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Hilliard MacBeth

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Author of "When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash"

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The current inflation surge in Canada and around the world demands answers from government. Will inflation be brought under control? How? I was invited along, with others, to present on March 28, 2022, to the Standing Committee on Finance for the House of Commons on a Zoom call. The topic is inflation, and the housing […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - China Evergrande hit the news again, with a surprising announcement that a creditor had seized US$2 billion of funds from a subsidiary of the company. Creditors are upset that one lender received preferential treatment from the restructuring process, which is now being run by the government of China. Will foreign creditors decide to withdraw all […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Russia is threatening to use nuclear weapons in the current conflict with Ukraine if western countries intervene. Is there a significant possibility of a nuclear war? V. Putin issued a vague threat, but everybody thinks they know what he was talking about. In his warning to Europeans and North Americans who might be thinking about […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - A doubling in the price of crude oil in a short period of time (a year or less) has been a reliable predictor of recession. In fact, every time in the post-WWII period when oil has doubled, there has been a recession. Will there be a recession after the current jump in oil prices? The […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Persistent increases in inflation signal the end of this bull market. The increase in inflation will push interest rates higher and stock market valuations will come down. The Markets Live segment of Bloomberg published a chart a few days ago that caught my eye. The chart shows the relationship between Manufacturing Business Prices Paid and […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The potential military conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to escalate. Military conflicts usually cause markets to get more volatile for a time. But would an invasion of Ukraine by Russia precipitate a market crash?   Members of Ukrainian forces in an urban combat training exercise on Friday February 11, 2022. Source: Bloomberg Finance LP […] Radio - Real Estate prices unsustainable

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Economists are underestimating inflation. The consensus is for inflation to drop to 2.9 percent by the end of 2022. But that consensus should be viewed with suspicion. How should investors act if we get higher inflation instead? The consensus of economists has inflation dropping from 7 percent to sub-3 percent by the end of 2022. […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The end of this bull market has arrived. Recently Jeremy Grantham described how this extreme valuation in the stock market, bond market and some housing markets is a very rare event. And he claims that it is over. Grantham first came to my attention at a conference in 2003. He was a keynote speaker and […]

January 28th, 2022 | The End of Easy Money is Near

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The Federal Reserve has been promoting asset bubbles for years. This easy money policy has created a series of booms, widened income and wealth inequality and added massive debt to the system. This week the Fed signaled it is ready to end this misguided policy. Will the Fed have the backbone to stop promoting asset […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The end of the property bubble in China has arrived. The likely next stage is liquidation, with the government deciding who writes off the bad debts that have been created. China’s property bubble is second to none. The size of total debt, the scale of investment in property and the participation of households are all […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The U.S. stock market is at record highs. But only a few stocks are responsible for driving the majority of the recent gains. Is a concentrated stock market a healthy market? Most people are aware that the U.S. stock market has been gaining strength for several years. The valuation of the main index, the S&P […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Tesla, the world’s leading electric automobile manufacturer, announced a sales record for the quarter ending December 31. The share price of Tesla is up about 10-fold since March 2020. Is competition from Volkswagen and Toyota about to derail Tesla’s dominance? The stock market valuation for Tesla hit $1 trillion, around the same time Apple’s total […] Radio - What is the real rate of inflation?

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The Canadian housing mania is two decades old. During that period various house prices are up to three to four times in most cities while the largest CPI component — shelter — is up only marginally. How is such a flawed method of calculating housing costs used in the CPI? The largest component of the […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The stock markets in Europe are much cheaper than the U.S. In fact, based on price-earnings (P/E) ratios, some European indices like the U.K. FTSE 100 are at the cheapest level ever in relation to the U.S. benchmark, the S&P 500. Is this a buying opportunity, or a value trap? Source: Bloomberg The U.K. index, […] Radio - The Fed really has changed to protect speculators

December 3rd, 2021 | A Major Policy Mistake

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook -   Policy makers in the U.S., and elsewhere, are in the middle of making a dangerous policy mistake, according to Martin Barnes, a prominent economist. The Federal Reserve is “caught in a trap of its own making”. Martin Barnes, formerly chief economist of BCA Research, is now retired. But he still writes occasional reports, and […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Recently the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada, Paul Beaudry, made a speech about the resilience of the Canadian financial system. He discussed several serious vulnerabilities threatening the system but claims that financial institutions will be fine, even if those risks trigger a financial crisis. Is the Bank of Canada ignoring the risks? The speech was […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Gold bullion and gold mining shares are about as depressed as they ever get in relation to bonds and stocks. Gold and gold mining equities used to be considered a hedge against inflation and the debasement of paper money. With the Fed reluctant to take strong measures to fight inflation will gold finally have its […] Radio - Generation Z has a whole different idea on how to be wealthy

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The Federal Reserve issues a financial stability report twice a year that assesses the resilience of the financial system and highlights near-term risks. Is the Fed failing to see the biggest risk? As the report says, “In an unstable financial system, adverse events are more likely to result in severe financial stress and disrupt the flow […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The Federal Reserve announced that the quantitative easing (QE) program that has been in place for more than a decade will be phased out gradually. In 2013 when the Fed tried to exit the QE program the markets threw a tantrum, government bond yields jumped from 2 percent to 3 percent and the Fed backed […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and Space-X has become the world’s wealthiest billionaire. He recently passed Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, to reach the number one spot. Will Musk become the first person to reach $1 trillion? As Tesla shares reached a peak of $1,000 on Monday, and the value of the company on the […]
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