Friday, October 14, 2011

What a Rally!

Stocks have been rallying since Oct 4th on hope that Europe has found a way to resolve its debt crisis.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Marc Faber Tells It Like It Is!

"I will tell you what the US needs. The US needs a Lee Kwan Yew who stands in front of the US and tells them, listen you lazy bugger, now you have to tighten your belts, you have to save more, work more for lower salaries and only through that will we get out of the current dilemma that essentially prevents the economy from growing."
"The problem i have with the investment universe is that i find it difficult to envision how the US and western Europe can return to healthy sustainable growth without a complete purge of the financial system and some type of catalyst. Something that restores some measure of social cohesion among people; it could be hyperinflation, a complete credit market collapse, widespread sovereign defaults, civil strife, major military confrontation.

And regarding "Occupy Wall St":
"Basically we have the Keynesians and the Democrats and I'm not saying that all democrats are equal, but they want interventions and we have far too many interventions in the western world where the share of the total economy that goes to government and is government- sponsored has grown. And that essentially makes it very difficult for the western world to grow substantially. As to that huge level of debts, i don't see how the western world, including the US, japan, and Western Europe can actually grow. They're going to stagnate. And when you have stagnation over a longer period of time, people start to ask questions and then they go after minorities. And Wall Street is a minority – they are a minority and anyone else would have done the same. They use the system. But they didn't create the system. The system was created by the lobbyists and by Washington. So they should actually go to Washington and also occupy the Federal Reserve on the way."

Stocks Stagnate

Corn Limit Up; Beans, Wheat Follow

Beans up 60 cents. Wheat up 50 cents. Food is going to cost more!

Grains Skyrocket in Anticipation of USDA Report, News of Russian Grain Export Limits

from the Demoines Register:
With a crucial U.S. Department of Agriculture report looming tomorrow morning, corn prices have shot up unexpectedly by 34 cents per bushel this morning on the Chicago Board of Trade to $6.39 per bushel for the December contract.
Soybeans are up 48 cents per bushel to $12.26.

from Agrimoney:

Grain prices spiked after Russia revived plans for grain export duties amid fears that its surging pace of shipments would deplete inventories.
Viktor Zubkov, the Russian deputy prime minister who in June voiced proposals for a levy, said on Tuesday that the government was considering reviving the plan to prevent its grain stocks falling below 15m-16m tonnes.
While Russia has seen a sharp revival in its grains production from last year's drought-affected levels of 61m tonnes - with Mr Zubkov pegging the harvest at 90m-92m tonnes and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin last week estimating the crop at 95m tonnes – keen prices have seen a surge in supplies leaving the country.

You Mean Europe's Debt Debacle Isn't Over Yet?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Europe's $2.7 Trillion Debt-Driven Bank Bailout Sends Stocks Soaring

Dow up 1000 points in the past five days.

John Hussman's Message to Wall St Protesters

We're all for a good peaceful protest. As long-time readers know, I've been an adamant critic of the bailouts of mismanaged financial institutions, as well as various illegal policy actions that have been pursued by the Fed since the financial crisis began in 2008. Undoubtedly, there is good and bad on Wall Street, and we know a lot of smart, well-meaning financial advisors who go to work every day with the goal of improving the financial security of their clients, who do careful research, avoid speculation, and provide a service to others through their profession. A functioning economy needs to allocate capital effectively, and there Wall Street can be essential.
Unfortunately, over the past 15 years or so, the basic function of the financial markets has been corrupted into what I've grown to view as a self-serving carnival of speculation, where many participants are interested in nothing except getting the next rally going at public expense, regardless of how badly market signals are distorted, how recklessly capital is misallocated, or even whether what they do has any positive effect on the economy or the country (some of the sleazier ones even have their own shows on basic cable).
There is no single source of this transformation. Part of it is a remnant of the dot-com and technology bubbles, when market valuations moved to nearly triple the historical norm, and investors began to view perpetual market advances and high returns as a birthright. The subsequent decade of zero overall returns for the stock market largely reflects a reversion to more normal (but still cyclically elevated) valuations.
Another part of this transformation is due to the activist policies of Federal Reserve, which has continually attempted to short-circuit every instance of short-term economic discomfort by distorting the menu of investment returns (e.g. zero interest rate policies) in an effort to provoke investors to accept fresh speculative risk. Ironically, the long-term effect of distorting market signals has been to drive good, potentially productive capital into wholly unproductive uses - the housing bubble being a prime example. As a result, real U.S. gross domestic investment has not grown at all since 1998, and the portion financed by domestic U.S. savings has collapsed, so much of the new capital we've accumulated is owned by foreigners.
Undoubtedly, one of the greatest rhetorical victories of Wall Street has been to successfully plant in the minds of the public the idea that some financial institutions are simply "too big to fail," and that the "failure" of "systemically important" institutions will result in global financial meltdown and Depression. The reality is much different.