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» john rubino

  • The End Is Near Part II – Corporations: The Ult...
    By on May 5, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    David Stockman just published a chart so compelling that he didn’t feel the need to add any commentary. But there are a few things to be said about the tendency of public companies to repurchase their shares at the very top: “Peak buyback” is a sign that executives are seeing fewer opportunit...
  • Why Investors Should Be Terrified, In One Chart
    By on May 5, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    Advisor Perspectives’ Doug Short recently published an update on margin debt, accompanied by several well-made charts. But it only takes one to make the point. See below for the relationship between margin debt — money borrowed by retail investors against their stocks and used to buy more stock ...
  • Is Solar Power About To Crush Big Oil, Big Coal AND E...
    By on May 2, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    Something amazing has happened in the energy market. The cost of solar power has fallen to the point where, in a growing number of places, it’s cheaper than the electricity that utilities deliver from their coal-fired power plants. And its price is still falling. The implications are huge. Most of...
  • Japan Hits The Easy Money Wall. We May Be Next.
    By on April 29, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    Japan, whose monetary policy is by far the world’s most expansive, just reported retail sales that soared on the wings of all that newly-created currency. Just kidding. Retail sales tanked: Japan Retail Sales Slump Flashes Warning Signal for Kuroda (Bloomberg) – Japan’s retail sales fell in M...
  • The End Is Near, Part 1: The War On Cash
    By on April 28, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    As the saying goes, you can know a person by the quality of his or her enemies. This is also true of societies, where moral evolution can be traced by simply listing the things on which they declare war. Not so long ago, for instance, the world’s good guys — the US, Europe’s democracies and a ...
  • US Factories Crushed By Strong Dollar
    By on April 27, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    Government statistics are always suspect, for at least one obvious reason: Modern economies are way too big and complex to measure in real-time. So virtually every number is revised in the months after its release, frequently to the point of saying something very different. But by then lots of new d...
  • The Coolest Silver Coins, Finally Back On The Market
    By on April 25, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    In 2005 a New Jersey car dealer named Chris Duane started questioning the system that let his customers borrow ridiculous amounts of money to buy the frivolous things he was selling. He studied a little monetary history and concluded that fiat currency was a doomed concept and that sound money, espe...
  • Corporate Profit Pattern Emerges: OK Earnings, Sales ...
    By on April 23, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    CNBC has a daily feature called after-hours buzz that, it being earnings season, is full of corporate quarterly reports. And lately the same story has been repeated: decent earnings but weak sales and/or disappointing guidance. Here’s today’s list: AT&T topped analysts’ profit estimates by...
  • When All News Is Bad News
    By on April 23, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    One of the defining traits of financial bubbles is the willingness of traders and investors to interpret pretty much everything as a buy signal. Rising corporate earnings mean growth, while falling profits mean easier money on the way. War means more revenues for defense contractors and easy money f...
  • Is The Credibility Bubble Bursting?
    By on April 21, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    In a fiat currency system, perception is, by definition, everything. Paper money has no intrinsic value. So the people saving it and accepting it in exchange aren’t expressing faith in the money itself but in the competence and honesty — and power — of the institutions managing it. Let that fa...
  • 2007 All Over Again? Let Us Count The Ways (And Remem...
    By on April 18, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    There’s a journalistic sub-genre that might be called “The Highest/Lowest Since XXX,” in which a reporter takes a current statistic and illustrates (often with snazzy charts) how it hasn’t been this high or low since some date in the distant past. This is a compelling theme, implying as it d...
  • Is A Trap About To Be Sprung?
    By on April 17, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    New York artist Stephen Green’s latest painting, DemandedDislocation, combines current affairs irony with a deeply sad vision of the future. Check out the workers demanding higher wages in front of the discount robots store. Green’s point is that two big trends are intersecting: 1) The push by ...
  • OPEC Going Broke, Dumping Dollars. Is That Good Or Ba...
    By on April 17, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    When oil prices fell out of bed last winter there was much hand-wringing over the fate of the former beneficiaries of high-priced crude. Trillions of dollars of junk bonds issued by frackers, for instance, might default, oil field services companies could fail, and layoffs in the oil patch might swa...
  • Welcome To The Currency War: China Edition
    By on April 14, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    Here’s one for the “seriously, you’re surprised?” file: China pegs its currency, the yuan, to the dollar, the dollar soars, taking the yuan with it…and fewer foreigners buy suddenly-much-more-expensive Chinese products. Duh. China’s Export Engine Loses Steam, Adding to Growth Pressure C...
  • What Gold’s Bull Market (That’s Right, Bull Marke...
    By on April 12, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    One of the oddities of floating exchange rates is that they cause people to view the world in terms of their own national currency. For Americans that means looking out through a window that is distorted by the dollar’s recent surge. A C$100-a-night Vancouver BC hotel room, for instance, cost abou...
  • GE Gets Out At The Top
    By on April 11, 2015 | No Comments  Comments
    Back in the early 2000s, General Electric — previously known as the world’s biggest, best managed maker of cool, useful things like jet engines and wind turbines — discovered that it could make even more money by exploiting its AAA credit rating to borrow cheap currency and lend it out at high...

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