The stock market has soared for five years, risks have ballooned, home prices have jumped. Gains built on the quicksand of endless liquidity and a lackluster economy. “Irrational exuberance” is back in the Fed’s vocabulary. As the Fed’s Fisher said, it may end “in tears.”
Despite breath-taking hype on Wall Street and President Obama’s budget that assumed economic growth of a glorious 3.1%, corporate executives and directors are quietly dumping their shares in bouts of extreme bearishness, just like they did before the last crash.
“Paranormal liquidity stimulus” leads to “paranormal activity” to deliver that “parabolic overshoot” in asset prices. And there is no bubble in sight, not even in the Nasdaq Biotech index, which is up a cool 375%. Money is once again growing on trees.
Small investors are having fun in the stock market again, after years of sitting out the most phenomenal rally. They’re leveraging up their portfolios. Margin debt is spiking beautifully. Alas, spiking margin debt has a nasty habit of ending in a crash. In one painful chart.
With over 6,400 stores in 26 countries outside the US, Walmart International has smacked into the same problems Walmart has encountered in the US: it’s tough out there.
By Don Quijones: The new trade agreements have little to do with promoting free trade. They’re about extending the power and control of the world’s largest corporations.
Every bubble has its ultimate, craziest, mostest, farthest-outest deal. Its craziness can no longer be exceeded. Buyers simply vanish. Sellers get desperate. Newfangled theories and metrics sink into a morass of ridicule. And lots of money goes up in smoke.
Danièle Nouy, chair of the ECB’s newfangled bank regulator that doesn’t exist yet, had a term for it: “do whatever has to be done” so that the banking sector “is seen as sound and safe and transparent.” Is seen as…. Smoke and mirrors.
Last quarter was tough on large US corporations – those in the S&P 500 index. Unperturbed, the index soared all year. But its 343 companies that have reported so far have exposed the ugly underbelly of the worldwide economy: revenue “growth.”
It’s “a technology everyone is going to have,” said a Bay Area real estate broker as he explained why realtors use drones to shoot aerial videos of high-end properties. And it’s illegal. But no one is going to be able to stop it, he implied.