There is so much confusion out there. On the days when the Dow goes down by several hundred points, lots of people pat me on the back and tell me that I “nailed” my call for the second half of this year. But on the days when the Dow goes up by several hundred points, I get lots of people contacting me and telling me that they are confused because they thought the stock market was supposed to go down. Well, the truth is that if there is going to be a full-blown market meltdown, we would expect for there to be wildly dramatic swings in the market both up and down. A perfect example of this is what we experienced during the financial crisis of 2008. 9 of the 20 largest single day declines in stock market history happened that year, but 9 of the 20 largest single day increases in stock market history also happened that year. If we are moving into another great financial crisis, there should be massive ups and massive downs, and that is precisely what we are witnessing right now.
On Tuesday, the Dow surged several hundred points. There was much celebrating in the mainstream media over this, but what they failed to realize was that this was another big red flag. And we saw this volatility carry over into Wednesday. The Dow was up 171 points early in the day before ending down 239 points.
By themselves, those two days don’t mean a whole lot. The key is to look at them in context. And in context, we have already witnessed the most dramatic stock market crash since the last financial crisis.
There will be more days when the stock market absolutely plummets and there will be more days when it absolutely soars. No stock market crash in U.S. history has ever gone in just one direction continually. There are always giant waves of momentum that cause panic selling and panic buying.
There is one thing that could change that. A major “black swan event” such as a historic natural disaster, an unprecedented terror attack, or the outbreak of war could potentially be enough to chase all of the buyers out of the marketplace. And considering the times that we are moving into, those things should not be ruled out.
But minus some type of event like that, we should expect lots of wild swings in both directions.
Over the past couple of years, I have repeatedly attempted to explain the general principle that markets tend to go up when they are calm and they tend to go down when they are volatile.
If you want the bull market to return, you should be rooting for lots of really, really boring days on Wall Street.
When things are boring, investors make money.
Days that are “exciting” are really bad for Wall Street. Investors like a world that is predictable, and when conditions start changing rapidly they get very, very nervous.
In the months ahead, trillions of dollars are going to be lost in stock markets all over the planet. Feel bad for the retirees and the hard working families that are going to get wiped out by this, but don’t feel bad for the banksters. They have been laughing it up while most of the country has been suffering during our ongoing economic decline. If you don’t believe me, just check out this YouTube clip.
A lot of people are going to be paralyzed during this time, because they won’t know what to do. They didn’t heed the warnings up until now, and they thought that they would be able to safely get out of the market when things started getting crazy. The big ups and big downs in the markets will confuse them, and the mainstream media will be telling them that everything is just fine.
If you have been waiting for the market to send you “warning signals”, then you can stop waiting because it is happening right in front of your eyes.
Now is not a time for fear. Personally, I seek to live my live in a constant state of peace without any fear even though I write about some very hard realities almost every day.
This is part of the reason why I so adamantly encourage people to prepare for what is ahead. Knowledge and preparation can help eliminate fear.
If you already know what is coming and you are already prepared for it, you won’t be freaking out like the rest of the general population will be when things start really going crazy.
I want to share something with you that Brandon Smith wrote recently…
Panic betrays and fear kills. The preparedness culture is built upon the ideal that one must defeat fear in order to live. How a person goes about removing uncertainty from the mind is really up to the individual. For me, combat training and mixed martial arts is a great tool. If you get used to people trying to hurt you in a ring, it’s not quite as surprising or terrifying when it happens in the real world. If you can handle physical and mental trauma in a slightly more controlled environment, then fear is less likely to take hold of you during a surprise disaster.
Six months may be enough time to enter a state of mental preparedness, it may not be, but more than anything else, this is what you should be focusing on. All other survival actions depend on it. Your ability to function personally, your ability to work with others, your ability to act when necessary, all rely on your removal of fear. Take the precious time you have now and ensure you are ready to handle whatever the future throws at you.
Life in America in the years ahead is going to look dramatically different from what life in America looks like right now.
Do you have some specific tips on getting prepared for what is coming that you would like to share with the rest of us? Please feel free to join the discussion by posting a comment below…
Those that watched their stocks steadily increase in value for years are now seeing all of that “wealth” disappear at a staggering pace. The only way you actually make money in the stock market is if you get out in time, and many Americans are discovering that all or most of their gains have already been wiped out. At this point, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has dipped below where it was at the end of the 2013 calendar year. That means that nearly two years of gains have already been obliterated. On Friday, the Dow was down another 272 points, and it is now down more than 2200 points from the peak of the market back in May. For months, I have been detailing how things were setting up for this kind of financial crash in textbook fashion, and now events are playing out just as I warned. But this is just the beginning – what is coming next is going to shock the world.
We have already seen the 8th largest and 10th largest single day stock market crashes in all of U.S. history happen within the past few weeks. In fact, it was actually the very first time that we have ever seen the Dow fall by more than 500 points on consecutive trading days.
On August 25th, I warned that there would be some huge rebound days where we would see lots of “panic buying”, and on August 26th we witnessed the 3rd largest single day stock market increase in all of U.S. history.
Headlines all over America trumpeted the “fact” that the stock market had “recovered”, but the mainstream media failed to mention that the only two better days for the stock market were right in the middle of the stock market crash of 2008.
In this article, I explained that this is exactly the type of market behavior that we expect to see during a full-blown market meltdown. There are going to be even more violent swings in the market in the weeks ahead, but the general direction will be down.
Friday was definitely another down day. The following is how Zero Hedge summarized the carnage…
- Dow Industrials lowest weekly close since April 2014
- Dow Transports lowest weekly close since May 2014
- S&P 500 lowest weekly close since Oct 2014’s Bullard lows
- Nikkei dumped over 7% this week – worst week since April 2014
- Utilities collapsed 5.1% this week – worst week since March 2009
- Financials lowest weekly close since Oct 2014’s Bullard lows
- Biotechs lowest weekly close since Feb 2015
- Investment Grade Corporate Bond Spreads worst since June 2013
- Treasury Curve (2s30s) flattened 6bps today – biggest drop in 2 weeks.
- JPY strengthened 2.4% on week against the USD – strongest week since August 2013 (up 4.5% in 3 weeks) – major carry unwind!
I wish I could tell you that things are going to get better, but I can’t do that. There are some giant financial bubbles that are starting to unwind, and this process is going to take time to fully unfold.
And this is truly a global phenomenon. Chinese stocks have been crashing horribly, Japanese stocks just had their worst week in over a year, Canada and much of South America are plunging into recession, and Europe is probably in worse shape than everyone else if you look at the fundamentals.
Even though U.S. stocks have already fallen substantially, the truth is that they easily have much farther to fall. Yale economics professor Robert Shiller believes that we could actually soon see the Dow plunge all the way to 11,000…
In what amounts to an ominous message for Wall Street, Robert Shiller, a Yale economics professor and author of Irrational Exuberance, doled out some serious bear talk this morning.
Shiller told CNBC Thursday morning that “this is a dangerous time” for the stock market.
Shiller, who has a reputation for calling market tops, warned that the Dow Jones industrial average, which closed Wednesday at 16,351, could fall as low as 11,000, a potential drop of more than 30% from current levels.
At the moment, the Dow is sitting just above 16,000, which is an exceedingly important psychological level.
If the Dow breaks below 16,000 and stays there for a few days, it is quite likely that full-blown panic will set in.
And once we see the Dow dip below 15,000, people will be going insane.
Another key indicator to watch is the VIX (the CBOE Volatility Index). If you are not familiar with the VIX, here is a pretty good definition from Investopedia…
The ticker symbol for the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index, which shows the market’s expectation of 30-day volatility. It is constructed using the implied volatilities of a wide range of S&P 500 index options. This volatility is meant to be forward looking and is calculated from both calls and puts. The VIX is a widely used measure of market risk and is often referred to as the “investor fear gauge.”
Right now it is sitting at 27.80. If the VIX rises above 40 and stays there, that will be a major red flag.
We have entered “the danger zone“, and events are going to start moving very rapidly now. If you have been listening to the warnings, you are going to understand why things are happening and you are going to know what to do.
Unfortunately, most people are going to have that “deer in the headlights” look because they will not understand what is happening and they will be frozen by fear.
Stay tuned to this website and to End Of The American Dream because things are about to get very weird and I will do my best to explain them as the coming weeks and months play out.
So what do you think the rest of September will bring?
Please feel free to join the discussion by posting a comment below…
After enduring their worst August in 17 years, U.S. stocks are off to their worst start to a September in 13 years. Just yesterday, I declared that we would be entering the “danger zone” this month, and it didn’t take long for the action to begin. Historically, this month is the worst month of the year for stocks, and most of the biggest stock market crashes throughout our history have come in the fall. On Tuesday, the Dow plunged another 469 points, and it is now down more than 10 percent from the peak of the market back in May. That means that we have officially entered “correction” territory. Asian stocks also crashed hard on Tuesday, so did European stocks, and the price of oil plummeted about 8 percent. For a long time, there have been a lot of people out there that have been warning that a financial crisis would happen in the second half of 2015, and they are being proven right. It is actually happening.
Of course there will be plenty of ups and downs still to come. I cannot emphasize enough that we should fully expect waves of panic selling and waves of panic buying. This always happens during any market crash.
For instance, just consider what happened when the tech bubble crashed. The following analysis comes from Graham Summers…
In a six month period, investors moved stocks down 19%, up 8%, then down 27%, then up 21%, then down 22%, then up 34%, then down 17%, then up 16%, then down 28%, then up 16%, and finally down 17%. Only at that point did stocks break their trendline for the bubble (the blue line) and it became obvious that the bubble had burst.
My point with all of this is that even when the bubble was both very specific AND obvious, the collapse was neither quick nor clean. There were several large 20%+ crashes, but overall, it was a roller coaster with jarring rallies that gradually wore its way down.
It was a full-blown market collapse, and yet there were moments when the market absolutely skyrocketed.
The same thing happened in 2008. In fact, the best two days in stock market history were right in the middle of the last financial crisis.
So don’t be fooled by what happens on any one particular day. Huge up days and huge down days are both red flags.
If the market is going to recover any time soon, what we need are nice quiet days without much volatility. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen any time soon because a tremendous amount of damage has already been done and some massive imbalances have already developed. I like how Richard Smith put it recently…
Serious damage has been done to the financial markets in the past two weeks – very serious. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
No one should be kidding themselves that what’s happened in the past two weeks is just a little late summer blip – building up some energy to rally into the fall and winter. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen but it isn’t the odds play.
Everywhere I look, technical damage has been done – and it’s like nothing we’ve seen since 2008.
Yes, the mainstream media is telling everyone that they shouldn’t panic and that everything will be just fine, but those that study the charts for a living know what is really happening. For months, I have been telling you over and over that things were setting up in textbook fashion for another financial crisis, and other experts have been seeing the exact same things that I have been seeing. For example, just consider what Louise Yamada told CNBC…
Looking at a chart of the S&P 500, Louise Yamada noted that momentum has been declining for four months, which by her work, is a “classic” sell signal.
“This is suggesting to me that we are looking at a bear market,” said Yamada said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Futures Now.” Yamada noted that the last two times the market saw a similar shift in momentum were in January 2008 and June 2000.
Right now, a lot of people are very confused about what to do. Those that told them to buy stocks in the first place are telling them to buy even more stocks. And of course the mainstream media is telling them that everything is going to be just wonderful after this “correction” runs its course. But at the same time a lot of people have a gut feeling that things are about to get really bad.
Personally, I think that what John Hussman shared in his recent newsletter contains a lot of wisdom…
“If you’re taking more equity risk than you can actually tolerate if the market goes south, setting your portfolio right isn’t a market call – it’s just sound financial planning. It’s only fun to be reckless if you also turn out to be lucky. Market conditions are now more hostile than at any time since the 2007 peak. If you want to be speculating, and you can tolerate the outcome, then you’re not taking too much equity risk in the first place. But it’s one or the other. Can you tolerate a 40-55% market loss over the next 18 months or so? If not, take this opportunity to set things right. That’s not the worst-case scenario under present conditions; it’s actually the run-of-the-mill historical expectation.”
I also want to point out that we are now less than two weeks away from the end of the Shemitah year.
If you are still not familiar with the concept of the Shemitah year, please see my previous article entitled “The Shemitah: The Biblical Pattern Which Indicates That A Financial Collapse May Be Coming In 2015“.
Even though the stock market crashed in September 2001 at the end of a Shemitah year, and in September 2008 at the end of another Shemitah year, and it is crashing again in September 2015, somehow there are still people out there that do not think that this is real.
Well, I am here to tell you that this is very real. But if you won’t listen to me, perhaps you will consider the findings of Israeli mathematician Thomas Pound. The following comes from an outstanding piece that was just published by WND…
After a friend told him about the seven-year Sabbatical cycle to the stock market, Pound again set out to see if the theory held up under statistical scrutiny.
Applying the same ANOVA test to the Shemitah cycle, Pound’s research revealed that the sabbatical years were the only group of years in which the market cycle averages consistent significant losses since 1871.
He also found that, in Shemitah years, the difference in loss was greater than that noted in professor Shiller’s decennial cycle.
“Statistically, it appears that the calendar years in which the Sabbatical year ends are worse than the other six years, and that difference is significant based on the data I have,” Pound told Breaking Israel News.
Look, I know that this may not fit with how you currently view the world.
The truth is that a whole bunch of weird stuff is about to happen that may not fit with how you currently view the world.
But if you honestly want to discover the truth, then you have got to go wherever the evidence ultimately leads you.
So what do you think about all of this? Please feel free to join the discussion by posting a comment below…
Is September 2015 going to be one of the most important months in modern American history? When I issued my first ever “red alert” for the last six months of 2015 back in June, I was particularly concerned with the months of September through December, and not just for economic reasons. All of the intel that I have received is absolutely screaming that big trouble is ahead. So enjoy these last few days of relative peace and quiet. I mean that sincerely. In fact, that is exactly what I have been doing – over the past week I have not posted many articles because I was spending time with family, friends and preparing for the national call to prayer on September 18th and 19th. But now as we enter the chaotic month of September 2015 I have a feeling that there is going to be plenty for me to write about.
At this time last month, I declared that we were entering “the pivotal month of August 2015“, and that is exactly what it turned out to be. August was the worst month overall for stocks in three years, and it was the worst month of August for U.S. financial markets in 17 years.
Throughout history, there have only been 11 times when the S&P 500 has declined by more than five percent during the month of August. When that has happened, the stock market has almost always fallen in September as well…
September is the only month in which the S&P 500 fell more frequently than it rose. What’s more, in the 11 times that the S&P 500 fell by more than 5 percent in August, it declined in 80 percent of the subsequent Septembers, and fell an average of nearly 4 percent.
Last week, there was a rally after the initial crash. I warned that this would happen in advance, and we have seen a similar pattern play out during almost every market collapse throughout history. The following comes from John Hussman…
As I noted early this year (see A Better Lesson than “This Time Is Different”), market crashes “have tended to unfold after the market has already lost 10-14% and the recovery from that low fails.” Prior pre-crash bounces have generally been in the 6-7% range, which is what we observed last week, so I certainly don’t see that bounce as having removed any of our concerns. We remain extremely alert to the prospect for much more extended market losses.
So how far could stocks eventually fall?
Hussman is projecting that we could ultimately see the market decline by more than 50 percent…
We fully expect a 40-55% market loss over the completion of the present market cycle. Such a loss would only bring valuations to levels that have been historically run-of-the-mill.
One thing that could accelerate stock market losses this time around is the fact that people have been borrowing lots and lots of money to buy stocks. That works when the stock market just keeps going up, but once the market turns the margin calls can lead to panic selling on a massive scale. The following comes from a recent piece by Wolf Richter in which he describes some of the chaos that we have already been witnessing…
Energy stocks and bonds crashed, even those of some large companies like Chesapeake. Some have reached zero. All kinds of other stocks and bonds have gotten eviscerated over the past few months, even tech darlings like Twitter or biotech giant Biogen. Portfolios with a focus on the wrong momentum stocks took a very serious hit.
And margin calls went out. The Journal:
Some lenders, including Bank of America Corp., are issuing margin calls to clients after the global market drubbing of the past week, forcing investors to choose between either putting up more money or selling some of the securities underlying the loans.
Other banks too sent out margin calls, including U.S. Trust, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo, according to the Journal. With margin calls mucking up the scenario, spooked investors are trying to lower their leverage before they’re forced to, and the boom in securities-based lending appears to be over. And the wealth units of the banks that gorged on these loans are likely to see their profits dented.
If that continues, a much crummier thing happens: margin balances reverse. And the last two times they did after a majestic record-breaking spike, the stock market crashed.
For some more technical reasons why another wave to the downside is coming, see an excellent article entitled “RED ALERT for 2nd CRASH DOWNWAVE…” by Clive P. Maund that you can find right here.
In addition to the chaos in the financial world, we are also witnessing a convergence of events during the month of September that is pretty much unprecedented. I know that I have never seen anything quite like it in my lifetime.
Recently, I put together a list of 33 events that we know will happen next month, and you can find that list right here. Instead of repeating the entire article, I just want to highlight a few items from the list…
September 13 – The last day of the Shemitah year. During the last two Shemitah cycles, we witnessed record-breaking stock market crashes on the very last day of the Shemitah year (Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar). For example, if you go back to September 17th, 2001 (which was Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar), we witnessed the greatest one day stock market crash in all of U.S. history up until that time. The Dow plunged 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 plummeted 777 points, which still today remains the greatest one day stock market crash of all time in the United States. Now we are in another Shemitah year. It began in the fall of 2014, and it ends on September 13th, 2015.
September 15 – The 70th session of the UN General Assembly begins on this date. It has been widely reported that France plans to introduce a resolution which will give formal UN Security Council recognition to a Palestinian state shortly after the new session begins. Up until now, the U.S. has always been the one blocking such a resolution, but Barack Obama has already indicated that things may be different this time around. It would be extremely difficult to overstate the significance of this.
September 25 to September 27 – The United Nations launches a brand new “universal agenda” for humanity known as “the 2030 Agenda“.
September 28 – 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 will be a “supermoon” and it will be clearly visible from the city of Jerusalem.
If you don’t know what a “supermoon” is, the following is a pretty good summary of what we should expect to see…
On the night of 27 to 28 September, the Moon is closest to us at 2.46am, only an hour before it’s full. As a result, this supermoon will appear 14 percent bigger in the sky than the Moon at its most distant and smallest, and it should be 30 percent brighter. The Moon will certainly look unusually big and brilliant around 2am. But at 2.07am you’ll see a small chunk being nibbled out of its brilliant disc by the Earth’s shadow. Sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness, the Moon is totally eclipsed by 3.11am. It remains completely in the shadow of the Earth until 4.23am, when the full Moon gradually begins to emerge.
There has been lots and lots of speculation about other events that could take place during the month of September, but as of right now I cannot prove that any of them will actually happen.
But that doesn’t mean that I’m not watching.
If it sounds ominous to you when I say that we are “entering the danger zone” during the month of September, that is good, because that is precisely the tone that I am attempting to convey.
When things start completely falling apart in this nation, millions upon millions of Americans will complain that nobody warned them in advance about what was coming.
Well, I am warning you right now.
What has been happening on Wall Street the past few days has been nothing short of stunning. On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 358 points. It was the largest single day decline in a year and a half, and investors are starting to panic. Overall, the Dow is now down more than 1300 points from the peak of the market. Just yesterday, I wrote about all of the experts that are warning about a stock market crash in 2015, and after today I am sure that a lot more people will start jumping on the bandwagon. In particular, tech stocks are getting absolutely hammered lately. The Nasdaq has fallen close to 3.5% over the past two days alone, and it has dropped below its 200-day moving average. The Russell 2000 (a small-cap stock market index) is also now trading below its 200-day moving average. What all of this means is that the stock market crash of 2015 has already begun. The only question left to answer at this point is how bad it will ultimately turn out to be.
When stocks were booming, tech stocks were leading the way up.
But now that the market has turned, tech stocks are starting to lead the way down…
The Dow and the S&P 500 are negative for the year. The so-called “FANG” stocks – Facebook, Apple, Netflix, and Google – were some of the biggest losers, and helped send the Nasdaq more than 2% lower. Biotechs also suffered big losses; the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF fell 4% to a three-month low. The Vix, which gauges market expectations for near-term shifts in the S&P 500, surged more than 21%.
And Twitter is absolutely imploding. It has fallen below its IPO price, and at this point it is now down 65 percent from the peak.
Of course it was inevitable that Twitter and these tech stocks would start falling eventually. I specifically warned my readers about Twitter’s stock price nearly two years ago. I hope people listened to what I was saying and got out in time.
This current market crash is happening in the context of a full-blown global financial meltdown. Stock markets all over the planet are collapsing, and currencies are being devalued left and right. The following comes from a recent piece by Wolf Richter…
Hot money is already fleeing emerging markets. Higher rates in the US will drain more capital out of countries that need it the most. It will pressure emerging market currencies and further increase the likelihood of a debt crisis in countries whose governments, banks, and corporations borrow in a currency other than their own.
This scenario would be bad enough for the emerging economies. But now China has devalued the yuan to stimulate its exports and thus its economy at the expense of others. And one thing has become clear on Wednesday: these struggling economies that compete with China are going to protect their exports against Chinese encroachment.
Hence a currency war.
Two more major shots in the currency war were fired on Thursday by Kazakhstan and Vietnam…
Hit by sharp declines in crude prices, the oil-producing nation of Kazakhstan introduced a freely floating exchange rate for the tenge, which subsequently lost more than a quarter of its value.
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) devalued the dong (VND) by 1 percent against the dollar on Wednesday—its third adjustment so far this year—and simultaneously widened the trading band to 3 percent from 2 percent previously, the second increase in six days.
A quarter of its value?
Now that is a devaluation.
In the coming days, we are likely to see even more emerging markets devalue their currencies in a global “race to the bottom”. But this “race to the bottom” presents a great danger to financial markets. As I have written about previously, there are 74 trillion dollars in derivatives globally that are tied to the value of currencies. As foreign exchange rates start flying around all over the place, there are going to be financial institutions out there that are going to be losing obscene amounts of money.
I cannot say the “d word” enough. Derivatives are going to play a starring role during this financial collapse, and so that is a word that you will want to be listening for very carefully in the weeks and months to come.
The meltdown that has already been affecting much of the rest of the planet is now starting to affect us. And it was inevitable that it would. I like how Clive P. Maund put it recently…
Many lesser markets around the world are toppling, but somehow the big Western markets of Europe, Japan and the US are staying aloft. If you have ever made a sand castle on the beach and watched what happened when the tide comes in, you will recall that it is the weaker outer ramparts and smaller turrets that collapse first, and the big central towers that hold out the longest. The weaker outer ramparts and smaller turrets are the Emerging Markets which are already crumbling, and it won’t be long until the big central towers – the big Western Markets, go the same way – everything is pointing to it.
The funny thing is that even though all of the signs are pointing to a nightmarish global financial crisis, the mainstream media continues to insist that everything is going to be just fine.
In fact, CNBC says that the recent dip in stock prices is a “bull indicator” and they are encouraging everyone to pour lots more money into stocks.
But of course the truth is that what financial conditions are really telling us is that stocks have much, much farther to fall.
For instance, high yield credit is starting to crash just like it did prior to the stock market crash of 2008. Stocks and high yield credit usually tend to track one another quite closely, and so when there is a divergence that is a huge red flag. And as this chart from Zero Hedge demonstrates, a very large divergence has developed in recent months…
Sadly, the 358 point plunge for the Dow on Thursday was just the beginning.
Yes, there will be up days and down days, but we are now officially entering the “danger zone” as we roll into the months of September and October.
So will 2015 soon be mentioned along with the famous market crashes of 1929, 1987, 2001 and 2008?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…
Yields on the riskiest junk bonds are absolutely soaring and the price of copper just hit a fresh six year low. To most people, those pieces of financial news are meaningless. But if you understand history, and you are aware of the patterns that immediately preceded previous stock market crashes, then you know how how huge both of those signs are. During the summer of 2008, junk bond prices absolutely cratered as junk bond yields skyrocketed. This was a very clear signal that financial markets were about to crash, and sure enough a couple of months later it happened. Now the exact same thing is happening again. The following comes from a Wall Street On Parade article that was posted on Tuesday entitled “Keep Your Eye on Junk Bonds: They’re Starting to Behave Like ‘08“…
According to data from Bloomberg, corporations have issued a stunning $9.3 trillion in bonds since the beginning of 2009. The major beneficiary of this debt binge has been the stock market rather than investment in modernizing the plant, equipment or new hires to make the company more competitive for the future. Bond proceeds frequently ended up buying back shares or boosting dividends, thus elevating the stock market on the back of heavier debt levels on corporate balance sheets.
Now, with commodity prices resuming their plunge and currency wars spreading, concerns of financial contagion are back in the markets and spreads on corporate bonds versus safer, more liquid instruments like U.S. Treasury notes, are widening in a fashion similar to the warning signs heading into the 2008 crash. The $2.2 trillion junk bond market (high-yield) as well as the investment grade market have seen spreads widen as outflows from Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and bond funds pick up steam.
And right now we are seeing the most volatility in the junkiest of the junk bonds.
The following comes from Wolf Richter, and my jaw just about dropped to the floor when I first saw this…
This chart of yields at the riskiest end of the junk bond market – bonds rated CCC and below – shows what happened. These bonds have been selling off over the past 12 months, with exception of the sucker rally earlier this year, and their yields more than doubled from less than 7.9% in June a year ago to 16.2% by Thursday evening. And Thursday was a massacre:
On Thursday, yields jumped 2.6 percentage points, from 13.58% to 16.18%, as these junk bonds plunged. Those kinds of single-day vertigo-inducing sell-offs are rare in normal times, and there haven’t been any since the Financial Crisis.
Amazingly, the Federal Reserve is actually thinking about raising interest rates in this environment.
If that sounds like a really bad idea to you, that is because it is a really bad idea.
Raising interest rates would just add fuel to the fire of this junk bond rout. DoubleLine Capital’s co-founder Jeffrey Gundlach agrees with me…
“To raise interest rates when junk bonds are nearly at a four-year low is a bad idea,” Gundlach said in a telephone interview.
Gundlach, widely followed for his prescient investment calls, said if the Fed begins raising interest rates in September, “it opens the lid on Pandora’s Box of a tightening cycle.”
Gundlach said the selling pressure in copper and commodity prices driven by worries over China’s growth outlook “should be a huge concern. It is the second-biggest economy in the world.”
Meanwhile, as Gundlach mentioned, the price of copper continues to plunge.
On Tuesday, it set a brand new six year low. It is now the lowest that it has been since the days of the last financial crisis.
And as you can see from this excerpt from a recent Investment Research Dynamics article, the price of copper started crashing before the stock market crash of 2008…
I wanted to keep this simple and just look at what is considered perhaps the best barometer of global economic activity:
You’ll note that the price of copper is headed lower and is back to the price level where it was in the middle of 2008, right before the great financial collapse. You’ll note that $3.6 trillion in Federal Reserve money printing – on top of trillions in Bank of Japan, ECB and People’s Bank of China money printing – has not been able to keep the price of copper from crashing again.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, the global financial system is in real trouble.
Another sign that rough waters are ahead is the fact that global shipping has fallen into a dramatic slump. The following comes from the Telegraph…
World shipping has fallen into a deep slump over the late summer, dashing hopes of a quick recovery from the global trade recession earlier this year and heightening fears that the six-year economic expansion may be on its last legs.
Freight rates for container shipping from Asia to Europe fell by over 20pc in the second week of August, even though trade volumes should be picking up at this time of the year. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) for routes to north European ports crashed by 23pc in five trading days.
Global economic activity is clearly slowing down, and there are 23 nations around the planet that are already experiencing stock market crashes.
The financial markets of the western world have not totally crashed just yet, but they are more leveraged and more vulnerable than ever. The following comes from Zero Hedge…
- The REAL problem for the financial system is the bond bubble. In 2008 when the crisis hit it was $80 trillion. It has since grown to over $100 trillion.
- The derivatives market that uses this bond bubble as collateral is over $555 trillion in size.
- Many of the large multinational corporations, sovereign governments, and even municipalities have used derivatives to fake earnings and hide debt. NO ONE knows to what degree this has been the case, but given that 20% of corporate CFOs have admitted to faking earnings in the past, it’s likely a significant amount.
- Corporations today are more leveraged than they were in 2007. As Stanley Druckenmiller noted recently, in 2007 corporate bonds were $3.5 trillion… today they are $7 trillion: an amount equal to nearly 50% of US GDP.
- The Central Banks are now all leveraged at levels greater than or equal to where Lehman Brothers was when it imploded. The Fed is leveraged at 78 to 1. The ECB is leveraged at over 26 to 1. Lehman Brothers was leveraged at 30 to 1.
- The Central Banks have no idea how to exit their strategies. Fed minutes released from 2009 show Janet Yellen was worried about how to exit when the Fed’s balance sheet was $1.3 trillion (back in 2009). Today it’s over $4.5 trillion.
As I explained during a recent interview with Kate Dalley of Fox News radio, what is coming should be obvious to anyone that is willing to look at the numbers honestly.
The global financial system is going to crash.
Yes, this crisis is going to take years to fully play out, but by the time it is all said and done it is going to be much worse than what we experienced back in 2008 and 2009.
So buckle up tight and hold on for your life, because we are in for one wild ride.