Monday, October 10, 2016

One Giant Powder Keg… and the Fuse is Already Lit

By Nick Giambruno

Their mission was to capture, or more likely, kill. Dozens of renegade commandos in three Blackhawk helicopters swooped in on the holiday residence of the president. Immediately, they engaged in a fierce gun battle with the president’s bodyguards and killed a number of them. Tourists in a nearby five-star resort fled for their lives. Their idyllic vacations had turned into a war zone in the blink of an eye.

The president, however, was nowhere to be found. He had been tipped off about the plot and made it to the safety of his private jet. He had cheated death by mere minutes. The renegade soldiers got wind of the escape. They commandeered a couple of F16 fighter jets and sent them to the skies to shoot down the presidential jet. Aware the rebel F16s were hunting them, the president’s pilots were able to obfuscate the identity of their aircraft by altering the jet’s transponder signal.

The transponder is an electronic signal that shows an aircraft’s identity. It’s used by air traffic controllers to keep track of planes in the air. Somehow, the pilots of the presidential jet were able to set their transponder signal to make it appear as if they were instead a civilian passenger jet. The confused rebel fighter jets ran out of fuel and had to return to base before they figured out what happened.

The president had cheated death for the second time that day. This story sounds like something out of a Tom Clancy novel or a Hollywood blockbuster. But it’s not. It happened in real life earlier this summer. In Turkey.
The country is one giant powder keg and the fuse is already lit. When the next global crisis explodes, there’s a good chance Turkey will be involved somehow.

Turkey was founded from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. It’s where Europe meets Asia. Today, it’s at the epicenter of many crises that are destabilizing the world the migrant disaster in Europe, the ongoing carnage in Iraq and Syria, the battle with ISIS, a conflict with the Kurds, and the new Cold War with Russia. It could soon also play a big role in the collapse of the world’s largest economy, the European Union (EU).

It’s hard to think of another place that has more tripwires for a global meltdown. In light of all these potential triggers as well as the recent failed military coup d’├ętat that killed over 290 people, I thought it was time to take a closer look at Turkey. Doug Casey and I just returned from the crisis stricken country, the latest destination we visited with (literal) blood in the streets.

We put our boots on the ground in the same area where that hit squad of rebel soldiers nearly assassinated Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president. (In addition to all of the crises listed above, the Turkish military had invaded northern Syria just before our arrival.)

Perhaps most importantly, Turkey is at the heart of the migrant crisis that is tearing Europe apart. The migrant crisis will be one of the main issues on the minds of Italians as they vote in the upcoming referendum, which could very well decide the fate of the EU and the euro currency. That’s why I’ve spent weeks on the ground in Italy, watching these events unfold.

The Financial Times commented on what would happen if the Italian referendum fails:

It would probably lead to the most violent economic shock in history, dwarfing the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008 and the 1929 Wall Street crash.

Like with the Brexit vote, the migrant issue and by extension Turkey may determine the outcome of the Italian referendum on December 4, 2016.

Turkey Holds the Keys to the EU’s Future

Parroting U.S. concerns about democracy and human rights, the EU has also harshly criticized Turkey’s response to the failed coup. This hasn’t endeared them to the Turkish government. It’s actually incredibly stupid for the Europeans. And by stupid I mean exactly that an unwitting tendency toward self destruction. The Europeans fail to see the indirect and delayed consequences of their decision to antagonize the Turkish government.

That’s because the Turkish government holds the trump card on what is perhaps the most explosive political issue on the continent right now: the migrant crisis. Concerns about the unprecedented flow of migrants into Europe over the past couple of years played a key role in the Brexit vote. It’s also acting as a political accelerant to the rise of anti-EU parties all over Europe. It’s a simple relationship. The more migrants come to Europe, the more popular anti-EU political parties become, and the weaker the EU itself becomes.

This is where Turkey holds the keys to the future political landscape of Europe. Turkey is a major transit point migrants use on their way to Europe. The Turkish government doesn’t want the migrants to stay in Turkey, so they haven’t really had much of a reason to stop them from leaving for Europe. They even enjoyed the situation because it gave them negotiating leverage with Brussels. The Turks essentially said “give us what we want or we’ll open the floodgates.”

What the Turks want is lots of money and to join the Schengen visa free zone, which allows unfettered access to most of Europe. Brussels partially gave in to the blackmail. They started giving the Turks money to the tune of $6 billion and agreed to hold talks about getting visa-free access to the continent. In return, the Turks would cut off the flow of migrants.

For a while this arrangement worked. But after the attempted coup and then the purge of suspected putschists, the EU cried foul. They deemed the purges to be an erosion of democracy and the rule of law.
They basically told the Erdogan government it can forget about joining the Schengen zone.

Unsurprisingly, the Turkish government not so subtly warned that if the EU walks away from its part of the deal, so will it. Specifically, the Turkish government has threatened to open the migrant floodgates just in time for the Italian referendum and other key European elections. The Italian referendum could very well lead to the end of the euro and the EU itself, while triggering a global financial meltdown of historical proportions.

Turkey sending a new wave of migrants into Europe just before this key vote will help seal its fate.
There are potentially severe consequences in the currency and stock markets. That’s exactly why I recently spent weeks on the ground in Italy getting the scoop on this explosive story that almost nobody else is talking about.

New York Times best selling author Doug Casey and I just released an urgent video with all the details.
Our video reveals how a financial shock far greater than 2008 could strike America on December 4th, 2016. And how it could either wipe out a big part of your savings or be the fortune building opportunity of a lifetime. 

The video describes specific ways to profit as well as which stocks to avoid like radioactive waste. You can get a first look at this video by clicking here.

Get our latest FREE eBook "Understanding Options"....Just Click Here!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Carley Garner's "Higher Probability Commodity Trading"

Carley Garner's new book "Higher Probability Commodity Trading" takes readers on an unprecedented journey through the treacherous commodity markets; shedding light on topics rarely discussed in trading literature from a unique perspective, with the intention of increasing the odds of success for market participants.

In its quest to guide traders through the process of commodity market analysis, strategy development, and risk management, Higher Probability Commodity Trading discusses several alternative market concepts and unconventional views such as option selling tactics, hedging futures positions with options, and combining the practice of fundamental, technical, seasonal, and sentiment analysis to gauge market price changes.

Carley, is a frequent contributor of commodity market analysis to CNBC's Mad Money TV show hosted by Jim Cramer. She has also been a futures and options broker, where for over a decade she has had a front row seat to the victories and defeats the commodity markets deal to traders.

Garner has a knack for portraying complex commodity trading concepts, in an easy-to-read and entertaining format. Readers of Higher Probability Commodity Trading are sure to walk away with a better understanding of the futures and options market, but more importantly with the benefit of years of market lessons learned without the expensive lessons.

Get Higher Probability Commodity Trading on Amazon....Get it Here!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Next Big Short

The "Next Big Short" is a collection of looming market risks from The Heisenberg. This 37 page special report will show you the risks in the markets. How to explain The Heisenberg?

Essentially, it's a collective brain trust of skilled traders willing to discuss markets with the freedom of anonymity. You can enjoy Heisenberg's lively market commentary in the TheoDark Report section of their public blog.

Get the "Next Big Short " free special report....Just Click Here

For more backstory, here's Heisenberg in his own words: Heisenberg spent a long time in college. Probably too long. Be that as it may, the experience afforded him extensive cross disciplinary experience. From Aristotle to Kant to Wittgenstein, from Hobbes to Locke to Rousseau, from plain vanilla equities to FX to CDS, Heisenberg is right at home. With degrees in political science and business, as well as extensive post graduate work in political science and public administration, Heisenberg is uniquely positioned to analyze markets from a holistic perspective. He also has a sense of humor, which allows him to fully appreciate how entertaining it is to talk about himself in the third person.

Heisenberg has traded pretty much everything at one time or another and if he hasn’t traded it, he’s studied it enough to drive himself just as crazy as if he had. He doesn’t sleep much because the terminal doesn’t sleep and neither, generally speaking, do currency markets.

Heisenberg once took the law school admission test (LSAT) for fun with no intention of actually going to law school. He then took it again to try and beat his first score. He paid for the second test with profits he made from long calls on a Brazilian water utility ADR that he sold to close from the first iPhone (the 2.5G version that no one remembers) in the middle of a graduate political science class. His score on the verbal section of the graduate management admission test (GMAT) was near perfect. As was his score on the analytical writing portion. Don’t ask about the math section. He got bored after two hours and didn’t care about using the Pythagorean theorem to determine how long Timmy’s shadow was when he was standing next to a 90 degree flag pole.

Professionally, Heisenberg has worked in Manhattan and many other locales and has years of experience generating and monetizing financial web content. He’s continually amused at those who make it seem hard. You provide quality content for users on a consistent basis. Everything else falls into place. Build it, and they will come.

Get the "Next Big Short " free special report....Just Click Here

See you in the markets putting the Next Big Short to work,
Ray C. Parrish
aka the Crude Oil Trader

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Five Ways to “Crash Proof” Your Portfolio Right Now

By Justin Spittler

The U.S. economy is running out of breath. As you probably know, the U.S. economy has been “recovering” since 2009. The current recovery, now seven years old, is one of the longest in U.S. history. It’s also one of the weakest.

Since 2009, the U.S. economy has grown at just 2.1% per year, making this the slowest recovery since World War II. Last quarter, the economy grew at just 1.1%. We won’t know how the economy did during this quarter until late October.

But we don’t expect good news, and that’s because signs of a stalling economy are everywhere.

They’re in the job market. 
The U.S. economy created 29,000 fewer jobs last month than economists expected. 
They’re in corporate earnings.
Profits for companies in the S&P 500 have been falling since 2014.
They’re even in the price of oil.
Right now, U.S. demand for gasoline is weak, which tells us Americans aren’t driving as much.

Today, we’re going to look at even more evidence that the economy is struggling. If this flood of bad economic data continues, the U.S. could soon enter its first recession in seven years. Normally, this wouldn’t worry us. After all, recessions are a normal part of the business cycle. But we don’t expect the next downturn to be a “run of the mill” recession. According to Casey Research founder Doug Casey, the next financial crisis will be “much more severe, different, and longer lasting than what we saw in 2008 and 2009.” The good news is that there’s still time to protect yourself. We’ll show you how at the end of today’s issue. But first, you need to understand why we’re so worried about the economy.

The U.S. auto market is cooling off..…
The auto market has been one of the economy’s bright spots since the financial crisis. Auto sales have climbed six straight years. Last year, the industry sold a record 17.5 million cars. Many analysts see the booming auto market as proof that the economy is heading in the right direction. Like a house, a car is a big purchase. Most people will only spend thousands of dollars on a car if they think the economy is doing well. After all, you wouldn’t buy a new car if you thought you were going to lose your job next month.

Because of this, car sales can say a lot about consumer confidence.

Auto sales plunged last month..…
     Yahoo! Finance reported last week:
The seasonally adjusted rate of motor vehicle sales decreased to 17 million from 17.88 million in July. Both car and truck sales were down for the month. For August, total vehicle sales were 1,512,556, down from 1,577,407 for a decrease of 4.1%.
After rising 66 straight months, retail car sales have now fallen four out of the last six months. And this trend is likely to continue. According to The Wall Street Journal, the CEO of Ford (F) said he expects his industry to sell fewer cars this year than they did last year. He expects sales to fall even more in 2017.
This isn’t just bad news for automakers like Ford. It’s a problem for the entire economy.

If people buy fewer cars, they’re probably going to take fewer vacations. They’re going to eat out less. They’re going to buy new clothes less often. In other words, the big drop off in car sales could mean U.S. consumers are starting to cut back.

The U.S. manufacturing sector is weakening right now..…
Last week, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) reported that its Purchasing Managers’ Index fell from 52.6 in July to 49.6 in August. This index measures the strength of the U.S. manufacturing sector. When the index dips below 50, it signals recession.

The U.S. services sector is hurting too..…
The services sector is made up of businesses that sell services instead of goods. It includes industries like banking and healthcare. The ISM Services Index fell from 55.5 in July to 51.4 last month. While this doesn’t indicate recession, last month’s sharp decline was still a major disappointment. Economists expected the index to hit 55.0. Last month’s reading was also the lowest since February 2010. More importantly, the services and manufacturing sectors are now weakening at the same time.

MarketWatch explained why that’s not a good sign last week:
[I]t’s unusual that both indexes would soften so much at the same time. The manufacturing index dropped to 49.4% from 52.6% in August and the ISM services gauge retreated to 51.4% from 55.5%. The combined reading of two indexes was also the weakest in six years.
Since these indexes often track closely with gross domestic product, the surprisingly poor turn has not gone unnoticed.
Right now, several key economic indicators are saying the economy is in trouble..…
We encourage you to take these warnings seriously. If you have any money in the stock market right now, take a good look at your portfolio. Get rid of any expensive stocks. They tend to fall further than cheap stocks during major sell offs. You should also avoid companies that need a growing economy to make money. These include airlines, major retailers, and restaurants; basically any company that depends on a healthy U.S. consumer.

Avoid companies with a lot of debt. If the economy continues to weaken, heavily indebted companies will struggle to pay their lenders. You don’t want to own a company that falls behind on its loans. We encourage you to hold more cash than usual. Setting aside cash will allow you to buy world class businesses for cheap after the next big sell off.

Finally, we recommend you own physical gold. As we often point out, gold is real money. It’s preserved wealth for centuries because it’s a unique asset. It’s durable, easily divisible, and easy to transport. It’s also survived every major financial crisis in history. This makes it the ultimate safe haven asset. These simple yet proven strategies will help “crash proof” your portfolio in case the economy continues to weaken. That’s never been more important.

To see why, watch this short presentation.

It talks about a major warning sign that one of Casey’s analysts recently uncovered. As you’ll see, this same warning appeared before the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, before the ’97 Asian financial crisis and just before the 2000 tech crash.

More importantly, it explains how you can protect yourself today. Click here to watch.

Chart of the Day

The U.S. manufacturing sector is flashing warning signs. Today’s chart shows the ISM Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) going back to 2000. As we said earlier, this index measures the strength of the U.S. manufacturing sector. Last month, the ISM PMI hit 49.6. Any reading below 50 indicates recession.

You can see this index plunged below 50 during the last two recessions. It also sent out a few “false signals” over the years. It dipped below 50 but a recession never followed. Like any indicator, the ISM PMI isn’t perfect. Still, it’s worth keeping a close eye on. If manufacturing activity continues to weaken, other parts of the economy will too. And the ISM PMI is just one of many economic indicators flashing danger right now.

Get our latest FREE eBook "Understanding Options"....Just Click Here!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Webinar Replay...Low Risk Setups For Trading Precise Turning Points in Any Market

On September 6th John Carter of Simpler Options treated us to a special online training webinar. We discovered low risk option strategies for catching "bold and beautiful" reversal trades. John also showed us how to hunt for tops and bottoms using low risk setups for trading precise turning points in any market and so much more.

Watch the FREE Replay Here

Most traders have no idea how to capture the massive profit potential from trading major reversals. These days’ markets often turn on a dime and those who wait for ‘conservative’ setups either miss out or suffer steep losses.

Here's what you can expect to learn during this webinar session....

  *  A simple 3-step process to identify major market turning points in any market

  *  How to find low risk, high probability trades in today's volatile market conditions

  *  Why it’s finally possible to catch tops and bottoms in real time on almost any chart

  *  Why these ‘Bold and Beautiful’ reversal trades can be safer than ‘comfortable’ trades

  *  How to avoid getting suckered into the costly traps that most traders fall into

  *  How to adapt your trades automatically for choppy conditions AND big trends

  *  How to know when a support or resistance level is likely to hold or not

       Watch the FREE replay Right Here

       See you in the markets,
       Ray Parrish
       aka the Crude Oil Trader

Get John's latest FREE eBook "Understanding Options"....Just Click Here!

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Subprime Loan Crisis Is Back…Here’s What It Could Mean for the Economy

By Justin Spittler

Subprime loans are going bad again. A “subprime” loan is a loan made to someone with bad credit. If the term sounds familiar, it’s because lenders issued millions of subprime loans during the early to mid-2000s. Banks made these risky loans thinking housing prices would “never fall.” When they did, subprime borrowers stopped paying their mortgages. The U.S. housing market collapsed, triggering the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

These days, lenders aren’t making as many reckless mortgages. But subprime lending is alive and well in the auto market. Since the financial crisis, subprime auto lending has exploded. According to Experian, subprime auto loans now make up more than 20% of all U.S. auto loans. Millions of Americans with bad credit now own cars they should have never bought in the first place. Risky subprime loans have also made the auto loan market incredibly fragile.

Right now, people are falling behind on their car loans at an alarming rate. As you'll see, this isn't just a big problem for lenders and car companies. It could also spell trouble for the entire U.S. economy.

Subprime auto loan delinquencies are skyrocketing…..
CNBC reported on Friday:
Delinquencies of at least 60 days for subprime auto loans are up 13 percent month over month for July, according to Fitch Ratings, and 17 percent higher from the same period a year ago.
Folks with good credit are falling behind on their car loans too. CNBC continues:
Even prime delinquencies are on the rise — Fitch Ratings' survey said that last month's prime auto loans were 21 percent more delinquent than in July 2015.
Prime loans are loans made to people with good credit.

The auto industry is preparing for more delinquencies…..
Last month, Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) warned that rising delinquencies could hurt their businesses in the second half of this year.
According to USA Today, both giant carmakers have set aside millions of dollars to cover potential losses:
In a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ford reported in the first half of this year it allowed $449 million for credit losses, a 34% increase from the first half of 2015.
General Motors reported in a similar filing that it set aside $864 million for credit losses in that same period of 2016, up 14% from a year earlier.
Investors who own subprime loans are taking heavy losses.....

USA Today reported on Thursday:
[T]hese loans are packaged into bundles which are sold to investors, much like mortgages were packaged into bundles a decade ago before rising interest rates caused many of them to default, eventually triggering the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression. The annualized net loss rate — the percentage of those subprime loan bundles regarded as likely to default — rose 7.39% in July, up 28% from July 2015.
You may recall that Wall Street did the same thing with mortgages during the housing boom. They made securities from a bunch of bad mortgages. They marked them as safe and then sold them to investors. When the underlying mortgages went bad, folks who owned these securities suffered huge losses. These dangerous products allowed the housing crisis to turn into a full-blown global financial crisis.

By itself, a collapse of the auto loan market probably won’t trigger a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis..…

That’s because the auto loan market is much smaller than the mortgage market. The value of outstanding auto loans is “only” about $1 trillion. While that’s an all-time high, the auto loan market comes nowhere close to the $10 trillion residential mortgage market. Still, we’re keeping a close eye on the auto loan market.

If Americans are struggling to pay their car loans, they’re going to have trouble paying their mortgages, student loans, and credit cards too. This would obviously create problems for lenders and credit card companies. It will also hurt companies that depend on credit to make money.

E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, is shorting one of America’s most vulnerable retailers..…
In June, E.B. shorted (bet against) one of America’s biggest jewelry companies. According to E.B., credit customers make up 62% of its customers. These customers are 350% more valuable to the company than cash customers.

In other words, this company depends heavily on credit. This is a huge problem…and will only get worse as more folks continue to fall behind on their credit card bills—or stop paying them altogether. This is already happening at the company E.B shorted. He explained in the June issue of The Casey Report:
And the company is facing another problem…consumers failing to pay back their loans. From 2014 to fiscal 2016, its annual bad debt expenses rose from $138 million to $190 million. That’s a 30% increase. Over the same period, credit sales grew by only 20%. That means bad debt expenses rose 50% faster than credit sales.
He warned that “tough times are coming for the jewelry business.”

E.B.’s call was spot on..…
Last Thursday, the company reported bad second quarter results. For the second straight quarter, the company’s earnings fell short of analysts’ estimates. The company’s stock plummeted 13% on the news. It’s now down 10% since E.B. recommended shorting it in June. But E.B. says the stock is headed even lower:
We think there’s more pain to come as credit financing dries up…sales continue to drop…and more loans go unpaid.
You can learn more about this short by signing up for The Casey Report. If you act today, you can begin for just $49 a year. Watch this short video to learn how.

This is easily one of the best deals you'll come across in our industry..…
That’s because Casey readers are crushing the market. E.B.’s portfolio is up 19% this year. He’s beat the S&P 500 3-to-1. What’s more, Casey Report readers are set up to make money no matter what happens to the economy—and that’s never been more important. To learn why, watch this short presentation.

Chart of the Day

Not all dividend-paying stocks are safe to own..…

Today’s chart compares the annual dividend yield of the U.S. 10-year Treasury with the annual dividend yield of the S&P 500. Right now, 10 years are paying about 1.5%. Companies in the S&P 500 are yielding 2.0%.

You can see the S&P 500 almost never yields more than 10 years. It’s only happened two other times since 1958. The first time was during the 2008 financial crisis. The other time was just after the recession.
If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know the Federal Reserve is partly responsible for this. For the past eight years, the Fed has held its key interest rate near zero. This caused bond yields to crash. With Treasuries yielding next to nothing, many investors have bought stocks for income. But there’s a problem.

Companies in the S&P 500 are paying out $0.38 for every $1.00 they make in earnings. That’s close to an all time high. About 44 companies in the S&P 500 are paying out more in dividends than they earned over the past year. Meanwhile, corporate earnings have been in decline since 2014. Clearly, companies can’t continue to pay out near-record dividends for much longer.

As we explained yesterday, some companies may cut their dividends. This could cause certain dividend-paying stocks to crash. Some investors could see years’ worth of income disappear in a day. If you own a stock for its dividend, make sure the company can keep paying you even if the economy runs into trouble. We like companies with healthy payout ratios, little or no debt, and proven dividend track records.

Get our latest FREE eBook "Understanding Options"....Just Click Here!

Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Monday, August 29, 2016

Finally, a Low Risk Way to Catch Tops and Bottoms

Have you noticed we’re getting a lot of brutally sharp reversals in the markets lately? It’s so frustrating because most traders get caught on the wrong side over and over again. So called safe trend trades get destroyed while betting on bold reversals is working like clockwork.

What’s going on?

For years, it was possible to just buy any dip in stocks and crank out winner after winner. But those days are long gone. If you try that now, you’ll burn through your account in the blink of an eye. These days’ trends reverse on a dime, but at the same time, you can’t just blindly pick tops and bottoms either.

Anyone who was short stocks recently learned that lesson the hard way when the market rocketed to new all time highs. The bottom line is that those outdated strategies no longer work. If you want to generate consistent profits in these volatile conditions, you’ve got to adapt. And that’s why this short video by renowned trader John F. Carter is so exciting

You’ve just got to see the breakthrough strategy that allows him to catch massive price swings without breaking a sweat.

See for yourself >>> Click HERE to Watch <<<

If you haven’t heard of John before, he’s a best selling author and trader with over 25 years’ experience. He’s developed a world wide reputation for catching explosive trends in stocks, options, and even futures, too.

So I hope you attend on September 6th, 2016 at 7:00 PM Central for a special webinar called, “Hunting for Tops and Bottoms - Low Risk Setups for Trading Precise Turning Points in Any Market”.

Here’s just some of what you’ll learn....

  *  A simple 3 step process to identify major market turning points in any market

  *  How to find low risk, high probability trades in today's volatile market conditions

  *  Why it’s finally possible to catch tops and bottoms in real time on almost any chart

  *  Why these ‘Bold and Beautiful’ reversal trades can be safer than ‘comfortable’ trades

  *  How to avoid getting suckered into the costly traps that most traders fall into

  *  How to adapt your trades automatically for choppy conditions and big trends

  *  How to know when a support or resistance level is likely to hold or not

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I’m looking forward to this special event and I expect I’ll be taking a lot of notes, too. There may not be a replay and this event will almost certainly fill to capacity – so register now and be sure to show up a few minutes early. Unless you’ve already mastered trading these volatile swings, this could be the most important training you attend this year.

To claim your spot just Click HERE

See you next Tuesday,
Ray @ the Crude Oil Trader

P.S.   If you have not downloaded John's free eBook do it asap....Just Click Here

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Will The Bubble Pop Regardless if the Fed Never Raises Rates?

The current overall SPX pattern is a broadening top, which is usually a very reliable pattern. The market continues to look as though it wants to go even lower. The momentum shift, which I have been expecting, has been slow to start, however one should be prepared for this occurrence ahead of time. Nevertheless, the large divergences which I have been viewing, in my proprietary oscillators, are most real, and, once the selling starts, the momentum should quickly move to the downside.

The current market is being supported by a lack of sellers more so than aggressive buying. With investors still thinking that there is no other place to store their money, they appear to be content with leaving their money with risk on assets within a market that is pushing to all time highs. This type of mentality usually leads to large losses rather than big gains. There isn’t any real opportunity for growth in the SPX that I can see right now.

Dow Theory: Market Indexes Must Confirm Each Other
The Dow Theory was formulated from a series of Wall Street Journal editorials which were authored by Charles H. Dow from 1900 until the time of his death in 1902. These editorials reflected Dow’s beliefs regarding how the stock market behaved and how the market could be used to measure the health of the business environment.

Dow first used his theory to create the Dow Jones Industrial Index and the Dow Jones Rail Index (now Transportation Index), which were originally compiled by Dow for TheWall Street Journal. Dow created these indexes because he felt they were an accurate reflection of the business conditions within the economy, seeing as they covered two major economic segments: industrial and rail (transportation). While these indexes have changed, over the last 100 years, the theory still applies to current market indexes.

Market indexes must confirm one another. In other words, a major reversal from a bull or bear market cannot be signaled unless both indexes (generally the Dow Industrial and Transports Averages) are in agreement. Currently, They are DIVERGING, issuing MAJOR NON-CONFIRMATION HIGH the Dow Jones Industrial average. If one couples this with the volatility index, this is a warning sign and a recipe for disaster.

chart 1

The FEDs’ monetary policy over the last eight years has led to unproductive and reckless corporate behavior. The chart below shows U.S. non financials’ year on year change in net debt versus operating cash flow as measured by earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITA).

Chart 2
The growth in operating cash flow peaked five years ago and has turned negative year over year. Net debt has continued to rise, which is not good for companies.

This has never before occurred in the post World War II period. In the cycle preceding the Great Recession, the peaks had been pretty much coincidental. Even during that cycle, they only diverged for two years, and by the time EBITA turned negative, year over year, as it has today, growth in net debt had been declining for over two years. Again, the current 5 year divergence is unprecedented in financial history. Today, most of that debt is used for financial engineering, as opposed to productive investments. In 2012, buybacks and M&A were $1.25 trillion, while all R&D and office equipment spending were $1.55 trillion. As valuations rose, since that time, R&D and office equipment grew by only $250 billion, but financial engineering grew by $750 billion, or three times this!

You can only live on your seed corn for so long. Despite there being no increase in their interest costs while growing their net borrowing by $1.7 trillion, the profit shares of the corporate sector peaked in 2012. The corporate sector, today, is stuck in a vicious cycle of earnings manipulation management, questionable allocation of capital, low productivity, declining margins and growing debt levels.


In short, I continue to pound on the table to help keep you and fellow investors aware that something bad, financially, is going to take place – huge events like the tech bubble, the housing collapse a few years back, and now national financial instability. Experts saw all these events coming months and, in some cases, years in advance. Big things typically don’t happen fast, but once the momentum changes direction you better be ready for some life changing events and a change in the financial market place.

Follow my analysis in real time, swing trades, and even my long term investment positions so you can survive from the financial storm The Gold & Oil

Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Financial Winter is Nearing

Weathering Out Winter
Nature functions in cycles. Each 24 hour period can be divided into smaller cycles of morning, afternoon, evening, and night. The whole year can be divided into seasonal cycles. Similarly, one’s life can also be divided into cycles. Cycles are abundant in nature – we just have to spot them, understand them, and be prepared for them, because they happen whether we like it or not. Likewise, economic experts have noticed that the world also follows different cycles. An important pioneer in this field was the Russian social economist, Nikolai Kondratiev, also called Nikolai Kondratieff, a relatively unknown genius.

Who Is Kondratiev?
Geniuses have been known to defend their principles and beliefs, even at the cost of losing their lives; they may die but their legacy lives on, as did Kondratiev. He was an economist who laid down his life defending his beliefs. He was the founding director of the Institute of Conjuncture, a famous research institution, which was located in Moscow. He devised a five year plan for the development of agriculture in Russia from 1923-1925.

His book, “The Major Economic Cycles,” was published 1925, in which his policies were in stark contrast to that of Stalin’s. As a result of this, Kondratiev was arrested in 1930 and given a prison sentence. This sentence was reviewed, and, consequently, he was executed in 1938. What a tragic loss of such a genius at only 42 years of age. He was executed because his research proved him right and Stalin wrong! Nonetheless, his legacy lives on and, in 1939 Joseph Schumpeter named the waves Kondratiev Waves, also known as K-Waves.

What Are Kondratiev Waves?
Investopedia defines the Kondratieff Wave as, “A long term cycle present in capitalist economies that represents long term, high growth and low growth economic periods.” The initial study by Kondratiev was based on the European agricultural commodity and copper prices. He noticed this period of evolution and self correction in the economic activity of the capitalist nations and felt it was important to document.
Chart 1 CNA

These waves are long cycles, lasting 50-60 years and consisting of various phases that are repetitive in nature. They are divided into four primary cycles:

Spring Inflationary growth phase: The first wave starts after a depressed economic state. With growth comes inflation. This phase sees stable prices, stable interest rates and a rising stock market, which is led by strong corporate profits and technological innovations. This phase generally lasts for 25 years.

Summer Stagflation (Recession): This phase witnesses wars such as the War of 1812, the Civil War, the World Wars and the Vietnam War. War leads to a shortage of resources, which leads to rising prices, rising interest rates and higher debt, and because of these factors, companies’ profits decline.

Autumn Deflationary Growth (Plateau period): After the end of war, people want economic stability. While the economy sees growth in selective sectors, this period also witnesses social and technological innovations. Prices fall and interest rates are low, which leads to higher debt and consumption. At the same time, companies’ profits rise, resulting in a strong stock market. All of these excesses end with a major speculative bubble.

Winter Depression: This is a period of correcting the excesses of the past and preparing the foundation for future growth. Prices fall, profits decline and stock markets correct to the downside. However, this period also refines the technologies of the past with innovation, making it cheaper and more available for the masses. Accuracy Of The Cycle Over The Last 200 Years

The K-Waves have stood the test of time. They have correctly identified various periods of important economic activity within the past 200 years. The chart below outlines its accuracy.

Very few cycles in history are as accurate as the Kondratiev waves.
Chart 2 CNA

Criticism Of The Kondratiev Waves
No principle in the world is left unchallenged. Similarly, there are a few critics of the K-Waves who consider it useful only for the pre-WWII era. They believe that the current monetary tools, which are at the disposal of the monetary agencies, can alter the performance of these waves. There is also a difference of opinion regarding the timing of the start of the waves.

The Wave is Being Pushed Ahead But the Mood Confirms a Kondratiev Winter
Chart 3 CNA
Chart 4 CNA
A closer study reveals that the cycles are being pushed forward temporarily. Any intervention in the natural cycle unleashes the wrath of nature, and the current phase of economic excess will also end in a similar correction. The K-Wave winter cycle that started in 2000 was aligned with the dot-com bubble.

The current stock market rise is fueled by the easy monetary policy of the global central banks. Barring a small period of time from 2005-2007 when the mood of the public was optimistic, the winter had been spent with people in a depressed social mood. The stock market rally from 2009-2015 will be perceived as the most hated rally and the one most laden with fear.

Every dip of a few hundred points in the stock market starts with a comparison to the Great Recession of 2007-2009. The mood exudes fear and disbelief that the efforts of the central banks have not been successful and are unable to thwart off the winter, as predicted by the K-Waves. The winter is here and is reflected in the depressed social mood.

How To Weather Out Brutal Winter
In the last phase of the winter cycle, from 2016-2020, which is likely to test us, the stock market top is in place. Global economic activity has peaked, terrorism further threatens our lives, geopolitical risks have risen, the current levels of debt across the developed world are unmanageable, and a legitimate threat of a currency war occurring will all end with the “The Great Reset.” Gold will be likely to perform better during this winter cycle. Get in love with the yellow metal; it’s the blanket which will help you withstand the winter.

Cycles are generally repetitive forces that give us an insight into the future so we can be prepared to face it and prosper. Without excessive intervention, nature is very forgiving while correcting the excesses. But if one meddles with nature, it can be merciless during the correction. The current economic condition will end with yet another reset in the financial markets. Prices will not rise forever, and a correction will take hold eventually. Until then, we follow and trade accordingly. I will suggest the necessary steps to avoid losses and prosper from market turmoil when it unfolds.

Follow my analysis at:  The Gold & Oil

Chris Vermeulen

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

It Can’t Wait Any Longer – It's Deja Vu in the Markets

The stock market tends to repeat itself on a regular basis. Why? Because it moves mainly based on the emotions of market participants, with the exception of extreme times when the masses are moving the market with extreme fear or greed, at which point they are flooding the market with buy or sell orders to create a final pop or drop in the market just before a major market reversal.

As with everything in the universe, everything moves in cycles, periods of expansion and contraction, and there are regular wave like patterns that happen on a regular basis no matter the time frame one is reviewing on a stock chart.

Here are three charts, each showing a similar price pattern of extreme washout lows, followed by roughly a 1 1/2 month rally taking investors on a roller coaster ride from fear and complete panic to greedy "know it alls". In short [no pun intended] U.S. large cap stocks look and feel toppy here. I feel a correction is likely to take place any day now, and the big question is “how much will the stock market pullback? Will it be another 4-5% correction similar to the chart examples above? Or will it be something larger 8-15% correction?

Chris Vermeulen

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Why These Huge Bank Stocks Could Go to Zero

By Justin Spittler

Europe’s banking system looks like it’s about to implode. As you probably know, Europe has serious problems right now. Its economy is growing at its slowest pace in decades. Policymakers are now more desperate than ever and are on the verge of introducing more "stimulus" measures. And Great Britain just voted to leave the European Union (EU).

These are all major concerns. But Europe’s biggest problem is its banking system. Over the past year, the Euro STOXX Banks Index, which tracks Europe’s biggest banks, has plummeted 46%. Deutsche Bank (DB) and Credit Suisse (CS), two of Europe’s most important banks, are down 63%. Both are trading at all time lows. We've warned you to stay away from these stocks. As we explained two weeks ago, Europe’s banking system is a complete disaster.

And it’s only getting worse by the day..…

European bank stocks have crashed over the past couple days. Yesterday, every major European bank stock ended the day down. Several fell more than 5%. A few plunged more than 10%. These are giant declines. Remember, these banks are the pillars of Europe’s financial system. Today, we’ll explain why this banking crisis could reach you even if you don’t live in Europe. But first, let’s look at why European bank stocks are crashing.

Europe’s banking system has major problems..…
Europe’s economy is barely growing. And negative interest rates are killing European banks. Regular readers know negative rates are a radical government policy. The European Central Bank (ECB) introduced them in 2014, thinking they would “stimulate” Europe’s economy. You see, negative rates basically turn your bank account upside down.

Instead of earning interest on your money in the bank, you pay the bank to hold your money. The geniuses at the ECB thought they could force people to spend more money by “taxing” their savings. But Europeans aren’t spending more money right now. They’re pulling cash out of the banking system and sticking it under their mattresses…where negative rates can’t get to it.

Negative rates are also eating into European bank profits…
Today, the ECB’s key interest rate is at -0.4%. This means European banks must pay €4 for every €1,000 they keep with the ECB. That might not sound like much. But it’s a big problem for European banks that oversee trillions of euros. According to Bank of America (BAC), European banks could lose as much as €20 billion per year by 2018 if the ECB keeps rates where they are.

The Euro STOXX Banks Index plunged 2.8% on Monday..…
Yesterday, it fell another 4.9%. The selloff hit everywhere from Frankfurt to Milan. Spanish banking giant Santander closed the day down 5%. The Bank of Ireland fell 8%. And Commerzbank AG, one of Germany’s biggest lenders, fell 9% to a record low. Commerzbank’s stock plunged after it said negative rates were eating into its profits.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse fell 3.7% and 4.7%, respectively. Investors dumped these stocks after learning that both are going to be dropped from the Euro STOXX 50 index, Europe’s version of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Italian stocks fell even harder yesterday..…
UniCredit, Italy’s largest bank, fell 7% before trading on its stock was halted. Regulators stopped the stock from trading due to “concerns about its bad loan portfolio.” The stock has plunged 72% over the past year. Bank Popolare di Milano, another large Italian bank, fell 10%. And Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Italy’s third biggest bank, plummeted 16%. Monte Paschi plunged after a banking watchdog said it was in the worst shape of all European banks. It’s down 85% over the past year.

Italy is ground zero of Europe’s banking crisis..…
Right now, Italy’s banks are sitting on about €360 billion in “bad” loans, or loans that trade for less than book value. That’s almost twice as many bad loans as Italian banks had in 2010. According to the Financial Times, bad loans now account for 18% of all of Italy’s loans. That’s more than four times as many bad loans as U.S. banks had during the worst of the 2008–2009 financial crisis.

Policymakers are scrambling to contain the crisis..…
Last month, the Italian government said it may pump €40 billion into its banking system to keep it from collapsing. A couple weeks later, Mario Draghi, who runs the ECB, said he would support a public bailout of Italy’s banking system. That’s when the government gives troubled banks money and makes taxpayers pay for it.

We said these emergency measures wouldn’t fix any of Italy’s problems. At best, they’ll buy the government time. Unfortunately, policymakers will almost certainly “do something” if Europe’s banking system continues to unravel.

The ECB could cut rates again, which would only make it harder for European banks to make money. It could also launch more quantitative easing (QE). That’s when a central bank creates money from nothing and pumps it into the financial system. Right now, the ECB is already “printing” €80 billion each month. But again, this hasn’t helped Europe’s stagnant economy one bit.

Whatever the ECB does next, you can bet it will only make things worse..…
As we've shown you many times, governments don’t fix problems. They only create them or make problems worse. If you understand this, you can make a lot of money betting that governments will do the wrong thing.

Casey Research founder Doug Casey explains:
The bad news is that governments act chaotically, spastically.
The beast jerks to the tugs on its strings held by various puppeteers. But while it’s often hard to predict price movements in the short term, the long term is a near certainty. You can bet confidently on the end results of chronic government monetary stupidity.
According to Doug, gold is the #1 way to protect yourself from government stupidity..…
That’s because gold is real money. It’s protected wealth for centuries because it’s unlike any other asset. It’s durable, easily divisible, and easy to transport. Unlike paper money, gold doesn’t lose value when the government prints money or uses negative interest rates.

These stupid and reckless actions push investors into gold. They can cause the price of gold to soar. This year, gold is up 27%. It’s trading at the highest level since 2014. But Doug says it could go much higher in the coming years. If Europe’s banking system continues to unravel, investors will panic. Fear could spread across the world like a wildfire. And gold, the ultimate safe haven, could shoot to the moon.
If you do one thing to protect yourself, own physical gold.

We also encourage you to watch this short video presentation.
It talks about a crisis that’s been brewing since the last financial crisis—one that's currently being fueled by government stupidity. The bad news is that we’re already in the early stages. The good news is that you still have time to seek shelter. You can learn about this coming crisis and how to protect yourself by watching this free video. We encourage all of our readers to do so. It’s one of the most important warnings we’ve ever issued. Click here to watch it.

Chart of the Day

Deutsche Bank’s stock is in free fall. You can see in today’s chart that Deutsche Bank has plummeted 75% since 2014. Yesterday, it hit a new all time low. If Deutsche Bank keeps falling, investors could lose faith in the financial system. And a panic could follow. At least, that’s what Jeffrey Gundlach thinks.

Regular readers know Gundlach is one of the world’s top investors. His firm, DoubleLine Capital, manages about $100 billion. Many investors call him the “Bond King,” a title that PIMCO founder Bill Gross held for years. Like us, Gundlach thinks Europe’s banking system is in serious trouble. And like us, he thinks European policymakers will spring into action if things start to get ugly. Reuters reported last month:
"Banks are dying and policymakers don’t know what to do," Gundlach said. "Watch Deutsche Bank shares go to single digits and people will start to panic… you'll see someone say, 'Someone is going to have to do something'."
Right now, Deutsche Bank is trading under $13. Less than three years ago, it traded close to $50. If Europe’s bank stocks continue to plunge, the ECB will likely “double down” on its easy money policies. This won’t repair Europe’s economy… It will destroy the euro, the currency that the ECB is supposed to defend.
This is why it’s so important that you “crash proof” your wealth today. Click here to learn how.

The article Why These Huge Bank Stocks Could Go to Zero was originally published at

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

How to Profit From These Massive, Brexit Induced Trends

By Justin Spittler

This has the makings of a classic speculative opportunity—one where politically caused distortions are liquidated and prices readjust. But a word of caution. It’s going to take place within the context of the Greater Depression. And, as Richard Russell, who lived through the last depression, observed: In a depression, nobody wins. The winner is just the person who loses the least.

The EU will disintegrate. It never made sense from the beginning to try to get Swedes to live by the same rules as Sicilians or Germans by the same rules as Portuguese. Not to mention that the rules are entirely arbitrary. Worse, almost all the rules are economic in nature, with legislated winners and losers. Deals like that always lead to resentment, among both the winners and the losers.

In addition to this, the EU is very problematical when it comes to immigrants. There will be more migrants trying to settle in Europe. Why? Because the Muslim world, the swath of countries extending all across northern Africa, through the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Far East, is likely to become increasingly unstable. The EU, as a very politically correct organization is loathe to turn them away. However, once they’re within Schengen, the migrants can travel anywhere. Perhaps where welfare benefits are best and where other migrants are gathering. Remember, when times get tough, both politicians and the capite censi look for someone to blame.

How to profit from this? Most people don’t think the EU will collapse just because Britain (which has always been closer to the U.S. than the Continent anyway) has left. They’re wrong. For one thing, although Brussels won’t become a ghost town, it’s going to lose scores of thousands of highly paid Eurocrats and their minions. I recall that property there was some of the cheapest in Europe in the early ’80s, it’s going to return to that status. We’ll look for a REIT to sell short, specializing in the Brussels market.

It will accelerate the disintegration of nation-states everywhere. 

There are about 200 nation-states in the world. The international “elite,” the “intelligentsia,” the members of the Deep State everywhere, and organizations like the EU in Brussels, would like to see a much smaller number of more powerful states. Orwell anticipated just three mega-states in his dystopia. But the actual trend is in the opposite direction.

It’s not just the UK seceding from the EU, but Scotland from the UK. The Basques and Catalans may eventually secede from Spain. Belgium, a totally artificial country, may eventually break up into Flemish-speaking Flanders and French speaking Wallonia. France has half a dozen secession movements. Italy was only unified into its present form from scores of principalities, duchies, and baronies in 1871 by Garibaldi. It was the same with Germany until Bismarck in 1871. 

The break-up of the USSR in 1990 into 13 smaller states was a good start, but Russia itself is a small empire with dozens of distinct ethnic and linguistic groups. You will rarely hear about this in the mass media, but there are dozens of secession movements throughout Europe. That’s one more reason why (in addition to the interest rate risk and the inflation risk, which are both substantial) you should stay away from long-term government bonds.

The euro will cease to exist.....
The Esperanto currency was doomed from the beginning. It was not just an “IOU nothing,” like the U.S. dollar, but a “Who owes you nothing” since it’s not even backed by a specific government’s taxing power. How to profit? I’ve put on long-term futures contracts, long the British pound vs. short the euro. My rationale is simple. Britain will benefit from exiting the EU, attracting capital and strengthening the pound—which is down 11% against the euro since Brexit. The euro, meanwhile, will approach its intrinsic value at an accelerating rate.

A truly major banking crisis.....
Much worse than that of 2007–2009. Governments, who are all bankrupt, borrow money from commercial banks. Commercial banks have lent it to them because they believe it’s a risk free loan. Governments encourage them to lend recklessly, hoping that will jump-start sluggish economies. Central banks, which are the arms of their governments, have taken interest rates to zero and below for that reason and to make it easier for governments to service their debt. This policy has encouraged businesses to take on debt.

It’s an idiotic and reckless experiment that will end—likely in this cycle—with bankrupt central banks and governments bailing out bankrupt commercial banks and businesses. Just the way they did in 2007–2009. Except this time, the situation is much more serious. How to profit? Don’t own European companies, stocks or bonds, and banks in particular. In fact, even though they’re already down considerably, they’re going lower and are excellent candidates for short sales, or the sale of naked calls.

A panic into gold..... 
You’ve heard this story many times before here. But it’s truer than ever as we approach a genuine crisis. There are no stable paper currencies anywhere in the world. The dollar has been strong only because it’s liquid. Liquidity is good, but here, we’re talking about liquid like nitroglycerin. Hedge funds will start buying gold in size. As will central banks, who don’t want to hold each other’s paper. As will individual investors. Right now, few people even think about gold, much less understand it. How to profit? Buy gold. I expect we’ll see it well over $5,000 this cycle. Silver should do even better in relative terms. And gold stocks have explosive upside.

An exodus of capital and people from Europe.....
to parts of Latin America, plus to the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This is, obviously, bad for Europe and good for the recipient countries. In recent years, I might not have included Latin America, but things have changed. Argentina and Colombia are liberalizing economically. The continent isn’t involved in any entangling alliances, isn’t on the migration highway, and has low costs. Why a wealthy European would stay in that stagnant and unstable continent when he could live better, and mostly tax free, at a fraction of the cost in Argentina is a mystery to me.

Chaos in Africa..... 
Almost every country in Africa is an ex-European colony. Over the last 50 years, Europe, with the U.S. and now China, have shipped over a trillion dollars to the continent. Most of it has been recycled back to Europe by the African elites that stole it, and the rest has mostly been wasted. 

That flow is going to stop for a number of reasons, but among them is that it makes no sense in an “every-man for himself” world. At the same time, essentially all of the world’s population growth over the next couple of decades is going to come from sub Saharan Africa. It’s a nasty economic environment that’s a formula for conflict. 

Millions of Africans will want to emigrate, especially to the homelands of their ex-colonial masters in Europe. They won’t, however, be welcome. How might one take advantage of this? The higher population is going to put upward pressure on commodities, and the chaos is going to make their production much riskier in Africa.

In conclusion..... 
Brexit itself is likely to be good for Britain. And it augurs some big changes in the world at large. Don’t forget that it will all be in the context of both the Greater Depression and the accelerating and world-changing technological revolution I described last month. Our objective here remains to not only keep you advised of what’s happening, but help you profit from opportunities while avoiding major dangers.

Editor's note: The biggest threat to your wealth right now isn’t an economic recession, a stock market crash, or even a global banking crisis. It’s something much bigger and far more dangerous. This short video explains more…

It explains how violent currency moves—like we’re seeing today—have preceded some of the worst financial disasters in history. By the end of the video, you’ll know why you can’t afford to ignore the warnings we’re seeing right now. You’ll learn how to protect yourself and profit from the coming crisis. Click here to watch this free video.

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