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May 5, 2021 | What If “Transitory” Inflation Is Here To Stay?

One of the emerging trends in the almost-post-covid economy is companies suddenly having to pay way up to find new employees. Restaurants, truckers, even Uber and Lyft, are now struggling to track down and re-hire the people they and their competitors shed during the lockdown. It’s not going well: The Covid recovery labor shortage is […]

April 22, 2021 | What Happens When Everything Is A Story Stock?

On today’s Wall Street Journal home page, two stories appear side-by-side. One is about how a heretofore obscure, nearly-valueless cryptocurrency called dogecoin, originally created as a joke, has soared to the point of being consequential for large sections of the investing public. And it’s not unique: Dogecoin Is a Joke, but It’s No Laughing Matter […]

April 16, 2021 | Yet Another Ridiculous Stock Market Bubble, In Three Charts

The Fiat Currency Age is nothing if not repetitious. There are dozens of charts that illustrate how closely today’s financial bubble resembles its predecessors. But simple is better when expressing a hard truth, so let’s go with that old standby, margin debt. This is debt created when over-stimulated investors borrow against their stocks to buy […]

April 12, 2021 | Lawrence Lepard: Gold Is Going Higher

Excerpt from Lawrence Lepard’s Equity Management Associates Q1 Report:  We believe we are in the early to middle stages of a worldwide sovereign debt bubble collapse. The “bubble” which exists today is in debt and the currencies which are backed and supported by this debt. This is a very big deal and does not happen […]

April 9, 2021 | Glenn Greenwald Explains How Real Journalism Works

If you think New York Times, Fox, and MSNBC reporters are pursuing “journalism” when they repeat CIA talking points or haunt online forums hoping to catch people using problematic words (and then whine when they’re criticized for being deep state mouthpieces or woke bullies), check out this video of Glenn Greenwald explaining how real reporters […]

April 8, 2021 | How Can These Two Trends Coexist?

Before the pandemic, auto sales were booming, mostly because car loans were available to pretty much anyone with a driver’s license and a heartbeat. “Subprime” auto loans – which charge high interest rates and run for up to eight years (hence the nickname “car mortgage”) — accounted for about 20% of a $1 trillion+ market. […]

April 5, 2021 | Paradise Lost

So a single political party gains control of a lockdown-battered country desperate for any and all forms of government spending. Direct payments, loan forgiveness, infrastructure, all of these and more are not just possible, but popular. The president and his Congressional allies simply write the bills, pass them, and bask in the near-universal admiration of […]

March 23, 2021 | WSJ Gets It Right: “A Fed With No Fear of Inflation Should Scare Investors”

The mainstream press is comfortable with moderate inflation because it raises financial asset prices and allows the government to spend more money. But when inflation hits a rate that threatens the stock market, even the Wall Street Journal starts to fret: A Fed With No Fear of Inflation Should Scare Investors It has taken four […]

March 17, 2021 | Here Comes Bitcoin’s Big Test: The Empire Strikes Back

One of the flaws in the revolutionary mindset is a tendency towards overconfidence. Combine absolute belief in a new idea with a couple of early wins and you get an absurd level of cockiness. This leads the would-be revolutionary to underestimate the challenges involved in getting from there to ultimate victory. Why? Because those early […]

March 12, 2021 | Substack Hurts New York Times’ Feelings, Must Be Censored

Once upon a time, if you wanted to be a journalist there were just a couple ways to go. You could start at a small-town paper as a glorified intern and learn the craft by covering local weddings and town council meetings, then move to a slightly bigger paper, and so on up the food […]

March 11, 2021 | NFTs Join The “Everything Bubble”

So bonds are obviously a bubble. And stocks have never been this overvalued. US houses have never been this expensive. Cryptos have had the greatest run in financial history. And the global money supply is soaring while most fiat currencies more-or-less hold their official value, which is another way of defining a bubble. Guess that’s […]

March 7, 2021 | Is “Temporary Inflation” A Real Thing?

Fed Chair Jerome Powell just spooked the markets by predicting nt: Fed’s Powell says reopening could cause inflation to pick up temporarily Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that he expects some inflationary pressures in the time ahead but they likely won’t be enough to spur the central bank to hike interest rates. “We […]

February 28, 2021 | Doug Noland: “Fed Credibility Is Evaporating Along With Bond Prices”

Doug Noland is out with his latest Credit Bubble Bulletin, following a week in which some of the things he’s been warning about began to happen. Definitely read the whole thing (especially the exchange between Representative Warren Davidson and Fed Chair Jerome Powell). But in the meantime here’s a brief excerpt: Global bond markets have […]

February 26, 2021 | Well This Looks Disturbingly Familiar

Last March, the financial markets were rocked by a disease that public health officials defined as a pandemic. Stocks and gold both tanked, and the locked-down economy went into free-fall. Here’s the Nasdaq … … and gold: This flash-crash was brutal but ultimately short-lived, as the world’s governments immediately stepped in with tens of trillions […]

February 23, 2021 | Welcome To The Third World, Part 32: Texas, Really??

California and Texas were, until very recently, the two best US states. The former is the richest and highest-profile, and home to Silicon Valley and Hollywood, while the latter is both huge and the place to which millions of Californians want to move. It’s not an exaggeration to say that as these two go, so […]

February 22, 2021 | If This Isn’t A Blow-Off Top …

Financial history includes plenty of extreme years. That’s not surprising, since we’re emotional beings with short memories. Combine those two traits and you get cycles, many of which end with a bang. Even so, this one stands out. A full accounting of the ways in which today’s financial markets have exceeded previous bounds of rationality […]

February 11, 2021 | The Number That Blows Up The World, “Everything Bubble” Edition

We’re deluged with numbers these days, many of them huge, ominous departures from historical norms. But one matters more than the others. To understand why, let’s start with some history. In the 1970s the US decided to enter the expensive and divisive Vietnam War, while simultaneously creating major entitlement programs including the also very expensive […]

February 8, 2021 | Is This The Biggest Financial Bubble Ever? Hell Yes It Is

If you’re over 40 you’ve lived through at least three epic financial bubbles: junk bonds in the 1980s, tech stocks in the 1990s, and housing in the 2000s. Each was spectacular in its own way, and each threatened to take down the whole financial system when it burst. But they pale next to what’s happening […]

February 2, 2021 | Reddit Giveth, And Reddit Taketh Away

For just a little while – literally a couple of days – silver stackers saw the light of sudden riches at the end of the tunnel. The Reddit/Robinhood hoards had noticed that the metal was cheap and blatantly manipulated, and therefore ripe for an epic short squeeze. They were piling into SLV and PSLV, forcing […]

January 28, 2021 | When Predator Becomes Prey

Wall Street traders have traditionally played hardball with each other. They’ll take a position and then “talk their book” on CNBC, or short a competitor’s favorite stock while spreading negative rumors about it, or do any number of other ethically-dubious things to profit at the expense of their peers. When they end up on the […]

January 21, 2021 | Is Bitcoin Strangling The Other Cryptos? Part 2: The Little Guys Are Soaring

The idea that “bitcoin is its own asset class” and should therefore be judged based on its own highly-constrained supply rests on the assumption that the rest of cryptospace consists of “shitcoins” that will evaporate as bitcoin, with its first-mover advantage, network effects, etc., eats the rest of the currency world and becomes the one […]

January 17, 2021 | Why Hardly Anyone Trusts The Virus Experts

Early in the pandemic, “trust the science!” could actually be used in a debate without attracting derisive laughter. But as the flip-flops, mistakes and, yes, lies have accumulated, a consensus seems to be forming that the health care authorities are no more trustworthy than the people running Congress or the Fed. For proof, let’s start […]

January 14, 2021 | Social Media Purge 2021: Here Come The Unintended Consequences

As corporate social media platforms try to sterilize the global conversation, some funny-if-they-weren’t-so-scary statistics are emerging. Here, for instance, is a recent screenshot of conservative pundit Ann Coulter’s Twitter account. Note that her activity and notoriety are soaring (which you’d expect during a presidential election), while her followers diminish by 81,000. Does this make sense? […]

January 9, 2021 | The Bailout Binge Begins

Incoming president Joe Biden just proposed that $10,000 of student debt be forgiven for each borrower. This sounds generous but is actually just the opening bid in a negotiation that will end in a very different, much more expensive place – and that will be repeated for many, many other groups of borrowers. Here’s how […]

January 8, 2021 | Extreme Charts – January 8

This week’s theme is “spikes and crashes,” and why they’re great for gold and silver. Let’s begin with inflation, which is suddenly spiking after decades of illusory quiescence. What actually happened was that there was raging inflation, but only in “good” sectors like stocks, bonds, and real estate. Now price increases are migrating to the […]

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