Bill Bonner – Bill Bonner’s Diary (United States) –
PARIS – Today’s screens are full of green numbers (things going up).
Investors may breathe a sigh of relief.
“Whew! Glad that’s over…” they are likely to say.
But it’s way too early to relax… and way too late to worry about it.
New Fed Hack
Greenspan, Bernanke, and Yellen at the Fed have seen to that.
And now, the incoming Fed chairman, Jerome Powell – a Fed hack, like Yellen – will get his chance.
We predict that he will do more harm than all of them put together.
Not intentionally, of course. He will be trapped by circumstances… a victim of history, like poor Gideon Gono, Zimbabwe’s central bank chief between 2003 and 2013.
Faced with bills to pay and a desperate economy, what choice did he have?
All he could do was add zeros to the nation’s currency… until we ended up with a 10 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note in our wallet. (Worthless, of course.)
Easy Money Fraud
But that is still in the future.
In the present, finally, The New York Times has noticed. The world-as-we-have-known-it is coming to an end.
“World braces as an era of easy money draws to an end,” is the front-page line this morning.
The world-as-we-have-known-it was created by the aforementioned trio – Greenspan, Bernanke, and Yellen.
Over the last 30 years, they aided and abetted the adding of trillions in new chips – fake money, borrowed at fake rates – to the nation’s gambling stock.
And now, according to the popular narrative, they are taking it back. (The foolishness of letting traders know what’s coming deserves special comment. Stay tuned.)
But the defining feature of the Easy Money Era was fraud. The money was counterfeit. Interest rates were phony. As a result, asset prices were falsified.
And almost everything said by central bankers was either an outright lie, grossly misleading, or hopelessly stupid.
Age of Inflation
At least here at the Diary, we take comfort – amidst the Sturm und Drang of mad volatility, and the political bombshells bursting in mid-air – in the fact that there are some things we can still depend on.
Fraud, of course.
There is no chance – none – that the Fed will follow through on its “normalization” of interest rates.
Instead, when the stock market crashes… and the economy goes into recession… the Fed will quickly turn back to the tried-and-true panacea: the old miracle elixir, that snake oil known as EZ money.
But… there’s a catch.
In the coming crisis, monetary policy alone will not be enough; the Fed doesn’t have enough room to cut interest rates.
As we predicted when Mr. Trump was elected, the critical fraud is shifting from monetary policy to fiscal policy (government deficit spending).
Yes, the Age of Inflation is coming. Fiscal stimulus. Big spending by both parties.
Indeed, the feds are already laying the groundwork. Here’s the Associated Press story from yesterday:
The Senate’s top leaders announced Wednesday they have sealed agreement on a two-year budget pact that would shower the Pentagon and domestic programs with almost $300 billion above existing limits, giving wins to both GOP defense hawks and Democrats seeking billions for infrastructure projects and combating opioid abuse.
The agreement is likely to be added to a stopgap spending bill that passed the House on Tuesday, aimed at averting a government shutdown Thursday at midnight. Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York called the Senate agreement “a genuine breakthrough.”
It is a breakthrough, of sorts.
In the past, Republicans fought (often haplessly and half-heartedly) for lower spending and smaller deficits.
Now, they are right there… in line with the Dems and the Deep State… in favor of tossing more of the nation’s wealth to their favored crony industries and zombie supporters.
Deep State Victory
In yesterday’s Diary, we pointed out how partisan politics – like football and war – is a win-lose business.
If you pay attention at all, it captures your critical judgment… and your emotions. You soon begin to care who wins.
And while you are rooting for one team or the other, the real news passes unnoticed.
This is the real story… the line you won’t read anywhere but here: Deep State Victory Bus Has Republicans and Democrats Both on Board.
And here’s another line you won’t find in the mainstream media: Bipartisan Budget Deal Dooms U.S. Economy to Debt Explosion.
Stay tuned for more lines… tomorrow.
INVESTING INSIGHT: HOW WILL YOU FEEL NEXT MONTH?
By Jeff Clark, Editor, Jeff Clark’s Market Minute
I have a single-frame comic strip taped to the bottom right-hand corner of my desk.
It’s a picture of a man sitting at his breakfast table. He’s slumped over in his chair, and his fore is resting on the table. Behind the man is his wife. She’s standing in her bathrobe, curlers in her hair, and holding a cup of coffee in one hand. Her other hand is pointed upright, with her index finger extended – as if she’s lecturing.
The caption reads, “Last month you were upset because you weren’t in the stock market. Today, you’re upset because you are in it. How will you feel next month?”
The comic ran in my local newspaper back in late October 1987 – just after the crash. But it could have just as easily appeared earlier this week.
Investors felt pressured to buy stocks in January. The stock market moved higher almost every day. Every else was getting rich. And the talking s in the financial media kept telling us how foolish it was to be holding cash.
Today, holding cash doesn’t feel so foolish.
The lesson here is that investors should resist the urge to buy stocks (or any other financial asset) when they feel pressured to do so. Chasing stocks higher into overbought conditions is usually a bad idea.
Trading the stock market is a game that never ends. It doesn’t matter if you underperform the market for short periods of time. You’ll have a chance to outperform as stock prices revert to the mean. As long as you don’t run out of cash, the game continues.
It doesn’t matter if all your friends are making more money than you. Be happy for them. Prosperity is a good thing. But don’t let their success coax you into high-risk, low-reward trades. Envy is a horrible investment strategy.
So the next time you’re feeling anxious, frustrated, and upset that the markets are running away without you and everyone else is making more money than you are… think back to the action in cryptocurrencies since Christmas, in marijuana stocks since New Year, and the broad stock market over the past week.
Then ask yourself… How will you feel next month?
– Jeff Clark
P.S. Each day in my free e-letter, the Market Minute, I take a look at the trends taking shape in the market… and show you how to prepare for the trading day a.
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