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MARKET UPDATES & QUARTERLY LETTERS

Periodically we publish Market Updates designed to inform investors about current market conditions.  We tend to only release these when markets turmoil or reach apparent inflection points or experience increased volatility, causing concern. This approach allows us to provide information to investors but avoid becoming 'white noise' from publishing too frequently.  

Central bank intervention and steadily uptrending markets have reduced the frequency of Updates (which has been good news!) as the two factors combine to put the public to sleep.  But ... increasingly, the visibility of both these monetary tricks and institutional corruption is reaching more and more people.  Thus, central bank tricks may no longer work as well, volatility will increase, as will our Updates!  

Our Quarterly Letters can be found below, along with any Market Updates sent in between letters.  At the bottom, in the dark section you can find our letter from 2014 which identified many of the issues affecting us right now, in particular Russia and Ukraine.  For archived Updates and/or copies of our detailed Quarterly Letters which cover the evolution of critical issues affecting today's markets and the future of your investments, please call us or e-mail us at [email protected] .

2022 YE Redux??

2023 Q4 - Quarterly Letter

2023 closed with a fourth quarter surge, on the heels of Treasury Secretary Yellen's actions to issue staggering new amounts of debt (essentially funding massive deficits).  From Halloween, when nine of the seventeen key indices we track were negative year-to-date, risk assets surged virtually straight up.  With 2024 an election year, almost certain stimulus efforts will be offset with the cessation of Yellen's March back-door bank bail-out. Consumers are still spending, but many economic indicators show deterioration under the surface. Our letter lays out the good, the bad, and of course the ugly.  Caution is still the word in our view.

2023 Q3

2023 Q3 - Quarterly Letter

Contrary to current  mainstream narrative, the advance of a few of the most widely followed indices  is far from robust, hollowing out rather quickly when you look under the hood. Real headwinds persist.  Those include: geopolitical tinderboxes, economic warfare between the BRICS and the fiat-central-bank old-world G7  countries, stubborn inflation, and surging interest rates (that have not only slowed the majority of companies included in the major indices, but greatly hobbled the banking system).  Another backdoor bail-out saved the day, not seen by most people who instead must focus on daily life and navigating the side effects of central planning.  Q3 earnings and forecasts will set the trend for the finish to 2023,and should reveal whether 2023 has been a Bear Market Rally from last October's lows (which would then be re-visited), or whether the Fed has magically pulled another fiat-rabbit from Americans' money hat. Please read our letter for more detail.
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2023 09 28

2023 09 28 - Market Update - SHOWTIME?

2023 reads like a classic Bear Market Rally, yet with a modern twist: yet another central bank back-door bank bailout.  Are you seeing the follies of the fiat monetary system in which we live?  It can go on longer of course, but we if it follows classic form, we may be near an inflection point. Things to consider as we ready for Q3 earnings and forecasts ...
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2023 Q2

2023 Q2 - The Games Continue!

Games continue INDEED! Our long-standing view is that the asset markets cannot rise indefinitely without a relentless supply of new money, devaluing the dollar, and used to supply new dollars to be bid into asset markets and/or to suppress interest rates. Pull up a market chart, and you'll find the lows of March ... to the day ... turned into a rally that has not subsided since. What happened that day? Another back-door bank bail-out. The banks, failing because of monetary manipulations that exploded because of the rate hikes, had $700 Billion + of losses essentially stop-gapped by Yellen and the new Bank Term Facility Program. Poof, problem gone. Effectively, it was what would have been a real risk or loss to real investors, removed by the Treasury with collaboration by our banker-friendly Fed. The pressures caused by Quantitative Tightening with the left hand (money supply reduction) were offset instantly by more money printed with the right hand. The thesis stands. Essentially 7 stocks lifted the big two indices ... the rest are more representative of economic cooling or recession. Plenty of charts, a sober look, and information in this quarter's lever. We remain cautious. The 7% mortgage rates and car loans have not yet spoken.
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2023 Q1

2023 Q1 - Games?

By appearances, the boot seems to have been lifted as suggested in Q4 ... at least temporarily.

But Q1 of 2023 also saw the mathematical limitations of the Fed's monetary manipulations come home to roost.  The vast sums of money generated during the print-new-money COVID bail-out piled into banks.  By regulation, much of it was invested by the banks into long term 'quality' bonds at historically low rates, with banks reaching out to long maturity terms to try to earn just a few scraps.  The inflation subsequently caused then required the Fed to raise rates hyper-aggressively in 2022, further causing the value of those long bonds to be smashed.  Banks resisted raising rates to savers/depositors  ... so the depositors left, focing the sale of those bonds at substantial losses.  The Fed's answer? Print money to 'inject liquidity' to its banks, and raise the FDIC limits to infinity.  Mathematical limitations were greeted by nonsensical knee jerks, lots of Fed blathering, and zero accountability for their own role in the systemic mess the Fed created.  A lot is going on, and the backdrop is very similar to the end of 2021 before the bottom dropped out.  It is worth knowing to anyone no longer resigned to trusting monetary authorities and interested in fortifying themselves in the event 'nonsense' becomes no longer viable. 
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2022 Q4

2022 Q4 - Boot Lifted?

The proverbial boot lifted from asset markets’ necks as deteriorating economic conditions prompted the Fed-trained participants to hope for a cease in the money tightening and rate hikes.  A combination of this learned hope (despite its impact on the future fiscal health of the country) and substantial price declines brought in some buying in Q4.  Consumers remain resilient, despite personal savings depleting and credit card balances rising, and January 2023 will likely shed light on both the health of the Consumer and the intentions of the Federal Reserve.  It will be a neat trick to dial up the ‘soft landing’ being promoted.  Historical patterns are a tug-of-war presently, pitting stock market recoveries that precede economic recoveries against the age-old trend for markets to not bottom until several quarters after the Fed actually ‘pivots’.  A pivot is not the narrative Wall Street is shopping (a slower rate of hikes), it is an actual decrease  in rates.  It is possible January brings yet another Bear Market rally.  Read our Q4 letter for full coverage.
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2022 Q3

2022 Q3

Q3 continued the ‘monetary hi-jinx’ lesson that the first two quarters of 2022 drove home:  no new money printed plus increasing costs to borrow (rising rates) equals lower asset prices.  Simple.  We first saw this simple math equation in Q4 of 2018, after which the ‘tightening’ was swiftly reversed and replaced with new printing and rate suppression … hence, upward direction in the prices of stocks and groceries all the way until the end of 2021.

The central banks across the world largely maintain they will continue to raise rates and reduce money supply.  Time will tell whether they will blink, or markets may face protracted declines.
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2022 Q2

Q2 followed straight on the heels of Q1, and built on the premise that Q4 2018 proved that asset prices can rise only when the central banks print money without reducing the flow (never mind ceasing it altogether or reducing it as they began to do June 1st).  In the US, that is the Fed of course.

The official Bear Market has been reached, major indices dropped -20%+, and we may have entered a regime of Bear Market rallies ahead … time will tell, but Wall Street will look to convince everyone the bottom is in.  Maybe it will be, maybe it won’t be.  Earnings declines should continue into Q4, and likely beyond.  Here is the Q2 Letter:

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Market Update Holidays

Volatile markets come from removal of money printing combined with the increase in rates.  Big institutions have a LOT of shares to off load, and that is one of the factors that causes strong Bear Market rallies.  When day to day investors and traders all lean ‘short’, strong market rallies cause them to buy back shares.  Combine that with retail investors who hope that we have seen the bottom and … EVERYONE is buying!!! Except of course the big institutions.  They may buy initially to help pump euphoric price rises … but they use those to then sell their large quantities of shares.

 

Is this a Bear Market?  It sure could be. There are no signs of rate reductions or a return to money printing any time soon, so rallies are great opportunities to offload a lot of shares.  There is no better time to do offload than into a holiday!  When you send everyone to the grills with a feeling of hope or complacency, it’s a gift to those looking for better prices at which to sell.

We’ll find out if the Memorial Day pump is legit or not soon enough.  Pay attention, and for more color, here’s a Market Update:

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Q1 2022

Q1 was a brutal confirmation that the asset markets don't levitate without the Fed stealing more money from the future.  Moreover, several bogeymen have been pulled forth, spicing some new hysteria into the void created by the fading Covid hysteria.  We seem to be unable to escape for even a short month or two without a new batch of it served up.  The public is beginning to awaken to the rampant corruption throughout major US institutions, and the unending trick of throwing hysteria and new money at everything.  The latest chapter, Ukraine/Russia, obscures the fact that Ukraine long ago became a prime location for laundering aid back into the pockets of corrupt US politicians and their families.  We first wrote about that in our Q1 2014 letter, which can be found here.  Same issues, same people, Act 2. 
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Q4 2021

Year end followed the customary 'Santa Rally' although largely on the back of the biggest stocks. It is a bit thin underneath. The Fed announced it would dial back its money printing escapades and hike interest rates to combat the inflation that their relentless money printing created in the first place. In Q4 2018, the Fed proved it could not raise rates nor cease money printing without asset prices getting knocked down, a simple truthful revelation of the dependencies they've caused that require constant infusion of cheap money, with new money piled on top of that. We'll see how it plays out, skeptical of their ability to pull it off.

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Originally Published Q1 2014

2014 Q1 - Think Ukraine is a New Matter? Think Again

If you think the 'war' in Ukraine is a current matter, and it even remotely matches what the 'news' and politicians speak about, think again.  Ukraine has been a controlled territory rife with corruption for a long time, much of it belonging to the West.  It affects not only markets, but has the potential to impact the lives and health of people worldwide, not just those residing in the midst of today's destruction.  Our Q2 2014 Letter addressed all of this.
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