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July 18, 2024 | Home Buyers Still on Strike even as Mortgage Rates Drop to Lowest since March. But Refis Jump to Highest since Aug 2022

The average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate during the latest reporting week dropped to 6.87%, the lowest since mid-March, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association today. Not so ironically, two things happened, as the MBA also reported today: Applications for mortgages to purchase a home fell to the lowest point since early June, as potential […]

July 18, 2024 | Germany Bans Conservative Voices

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser announced that the nation banned conservative Compact Magazine for allegedly inciting hatred. Authorities raided properties in Brandenburg, Hesse, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt to confiscate evidence and assets. “This magazine incites hatred against Jews, against people with a history of migration and against our parliamentary democracy in an unspeakable manner,” the minister […]

July 18, 2024 | Loan Defaults Confirm Faltering Consumers

In the second quarter of 2024, loan loss provisions at the six largest US banks increased the most since 2020 and car repossessions in June (drivers over 60 days late on payments) rose 23% year over year and were +14% compared to the pre-pandemic first half of 2019. See Car Repossessions Surge 23% as Americans Fall […]

July 17, 2024 | Neocons Usurping American Foreign Policy & Assassinations for Regime Change

  I can tell you that when Regan was elected, the Republicans were beside themselves. When I asked: What’s the problem? They said: “You don’t understand!” They explained that they would have to “train” him because he was a “governor” and not one of them from the swamp. The Neocons tried their best to prevent […]

July 17, 2024 | US Total Stocks Rose 11.1 MB Last Week -This Should Put Pressure on Crude Prices

The Republican National Convention is on this week and all of Trump’s former Presidential opponents are singing kumbaya and circling the wagons to get a fully united party to win the Presidency, the Senate and a large majority in the House. His surviving an assassination attempt last week has added to his messianic support. A […]

July 17, 2024 | Nomi Prins: Why Nuclear Power Is Back In Vogue

Best-selling financial writer and former investment banker Nomi Prins just posted a primer on nuclear power (and, by implication, the uranium mining stocks). Here’s an excerpt: The New Gold Rush: Unlock Uranium’s Soaring Demand Nuclear energy is the “Switzerland” of energy sources. It is increasingly popular with both sides of the political spectrum for several reasons. First, nuclear energy is […]

July 16, 2024 | “They” Will Do Anything To Win

“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”  – William J. Casey, CIA Director (1981) The always mysterious question when trying to figure out what is happening in this insane world and why it is happening is who are “they”? In the current chaotic atmosphere, “they” are in […]

July 16, 2024 | Beware the “Relative Value” Trap

Over the past 32 months, economically sensitive small and medium-cap stock indices have underperformed the largest-cap tech-heavy indices (price x shares outstanding) to a degree not seen since the last tech bubble in 1998 through March of 2000. Indeed, global fund flows (shown below since July 2023, courtesy of The Daily Shot) have concentrated in […]

July 15, 2024 | Struggling Consumers are a Tough Slog

Consumer spending drives just under 60% of Canadian GDP growth and consumer spending fell across all categories in June–discretionary and essential (shown below courtesy of RBC). Warm weather and declining interest rates did not entice spending as hoped. Overall, second-quarter retail sales were negative. Fewer Canadians have renovated their homes amid a sluggish housing sector, while […]

July 15, 2024 | The Speculator as Hero

Happy Monday Morning! We’re now in the dog days of Summer, a historically slow time for housing markets that is being compounded by weaker economic activity. The unemployment rate in Canada is up 1.6 percentage points from the lows, which is already a larger increase off the lows than in several recessions over the past […]

July 15, 2024 | Assassinations & Markets – Divided We Stand

  The attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump is reverberating around the world, to say the least. Domestically, it depends if you are a Democrat or a Republican. Each camp naturally views the event through their personal view of the world, which is basically unchangeable. If aliens landed from another planet and started wiping […]

July 15, 2024 | How a Country Goes Bankrupt, In 10 Steps

Japan appears to have entered the inevitable fiat currency death spiral, where interest rates (and interest costs) rise while the currency falls. Fix one problem and the other gets worse, until the system breaks. Here, from March 2023, is a longer explanation:   How a Country Goes Bankrupt, In 10 Steps   The past few […]

July 14, 2024 | Attitude Adjustments

We are in the time of year when Americans pack transatlantic airliners for their European vacations. I had actually hoped to be one of them. That didn’t work out but we can still talk about events in Europe. And we probably should, because potentially major changes are happening. Maybe I should say more changes are happening. Europe has already […]

July 14, 2024 | Summer Doldrums It Ain’t

The dog days of summer have returned with a vengeance to Florida this year, especially in my home. The air conditioner’s condenser coil sprang a leak, which is hardly unusual considering that it’s eight years old. What is unusual, and causing more than a little inconvenience, is that the broken part will take a month […]

July 14, 2024 | China Prepares for War

China has begun using mock US fighter jets for target practice as revealed by new satellite images taken by Plant Labs. The images show F-35 and F-22 modeled aircrafts damaged on a test runway. This comes on the heels of NATO warning China to cease aiding Russia as a “decisive enabler.” The Chinese government fought […]

July 14, 2024 | Two Takes on the Assassination Attempt

A friend just emailed about the Trump assassination attempt, predicting that it guarantees his election in November. I tentatively agreed, and responded with a story: You’re too young to remember Ronald Reagan. But back in the 1980s, his political honeymoon was fading and his approval ratings were dropping. Then someone shot him in the chest, […]

July 13, 2024 | Trading Desk Notes For July 13, 2024

Do you believe in mean regression? The NAZ is up ~50% from last October’s lows, 100% from the 2022 lows, and >200% from the 2020 lows. It’s up ~20X from the 2009 lows. At what point does mean reversion kick in, or does that never happen? The S&P has closed higher for 11 of the past […]

July 13, 2024 | Tech Talk for Saturday July 13th 2024

The Bottom Line The Summer Rally continues. All-time highs were set by broadly based equity indices including TSX Composite Index, S&P/TSX 60 Index, S&P 500 Index, Equal Weight S&P 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average, Australia All Ordinaries and Nikkei Average! Equity markets are responding to encouraging second quarter results released by major companies and […]

July 12, 2024 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in Canada, June: A Rate Cut, and? Overall Prices Don’t Move, -14% from Peak, -3.4% YoY. Sales -9.4% YoY

The Bank of Canada cut its rates at the beginning of June, and not much happened in the Canadian housing market. Home sales rose by 3.7% in June from the beaten-down levels in May, seasonally adjusted. But year-over-year, home sales were down 9.4%, a sharper year-over-year decline than in May (-5.9%). New listings rose by […]

July 12, 2024 | Physics vs Economics

  QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong, I find it remarkable that your model has always been correct in predicting the economy’s direction. This latest US inflation number shows that it was subsiding, cooling down to the slowest pace since 2021, right in turn with your Economic Confidence Model. Treasuries rallied on expectations that the Fed might cut rates. […]

July 12, 2024 | “Fake Organic” Food and the Shrinking Trust Horizon

Once you understand the concept of the microbiome, it’s easy to see the problem with pesticide-laden food: Pesticides are poisons designed to kill small lifeforms, and ingesting such poisons risks wiping out or disrupting the good bacteria that keep us alive and functional. The obvious solution is to eat only organic produce and meat. But that’s […]

July 12, 2024 | Canada Lags Far Behind Other Countries in Expenditure on Research and Development as a portion of GDP

Canada remains far behind many other developed countries in the OECD when comparing expenditures on research and development as a portion of GDP. This lack of investment will continue to hurt Canadian economic growth and productivity for years to come unless changes are made. Can Canada boost its research and development spending? Total research and […]

July 11, 2024 | The Clinton-Harris Ticket

Polls are already asking voters whether they would support Hillary Clinton as president. Even international news outlets are posting this information. When did Hillary suddenly enter the race? Democratic firm Bendixen & Amandi conducted a poll to see how the public would respond to a Clinton presidency. Of the 86% of respondents who watched the […]

July 10, 2024 | Made in Mexico

  US manufacturing is in trouble as companies move offshore to avoid taxation, high wages, and asinine green legislation. John Deere, an American branded company, announced it will move manufacturing from Illinois to Ramos, Mexico. This is part of a growing trend of companies simply finding it difficult to turn a profit in the US. […]

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