Kontent News

Latest News on the commodity supercycle...and the rise of the precious metals, including uranium. Get ready for peak everything, the repricing of the planet and "black swans" all over the place..

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Financial Sense Online  Market WrapUp with Frank Barbera, 01/30/07

Financial Sense Online Market WrapUp with Frank Barbera, 01/30/07: "Blissfully unaware, the average American sails through another day listening to the radio reports of a growing economy and the illusion of deep-seated prosperity. For twenty years, the US economy has been in a “boom,” with technology spearheading the economic growth and the standard of living continuously on the rise. At least this is the impression that has been created."

Decision Point ®: Top Advisor's Corner: John Kosar

Decision Point ®: Top Advisor's Corner: John Kosar: "In our January 10th Stock Sector Overview, we said:
'...although this (Materials) sector appears to be susceptible to more near-term weakness and relative underperformance, we believe that the sideways activity of the sector’s relative strength line versus the broad market during the past six months is indicative of a larger, more significant emerging bottom as is being suggested by a multi-year under-invested extreme in our Rydex Materials Ratio. A stabilizing and eventually outperforming Materials Sector later on this year squares with our larger view that an increase in inflationary pressures is likely to be a key economic factor for both the Fed and the financial markets in 2007.'"

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Mr. Practical on the Yen, Carry Trade, and Credit Expansion

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Mr. Practical on the Yen, Carry Trade, and Credit Expansion: "But these are not normal times. With GDP growing at 2-3% (I believe this to be overstated) and M3 (broad money) growing at an astounding 13% for the world’s largest economy, we have our first clue that things are not normal. Money is free to any who want to take the risk. When money supply grows you can by definition be sure that debt is growing commensurately. Debt is not used prudently because it is created easily for anyone and everyone out of thin air by central banks. Almost all of the current liquidity is coming from debt creation. This is the definition of inflation."

Not normal times

But these are not normal times. With GDP growing at 2-3% (I believe this to be overstated) and M3 (broad money) growing at an astounding 13% for the world’s largest economy, we have our first clue that things are not normal. Money is free to any who want to take the risk. When money supply grows you can by definition be sure that debt is growing commensurately. Debt is not used prudently because it is created easily for anyone and everyone out of thin air by central banks. Almost all of the current liquidity is coming from debt creation. This is the definition of inflation.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

PIMCO Bonds - Investment Outlook- February 2007 "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall"

PIMCO Bonds - Investment Outlook- February 2007 "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall": "my critical point is that asset prices are no longer entirely a function of the real economy: it can be just the reverse. The real economy is being driven by asset prices, which in turn are influenced by financial flows of non-historic origin, composition, and uncertain longevity."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Gerard Minack --Crash a coming

Courtesy Gerard Minack Morgan Stanley Sydney"I keep insisting that equity markets are a bubble,but not a TMT-like PE bubble, an earnings bubble.Look at the US as an example. US earnings per shareare now almost 70% above their long-term trend(Exhibit 1). Earnings haven't been that far above trendin a long time – since 1916, in fact. In other words, thissort of bubble is rarer than a 5-0 Ashes whitewash.The earnings surge has taken the after-tax profit shareof GDP to a post-1945 high. The profit-share is 54%above its long-term average. The only time the profitshare has been further above its average was in 1929.This is bearish big-picture stuff – so long as you believethat returns (or profit share) mean-revert. The counterargumentis that in a globalized world it makes nosense to compare profits of US firms, which can beearned anywhere in the world, to US GDP. In fact, it'sworth noting that 1916 – when EPS saw its largest-evergap to the trend – was at the end of the great Victorianera of globalization. In other words, globalizationremoves or loosens domestic constraints on profits.However, I'm not so sure it is the principal reason whymargins are so now high, at least in the US. Here are afew points to note:First, note that even after adjusting for the profits USfirms make on their offshore sales, margins on sales inthe US are around post-1945 highs.Exhibit 2 shows two series. One is after-tax profits ofUS corporates (relative to corporate GDP), whichreflects their US-sourced earnings, as well as profitsmade offshore. The second is profits earned in the US,which includes the profits made by non-US firmsoperating in America.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Expensive workers are good for you

Sanders Research Associates - The Rise and Decline of the Great American Corporation: "Expensive workers are good for you
The problem of cheaper labor abroad has been treated as if it was a problem with no solution. There is simply nothing that can be done, one reads, which means that the American working and middle classes are doomed. If the cost of labor were indeed the main consideration in production, this would be true. But it most emphatically is not true.
The central factor in the creation of economic wealth and growth is not the cheapness of labor, but the productive power of machinery. If cheap labor were the road to international competitiveness, then the oversupply of near-starving peasants in China and India would have kept them at the top of the world food chain for the last 1000 years."

Sanders Research Associates - The Rise and Decline of the Great American Corporation

Sanders Research Associates - The Rise and Decline of the Great American Corporation: "But surely these corporations are smarter than that, they must have some plan to deal with a shrinking American market? No. Advised by a class of professional economists who are trained to explain why this is the best of all possible worlds as long as the corporations can do whatever they want, blinded by greed and the low-hanging fruit of greater profits from lower wages, no CEO will think to do what Henry Ford did when he introduced the $5 day for workers. Ford justified his largesse by pointing out that his workers could now afford to buy his cars."

Sanders Research Associates - Why a democratic economy would be a more efficient economy, Part I

Sanders Research Associates - Why a democratic economy would be a more efficient economy, Part I: "Agricultural societies are where hierarchies first became established. Whether this happened from necessity, imposition from outside, or both, one can not know; but the result was that a grain surplus was created by the unfortunate field workers which the elite used to keep themselves and their military compatriots in fine fettle. Effectively, the poor peasants were forced to create the food to feed their masters. A priest class emerged to create religions to try and convince the masses that servitude was what the gods wanted; today, neoclassical economists serve essentially the same function."

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Former aide criticizes Carter over Mideast book - Los Angeles Times

Former aide criticizes Carter over Mideast book - Los Angeles Times: "Stein, who was director of the Carter Center from 1983 to 1986 and had continued to serve as a fellow there, spoke to a crowd of nearly 1,000 Thursday night at Los Angeles' Sinai Temple. His comments came against a backdrop of escalating controversy over the former president's bestselling book 'Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.'

In the book, Carter traces the stops and starts of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, beginning with his first visit to Israel in 1973 and continuing to the present, through his 1977-1981 presidency and the historic peace accord he brokered between Israel and Egypt. "

Monday, January 08, 2007

euphoria too excessive

immobilienblasen: question the euphoria / disaster risk may rise : "Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Bennet Sedacca, president of Atlantic Advisors LLC in Winter Park, Florida, recalls being an equity trader during the October 1987 stock-market crash, .....

...... In the last three months he has reduced his holdings of stocks and raised investments in short-term Treasury and other securities on the view that another crash may be coming, two decades later.

``Disasters may be rare, but I see the kind of conditions that could make one happen,'' said Sedacca. ``It's like a big keg of dynamite with a fuse. I don't know when, but I think the conditions exist for the explosion to eventually occur.'' "

Saturday, January 06, 2007

US Dollar/Euro/OPEC/Iran War/Iran Oil US Dollar/Euro Replacing US Dollar For Oil/Death Of The Dollar

US Dollar/Euro/OPEC/Iran War/Iran Oil US Dollar/Euro Replacing US Dollar For Oil/Death Of The Dollar: "The Euro-zone does not run a huge trade deficit nor is it heavily indebted to the rest of the world like the US and interest rates in the Euro-zone are also significantly higher. The Euro-zone has a larger share of world trade than the US and is the Middle East’s main trading partner. And nearly everything you can buy for dollars you can also buy for euros—apart, of course, from oil. If OPEC were to convert their dollar assets to euro assets and then require payment for oil in Euros, their assets would immediately increase in value, since oil-importing countries would be forced to also convert part of their assets, driving the prices up. [Common Dreams Nov 15/04]
In the coming rearrangement of the world economic order, the euro could easily hold equal parity with the US dollar—if not supplant it outright as the world’s premiere “product”."

Friday, January 05, 2007

Global Liquidity issues

immobilienblasen: The global gusher / economist: "First, average real interest rates in the developed world are still below their long-term average. Second, America's huge current-account deficit and the consequent build-up of foreign-exchange reserves by countries with external surpluses has also pumped vast quantities of dollars into the financial system. A large chunk of Asia's reserves and oil exporters' petrodollars have been used to buy American Treasury securities, thereby reducing bond yields. In turn, low bond-market returns have encouraged bigger inflows into higher yielding emerging-market bonds, equities and property, especially in Asia. Liquidity has been further boosted by the use of derivatives, and by carry trades(borrowing in currencies with low interest rates, such as yen, to buy higher-yielding currencies).

The spread on emerging-market bond yields over American Treasury bonds fell to another record low last week. Share prices in emerging economies have risen by 243% on average from their trough in 2003. That still leaves the average price/earnings ratio below its historical average and less than that in developed countries, so for most markets it is premature to talk about bubbles. But if asset prices continue to climb at their recent pace, central bankers will become increasingly nervous. "

The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter

The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter: "I set this page up to keep track of mortgage lenders in the US going bust since approximately December 2006, when it seems the first of them started going under. Many observers (including myself) have been anticipating this for some time, as rising home prices (and other financial assets) have collided with the deteriorating consumer balance sheet and low-as-they-can-possibly-go interest rates (heavily reliant on the dole of China and the oil exporters). "