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December 10, 2023 | Why Liberals Dump Their Oldest Friends

[This essay originally appeared here in July 2022 and was written by a friend who spends a lot of time thinking outside the box. His provocative thesis is that that there is a physiological basis for our political differences; moreover, he notes, liberals cancel and ghost their conservative friends for reasons that are tied to […]

December 3, 2023 | My Brash Call for a Top

  They don’t ring a bell at the top, as the saying goes, but it’s hard to see how Mr. Market can avoid it this time. The stock market’s heedless, nutty short squeeze since October will end when Microsoft hits $430, probably early in the new year. It’s that simple.  How do I know this? […]

November 26, 2023 | What Has AI Done for YOU Lately?

  AI hubris has become America’s chief source of good news. Over the past year, artificial intelligence surpassed bitcoin as mankind’s most easily imaginable pathway to quick riches, shortened work weeks, ingenious solutions to every problem, and endless satisfactions. An AI-assisted world supposedly will revolutionize the way we do business, enabling high school graduates, even […]

November 19, 2023 | Celebrating the Wealth Effect’s Last Hurrah

Lacy Hunt, a gray eminence of the financial world and no doomsayer, was out with a Hoisington Report recently that should scare the pants off anyone concerned about the direction of the U.S. economy.  His meticulously detailed take on a commercial real estate debacle that has been metastasizing for more than a year should dispel […]

November 12, 2023 | Revved-Up Microsoft Is the Engine that Could

U.S. shares continued to climb a wall of well-justified worry last week, propelled with sufficient vigor to suggest new all-time highs are likely.  Notice how Microsoft’s push into record territory on Friday occurred after the stock had spent nearly six months consolidating at the red line. This is a ‘midpoint Hidden Pivot’, according to our […]

November 5, 2023 | Markets, Riots, War and Peace

[A change of tone and tempo this week from our good friend Richard Charles, owner of Lake Tahoe-based Alpine Capital. His observations concerning gold’s historical role during periods of intense global strife should remind us that bullion’s sometimes crazy price swings should not be investors’ focus right now.  RA ]  With plans to attend memorial service for a dear […]

October 29, 2023 | Our #1 Bellwether Defies October Curse

Although my technical forecasts have generally been accurate, occasional guesses about when the sky would fall have consistently underimagined the height of bullish folly. Since yet another October looks likely to pass without a stock-market crash, perhaps it’s a good time to look at the chart of Apple, an institutional proxy that is incapable of […]

October 22, 2023 | The Smell of Napalm in the Morning

It took nearly two weeks for bears to recoup their mojo after getting sucker-punched by a suspiciously buoyant market following the October 7 Israel massacre. Although the attack could lead to a nuclear conflagration and world war, Wall Street kept its cool while trade desk sleazeballs deftly distributed shares to the rubes. But Friday’s are […]

October 15, 2023 | Be Among the First to Panic

Finally, a rally in gold that looks capable of leaving the $2000 barrier in the dust! This one is being pushed not only by the threat of escalated conflict in the Middle East, but by the dawning realization that a strong dollar and rising interest rates are about to trigger a crisis for the world’s […]

October 8, 2023 | This War Is Not a Tradeable Event

The massive terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel over the weekend will unsettle the geopolitical world for the foreseeable future. The economic implications are potentially too grave to be treated merely as a tradeable event; investors should instead be thinking about safeguarding capital. Will the price of crude spike to $117 or higher, as predicted […]

October 1, 2023 | ‘October Surprise’ Drumbeat Quickens

Price action last week in the charts of three bellwethers suggests that this year’s ‘October surprise’ could arrive right on schedule and that it could be a doozy.  The first shows the dollar’s so-far shallow correction off a minor Hidden Pivot rally target. This portends yet more strength, threatening to turn Powell’s tightening regime into […]

September 24, 2023 | One Last Turn of the Screw, then REAL Pain

The bullish gap on the chart holds ominous implications for the global economy, since it removes almost all doubt that interest rates on U.S. Treasury Bonds are headed significantly higher. The rally looks nearly certain to reach 4.81%, the target of the pattern shown.  The red line through which the gap occurred last Thursday is a […]

September 17, 2023 | A Stroll Down Disinflation Lane

  [Last week’s commentary on the gathering economic storm elicited a light-hearted reminiscence from our friend Richard Charles of Alpine Capital.  You’ll find his recollection of some notable deflationists enlightening, and there’s also a new word — screwflation — he has coined to describe a phenomenon that has yet to gain traction with eggheads at some of […]

September 10, 2023 | Who Will Buy Baby Boomers’ McMansions?

Can the Wall Street Journal‘s headline writers save America’s juiced-up economy from going bust?  They are certainly trying. Check out their lede in Friday’s editions: The Fall in Home Prices May Already Be Over.  Fancy that!  With mortgage rates headed toward 8%, many readers must have done a double-take when they read this seeming howler. Your editor […]

September 4, 2023 | Some Scary Shit

I let it all hang out in the interview I did Friday with USAWatchdog‘s Greg Hunter. Do I actually believe the U.S. economy is headed into a condition of barter? Yes, I do.  It will be that bad. And global. Americans in particular will face a long period of severe hardship when these boom times end. […]

August 27, 2023 | ‘AI’ Just Another Wall Street Scam

A handful of tech moguls already control the global flow of information, but their influence over our lives will only expand and deepen if Congress doesn’t do something soon to pry their greedy hands from the ultimate fruits of AI development. I say this while recognizing the irony of casting our elected representatives as the […]

August 20, 2023 | Thoughts on Rent, the Fed, and Bonds

[The following was sent out to clients in late July by my friend Doug Behnfield, a wealth manager and senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Boulder, CO. Long-time followers of Rick’s Picks will be familiar with Doug’s work, since his thoughts have appeared here many times. I have always considered him not only one of […]

August 13, 2023 | T-Bond Plunge Ahead?

Is Mr. Market about to deliver the coup de grace to bond bulls? It certainly appears that way.  They’ve been getting schmeissed regularly since a frightening few days back in March 2020.  At the time, investors were struggling to decide how covid would affect their financial lives. The wild gyrations near the top, followed by the subsequent collapse of […]

August 6, 2023 | AAPL Takes the Lead…Lower

Last week’s commentary said the first big correction of 2023 had a ways to go, and that is still the case. If there were any doubts about this, Apple’s swan dive Thursday on punk Q2 earnings released after the close should have dispelled them. The most valuable stock in the world fell by nearly 5%, […]

July 30, 2023 | First Big Correction of 2023 Has a Ways to Go

My ‘Chipotle indicator’ suggests that CMG, along with other high-fliers and the broad averages, could fall by at least 27% from recent highs before the bull market resumes later this summer. We last visited the burrito vendor’s chart in early May, just after a short-squeeze powered by feverish buying speared the red line, a ‘midpoint […]

July 23, 2023 | A Few Trillion Here, a Few Trillion There…

Last week’s commentary predicted that rates on the Ten-Year Note, currently around 3.8%, will hit a minimum 5.5% before inflation lurches into reverse and the U.S. begins a hellish descent into a full-blown debt deflation. The following, insightful response came from our friend Richard Charles at Alpine Capital: Well done, Rick, for highlighting the crux of markets […]

July 16, 2023 | 5.5% Rate on T-Bonds Coming, but Then What?

Jim Grant, the financial word’s adult in the room, says the bear market in Treasury bonds could last for decades. Do the long-term charts bear him out? The one reproduced above suggests that it’s at least possible that we are in the early stages of such a move. Most immediately, the chart projects a further […]

July 9, 2023 | Few Big Winners in the Hard Times Ahead

Will the rich and powerful own everything when the global financial system collapses from too much debt? Supposedly, “they” have been plotting and preparing for this all along — even getting a new money system ready to make the takeover complete. But this theory makes no more sense than the one that puts the same evil geniuses […]

July 2, 2023 | What to Expect After an Endless ‘Fourth’

This promises to be the longest holiday ever celebrated in the U.S., eclipsing even the eight-day festival holidays that frequently pop up on the Jewish calendar. By the time you read this, the Independence Day celebration will be in its unofficial fourth day, having begun in spirit with a pronounced slowdown in the stock market […]

June 25, 2023 | We’ll Look Back Fondly on Inflation

Inflation is being crushed from the system by vastly larger forces of deflation that have been lurking for decades. Although we might have expected the trillions in funny money that were force-fed into the U.S. economy during the covid era to have a longer-lasting effect on prices, inflation never had much of a chance. With […]

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