Tales from a Late Stage Bull Market

An endearing quality of a late stage bull market is that it expands the universe of what’s possible.  Somehow, rising stock prices make the impossible, possible.  They also push the limits of the normal into the paranormal.

Last week, for instance, there was a Bigfoot sighting near Avocado Lake in Fresno County, California.  But it wasn’t just one Bigfoot.  According to a local farmer, there was a family of five or six Bigfoot running across his ranch in the middle of the night.  Paranormal expert Jeffery Gonzalez offered the following Bigfoot sighting anecdote:

“One of them, which was extremely tall, had a pig over its shoulder.  And the five scattered and the one with the pig was running so fast it didn’t see an irrigation pipe and it tripped, with the pig flying over.”

What to make of it?

Bigfoot sightings, no doubt, are pro-growth.  They’re bullish for stock prices.  So, too, are warnings from North Korea that nuclear war “may break out at any moment.” Continue reading

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The Donald Can’t Stop It

The Dow’s march onward and upward toward 30,000 continues without reservation.  New record all-time highs are notched practically every day.  Despite yesterday’s 31-point pullback, the Dow’s up over 15.5 percent year-to-date.  What a remarkable time to be alive.

The President, Donald Trump, is pumped!  As Commander in Chief, he believes he possesses divine powers.  He can will the stock market higher – and he knows it.  For example, early Wednesday morning he blasted out the following Tweet:

“Stock Market has increased by 5.2 Trillion dollars since the election on November 8th, a 25% increase.”

Four minutes later, he sent out another Tweet:

“…if Congress gives us the massive tax cuts (and reform) I am asking for, those numbers will grow by leaps and bounds.”

Who knows?  Maybe President Trump is right. Continue reading

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Federal Reserve President Kashkari’s Masterful Distractions

How is it that seemingly intelligent people, of apparent sound mind and rational thought, can stray so far off the beam?  How come there are certain professions that reward their practitioners for their failures?

The central banking and monetary policy vocation rings the bell on both accounts.  Today we offer a brief case study in this regard.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari is a man with strong convictions.  He’s what the late Eric Hoffer would’ve classified as “the true believer.”  According to Hoffer:

“It is the true believer’s ability to ‘shut his eyes and stop his ears’ to facts that do not deserve to be either seen or heard which is the source of his unequaled fortitude and constancy.  He cannot be frightened by danger nor disheartened by obstacle nor baffled by contradictions because he denies their existence.”

For starters, Kashkari believes the Federal Reserve, an unelected board of appointments, can crunch economic data into pie graphs and bar charts and draw conclusion as to what they should fix the price of credit at. Continue reading

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Fed Quack Treatments are Causing the Stagnation

There’s something alluring about cure-alls and quick fixes.  Who doesn’t want a magic panacea to make every illness or discomfort disappear?  Such a yearning once compelled the best and the brightest minds to believe the impossible for over two thousand years.

For example, from antiquity until the late-19th century, bloodletting was used to treat nearly every disease.  Reputable medical references recommended bloodletting as a cure for acne, asthma, cancer, epilepsy, gout, indigestion, insanity, leprosy, pneumonia, scurvy, tuberculosis, and everything in between.  Bloodletting was even used to treat hemorrhaging.

The practice was simple enough.  A surgeon, often a barber, would open a vein and drain blood from the patient.  Somehow, this was supposed to cure them of disease.

The fundamental idea was that a sick person could be bled to health.  Induced fainting, via bloodletting, was even considered beneficial.  However, the results were often fatal. Continue reading

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