Friday, January 15, 2016

Recessionary Red Flags Flashing Everywhere!

These headlines are all just from today. This is one of the most recessionary news days I've seen in ten years!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Societe Generale Economist Predicts 75% Decline in Stocks

 I have always said that if inflating asset prices via loose monetary policy were the route to economic prosperity, Argentina would be the richest country in the world by now ?and it is not! The Fed's pursuit of negligently loose monetary policies since 2009 is a misguided attempt to boost economic growth via asset price inflation and we will now reap the whirlwind (the ECB, Bank of Japan and the Bank of England are all just as bad). One of the main problems has been the overconfidence with which the Fed pursues their objective. Yet in the run-up to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis they demonstrated their lack of understanding of the disastrous impact of excessively low Fed Funds. Even in retrospect they remain in denial - as evidenced by Bernanke?s recent book. Why can?t these incompetents understand that they are, once again, the midwife to yet another global unfolding economic crisis? But unlike 2007, this time around the US and Europe sit on the precipice of outright deflation.
I believe the Fed and its promiscuous fraternity of central banks have created the conditions for another debacle every bit as large as the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. I believe the events we now see unfolding will drive us back into global recession.

Valuation booms are followed inevitably by busts. But the key point is that these valuation bear markets take the Shiller PE back down to 7x or below.

Since valuations peaked at the most obscene level ever in 2000, we have only seen two recessions and at the nadir of the last one, in March 2009, the Shiller PE bottomed at 13.3x, way above the typical sub-7x bottom. In valuation terms the bear market was not completed in 2009 and indeed after only two recessions there was no reason to expect it to have been completed.

If I am right and we have just seen a cyclical bull market within a secular bear market, then the next recession will spell real trouble for investors ill-prepared for equity valuations to fall to new lows. To bottom on a Shiller PE of 7x would see the S&P falling to around 550. I will repeat that: If I am right, the S&P would fall to 550, a 75% decline from the recent 2100 peak.