Turning Japanese? I Really Think So

A heavily indebted country with debt-to-GDP north of 100%. That’s like making $100,000 per year while carrying a credit card balance of $100,000. Tack on an aging demographic that has been drawing down at an ever-increasing rate on social benefits. Cap it off with an...

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Why Worry? Lower Interest Rates Solve Everything!

The world's massive debt-to-GDP ratio is, in many ways, unimaginable. 322%! Countries with limited borrowing capabilities could face extraordinary hardships in meeting financial needs. And the refinancing risk? A total of more than $19 trillion of syndicated loans and...

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Debt Cycles Matter

Corporate debt as a percentage of GDP correlates with recessions and market tops. In every credit cycle, excessive leveraging leads to rapid deleveraging to restore balance sheets. Indeed, the last three recessions (as well as their corresponding stock declines)...

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Proof of Death: Corporate Profits Flatlined

“Bubblicious” evidence is blindingly glaring when one examines the disconnect between S&P 500 stock prices and corporate profits. In the late 1990s, stocks rocketed (green line), even as profits had flatlined (red line). In the late 2010s? Same exact thing. The...

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Eeeeeeee Bit What?

The total value of companies (Enterprise Value) in relation to profits (EBITDA) has surpassed the bubble peak from 2000. No stock bubble here?      

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The Uneasy Consumer

Consumers may drive 70% of U.S. economic growth (GDP). And consumers may be quite confident about the present-day economy. On the flip side, the difference between consumer expectations for the future and current consumer conditions is at levels seen just before...

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It’s Only a Manufacturing Recession

Wall Street tells you to forget the manufacturing segment of the U.S. because we are primarily a consumer-oriented society. However, manufacturing downturns preceded both the 2001 recession as well as the 2008 recession. Equally important? Goods-producing corporations...

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Money-Losing IPOs

Money-losers. Those were the types of companies that came to the stock market during the late 1990s dot-com boom (and eventual bust). Same thing happened in 2019 as three-quarters of IPOs represented businesses with negative earnings.      

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Stocks Went Parabolic… Dontcha Think?

A little too parabolic. (Yeah, I really do think.) Parabolic moves for the tech sector have never ended well for the stock market. In the first chart, the yellow line show what transpired for the Nasdaq 100 as 2000 approached, as well as the aftermath. The red line...

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Dude, Where’s My DPI?

The Federal Reserve has engineered a variety of asset bubbles by suppressing and manipulating borrowing costs. Leading up to the bursting of 2000’s stock bubble, household assets as a percentage of disposable personal income nearly reached 500%. In 2007’s real estate...

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Just 5 Stocks Control the Market

Back in 1999, General Electric (GE), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Microsoft (MSFT), Cisco (CSCO) and Wal-Mart (WMT) comprised the largest companies in the S&P 500. In 2019, the S&P 500’s “Top Five List” boasted a cornucopia of tech giants, including Facebook (FB),...

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Nothing is ‘Standard’ About These Valuations

There have only been three times in U.S. history when stock valuations bounced three standard deviations off the lows. The 1920s, the 1990s and the 2010s. The 1920s ended with the 1929 stock crash and a four-year bear that eviscerated 90% of wealth. 90% losses....

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Sitting on Stacks of Cash

Warren Buffett is mindful of the stock market’s extreme overvaluation. His holding company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) has a cash position that is 55% of the value of his portfolio holdings. That’s roughly $128 billion of $233 billion at last count. He hasn’t held...

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Warren Buffett Indicator

Warren Buffett once described market-cap-to-GDP as “…probably the best single measure of where valuations stand at any given moment.” The Wilshire 5000 total stock market capitalization relative to gross domestic product (GDP) is HIGHER in January of 2020 than it was...

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