial crises. Securitization was intended as a way to transfer credit risk to those better able to absorb losses, but instead it increased the fragility of the entire financial system by allowing banks and other intermediaries to “leverage up” by buying one another’s securities.
Over the past decade, shadow banking has become a truly worldwide phenomenon, and thus it is a major threat to the entire global financial system. In China, shadow banking has been growing by leaps and bounds, but this has the authorities deeply concerned. In fact, according to Bloomberg one top Chinese regulator has referred to shadow banking as a “Ponzi scheme”…
Their growth had caused the man who is now China’s top securities regulator to label the off-balance-sheet products a “Ponzi scheme,”because banks have to sell more each month to pay off those that are maturing.
And what happens to all Ponzi schemes eventually?
In the end, they always collapse.
And when this 75 trillion dollar Ponzi scheme collapses, the global devastation that it will cause will be absolutely unprecedented.
Bond expert Bill Gross, who is intimately familiar with the shadow banking system, has just come out with a major warning about the lack of liquidity in the shadow banking system…
Mutual funds, hedge funds, and ETFs, are part of the “shadow banking system” where these modern “banks” are not required to maintain reserves or even emergency levels of cash. Since they in effect now are the market, a rush for liquidity on the part of the investing public, whether they be individuals in 401Ks or institutional pension funds and insurance companies, would find the “market” selling to itself with the Federal Reserve severely limited in its ability to provide assistance.
As far as shadow banking is concerned, everything is just fine as long as markets just keep going up and up and up.
But once they start falling, the whole system can start falling apart very rapidly. Here is more from Bill Gross on what might cause a “run on the shadow banks” in the near future…
Long used to the inevitability of capital gains, investors and markets have not been tested during a stretch of time when prices go down and policymakers’ hands are tied to perform their historical function of buyer of last resort. It’s then that liquidity will be tested.
And what might precipitate such a “run on the shadow banks”?
1) A central bank mistake leading to lower bond prices and a stronger dollar.
2) Greece, and if so, the inevitable aftermath of default/restructuring leading to additional concerns for Eurozone peripherals.
3) China – “a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”. It is the “mystery meat” of economic sandwiches – you never know what’s in there. Credit has expanded more rapidly in recent years than any major economy in history, a sure warning sign.
4) Emerging market crisis – dollar denominated debt/overinvestment/commodity orientation – take your pick of potential culprits.
5) Geopolitical risks – too numerous to mention and too sensitive to print.
6) A butterfly’s wing – chaos theory suggests that a small change in “non-linear systems” could result in large changes elsewhere. Call this kooky, but in a levered financial system, small changes can upset the status quo. Keep that butterfly net handy.
Should that moment occur, a cold rather than a hot shower may be an investor’s reward and the view will be something less than “gorgeous”. So what to do? Hold an appropriate amount of cash so that panic selling for you is off the table.
In order to avoid a shadow banking crisis, what we need is for global financial markets to stabilize and to resume their upward trends.
So let’s hope that the financial devastation that we have seen so far this week is not a preview of things to come. The global financial system has been transformed into a delicately balanced pyramid of glass that is not designed to handle turbulent times. We should have never allowed the shadow banks to run wild like this, but we did, and now in just a short while we are going to get to witness a financial implosion unlike anything the world has ever seen before.
I have never done anything like this before. Ever since I started The Economic Collapse Blog in late 2009, I have never issued any kind of “red alert” for any specific period of time. As an attorney, I was trained to be level-headed and to only come to conclusions that were warranted by the evidence. So this is not something that I am doing lightly. Based on information that I have received, things that I have been told, and thousands of hours of research that have gone into the publication of more than 1,300 articles about our ongoing economic collapse, I have come to the conclusion that a major financial collapse is imminent. Therefore, I am issuing a RED ALERT for the last six months of 2015.
To clarify, when I say “imminent” I do not mean that it will happen within the next 48 hours. And I am not saying that our problems will be “over” once we get to the end of 2015. In fact, I believe that the truth is that our problems will only be just beginning as we enter 2016.
What I am attempting to communicate is that we are right at the door of a major turning point. About this time of the year back in 2008, my wife and I went to visit her parents. As we sat in their living room, I explained to them that we were on the verge of a major financial crisis, and of course the events that happened a few months later showed that I was right on the money.
This time around, I wish that I could visit the living rooms of all of my readers and explain to them why we are on the verge of another major financial crisis. Unfortunately, that is not possible, but hopefully this article will suffice. Please share it with your friends, your family and anyone else that you want to warn about what is coming.
Let’s start with a little discussion about the U.S. economy. Most of the time, when I use the term “economic collapse” what most people are actually thinking of is a “financial collapse”. And we will talk about the imminent “financial collapse” later on in this article. But just because stocks have recently been hitting all-time record highs does not mean that the overall economy has been doing well. This is a theme that I have hammered on over and over again. It is my contention that we are in the midst of a long-term economic collapse that has been happening for many years, that is happening as you read this article, and that will greatly accelerate over the coming months.
Let me give you just one quick example. When an economy is healthy, money tends to circulate fairly rapidly. I buy something from you, then you take that money and buy something from someone else, etc. In a stable and growing economy, people generally feel good about things and they are not afraid to spend. But during hard times, the exact opposite happens. That is why the velocity of money almost always slows down during a recession. As you can see from the chart below, the velocity of money has indeed gone down during every recession since 1960. Once a recession is over, the velocity of money is supposed to go back up. But a funny thing happened after the last recession ended. The velocity of money continued to go down, and it has now hit an all-time record low…
This is the kind of chart that you would expect from a very sick economy. And without a doubt, our economy is sick. Even the official government numbers paint a picture of an economy that is deeply troubled. Corporate profits have declined for two quarters in a row, U.S. exports plunged by 7.6 percent during the first quarter of 2015, U.S. GDP contracted by 0.7 percent during the first quarter, and factory orders have declined year over year for six months in a row.
If the stock market was connected to reality, it would be going down. But instead, it has just kept going up. As I discussed yesterday, this is a classic case of an irrational financial bubble. If I was writing an economic textbook and I wanted to include an example of what a run up to a major financial crash looks like, it would be hard to come up with anything more ideal than what we have watched unfold over the last six months. Just about every pattern that has popped up prior to previous stock markets crashes is happening again, and this is something that I have written about so much that many of my readers are sick of it.
And without a doubt, our financial markets are primed for a crash.
Only two times before has the S&P 500 been up by more than 200 percent over a six year time frame.
The first was in 1929, and the stock market subsequently crashed.
The second was in 2000, right before the dotcom bubble burst.
And by just about any measure that you can possibly imagine, stocks are massively overvalued right now.
For instance, just check out the chart posted below. It comes from Doug Short, and it shows that the ratio of corporate equity prices to GDP has only been higher one time since 1950. That was in 2000 just before the dotcom bubble burst…
Let’s take a look at another chart. This one comes from Phoenix Capital Research, and it shows that the CAPE ratio (cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio) has rarely been higher. In fact, the only times that it has been higher we have seen stock market crashes immediately afterwards…
I think that compared with history, US stocks are overvalued. One way to assess this is by looking at the CAPE (cyclically adjusted P/E) ratio that I created with John Campbell, now at Harvard, 25 years ago. The ratio is defined as the real stock price (using the S&P Composite Stock Price Index deflated by the CPI) divided by the ten-year average of real earnings per share. We have found this ratio to be a good predictor of subsequent stock market returns, especially over the long run. The CAPE ratio has recently been around 27, which is quite high by US historical standards. The only other times it has been that high or higher were in 1929, 2000, and 2007—all moments before market crashes.
But the CAPE ratio is not the only metric I watch. In my book Irrational Exuberance (3rd Ed., Princeton 2015) I discuss several metrics that help judge what’s going on in the market. These include my stock market confidence indices. One of the indicators in that series is based on a single question that I have asked individual and institutional investors over the years along the lines of, “Do you think the stock market is overvalued, undervalued, or about right?” Lately, what I call “valuation confidence” captured by this question has been on a downward trend, and for individual investors recently reached its lowest point since the stock market peak in 2000.
Other valuation indicators produce similar results. This next chart is another one from Doug Short, and it shows the average of four of his favorite valuation indicators. As you can see, there is only one other time when stocks have been more overvalued than they are today according to the average of his four favorite indicators, and that was just before the stock market crashed when the dotcom bubble burst…
Another one of the things that indicates that a financial bubble is happening is the level of margin debt. Whenever margin debt has gone over 2.25% of GDP a stock market crash has always followed, and today it is far above that level. As you can see from the chart below, there have been three major peaks in margin debt in modern U.S. history. One was just before the dotcom bubble burst, one was just before the financial crisis of 2008, and the third is happening right now…
Something else that we would expect to see prior to a major financial crisis is a decoupling of high yield debt and stocks. This is something that happened just prior to the stock market crash of 2008, and it is happening again right now. The following chart comes from Zero Hedge, and it demonstrates this brilliantly…
Are you starting to get the picture?
And as I discussed yesterday, the smart money is beginning to pull their money out of stocks while they still can. According to USA Today, mutual fund investors have pulled more money out of stocks than they have put into stocks for 16 weeks in a row…
In a sign of stock market nervousness on Main Street, mutual fund investors have yanked more money out of U.S. stock funds than they put in for 16 straight weeks.
The last time domestic stock funds had positive net cash inflows was in the week ending Feb. 25, according to data from the Investment Company Institute, a mutual fund trade group.
In the week ended June 17, the most recent data available, mutual funds that invest in U.S. stocks suffered net outflows of $3.45 billion, according to the ICI.
Since late February, U.S. stock funds have suffered estimated outflows of nearly $55 billion. Those net withdrawals come despite the fact the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 hit a fresh record high of 2130.82 on May 21 and the Dow Jones industrial average notched a fresh record on May 19.
But it isn’t just stocks that are going to crash during the next financial crisis. Bonds are going to crash as well, but what I am concerned about most of all are derivatives.
Derivatives are going to play a starring role in the next major financial crisis. I cannot emphasize this enough. In fact, if you want to listen for just one word on the news that will let you know that things have started to really unravel, just listen for the word “derivatives”. This form of legalized gambling is going to crush “too big to fail” banks all over the planet during the next major financial downturn. The “too big to fail” banks in the U.S. alone have 278 trillion dollars of total exposure to derivatives, but they only have 9.8 trillion dollars in total assets. To say that they are being “reckless” is a massive understatement.
Legendary investor Jim Rogersrecently said that he believes that “we will see some kind of major, major problems in the world financial markets” within the next year or two.
Alex Jones recently released a video in which he explained that he recently received “two different calls” from “extremely prominent wealthy people” warning him about what is coming by the end of this year and asking him why he isn’t leaving the United States “before October”.
Bible prophecy expert Joel C. Rosenberg has posted an ominous message on his personal blog in which he warned that “something is coming” and that “we must be ready”…
I feel a tremendous sense of urgency about this column.
The United States is hurtling towards severe trouble, and the events of the past few months — and what may be coming over the next few months — grieves me a great deal.
Something is coming. I don’t know what. But we all must be ready in every possible way.
When I read what Rosenberg wrote, it struck me that it was precisely how I have been feeling too.
In my entire life, I have never had such an ominous feeling about any period of time as I have about the last six months of 2015. Like Rosenberg, I feel a “tremendous sense of urgency”, and I feel a great need to warn as many people as I can.
And it isn’t just a financial collapse that I am concerned about. In a previous article, I detailed seven key events that we are going to witness before the end of this September…
Late June/Early July – It is expected that this is when the U.S. Supreme Court will reveal their gay marriage decision. Most believe that the court will rule that gay marriage is a constitutional right in all 50 states. There are some that believe that this will be a major turning point for our nation.
July 15th to September 15th – A “realistic military training exercise” known as “Jade Helm” will be conducted by the U.S. Army. More than 1,000 members of the U.S. military will take part in this exercise. The list of states slated to be involved in these drills includes Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, California, Mississippi and Florida.
July 28th – On May 28th, Reuters reported that countries in the European Union were being given a two month deadline to enact “bail-in” legislation. Any nation that does not have “bail-in” legislation in place by that time will face legal action from the European Commission. So why is the European Union in such a rush to get this done? Are the top dogs in the EU anticipating that another great financial crisis is about to erupt?
September 13th – This is Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar – the last day of the Shemitah year. Many are concerned about this date because we have seen giant stock market crashes on the last day of the previous two Shemitah cycles.
On September 17th, 2001 (which was Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar), we witnessed the greatest one day stock market crash in U.S. history up until that time. The Dow plummeted 684 points, and it was a record that held for exactly seven years until the end of the next Shemitah cycle.
On September 29th, 2008 (which was also Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar), the Dow fell by an astounding 777 points, which still today remains the greatest one day stock market crash of all time.
Now we are approaching the end of another Shemitah year. So will the stock market crash on September 13th, 2015? Well, no, because that day is a Sunday. So I guarantee that the stock market will not crash on that particular day. But as Jonathan Cahn has pointed out in his book on the Shemitah, sometimes stock market crashes happen just before the end of the Shemitah year and sometimes they happen within just a few weeks after the end of the Shemitah. So we are not just looking at one particular date.
September 15th – The 70th session of the UN General Assembly begins on this date. It is being reported that France plans to introduce a resolution which would give formal UN Security Council recognition to a Palestinian state. Up until now, the United States has always been the one blocking such a resolution, but Barack Obama is indicating that things may be much different this time around.
September 25th to September 27th – The United Nations is going to launch a brand new sustainable development agenda for the entire planet. Some have called this “Agenda 21 on steroids”. But this new agenda is not just about the environment. It also includes provisions regarding economics, agriculture, education and gender equality. On September 25th, the Pope will travel to New York to give a major speech kicking off the UN conference where this new agenda will be unveiled.
September 28th – This is the date for the last of the four blood moons that fall on Biblical festival dates during 2014 and 2015. This blood moon falls on the very first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, it will be a “supermoon”, and it will actually be visible in the city of Jerusalem. There are many that dismiss the blood moon phenomenon, but we have seen similar patterns before. For example, a similar pattern of eclipses happened just before and just after the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Romans in 70 AD.
Earlier today, I publicly announced that I was issuing a RED ALERT for the last six months of 2015 on the Alex Jones radio show. You can watch video of that interview right here. In this article (which is about three times as long as one of my normal articles) I have only shared a small fraction of the information that has led me to issue this red alert. But if you want to know more, and you are not afraid to really go down the rabbit hole, I would encourage you to check out a full two hour presentation that I did down in Dallas, Texas on the nightmarish years that are coming.
The period of relative stability that we have been enjoying is ending. What comes next is going to lead us into the worst period of time in modern American history. I wish that I was wrong about this.
But the goal is not to scare you. My wife and I live our lives with absolutely no fear, and that is my desire for all of my readers. There is hope in understanding what is happening and there is hope in getting prepared. Personally, my wife and I believe that the greatest chapters of our lives are ahead of us, and I hope that you have a similar outlook.
We need a generation of people that are willing to rise up and do great things even in the midst of all the chaos and darkness that is coming. It is when times are the darkest that the greatest heroes are needed.
So what will you choose to do when the next crisis comes?
Will you cower in fear, or will you rise up to meet the challenge?
Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…
Not since the financial crash of 2008 have so many prominent people issued such urgent warnings about a specific time period. Almost daily now, really big names are coming out with chilling predictions about what they believe is going to happen during the second half of 2015. But it isn’t just that these people have a “bad feeling” about things. The truth is that we are witnessing a confluence of circumstances and events in the second half of this year that is unprecedented. This is something that I covered in a previous article that went mega-viral all over the Internet entitled “7 Key Events That Are Going To Happen By The End Of September“. Personally, I have never been more concerned about any period of time than I am about the second half of 2015. And as you will see below, I am definitely not alone.
Just a few days ago, I received an email that contained a chilling message from Lindsey Williams. You can view the same message that came to my email right here. According to Lindsey Williams, the elite insider that he is in contact with told him that there will be a global financial collapse between September and December of this year…
From Lindsey Williams: I just received an email from my Elite friend.
My Elite friend indicated that they have a World Wide Financial Collapse scheduled between September and the end of December 2015
You may have just THREE (3) months to prepare!
I have a ton of respect for Lindsey Williams, and I would listen to what he has to say very carefully. Back in 2008, an elite insider told him that the price of oil would drop from $140 a barrel to $40 a barrel, and it happened. This time around, Williams has been telling us throughout 2013 and 2014 that a global financial collapse was not going to happen during those years, and he was right about that.
But now he is sounding the alarm that one is going to come by the end of this calendar year.
Martin Armstrong is someone else that has been sounding the alarm about the second half of this year.
In fact, Armstrong says that he has “warned that the Big Bang was coming 2015.75″ since 1985.
Armstrong has developed one of his own, and he calls it the Economic Confidence Model. According to the ECM, the “sovereign debt Big Bang” is scheduled to happen by the end of 2015. And it turns out that the time period that Armstrong has been pointing to lines up with a whole bunch of other significant events as well…
There are many aspects that are lining up with the turn in the ECM (Economic Confidence Model) from the Blood Moon and the Jewish Year for forgiving the debts, to France imposing restrictions on cash in September, and even in Germany the laws that protected about half a million people so-called dachas there in East Germany expire. To date, a law protecting the tenant against dismissal by the municipality will also expireOctober 3, 2015. Everywhere we look, there are changes coming to a head, right down to the U.S. Federal budget with 2015.75.
In case you are tempted to dismiss this as nonsense, Armstrong has pointed out that his ECM has been accurate “to the day” in the past…
Of course the 1987 crash bottomed to the day with the ECM confirming that was the low. The same took place in 1994 where the U.S. share market bottomed right to the day, once again confirming this was an important low.
This next turning point should be the peak in the concentration of capital and confidence in government. From there on out, 2015.75 should mark the change in trend where people will start to disbelieve government on a grand scale. The debt markets that peak precisely with the target are going to get the worst of it.
Other financial experts are issuing similar warnings, even if they aren’t being quite as specific.
For example, just consider what Jim Rogers had to say recently…
I suspect in the next year or two we will see some kind of major, major problems in the world financial markets.
I would suspect when we have this correction, it’s going to cause central banks to panic. There’s going to come a time when there is not much the central banks can do when they have lost all credibility. When governments have lost all credibility. They will print and spend and borrow, but there comes a time when people are just going to say We don’t want to play this game anymore. And at that point, the world has serious, serious problems because there’s nothing to rescue us.
Perhaps the most sobering warning of all that I have come across in recent days is from Alex Jones.
In the video posted below, he explains that he recently received “two different calls” from “extremely prominent wealthy people” warning him about what is coming by the end of this year and asking him why he isn’t leaving the United States “before October”.
In this video, Alex also explains that large numbers of insiders are now quietly leaving the country. I have never seen him quite like this. I think that so many of us are just in shock that the things that we have been warning about for so long are now actually happening. Watch this video for yourself and see what you think…
In the financial markets, we are also seeing signals that many people believe that big trouble is right around the corner. For instance, according to Dana Lyons we haven’t seen bets that the VIX will rise at this level since just before the financial crash of 2008…
As most observers are aware, the VIX tends to rise as the stock market declines. Thus a rising VIX is associated with bad markets. The interesting thing about present conditions in VIX options is that the Put/Call Ratio (using a 21-day average) is at the lowest level since the summer of 2008. That means that there are more bets on a rising VIX versus bets on a falling VIX than we have seen in 7 years. And again, a rising VIX is associated with bad markets.
In other words, investors are betting a tremendous amount of money that we are going to see a rise in volatility in the financial markets in the months ahead. And as I have explained so many times before, during times of high volatility markets tend to go down very rapidly. So these bets will pay off very handsomely if there is a financial crash this fall.
Meanwhile, the manager of one of the largest bond funds in the UK is warning that a “systemic event” could soon hit global financial markets and that it is wise to have some “physical cash” at home just in case there is some sort of major emergency. The following comes from Zero Hedge…
The manager of one of Britain’s biggest bond funds has urged investors to keep cash under the mattress.
Ian Spreadbury, who invests more than £4bn of investors’ money across a handful of bond funds for Fidelity, including the flagship Moneybuilder Income fund, is concerned that a “systemic event” could rock markets, possibly similar in magnitude to the financial crisis of 2008, which began in Britain with a run on Northern Rock.
“Systemic risk is in the system and as an investor you have to be aware of that,” he told Telegraph Money.
The best strategy to deal with this, he said, was for investors to spread their money widely into different assets, including gold and silver, as well as cash in savings accounts. But he went further, suggesting it was wise to hold some “physical cash”, an unusual suggestion from a mainstream fund manager.
But to hear it from a member of Britain’s financial elite is definitely unusual to say the least.
Sadly, just like last time, most people are not listening to the warnings. Back in the summer of 2008, my wife and I went up to visit her parents. I sat on their sofa and told them that a great financial collapse was about to unfold and that it would shake the entire world. Of course just a few months later that is exactly what happened.
Now we are on the verge of an even greater financial collapse, and still I find that there are a lot of people out there that are doubters. Most of these doubters have an immense amount of faith in the system, and they are confident that this debt-fueled bubble of false prosperity that we are currently enjoying can somehow last indefinitely.
I truly wish that the hopeless optimists were right.
I truly wish that I could live out my days in peace and quiet in a world that was safe and stable.
As Greece plunges even deeper into economic chaos, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says that his government is prepared to respond to the demands of the EU and the IMF with “the great no” and that his party will accept responsibility for whatever consequences follow. Despite years of intervention from the rest of Europe, Greece is a bigger economic mess today than ever. Greek GDP has shrunk by 26 percent since 2008, the national debt to GDP ratio in Greece is up to a staggering 175 percent, and the unemployment rate is up above 25 percent. Greek stocks are crashing and Greek bond yields are shooting into the stratosphere. Meanwhile, the banking system is essentially on life support at this point. 400 million euros were pulled out of Greek banks on Monday alone. No matter what happens in the coming days, many believe that it is now only a matter of time before capital controls like we saw in Cyprus are imposed.
Over the past several months, there have been endless high level meetings over in Europe regarding this Greek crisis, but none of them have fixed anything. And even Jeroen Dijsselbloem admits that the odds of anything being accomplished during the meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Thursday is “very small”…
Some officials believe Thursday’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers will be perhaps the last chance to stop Greece sliding into default and towards leaving the euro.
However the president of the so-called Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said the chance of an accord was “very small”.
And it is certainly not just Dijsselbloem that feels this way. At this point pretty much everyone is resigned to the fact that there is not going to be a deal any time soon. The following comes from Reuters…
“People are getting anxious on both sides. Athens expects Brussels to move. And Brussels expects Athens to move. And it’s stuck,” said a senior EU diplomat, who declined to be named.
“It’s very dangerous, and we may have an accident.”
EU officials insist that it is Greece that needs to back down, but the Greeks have no intention of backing down. Just consider the words of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. He says that he is not afraid to deliver “the great no” to the rest of Europe…
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he’s ready to assume responsibility for the consequences of rejecting an unfair deal with creditors.
In a sign that he’s being taken at his word, officials from the Netherlands, Portugal and Germany said they were bracing for a breakdown in talks that could roil the currency bloc.
With a viable solution “the Greek government recently elected by the Greek people will bear the cost of carrying through,” Tsipras told reporters in Athens on Wednesday. Without one, “we will assume the responsibility to say ‘the great no’ to a continuation of the catastrophic policies.”
To me, that sounds like a man that is not going to back down. And to call it “the great no” is not an exaggeration at all. I think that he realizes that this “great no” will unleash financial chaos all over Europe.
Failure to reach an agreement would, on the contrary, mark the beginning of a painful course that would lead initially to a Greek default and ultimately to the country’s exit from the euro area and – most likely – from the European Union. A manageable debt crisis, as the one that we are currently addressing with the help of our partners, would snowball into an uncontrollable crisis, with great risks for the banking system and financial stability. An exit from the euro would only compound the already adverse environment, as the ensuing acute exchange rate crisis would send inflation soaring.
All this would imply deep recession, a dramatic decline in income levels, an exponential rise in unemployment and a collapse of all that the Greek economy has achieved over the years of its EU, and especially its euro area, membership. From its position as a core member of Europe, Greece would see itself relegated to the rank of a poor country in the European South.
And no matter how confident the Germans appear to be right now, the truth is that a Greek debt default would be a complete and total nightmare for the rest of Europe as well. The euro would drop like a rock, stocks would crash all over Europe and bond yields would go crazy. And that is just for starters.
So we desperately need to see a deal. But with each passing day that seems less and less likely.
In fact, a Greek parliament committee on public debt just released a new report containing their preliminary findings. This report is not legally binding, but it does show the mood of the Greek parliament, and what this report says is absolutely stunning. It concluded that the Greek government is under absolutely no obligation to repay its debts. Just check out the following excerpt from the report…
All the evidence we present in this report shows that Greece not only does not have the ability to pay this debt, but also should not pay this debt first and foremost because the debt emerging from the Troika’s arrangements is a direct infringement on the fundamental human rights of the residents of Greece. Hence, we came to the conclusion that Greece should not pay this debt because it is illegal, illegitimate, and odious.
In other words, what this report is saying is that the Greek government should never pay back any of this debt. That certainly is not going to sit well with the officials from the EU and the IMF.
And what happens if other financially troubled nations in the eurozone decide that their debts are “illegal” and “odious” as well?
Globally, there are more than 76 trillion dollars worth of bonds floating around out there, and the yields on those bonds are based on the assumption that they will always be paid off. If nations such as Greece start defaulting, that will throw the entire global financial system into a state of tremendous chaos.
Of course the Greek financial system is already in a state of tremendous chaos. At this point, many believe that it is just a matter of time before capital controls are imposed. This is something that I have warned about in the past. The following description of what capital controls in Greece may look like comes from Bloomberg…
No one knows the specifics for Greece, but here’s what happened in Cyprus: ATM withdrawals were capped at 300 euros a person per day. Transfers of more than 5,000 euros abroad were subject to approval by a special committee. Companies needed documents for each payment order, with approvals for over 200,000 euros determined by available liquidity. Parents couldn’t send children that were studying abroad more than 5,000 euros a quarter. Cypriots traveling abroad could carry no more than 1,000 euros with them. Termination of fixed-term deposits was prohibited, while payments with credit and debit cards were capped at 5,000 euros. Checks couldn’t be cashed.
Since most Greeks do not want to have their money trapped in the banks, they have been pulling out cash and hiding it at home at a record breaking pace. This is precisely what we would expect to see when a nation is on the verge of total financial collapse…
“Everybody’s doing it,” said Joanna Christofosaki, in front of a Eurobank cash dispenser in the leafy Athens neighbourhood of Kolonaki. “Our friends have all done it. Nobody wants their money to be worthless tomorrow. Nobody wants to be unable to get at it.”
A researcher in the archaeology department at the Academy of Athens, Christofosaki said she knew plenty of people who had “€10,000 somewhere at home” and plenty of others who chose to keep their stash at the office. Was she among them? “If I was, I certainly wouldn’t tell you.”
As I wrote about yesterday, I believe that this is the beginning of the next great European financial crisis.
Eventually, it will spread all over the planet.
Unfortunately, even though global debt levels have never been higher and the signs of the coming financial implosion are all around us, most people have been lulled into a false sense of security.
Most people just assume that everything is going to turn out okay somehow.
The second half of this year is going to be much different from the first half, but most people will not be convinced until everything starts completely falling apart.
By then, it may be far too late to do anything about it.