THE DOT - if this turns orange or red be alert

Friday, August 29, 2008

technical update for the week

On the left hand, the Shanghai Composite is still heading for 2000. It should reach that within 3-4 weeks. This is the time frame for US markets to top out. That's a weird situation -- Sector rotation and Regional rotation. The current strength in the SPX comes mostly from short covering in financials. We have mixed signals in technical and sentiment readings as the Rydex dropped to .615, which is a buy level. The Vix stays below 20, but as we said earlier, expect a test of the 16 level within 4 weeks. Overall, the price action confirms that for most of September, we will have rising US markets.

SPX will test the 1325-40 area. We could even test the 200 MA at 1359, which almost matches the downtrend resistance. After the New Moon, we will have some powerful positive astro effects for the next 2-3 weeks deriving from Jupiter, which will create the illusion that things are turning around as inflation readings are retreating and as we had this totally overstated GDP number, which does not match reality at all. Oil keeps struggling to go up, so we even might not get above the 122 for the near term and drop to 100 within the next 2-3 weeks before a more severe upside correction kicks in. The broker quarter end and window dressing effect was stronger than I thought. As a rule, over Labor Day, markets tend to go higher but a small pullback mid next week might create a chance to get into longs, which is shot term the side to be on. It probably will be the last rally for this year.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

the illusion of economics - the big theft of the last decade


3.3% growth GDP- that is exactly as expected the REP's pull all strings. Mission to make McCain win. Suddenly the economy is getting strong although everybody knows that its not Remember the recent revision of GDP for the last 2 years , substantially down. The BEA is very tricky when it comes to measuring inflation - effectively they generate the real inflation into growth while understating real inflation. The Bush administration is topping all other governments in faking numbers. In the above chart you see that inflation is understated by 3 % that is the magnitude in the GDP which is roughly overstated actally its a bit more complex but gives you an idea of the impact it has.

excerpt from
http://www.shadowstats.com/

The popularly followed number in each release is the seasonally adjusted, annualized quarterly growth rate of real (inflation-adjusted) GDP, where the current-dollar number is deflated by the BEA's estimates of appropriate price changes. It is important to keep in mind that the lower the inflation rate used in the deflation process, the higher will be the resulting inflation-adjusted GDP growth.

Due to a lack of good-quality hard data, the "advance" GDP report is little more than a guesstimate. The BEA comes up with three estimates of growth, a high, low, and most likely. The numbers then get re-massaged so that the reported growth rate is moved closer to whatever the economic consensus is expecting. There actually is a belief at the BEA that there is some value to economic consensus estimates.[2]

July 31st, 2008
• GDP Report is Political Garbage • Lowest GDP Inflation in 10 Years Generates Strong Growth Report • Downward Revisions Put 4th-Quarter in Contraction

At the same time this substantialy understated inflation numbers are the basis for bond yields and salary raises. Mainstream has been ripped off since Bill Clinton with Greenspan introduced this systematic fraud scheme. The IMF and worldbank were very busy teaching many countries to do the same. The EU made this move with introduction of the EURO but the most outrages thing is the FED put the interest rates down for wallstreet far below inflation - Mainstreet does not get any cheaper credits plus has to earn negative interest for a considerable time so they get srewed 2 times for mistakes greedy bankers and politicians have made deliberately.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

insane markets part 2 ( technical update )

Rydex down to .645 which is an alert level for a trough. But we need a few days more downside and to test the 1250 (1235) SPX and in the NDX could even drop to 1850 before again an upmove will start in the first week of Sep. and could last through the rest of the month. The insane part is that VIX is around 20 while Rydex got so low. Hinting to another sucker rally which will be followed by a severe correction. The Bond market is not any close so complacent as the volatility (VIX) shows since most spreads are at or close to record levels hinting to a high risk perception.

As we forecasted months ago the 3rd quarter would be driven by falling commoditity prices and therefore rising stocks and McCain has gained momentum since - mission accompished? When you look at the market from a distance ignoring daily noise of the talking heads and their so called 'breaking news' its absolutely obvious that markets are substantially overvalued. Real inflation close to 10% in the USA asks for an discount to current PE evaluation by at least 25%, the new geopolitical situation of a second cold war with Russia will be discounted going forward by 15-25% and finally if Depression enters valuation which I believe it will is good for another 25% but that is due to be discounted by end of 2009. An 8 times estimated earnings S&P would be at 650 right now assuming that kind of earnings are stable and we just discount the risks around them. How can markets be comlacent with all this looming risk. Very interesting peace of research in the beneath link about the Russian strength and the corrosponding weakness of stocks.


http://www.insiidetrack.com/pdf/INSIIDETrackSR200817YearCycle&3Bears01em.pdf

Oil will retest the 121 level soon and might struggle going higher to our estimate of around 130 before dropping to 100 - which will obviously drive stocks higher. The cold war trend though has another implication to reverse the glabalisation trend into a nationalism or hostile block trend which nevertheless will make commodities unavailable or create rigid market conditions which will drive prices higher. The world as we got used to know is about to change in a substantial way and markets will have to adjust.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Euro special - the dollar has turned tides?

On the left hand, you see the Euro's steep decline, which is one of the steepest in the last 10 years. It came very much in handy as we expected dollar strength and oil weakness for Q3. The EU goes into recession as are all G7 countries (the early stage of global depression). As you can see by the chart, so far the Euro returns to the average pace of the last 2 years and will find a bottom in the 1.44/5 area within the next 2-3 weeks. We will get a corrective wave B up to 1.50-3 and another wave C down to 1.36/8, which is the 10 year trend support and the 50% retracement level of the upleg from 1.16. Overall, the uptrend is and will be still unbroken at all these levels and we just see a severe correction so far. Before the big trend turns, I expect another blow up of the Euro when the financial disaster gets into a higher gear in 2009 with big financial institutions failing and the FED in a crisis. We should then go above 1.60 -- probably 1.65/7 before the big trend change will take place.

It will be a big drag on US earnings going forward, since the majority of the companies with positive surprises delivered those mostly due to currency gains in their international operations. Negative for M&A business, since USA is not cheap anymore, hence another negative for investment banks loosing more profit potential.


Monday, August 25, 2008

insane markets part 1 (technical)

As mentioned, markets are tricky and might bring you off the track with such 'sup-rising' rallies, like on Friday. To stick to your guns though is not easy at all. The talking heads in the media say it's a great market for traders, but that proves they never had to trade for a living.

Anyway, the breakout of the wedge SPX is still valid and the next 2 weeks will be downside biased but will turn around early Sept. for a rally. The crazy move up was triggered by a Venus Uranus opposition, but that was a one day off special. On 28/9 Aug., Venus will be square Pluto, which has a negative effect and we are going into Labor Day weekend, with the broker quarter ending. The quarter will be one of the worst they had for a long time, independent from the write-offs in their mortgage books - so write-offs will be tougher, since their operational income was not good to say the least. The analysts have corrected the estimates sharply down but nevertheless the need to square books with end of Q3. window dressing might have a special effect, but more so on fixed income books with all spreads widening the risk perception rises only some people stil sell volatility.

excerpt from:

http://www.mmacycles.com/weekly-preview/mma-comments-for-the-week/comments-for-the-week-beginning-august-25,-2008/

This weekend (August 23) will find transiting Venus in opposition to Uranus. Therefore this ends yet another "translation" period where a faster moving planet (Venus) aspects the forthcoming Saturn-Uranus opposition. In this current instance, the conjunction of Venus to Saturn took place August 13, and the opposition of Venus to Uranus occurs August 23. Most of this period was down again, as most of these translation periods have been this year. There is yet another "translation" period coming up September 3-13, when the Sun will conjunct Saturn and end with its opposition to Uranus. Only this time, I am not so sure the market will fall the whole time, because during this time band, there will be a slew of important Jupiter transits too. Jupiter transits can act like a magnet, uplifting the market into its arena of influence. These will take place September 4-9, and includes the Sun trine Jupiter, Jupiter direct, and Jupiter trine Saturn.

These are not the only geocosmic signatures of importance to unfold in the next couple of weeks. On August 30, Venus will begin its geocentric ingress into Libra, which will last through September 23. This ingress has a higher than usual correlation to rallies in stocks, and lows in precious metals. However, heliocentric Mercury will transit through Sagittarius from August 27-September 8. This period usually correlates with an impressive 3-8 day rally in precious metals, and a decline in stocks. As you can see, Financial Astrologers will have their work cut out for them in these next few days, deciphering the probable path of markets during these contradictory planetary influences. We will monitor it closely in our daily reports, for things can change very quickly in the next two weeks, and price swings in many markets may be very large. That is usually the story with Jupiter and the sign it rules, Sagittarius. When there are a slew of Jupiter signatures, and planets moving through Sagittarius (heliocentric or geocentric), markets can either exhibit irrational exuberance or hysterical panic. At least this time Saturn will be involved in a trine with Jupiter, which would imply some moderation. Nevertheless, August 27-September 13 should be a most fascinating period in market behavior, according to the study of Financial Astrology. And if it is interesting in the financial markets, it is also likely to be interesting in terms of mundane and geopolitical events in the world.

Expect a zigzag move to the downside – today's market has confirmed the direction short term and the test of 1245/50 is mandatory for SPX with financials being the negative leaders.

Oil finished wave A up very volatile from 121 back down to 114, but we can expect wave C up towards 130 still - although the count might run with more zigzags.

It seems some index funds still want out since the oil market is basically very weak.

LEH has not much time left to make a move and technically the picture looks dangerous if they do not come up with a solution within one month. The next failure might be around the corner with 60 bil. in toxic stuff. Fuld is insane to demand anything above bookvalue. He has lost what makes a good trader to become a first class loser. He has no time to gamble and no jokers up his sleeves. Mr. Blankfein from Goldman will have a more comfortable situation but GS will drop at least to 140 once again this year, but actually it will be double digit within 1 year. XBD needs to drop to 110 sometime within 6 months, so keep selling any rallies in financials in one year time they will loose 50% on average from here. The 50 week MA crossed the 200 MA weeks ago, so we got plenty to go down and within one year we will see the 75/90 area. In March 2003, we had a 66 low in the XBD, which we also will see at some point.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Technical update SPX - GSE 's biting dust?

SPX broke out of a flag yesterday, confirming our downside bias for this week and the week ahead. As financials are the big drag down, as we assumed. GSE especially lost considerable value, as did Paulson, who seems to have no idea how to deal with the situation.

Let's first deal with the technical picture. The minimum target of 1245/50 SPX should be reached this week before we see a small upwave, followed by another downleg. The flag formation makes a retest of 1200 very likely. Oil, after building a tricky bottom at 112, has now cleared its way to 130 and will deliver, besides financials, the reason for the correction. Even the bulls in Investor Intel have risen back to 40 and bears dropped to 38.7, moderating the overly bearish sentiment.

But it's very tricky going forward and we should soon see some action from Mr. Paulson and his Goldman bankers, who are pushing their long energy and short financials trade, which is a bit of a conflicting situation, since as soon as he acts to bailout the GSE's, we will see short covering in financials and the overall market. The scary part is that the market is reluctant to trade at 20 VIX, with all of these issues hanging over the market. It's a ticking bomb, which will explode at some point in Q4 and push SPX towards 1100 for starters.

____________

Monday, August 18, 2008

weekly technical update on NDX


A strong NDX performance has almost reached the target zone at 1975 and, as you can see, we will run into resistance around 1975 - 1995. The full moon effect in Aquarius, which stands for technology, will top out for now this week and go into a 2-week correction. One component will be the low of oil at the 112 target, which should now head back to 130 and get some steam out of the upside move. The other reason will be again on financials, which still run through big trouble with the auction rate bonds generating another new negative spin but basically the mortgages have still a steepening negative effect on balance sheets of banks and brokers. The XBD index has still to make a new low, therefore it's hard to say if that will happen now within those 2 weeks (less likely), but some of the reluctance has to be scared out of the markets for another upwave.

Rydex has climbed back up to .80 levels and the VIX seems to get comfortable around 20. Neither are extreme readings, but considering the overall picture with CPI at 5.6% (with the former calculation method, we are now around 9%), which is discounted for the fact that the CRB and oil came back sharply. On the other hand, the increases in the PPI, which reflected real-price increases were not forwarded to retail, so the whole impact of that downturn will not be seen in CPI, only the margin of producers might look better if they were unhedged. So CPI will not come back as steep and the trend remains higher. Anyway, it's just a correction. Nevertheless, stock markets are not discounting the economic situation yet.

Coming back to this week's price action, expect a pullback from a slightly higher high compared to last week and heading lower with a rising oil price into next week. NDX should be well bid around 1875 and SPX should at least retest 1250 - more downside will depend on financials. It's hard to figure it short term technically, but medium term XBD will drop to 110.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

China in its final part of its crash?


On the left, you see the real crash of the last 12 months - the invincible Chinese superstar market. We had 50k new broker accounts daily or weekly - I do not recall anymore. We lost almost 2/3 of the value from the top with a market valuation, which was insane (the same story like Japan 20 years ago). We are not finished yet, heading for 2000. I am wondering where all the decoupling heroes are, which do not dare to show up anymore with their pathetic theories. China is the manufacturing plant of the USA and EU and they are heading for a deep recession, so how could China do any good without their demand?

Anyway, within 4-6 weeks we will have a serious bottom-out period and we should see a substantial move up. Assuming we will hold around 2000, the least counterwave should mark a 24% rebound even 38% is thinkable giving a 1000 points to 1500 points potential to 3500, but we might put that in more exact numbers as soon as we have the low. China is not still cheap and the valuation prospect depends on a scenario nobody accounts for right now, which is a global depression, which should slow down Chinese growth substantially.

Another aspect will be the new cold war, which was kicked off by the Russian intrusion into Georgia, but to be honest the rocket shield of the US to be deployed on Polish and Czech soil was part of the reasons why things got to this stage. The question is how will China position itself in this new emerging situation - for now they do not speak up, in order not to spoil the Olympic games. Nevertheless, it will be inevitable to take a bias with Iran and other Middle Eastern issues looming.

My assumption is that we will move away from globalization to nationalism as a general attitude, which will have a big impact on economic affairs and the flow of goods and money going forward. This would be a structural disruption of China's growth story. Twenty years ago Japan was also declared to overtake the USA as an economic power. This did not materialize, in fact just the opposite, Japan had a 20-year deflation period from which it never really returned. Twenty years later the Nikkei is still 70% below its high of 1989. China is definitely an emerging market at the brink of becoming a developed country within at least one more generation. Mainland China is still not like the Olympics make us believe. China possibly could be, although even they have severe problems going ahead, one of which is severe population (20 times an average US city, I heard yesterday watching Olympics).

The 2 dangerous weeks turned out to be the breakout of the cold war - part 2 and the markets have not discounted that yet, but when Uranus goes opposite Saturn in November, they will be evaluated in this new situation and markets will go lower, not in particularly in China, but globally.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

technical update - full moon effect

Oil made a perfect low together with the CRB and will now make a wave B upside correction of at least 50% to 130 within 2 weeks.
Stocks will react a bit delayed since the full moon on Friday with the Venus Trigon Jupiter for the 3-4 days will create the illusion of a positive bias and stocks will close higher for the week. Do not fall into the trap since the last two days showed how vulnrable we still are and starting next week a more severe downside correction is due for 2 weeks. Especially financials will be in distress with oil-sensitive stocks like airlines will have a severe correction. We also enter now the final two weeks for the Broker quarters - so they make try to window dress positions or have to figure out how to survive in this tough trading enviremont.
Around next new moon the final upleg for this year ( very likely) should start with the next down wave of oil, with the SPX heading for the 1340 target.
After reaching 1325 or only retesting 1315 we should drop back to 1200 within 2 weeks with financials being a driving negative factor.

If we cannot make a higher high to the May highs around 1440 this time (very unlikely) we know the next big downleg is due in Q4 heading for 1160 (50%) or even 1075 (61.8%) SPX. Putting it into a bigger context in monthly charts first wave down were 300 points so the next leg down should make at least that distance giving a target of 1130 . Also looking at indicators from a monthly perspective shows where we stand with the MACD just crossing the 0 line for now. Oct. 2002 respectively Mar. 2003 the same one was at -100, so in a bigger context we are still far away from being oversold or having seen a capitulation for a regular recession.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

financials in weak hands

The severe drop in financials yesterday shows that we have no bottom there yet and going forward. The reasons to not be long will be even more obvious with the coming earnings. Goldman JPM, the seemingly survivors, are substantially overvalued, as I have stated earlier. There is no prospect for a fundamental turn around and all this phony turnaround housing price news just are distracting. As we have heard yesterday, 1/3 of all house buyers within the last 5 years have negative equity on their homes and the job market just started to get worse. It is / was a drastic mistake of the Bush administration and Greenspan to not have acted with foresight and not to have regulated the greed of the banks and their reckless lending or betting their stockholders assets with such leverage so foolishly. I was shaking my head already in 2005 and 2006 without having all the inside data of the FED, so in my evaluation it was common sense and it was obvious then that the disaster was building. Unfortunately, the mainstream was also recklessly using their houses as ATM's. There is no one way profit machine on this planet -- never has been. The most amazing recognition about mankind is that we can repeat mistakes over and over again - including myself.

By any means and with simple common sense, everybody will and can see what we do not want to see - tough times are ahead and the real value for the US markets within the next 2 years is at half the value it has now. Add the exaggeration effect of 20-30% and you get an idea what kind of levels we might see. Banks especially will suffer deeply by a severe economic downswing. The crazy part is the deflation talk emerging again. Sure, we have an asset implosion, but in terms of real estate, people owe money in terms of the inflated prices - with central banks creating inflation to stop it we hardly get a deflation - rather more a dilution of assets which is an inflation.

Two scenarios are possible. In both, banks will have close to no business. First is stagflation (less likely) - economies run on low to 0 expansion while inflation keeps rising. The second one and, if you look on charts over 50 -100 years, one can see growth of assets were too fast and a serious contraction is necessary to bring it back to equilibrium. Both have the same effect - they average the exponential 20 year trend back to its long-term trend. Trends always go through boom and bust cycles and we entered clearly the bust part and anyone saying different lies or is just plain stupid. It's human to try to ignore the tough things but, in an overall context, they are part of any overall development and a necessary process to get rid of the excessive behavior.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

technical update for week

Oil is close to its low of wave A - we need at least today but it may take the rest of the week as well. The Euro is almost trading in sink will bottom out around 1.4550/6 within 2-3 days. The astrological impact of the military invasion will intensify towards the weekend due to the full moon (lunar eclipse) and Mars/Pluto square on Saturday. Before that we will have a mini pullback on Wednesday with a Venus /Saturn conjunction, but we should close the week higher again with the NDX almost at target at 1975 and SPX at 1325 for August. VIX below 20? is an indication that market is too reluctant for the time being, but until the end of September, we might even test the 15 level again.

The last two weeks of August will be on the downside again, with oil sensitive stocks and financials being the leading negative force. Tech will give back some ground as well but the second wave down in oil towards 100 will bring another upleg in stocks in September - we refer to that when the time is come.

No idea who buys Amazon up to those levels (totally overvalued) but keep in mind the Citi analyst gave kindle's higher sales as a reason - well in September AAPL may show up with its competing product and that will put a clear challenge since it's going to be more sophisticated as usual - that might be a good short soon.

Monday, August 11, 2008

dangerous 2 weeks triggered some incidents - dangerous 20 years

The Russian attack on Georgia, exactly with the opening of the Olympic games was not a coincidence, but it did not work out, as oil kept dropping sharply. That conflict was due to breakout anytime since the Russians have to muscle the Georgians into a position against the rocket-shield the USA wants to deploy and they wanted to show that the allies would not be so eager to bail them out by any price. This happens on the same degree Saturn will be opposite Uranus in early November and is a sneak preview of the things to come. Pluto will be in Capricorn for 15 years, giving a bias to military forces as a more dominant and active part of politics. We saw the reactions of the two candidates for the presidency. For McCain, it was a natural reflex to be tough. Obama's reaction was a bit too strategic (cowardish) - he actually hides. His attitude might be too soft for the tough times ahead, but let's see how he deals when he gets into the oval office.

The rules in the UN are pathetic to say the least. How can the party directly involved veto any council resolutions? Saakashvili played a silly game relying on big brother USA and has to face the resignation since the foreign secretary made clear that this is a mandatory part for a ceasefire. This was Russia's first move to establish itself as a superpower and raising tensions to take away attention from Iran probably. Looming big tensions are ahead for the next president of the USA, combined with a severe economic downturn. Obama better step up to the promises made during the campaign - people will not be so forgiving anymore about these "read my lips" politicians.

Interestingly, the same pipeline going through Turkey was bombed by the 'PKK' - 4 weeks ago oil would have risen on this news but some oil longs just want to get out it seems. What happened to the demand supply Mr. Pickens, who still holds on to his longs? In September, the FED will look smart for a short while with lower inflation in August but that's not going to stay for long.

In India and Vietnam, hundreds die due to hefty monsoon, Pakistan clashes....,Toronto gas explosion... what happened to Burma and the earthquake in China?? The media has been quiet about these two disasters since it has moved on to newer things. They only chase the latest sensation. It's funny though that Bush says that Russian behavior is not appropriate for the 21st century, while the US has 130k troops in Iraq.

The running week with more deliberate aggression by a Mars/Pluto square. On the 16th, aggression will increase sharply with a full moon (lunar eclipse) on top of it and it will be tainted somehow with the full moon exactly on Neptune in Aquarius - mixed and confusing signals. Some kings will fall from power, as the ancient astrologers would have put it.



Friday, August 8, 2008

technical update on oil and us stocks

Oil made the absolute minimum correction from 120 to 128 and I have to change the count. Wave A is not finished yet but very likely around mid to end of next week, it will make a severe bottom below 115 (very likely around 112 - which marks 38.2% retracement counted from a 50 base point). That should mark the base for a 2 week upside correction of 50 to 100 (less likely)% of the downmove. A 130 target should be reached within 10 days. Thereafter, look for wave C down to 100 until the end of September.

Stocks trade very close to oil and we have seen a breakout of the NDX , but the SPX did not follow so far due to weak Financials (again analysts were absolutely useless at the estimates for FNM). The odds are still good for a corrective rally up to 1340 SPX up to the end of September but it's a nerve-wrecking procedure. With the VIX at 20, it will even be very challenging, with oil making a countermove soon. Expect a little weakness after the full moon by next Friday. NDX is a different animal. Going forward, it will go higher with the Sox driving higher.

Many financials should be part of rally towards target 1340 since a short term bottom for XBD should help to stabilize the performance for most of next week. Two financials stand out this week with relative strength (MS) and relative weakness (GS) which as a single stock is very overvalued - realisticaly should be 120-30 for now (most analysts give it a 180-200) depends how much losses they will have to take on the commodity side. Their outside investments (chinese bank etc.) are also underperforming.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

technical alert - update

Basically, the scenario we drew for Q3 is developing, with a rising Dollar, falling commodities and stocks in an upside bias. Yesterday's price action came surprisingly strong and triggered a technical alert - the NDX closed at the neckline 1865 -75 of an inverse head and shoulder pattern and the SPX is kind of breaking out of a triangle pattern to the upside. Wave C up is on its way and needs to be confirmed by a weekly close above these levels but, ideally, a confirmation by a higher close today as well. Since yesterday was a particularly upside day an 'inside day' is one option but, in any case, we need to stay strong for the rest of the week to open the way for the 1325-40 target. Analysts estimates are a waste of time since FNM and FRE had to produce bigger losses under these circumstances, but we still need to see how the market, especially financials, deal with it today. Exceptions like Ms. Whitney and a handful others are to be treated as exceptions to the rule.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Turkish Lira - one of the most overvalued assets

A country which has to spend almost its entire tax income on interest payments for its huge debt burden; which officially has no commodity assets like oil, gas or copper; has one of the strongest currencies (big manipulation case); and pays according to phony statistics the highest real interest rate. Yesterday, inflation was reported on the CPI level at 12% and PPI at 18,5% although it's apparently obviously far above 20% - hence they have negative interest rates as most of the world. That is a project pushed by the World Bank and IMF (the hidden title could be "Screw Your Own People") by lowering official inflation far below reality.

Mehmet Simsek, the current Secretary for Economy got a phone call from the PM during a press conference, where he was talking about the fact that we had worldwide negative interest rates and rushed out during the press conference and later came back to cancel his speech (The PM must have urged him to stop). The central bank of Turkey calls small bank branches when a customer sells Turkish Lira to put pressure on them to retreat from any selling. They try to keep up the value for some investors, who make a fortune by earning high interest on a strong currency, which is overvalued by 30-50%.



Monday, August 4, 2008

the basics of a real bottom

1. Almost no one should call it a bottom after a 20% drop, people are far too reluctant.

2. Valuations do not mark bottoms and if they are so steeply undervalued that is not a pathetic forward earnings of 14 times PE. Especially since that is based on analysts estimations, who as research found out, call it wrong at least 75% of the time.

3. We need capitulation all the life insurances, which have increased their stock exposure in 2007. They need to sell out like they marked the lows in 2003 – this has not happened at all.

Common sense – worst-case scenario is not here yet. We need the fundamentals second and third wave to get into the game. Credit card, consumer loan, and exposure of the banks still have to collapse. The bond bubble, which is now the outlet for inflationary investing (bubble) should burst as well - worldwide negative interest rates are a warning by itself and cannot cure severe structural problems. Take Japan. They have interest close to 0 for 18 years already, the index dropped in 19 years from 38000 to 8000 and is now at 13000.

The basic scenario in assets is deflation because banks destroyed trillions and the phony value of homes was taken away. In order to fight that Helicopter Bernie is working the money press 24/7 and inflating to counter that. At the same time, prices of commodities rose sharply for different reasons and, in 2009 going forward, they will be rising again due to different reasons (we will explore that another time). We have a conundrum of inflation and deflation forces but the bias is towards hyperinflation with the central banks trying to save the banks from the inevitable -- bankruptcy float.



technical update-volatility is the name of the game

The dominating theme for the next 2 weeks is rising volatility. While markets oscilation downwards this week by huge price swings the VIX is not priced accuaretely to the increasing risk short term. Even next week with an upside bias due to full moon (solar eclipse) it should be volatile and a retest of the lows of july is still a likely scenario before a bigger rally can occur. Many indicators which are not time sensitive are asking for a short covering rally but we need more short term pessimism to activate it. The financials are still in jeopardy and I fully agree to Mrs. Whitney and Mr. Roubini - its far from over. House prices have to fall much further asone can see by the employment situation and what can a 300 bil. package do in a 11 tril. market make the math yourself. The losses I estimated match the ones of Mr Roubini will be around 2 tril. we are at 500 bil. so far. That might even be still too low but in any case this number will do so much harm to the world economy. Just to put it into perspective 500 bil have in average took away 50% market value of banks and they still trade above tangible book value - what will another 1.5 tril. do to them since at some people will rush in to take away deposits. I deal with that in another post.

dangerous 2 weeks ahead! - dangerous 20 years ahead?

We are entering a dangerous time band for the next two weeks and that is not only relevant for markets. Mars is opposite Uranus on August 6th and Mars will square Pluto on the August 17th (close to the full moon lunar eclipse on August 15th.). These are the most aggressive combinations and imply the highest risk for encountering aggressive actions by terrorists or any tense enemy situation. One recent example:

Excerpt from Bloomberg


Xinjiang Border Patrol Attacked, 16 Dead, Xinhua Says (Update3)

By Nerys Avery

Aug. 4 (Bloomberg) -- An attack on a border patrol station in western China's Xinjiang region killed 16 policemen, state media reported today, heightening concerns about terrorism four days before the Olympic Games start in Beijing.

Sixteen officers were also injured when two men drove a dump truck into a team of police jogging outside their barracks at Kashi this morning, Xinhua said in its English-language service, citing unidentified local police. Attackers threw two grenades into the compound and also hacked at officers with knives before being arrested, the report said.

This is especially important since on November 4th, almost at the same point, Saturn will oppose Uranus very close to the US elections, which will cause some bigger turmoil in the world and financial markets. Uranus opposing Saturn happens every 40 years and is a rare event but this will happen 3 times now within 2 years, due to retrograde moves. Remember the mid 60's with all the protests, where the young generation was rocking the boat against the old establishment? The Dow was locked into a trading range of 1000 down to 500 and back up to 1000 within 18 years - that by itself does not sound exciting but the fact that this was a high inflation time (numbers were real by then) with the record around 18% inflation. If you were invested in stocks, you lost a fortune in real terms due to buying power loss. Unfortunately soon in 2009 – 2010, we will also match the configuration the stars had during the big depression in the 1930's. So were heading for a challenging time.


Coming back to the two weeks ahead expect rising volatility since this very challenging Mars aspects are wrapped into two eclipses in Leo which heightens the potential for dramatic action. The chinese olympics fall into a difficult time period although the 8 is the lucky number in China (8.8.08 start date of olympics). The tensions between Israel and Iran will be at the edge since Olmert resigned and Iran is not in any compromising mood , but very likely the outcome will be not a big confrontation, the risk of a crash of world markets is a too high price. Interstingly Ahmadinejad comes to visit Turkey on the 14th which is a strange (interesting) timing. The Mars /Uranus opposition is in exact square to Israel's Uranus which should indeed trigger some suprising acts of agression but that could also be an attack by terrorists on Israel soil.

Excerpt from Barron's

In Sight: an Amicable Endgame in Iran

By JONATHAN R. LAING | MORE ARTICLES BY AUTHOR

The U.S. or Israel are unlikely to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Here's why.




THE MARKETS HAVE BEEN buzzing for months about an imminent attack by the U.S. or Israel on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Don't bet on it -- or on oil prices heading higher as a result of hostilities.

According to recent rumors, the U.S. and Israel have been pushed to the brink by Iran's stonewalling, in the face of global diplomacy aimed at persuading the country to suspend its nuclear-enrichment program and abandon its ambitions to join the nuclear-weapons club. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hasn't helped the situation with his defiant rhetoric, and a penchant for posing in a lab coat against a backdrop of uranium-enriching centrifuges.

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BEHROUZ MEHRI/Getty Images
The Mouse That Roared: Stratfor calls Iran's nuclear capability a negligible threat, and doubts the U.S. or Israel will attack. Look for cooler heads to prevail -- and for outside inspections of uranium facilities to continue.

Renowned investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote last month in a lengthy story in the New Yorker that such an attack is likely to come before U.S. President George Bush leaves office next January. Both the U.S. and Israel already have special-operations teams active inside Iran, gathering intelligence and seeking to destabilize the country and prepare the battlefield, Hersh's sources told him.

Yet, the possibility of an attack on Iran seems remote to George Friedman, founder and head of Stratfor, the Austin, Texas-based global-intelligence company. The risks to the global economy of such a move far outweigh any potential benefits, he says, especially as Iran poses what he views as a negligible nuclear threat.

America's "all-options-are-on-the-table" bluff seems to have had a salutary effect, Friedman says. For example, Iran has helped reduce the level of sectarian violence in Iraq in the past six months by reining in some of the rogue Shiite militias that it trains and supports. Likewise, the U.S. and Iran have begun to take tentative steps toward diplomatic rapprochement after 29 years of enmity, he notes.





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