We have seen a hefty relief rally but does Another Leg Down loom? For those who are Wealth Maximizer Pro members, you have caught the nice profitable rally, contratulations.
I am seeing some “disturbing” signs that the market is very close to re-testing the lows that we previously have made, or, will it form another leg down loom?.
At the very least, it is 98% certain we will come to test the lows around 2250 at any moment in time. It is possible that we have another final leg down, and I believe that we likely will.
It is important for you to remain patient instead of panic buying and falling into bull trap.
During this last leg down, simultaneously, Goldand Silverwill likely sell-off for liquidity reasons. People are now and will continue to liquidate their hidden savings.
Here’s why we know that the last leg down is coming:
The VIXremains incredibly elevated (60+) despite big pops in the markets and has not subsided. This tells you another sell-off is looming. Whats more, it’s supported by many other technical and fundamental factors.
For the market to continue up and ignore these factors would be unprecedented.
As always, the Democrats just can’t stand the fact that Trump might take credit for helping people and have blocked and relief package. Democrats claimed in true Marxist fashion in the Senate that the GOP’s push to set aside $425 billion for loans to help select companies and industries, dubbing it a “slush fund” for the Treasury to direct as it sees fit. They said the bill is tilted toward corporations instead of working people. What they fail to even address is that those working people rely upon small businesses the Democrats hate so much which provides 70% of their employment.
Small businesses have been ordered to close down. They cannot pay employees and nobody has suspended their rents. The destruction of small businesses will be devastating to the economy and this is all about playing politics. I am saddened.
The closing for March, if down from last Friday may spark more serious liquidation as Hedge Funds dump everything and some may more to suspend withdrawals as is taking place in European bond funds. The Solus Alternative Asset Management LP, Hedge Fund, known for its investment in retail chain Toys “R” Us, informed its investors that it is shutting its flagship fund and will restrict redemption’s as it works to sell off holdings.
Even Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway may have lost more than $70 billion on its 10 biggest investments. This type of decline shows that the buy-and-hold strategy fails in a serious market correction. Ray Dalio, who will go down in history for his proclamation that “cash is trash” on January 21, 2020, has lost probably more than $4 trillion in Bridgewater.
Where the 2007-2009 Crash took out Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, this time we will see Hedge Funds go down in flames. This undermines liquidity and makes the market vulnerable because market-makers pull back just to survive.
We are headed into a Global Recession which could become even worse than the Great Depression. Here’s why?
This time we have politicians taking advice from the medical industry. The medical people who do not understand that you cannot shut down the economy on this grand scale because of the devastation is insurmountable to people, their jobs, and wiping out their pensions. This economic shut down on such a massive scale is far worse than if the Corona death toll was even 8%.
Never before has the economy been crashing with such speed for this is orchestrated by people who only look at how diseases spread and not how the economy contracts.
Yes, it is true that if we all stayed home we can even beat the common cold. But the post-coronavirus world is going to be far more damaging to the future than any of these people understand.
To have the Democrats playing politics in the middle of the is just insane.
Liquidity is collapsing everywhere. Bank failures rose after the 1929 crash because liquidity failure with a declining velocity = less money with even less money moving around the economy = recession and potential depression.
A monthly closing on Oil below $20.50 will warn of the economic recession ahead as people stay home and this command of quarantine and social distancing may undermine the very cooperation which is the foundation of civilization.
If people are afraid to interact and suspect everyone, that is precisely the atmosphere created by Stalin during the Communist era. We are voluntarily limiting and quickly losing all rights including the freedom of assembly. Even Twitter has shut down those who dissent against the coronavirus and this is calling into question our freedom of speech as well.
InterAnalyst will help guide everyone out of this time of insecurity and political misdirection via selfish ignorance.
Look at the chart below:
Finding The Bottom
As the markets find the bottom, it will be laced with volatility and insecurity with the media frightening you to the point of insecurity. this is not done for YOU as an InterAnalyst member. It is done for those Buy and Holders who never exited at the top and now have been scared into submission.
However, as an InterAnalyst member, you recognize that it likely will become the best entry point of your life! Yes, insecurity will be there but you know the stock market is going nowhere!
The stock market never lies and it always returns when there is “blood in the street” and the bottom arrives.
Thus, follow the guideline to a risky to safe entry back into the coming slingshot move.
Step One: Wealth Maximizer Pro (Daily Charts)
When the Daily chart delivers a green signal, jump for joy, then choose to enter a position or wait to see if the daily signal is holding for a few days for stability. If we are at or close to a bottom, volatility will be very high so prepare for it if you choose to trade it.
Step Two: Wealth Maximizer (Weekly Charts)
When the Daily is followed by a Weekly green signal you know that the economy is attempting to settle and gain strength.
You should begin to feel a bit more secure. Entering a bullish position here is a bit less risky because the weekly signal has some economic strength attached rather than pure daily volatility. You can even wait another week to see if it develops more strength.
Step Three: The Wealth Preserver (Monthly Charts)
Once the Green signal has elevated from the Daily to the Weekly and the Weekly has moved into a second or third week of a bullish trend, you may select to beat the green monthly Wealth Preserver signal by entering a bullish position before month end.
If you look at The Wealth Preserver chart above, ask yourself whether you remember the days or weeks Just prior to the bottom green signals in 2003 and 2008? NOPE, right. You don’t remember them, but what you would have remembered is getting in after preserving your money at the prior top, before the full devastating decline those bear markets delivered.
The same is true now.
So, the bottom is going to come. You must be patient, it will arrive, it always does!
Enter in when you feel most comfortable, but recognize that the Wealth Preserver has proven to be deadly accurate at economic turning points.
The phrase to be true: “Better Safe, than Sorry!”
Obviously, entry at any point has its risks, but as you look closely at The Wealth Preserver chart above, making a move using the monthly charts is rarely a poor decision…ESPECIALLY OFF THE BOTTOM.
As I mentioned in yesterdays Bull & Bear Blog post, there was a gap to fill below yesterdays close. Today, traders put in their best efforts to close the gap, but failed to do so as you see in the chart below.
Now that it is likely to break through and fill the gap, whats next? The indexes like to break significant corrections into 3 phases with 2 rallies before they bottom. So, lets take a look at one example of this that could repeat now.
The image below is from the most recent correction in 2018:
That drop lasted from October – December and bounced back in January. Usually corrections of significance take back roughly -20% from the top and are not considered bear markets.
So as we can see in the top image, we have take only 9% from the top in relative terms, 11% less than in 2018.
Nonetheless, we now live in 2020 and our run up to this correction was long and strong, so we are giving back some right now with the help of the Corona-virus. Unlike 2018 this may not bounce back quite as quick because the virus is spreading still.
Because our Wealth Preserver signals have been so accurate at protecting against serious Bear Markets and sideways consolidating markets lets take a look at our famous question…
“If today were the last day of the month, what would be the likely signal for the S&P500, Nasdaq, Dow, and Russell 2000?”
Lost in the media’s obsession with the impeachment circus last week was Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony on the state of the economy before the Joint Economic Committee. In his testimony, Chairman Powell warned that when the next recession inevitably occurs, the US Government’s over $23 trillion debt would prevent Congress from increasing spending to revive the economy.
Powell also said that the Fed’s current low interest rate policies would prevent the Fed from using its traditional methods of increasing the money supply and further lowering interest rates to jump-start economic growth in a recession. Hopefully, Powell is correct that when the next recession hits the Federal Reserve and Congress will be unable to “stimulate” the economy with cheap money and new spending.
Interest rates are the price of money and, as with all prices, government manipulation of interest rates distorts the signals regarding market conditions. Artificially low interest rates lead to malinvestment and the creation of bubbles. Recessions are a painful but necessary correction that allows the economy to cleanse itself of these distortions. When the Federal Reserve and Congress try to stimulate the economy, they introduce new distortions, making it impossible for the economy to heal itself. Fiscal and monetary stimulus may temporally create the illusions of prosperity, but in reality they merely create another bubble that will eventually burst starting the boom-and-bust cycle all over again. So, the best thing Congress and the Federal Reserve can do to help the economy recover from a recession is nothing.
Powell is the latest Federal Reserve Chair to warn of the dangers of government debt, which is ironic since the Federal Reserve is the great enabler of deficit spending. Government manipulation of the value of money allows politicians to hide the true costs of their warfare and welfare. This is why throughout history governments have sought the power to dictate what is and is not money and determine the value of the monetary unit. Today’s central bankers are the heirs of the medieval kings who shaved off the edges of gold coins, then ordered the people to pretend that shaved coins were just as valuable as unsaved coins.
Instead of shaving gold coins, today’s central bankers facilitate the growth of government by purchasing government securities in order to keep interest rates – and thus the government’s borrowing costs – low. The Federal Reserve’s interventions enable the expansion of government well beyond what would be politically palatable if politicians had to finance the entire welfare-warfare state through direct taxation or borrowing at market interest rates, which would increase interest rates for private sector borrowers, lower growth, and increase unemployment.
Since the creation of the Federal Reserve, the US dollar has lost over 96 percent of its value.
So, when the federal reserve was established, had you bought once ounce of gold it would have cost $20.47. Your $20.47 today would buy you 15 loaves of white lunch bread at the discount store. But your gold would buy you more than 1,300 loaves of bread at that same discount store. The value of a Dollar is down 96%!
The World Trade Organization (WTO) published a new report Monday that warns global merchandise trade in goods will plunge through this quarter amid no resolution to the trade war, along with the continuation of a worldwide synchronized slowdown that shows no signs of abating in the near term.
The deceleration of slowing global growth was attributed to “increased tariffs, Brexit-related uncertainty, and the shifting monetary policy stance in developed economies,” WTO analysts said.
Year-on-year growth in world merchandise trade volume has stalled in recent quarters, as new evidence shows a decline could be seen in early 2020.
Airfreight, electronic components, and raw materials “have all deteriorated further below trend,” the report showed.
“Indices for export orders (97.5), automotive products (99.8), and container shipping (100.8) have firmed up into on-trend territory. However, the indices for international air freight (93.0), electronic components (88.2), and raw materials (91.4) have all deteriorated further below trend. Electronic components trade was weakest of all, possibly reflecting recent tariff hikes affecting the sector.”
Unfortunately, World trade is sinking quickly into year-end. In fact, the Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index has just tagged a 4-1/2 month low on sluggish vessel demand. Not good.
While the global economy implodes, a rally in global risk assets continues to push US equities to new highs. This is due to central banks pumping a tsunami of liquidity into stocks, in the attempt to save the world from a global trade recession that could be around the corner, if not already here.
I have been explaining over the last several months in our Members Blog that our members are fortunate and to stay close to their signals because of what is arising domestically and internationally. We are closely monitoring capital flows to and from the USA as knowing this well help us deliver a signals to grow and protect your your portfolio and retirement account from the coming crash.
After a month of constant verbal gymnastics (and diarrhea from financial pundit sycophants who can’t think creatively or originally and merely parrot their echo chamber in hopes of likes/retweets) by the Fed that the recent launch of $60 billion in T-Bill purchases is anything but QE (whatever you do, don’t call it “QE 4”, just call it “NOT QE” please), one bank finally had the guts to say what was so obvious to anyone who isn’t challenged by simple logic: the Fed’s “NOT QE” is really “QE.”
In a note warning that the Fed’s latest purchase program – whether one calls it QE or NOT QE – will have big, potentially catastrophic costs, Bank of America’s Ralph Axel writes that in the aftermath of the Fed’s new program of T-bill purchases to increase the amount of reserves in the banking system, the Fed made an effort to repeatedly inform markets that this is not a new round of quantitative easing, and yet as the BofA strategist notes, “in important ways it is similar.”
But is it QE? Well, in his October FOMC press conference, Fed Chair Powell said “our T-bill purchases should not be confused with the large-scale asset purchase program that we deployed after the financial crisis. In contrast, purchasing Tbills should not materially affect demand and supply for longer-term securities or financial conditions more broadly.” Chair Powell gives a succinct definition of QE as having two basic elements: (1) supporting longer-term security prices, and (2) easing financial conditions.
Here’s the problem: as we have said since the beginning, and as Bank of America now writes, “the Fed’s T-bill purchase program delivers on both fronts and is therefore similar to QE,” with one exception – the element of forward guidance.
The upshot to this attempt to mislead the market what it is doing according to Bank of America, is that:
the Fed is continuing to “ease” even though rate cuts are now on hold, which is supportive of growth, higher interest rates and higher equities, and
the Fed is loosening financial conditions by increasing the availability of, and lowering the cost of, leverage, which broadly supports asset prices potentially at the cost of increasing systemic financial risk.
Putting the Fed’s “NOT QE” in context: so far the Fed has purchased $66bn of Tbills and may purchase $60bn per month through June 2020, which could result in an increase in the Fed’s Treasury holdings by about $500bn.
While we have repeatedly written in the past why we think the Fed’s latest asset purchase program is, in fact, QE, below we present BofA’s argument why we are right.
As Axel writes, there are two basic mechanisms how T-Bill purchases support longer-term security prices: the increase in cash assets and deposit liabilities on bank balance sheets, and the reduction of funding risk for leveraged buyers of Treasuries, MBS and other financed securities.
For those who have forgotten how the “asset reflation” pathway works, recall that the Fed either buys T-bills from investors such as money market funds, or from primary dealers who do not hold T-bills, but can buy them at auction to sell to the Fed. Buying from investors converts their T-bill holdings into new Fed cash, which in turn winds up on deposit in the banking system. If instead a primary dealer buys a Tbill at auction and sells it to the Fed, the transaction results in new Fed cash placed in the Treasury’s cash account, while the dealer balance sheet is unchanged, and the banking system balance is also unchanged. But once the Treasury spends the new Fed cash on a social security payment or a medical insurance bill, etc, the cash enters the banking system and increases the aggregate balance sheet of banks.
Either way, bank balance sheets expand and banks will need to (1) hold more HQLA (high quality liquid assets) against those deposits, and (2) put some of their new cash to work in longer-term securities such as mortgage-backed securities (or even stocks)? Although banks can be flexible in how they deploy the new cash, it is likely that a portion of it will go into bonds similar to what banks already hold (currently $1.8TN in MBS securities and $770bn in Treasuries, according to Fed H.8 data). And once bonds are bid, other investors have no choice but to reach for even riskier securities, such as stocks.
Meanwhile, while the Fed does not directly lend to leveraged investors, some of the increased cash on hand at banks will likely go into repo markets to fund overnight loans to potential buyers of long-term securities in Treasuries and mortgages. This, as BofA explains, is how the increase in reserves is designed to calm repo markets. The amount of bank lending in repo has increased by about 50% since the end of 2017.
Focusing just on the increasingly more important repo channel, which is one ingredient within overall financial conditions, is becoming more important as reliance on overnight funding and leverage continues to rise. This is because, as BofA shows in its “chart of the day”, while banks and security brokers have greatly reduced reliance on overnight funding as a result of Dodd-Frank, the rest of the market has approximately doubled its reliance on overnight funding since the 2008 crisis.
And while one can argue that the proper metric is repo funding as a percentage of Treasuries and MBS outstanding, the bigger picture is that if repo markets stopped functioning today, the amount of Treasury and MBS securities held outside of banks-dealers requiring liquidation (for lack of funding) would be about twice as large as 2008, and as BofA warns, “with today’s surprisingly low levels of liquidity in the “liquid markets” the impact could be massive.” In this context, BofA views the Fed’s purchase program as integral to the promotion of easy financial conditions and supportive of asset prices, which as Chair Powell himself admitted, is the second key criterion for QE.
At this point it is worth considering a critical, if tangential question: Why is the Fed so concerned about not signaling QE, and why are so many Fed fanboys desperate to parrot whatever Powell is saying day after day?
Simply said, there are several reasons why the Fed is making a great effort to let the world know that its security purchases are not QE and are not reflective of any change in monetary policy stance. The first is the obvious issue of signaling concern around the economic outlook which would run counter to its cautiously optimistic and often upbeat assessment. After all, why do QE if the economy has “never been stronger”, and the Fed was hiking rates as recently as a December. Included here are the concerns about running out of ammunition at the zero lower bound of rate policy. With negative rates increasingly off the table – until push comes to shove of course and the Fed is forced to cut below zero – QE is meant to be reserved as dry powder for a rainy day when conventional tools are exhausted (even if QE is in fact taking place this very instant).
A less obvious concern for the Fed is connecting monetary policy to bank demand for Fed liabilities, which as BofA admits, “is not something that fits neatly within its dual mandate”: last January, the Fed made a “momentous decision” to run an “abundant reserve regime” also known as a floor system, where the central bank decided not to return to its pre-crisis days of zero excess reserves. As such, the central bank now views the proper level of excess reserves (a Fed balance sheet liability) not in terms of its dual mandate for inflation and employment, but in terms of how banks prefer to meet regulatory liquidity requirements and how this preference impacts repo and other markets.
In short, the Fed’s dual mandate has been replaced by a single mandate of promoting financial stability (or as some may say, boosting JPMorgan’s stock price) similar to that of the ECB.
Here BofA adds ominously that “by deciding to dynamically assess bank demand for reserves and reduce the risk of air pockets in repo markets, we believe the Fed has entered unchartered territory of monetary policy that may stretch beyond its dual mandate.” And the punchline: “By running balance-sheet policy to ensure overnight funding markets remain flush, the Fed is arguably circumventing the most important brake on excess leverage: the price.“
So if NOT QE is in fact, QE, and if the Fed is once again in the price manipulation business, what then?
According to BofA’s Axel, the most worrying part of the Fed’s current asset purchase program is the realization that an ongoing bank footprint in repo markets is required to maintain control of policy rates in the new floor system, or as we put it less politely, banks are now able to hijack the financial system by indicating that they have an overnight funding problem (as JPMorgan very clearly did) and force the Fed to do their (really JPMorgan’s) bidding.
While it is likely that beyond year-end, the additional tens of billions in reserves will have the required soothing effect, what is less clear is that the Fed can make sure the bank repo lending footprint is resilient to dips in the bank credit cycle.
And this is where BofA’s warning hits a crescendo, because while repo is fully collateralized and therefore contains negligible counterparty credit risk, “there may be a situation in which banks want to deleverage quickly, for example during a money run or a liquidation in some market caused by a sudden reassessment of value as in 2008.”
Got that? Going forward please refer to any market crash as a “sudden reassessment of value”, something which has become impossible in a world where “value” is whatever the Fed says it is… Well, the Fed or a bunch of self-serving venture capitalists, who pushed the “value” of WeWork to $47 billion just weeks before it was revealed that the company is effectively insolvent the punch bowl of endless free money is taken away.
Going back to repo, in such a crashy, pardon, “sudden value reassessmenty” environment, it seems implausible to expect banks to maintain their level of repo lending. And if repo lines were drawn down far enough and for long enough in time, it could lead to deleveraging at institutions that were otherwise healthy, precisely what happened during the financial crisis when the lock up of Lehman’s various overnight funding lines instantly cascaded across the financial system, resulting in an overnight paralysis of the US shadow banking system, and resulting in the near- bankruptcy of the largest US bank.
Therefore, to Bank of America, this new monetary policy regime actually increases systemic financial risk by making repo markets more vulnerable to bank cycles. This, as the bank ominously warns, “increases interconnectedness, which is something regulators widely recognize as making asset bubbles and entity failures more dangerous.”
Think of this as Europe’s infamous doom loop, only in the US and instead of sovereign debt, it uses repo as a risk intermediary to keep the system functioning.
In short, not only is the Fed pursuing QE without calling it QE, but by doing so it is implicitly raising the odds – more so than if it simply did another QE and rebuilt reserves to abour $4.5 trillion or more by purchasing coupon bonds – of another market crash.
It is, however, BofA’s conclusion that we found most alarming: as Axel writes, in his parting words:
“some have argued, including former NY Fed President William Dudley, that the last financial crisis was in part fueled by the Fed’s reluctance to tighten financial conditions as housing markets showed early signs of froth. It seems the Fed’s abundant-reserve regime may carry a new set of risks by supporting increased interconnectedness and overly easy policy (expanding balance sheet during an economic expansion) to maintain funding conditions that may short-circuit the market’s ability to accurately price the supply and demand for leverage as asset prices rise.“
In retrospect, we understand why the Fed is terrified of calling the latest QE by its true name: one mistake, and not only will it be the last QE the Fed will ever do, but it could also finally finish what the 2008 financial crisis failed to achieve, only this time the Fed will be powerless to do anything but sit and watch.
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