When you consume more than you produce within a 71% Consumption Economy like the US, then savings are restricited. Additionally, with the US Government spending now approaching close to 40% of GDP, there is insufficient private savings for any investment, ever mind 'risk' investments. There can be no sustainable profits without productive investment of savings. Entitlement programs not only reduce investment but also reduced the cornerstones of the capitalist system: Innovation, Effort and Risk.
Because of this the US economy is steadily deteriorating and continues to be artifically supported by only government deficit spending and a historic growth in the Federal Reserve Balance Sheet. These measures are clearly failing to create sustainable economic growth. but are the only efforts being made as Public Policy is held ransom to failied political leadership and gridlock.
We continue to see the following major issues:
US Housing market which has clearly begun rolling over,
HELOC loan deliquency levels,
Residual used car values which will eventually undermine the Shadow Banking System,
Lower credit scores for new consumer debt plus Cov-lite & PIK Commercial loan acceleration,
Accelerating deterioration in retail sales with crumbling discretionary spending,
Continued weak US CAPEX spending by both small business and S&P 500,
Negative net startup/small business formations,
Chronic unemployment (with growth only in part time work within low paying sectors)
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It isn’t so much that they have stopped because in fact they have increased signifcantly. However, they have dmininshed in relative importance. Why? Because of the size of money now involved.
As one blatant example, the total settlements on mortgage penalties (at the root of the 2008 Financial Crisis) paid by the banks adds up to about $106 Billion. About $32 Billion of that may go to actually help borrowers. However, foreclosure actions totaled $2.8 TRILLION! Bank penalties were less than 4% of the foreclosure actions. Bank profits on what has been found in court to have been a crime are miniscule in comparison to the size of profits earned!
Maybe even worse, no one went to jail, executive bonuses paid out for these activities were not “clawed back” and no one was even fired! This is because of the new Crony Tribute System.
To understand how the new Crony Tribute System works we need to understand its roots and evolution.
Intermediate-Term Top is likely now in (though not confirmed)
Expect the Long-Term Top by Mid 2015
We believe the Intermediate Top is now in and our long discussed "M" Top is now underway. We have already seen a 4.8% correction but expect to see 8% before this corrective / consolidation is over in late OCtober early November. The signals to watch CONTINUE TO BE:
A "Death" Crosses in the 50, 100 and 200 Daily Moving Averages (DMAs),
A curl in our Monthly S&P 500 Primary Trend Chart,
Deteriorating Credit Markets outside of the already failing HY,
Increasing event & headline risk events.
BUYBACKS ARE STALLING,
FED IS NOW PLAYING AN OPTION GAME (To Control MArket Volatility),
GLOBAL ECONOMY CONTINUES TO DETERIORATE,
EVERYONE IS ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE BOAT
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Gordon T Long is not a registered advisor and does not give investment advice. His comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time. Of course, he recommends that you consult with a qualified investment advisor, one licensed by appropriate regulatory agencies in your legal jurisdiction, before making any investment decisions, and barring that, we encourage you confirm the facts on your own before making important investment commitments.
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