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  • 50 Shades Of Stock Market Grey [View article]
    Thanks Eric, for another outstanding and concise overview of where we stand today.

    On and on it goes, and where will it stop? And yet we should know better by now. that it doesn’t pay to play with the free enterprise system as if you had all the answers. Will someone please tell Dr. Bernanke that he may not in fact be the smartest man in the entire world?

    “When you find yourself in a hole, [for God sakes] stop digging!” Will Rogers, please come home, we need you, and we need you right now!
    Oct 21 09:03 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A World Without Consequences [View article]
    "Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph."

    Haile Selassie (1936)
    Jul 24 09:23 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Crisis In Ukraine: What Now For U.S. Stocks? [View article]
    Eastern Ukraine is as good as gone, and Putin will probably swallow all of the Ukraine over time. He will because he can. But the bigger problems for us will be over Japanese islands threatened by China and North Korean incursions on South Korean sovereignty. Both those countries will be embolden by American weakness on the world stage.

    In each of those cases the U.S. has mutual defense treaties stretching back decades. Empty threats from our president mean even less in the face of violations of major U.S. defense treaty obligations. If Obama just draws another line in the sand in either event, America will be left with only the UK and Canada on its list of allies. Then you'll really see what international events can do to the stock market.
    Apr 26 11:52 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Event That Will End The Bull Market [View article]
    Thanks Eric, for a simple and clear demonstration of how QE has affected the market.

    The Fed was certainly courageous at the beginning of this financial crisis when initiating QE, but has lacked anywhere near that same resolve in ending its experiment in monetary manipulation. I'm afraid, as tapering proceeds, the Fed will take the easy way out and re-start the party when faced with growing pressure, political and otherwise, and a falling market.
    Apr 20 09:08 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Pain Has Only Just Begun [View article]
    A big mistake many have continued to make is the belief that QE will always sustain the market, and tapering will do the opposite. For a period of time, that was true simply because enough investors believed that was true regardless of what else was happening in the economy. The market ignored reality. But now QE and tapering are the "given," they're now part of the "landscape." They no longer affect the base line, they've become part of the base line.

    So don't count on the Fed saving the day by halting tapering, or even by reversing and increasing QE, if the market falls. It will mean little during the descent as that fall gathers momentum. It will be like being confronted by a grizzly and threatening to pull your weapon if it doesn't stop moving toward you. The grizzly isn't much interested in what you think you might have in your pocket. And, by the way, your gun is no longer loaded.
    Feb 6 10:16 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I'm Not Afraid Of QE3 [View article]
    QE1 was appropriate and helped a great deal under sever circumstances. Most manipulation after that has been wrongheaded. The market needs to fix itself, it's smarter than Dr. Bernanke and all his little friends. You don't screw with the free enterprise system and not kill innocent bystanders.
    Sep 13 09:23 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What If Stocks Crash And Don't Bounce Back? [View article]
    With the demographics of an aging population, exacerbated by a medical profession which has been working overtime for decades to prolong human life (if you don't think that's a mixed blessing, visit a local memory care center);

    An expanding national debt which used to be measured in "billions," but is now calculated in the "trillions," and with federal policy-makers showing little interest in restraint;

    A school system in almost every state which has deteriorated in quality and results over the past 50 years as the teachers unions have consolidated their power;

    A tort-lawyer lobby which owns the government (I practiced law for a very long time);

    A Medicare and Social Security system, soon to be joined by an Obamacare colossus, all heading for eventual bankruptcy;

    A medical service community about to bail out en masse from socialized medicine which will never properly reimburse providers for their personal professional investment;

    A growing political trend enthusiastically in favor of national wealth distribution -- with the goal of all Americans being equally poor;

    An administration fixated on controlling every aspect of running a business, especially small businesses, with the exception of ensuring they make a decent profit (with the exception of large political contributors);

    And a financial system which appears to operate under a code of conduct providing its own definition of right and wrong;

    America could indeed be facing an economic ice age.

    And I've always been, up until now, an optimist..
    Dec 18 11:33 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Longer Until Stocks Fall Down? [View article]
    A question that might be worth pondering: We're now facing a fragile market, as Eric clearly outlines; what if QE continues, but it becomes irrelevant.

    What if, after these past five years, the market is actually now adapting to the artificial stimulation of QE. Some living things can adapt to almost anything, and some can't and don't. Cockroaches did, dinosaurs didn't. (I know, market aren't creatures in the traditional sense, nor are they cockroaches or dinosaurs.)

    My point is: if you believe that it's relatively safe to buy and hold equities as long as Ben and his eventual successor continue to dither and only contemplate tapering, that may not be wise. At some point, even if Ben attempts to double down during a crash, the Fed's QE net may not matter all that much during a panic as stop orders are blown out.

    Markets change in the face of unique times, and the years of QE are unique. Don't assume they will continue in the future as they have over the past five years.

    Just something to think about.
    Aug 10 11:30 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who's Really Ignoring 47% Of Americans Today? [View article]
    With each passing decade, our central government has, for good or for otherwise, enjoyed ever increasing influence over the daily lives of all Americans. A great part of this influence is obvious in the effect it now has upon the functioning of our financial system and, indeed, on all businesses large and small. In that way, and in a thousand other ways, it should matter to us all; for it not only affects us, but our loved ones as well.

    To say that these issues have no place in a financial or investment forum is to say: "I'm not concerned with what other people do, who ever they may be or however their titles may read, they aren't in my world." But they are, and there lies the rub!
    Jan 13 12:19 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Crisis In Ukraine: What Now For U.S. Stocks? [View article]
    Thanks Fiberton,

    We won the Cold War because deterrence worked. Yes, it was costly, but infinity cheaper than the alternative of World War III, perhaps on a nuclear level.

    Now we've had a great orator for six years, one of our country"s best in recent history. The new and very real threat is whether the crazies out there, North Korea being perhaps number one on the list, believe it's just talk at this point, or whether they're even listening anymore.

    Deterrence is not just about having a strong military. It must include the belief by our adversaries that the U.S. is ready and willing to use it if and when it's necessary.
    Apr 27 09:02 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Crisis In Ukraine: What Now For U.S. Stocks? [View article]
    I am absolutely in favor of the KXL pipeline, for more than a few good reasons, but the importance of that issue pales in comparison to the policies this administration has demonstrated internationally which may put our country at risk. The former involves the economic prosperity of our country. The latter involves national security.

    Just so there is no misunderstanding, the difference between having an international security treaty obligation, as we do with Japan and South Korea, and not having that international obligation, as is the case with our relationship with Ukraine, is the difference between night and day; the difference between war and peace. At least it always has been for this country up until now. I hope and pray it will not come down to proving whether or not we're still good for our word, that is -- our promise to defend our allies.
    Apr 26 06:44 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I'm Not Afraid Of QE3 [View article]
    You're absolutely correct, we don't have a free enterprise system. And we're currently moving farther away from it at mach speed. Thanks for helping make my point.
    Sep 13 10:13 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Winter Of Our Discontent [View article]
    The general and growing cynicism and lack of faith in Wall Street goes back in time to long before any present occupiers; but now it’s no small part of a larger national tapestry of disappointment and distrust.
    As for Wall Street, it can be argued that its current version started with big banks creating the 2008 mortgage disaster, costing our citizens trillions, with not one banking power-broker spending as much as a day in jail.
    And on that larger national tapestry, it is exacerbated by a president who repeatedly promised the American public that they can keep their health insurance and doctor if they liked them, and to an attorney general who remained in contempt of congress until he was exonerated by his own Department of Justice. But those are merely two examples to prove the case.
    I can only pray that Abraham Lincoln was right when he postulated: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
    Mar 2 11:17 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Strategies For When The Bull Market Finally Dies [View article]
    From 2005 until July 2011, the S&P and the price of gold were more or less in lockstep up. People forgot their father's advice that gold was a "safe haven" in times of panic. That thinking was out of fashion in polite company. "Everything goes up with QE and down with tapering!"

    But since early July 2011, gold and the market have gone their separate ways. As investors wake up to the big correction in equities, precious metals will again appear as the safer alternative. To see where stocks are headed at the turn, watch gold. It will be the market's golden canary in the mine, with or without QE or tapering.
    Jan 23 09:40 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Real Crisis For Washington And Wall Street [View article]
    Great points, as usual Eric.

    I've observed that most sane people intuitively understand the consequences of a wrong decision. The more dangerous the conditions, the worse the consequences of that mistake.

    But few people really appreciate that the consequences of a failure to act when needed can be just as devastating. It's my belief that at least as many have been killed in combat by higher command's failure to make a decision as have died because of a wrong choice. I call it: "death by command dithering."

    Which brings me to the likes of Ben Bernanke and his flirtation with tapering, and our federal administrations, especially this one, which have for too long refused to seriously address our huge fiscal debt crisis.

    On the highway, speed kills; but in politics it's cowardice and equivocation, it just takes longer.

    Oct 10 04:03 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment