Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The continued down draft in the market makes me wonder if it’s not something else other than recession fears, the market action is looking more “9/11” than it is recession. My guess is keep on the look out for some kind or a major blow to the financial system.
The stock market is a market of extremes, we go from very over bought to very over sold, but when it comes to financials and a crisis in confidence in the banking system the extremes are even more extreme. So look for 12600 to 12500 for the DOWJONES on the down side.
Like Portfolio insurance before the sub-prime crisis is manufactured by the wizards of wall street and their black boxes. Unfortunately no black box despite vast amounts of human hubris contains all possibilities. Couple this fallacy with government appointed bureaucrats who are more political appointees than market experts and a congress that wouldn’t know a balance sheet from a racing form and you have a crisis in the making. So you say why now people have been warning about GSE’s for so long and nothing has happened? Perhaps the super hot real estate ie.. mortgage market of the early part of this decade put us over the top and created events that even the most water tight “black box” sprung a leak or perhaps its just a confluence of many factors that are creating a “perfect storm” environment.
My view is simple: there is no recession nor is one coming, the consumer will not slow as long as jobs are plentiful and interest rates and inflation remain low .Only a financial calamity will put us over the top and wreck this economy. However the wizards and their black boxes may have really made a mess of banking confidence for some time to come and that could spill over into the economy as a whole by seizing up credit markets. For those with strong wills and cold hearts this could present some of the best buying opportunities in financial stocks since the early 1990’s.
James J Foytlin
Monday, November 26, 2007
on the positive ;
Retails sales rose 8% on Black Friday hardly bleak I would suggest.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
By Richard J. Maybury
Posted on 11/20/1999
Each year at this time school children all over America are taught the official Thanksgiving story, and newspapers, radio, TV, and magazines devote vast amounts of time and space to it. It is all very colorful and fascinating.
It is also very deceiving. This official story is nothing like what really happened. It is a fairy tale, a whitewashed and sanitized collection of half-truths which divert attention away from Thanksgiving's real meaning.
The official story has the pilgrims boarding the Mayflower, coming to America and establishing the Plymouth colony in the winter of 1620-21. This first winter is hard, and half the colonists die. But the survivors are hard working and tenacious, and they learn new farming techniques from the Indians. The harvest of 1621 is bountiful. The Pilgrims hold a celebration, and give thanks to God. They are grateful for the wonderful new abundant land He has given them.
The official story then has the Pilgrims living more or less happily ever after, each year repeating the first Thanksgiving. Other early colonies also have hard times at first, but they soon prosper and adopt the annual tradition of giving thanks for this prosperous new land called America.
The problem with this official story is that the harvest of 1621 was not bountiful, nor were the colonists hardworking or tenacious. 1621 was a famine year and many of the colonists were lazy thieves.
In his 'History of Plymouth Plantation,' the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years, because they refused to work in the fields. They preferred instead to steal food. He says the colony was riddled with "corruption," and with "confusion and discontent." The crops were small because "much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable."
In the harvest feasts of 1621 and 1622, "all had their hungry bellies filled," but only briefly. The prevailing condition during those years was not the abundance the official story claims, it was famine and death. The first "Thanksgiving" was not so much a celebration as it was the last meal of condemned men.
But in subsequent years something changes. The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, "instead of famine now God gave them plenty," Bradford wrote, "and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God." Thereafter, he wrote, "any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day." In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.
After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop." They began to question their form of economic organization.
This had required that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock." A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.
This "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that "young men that are most able and fit for labor and service" complained about being forced to "spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children." Also, "the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak." So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.
To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.
Many early groups of colonists set up socialist states, all with the same terrible results. At Jamestown, established in 1607, out of every shipload of settlers that arrived, less than half would survive their first twelve months in America. Most of the work was being done by only one-fifth of the men, the other four-fifths choosing to be parasites. In the winter of 1609-10, called "The Starving Time," the population fell from five-hundred to sixty.
Then the Jamestown colony was converted to a free market, and the results were every bit as dramatic as those at Plymouth. In 1614, Colony Secretary Ralph Hamor wrote that after the switch there was "plenty of food, which every man by his own industry may easily and doth procure." He said that when the socialist system had prevailed, "we reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty men as three men have done for themselves now."
Before these free markets were established, the colonists had nothing for which to be thankful. They were in the same situation as Ethiopians are today, and for the same reasons. But after free markets were established, the resulting abundance was so dramatic that the annual Thanksgiving celebrations became common throughout the colonies, and in 1863, Thanksgiving became a national holiday.
Thus the real reason for Thanksgiving, deleted from the official story, is: Socialism does not work; the one and only source of abundance is free markets, and we thank God we live in a country where we can have them.
* * * * *
Mr. Maybury writes on investments.
This article originally appeared in The Free Market, November 1985.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
As a Russian doomsday cult waits for the world to end, the US Congress heads home for the Holidays leaving US troops hanging. But Lets face it unemployment is very low, inflation is moderate and interest rates are very low so what gives with all the doom and gloom? One look at mall parking lots and all the traffic jams this weekend would suggest that dreams of a recession may be postponed a little bit longer.
This market continues to be characterized by periods of severe over sold conditions, leading to significant reversals to the upside. There seems to have developed a tolerance to steadily climbing oil prices, but price spikes in the liquid gold continue to bring the house down. Look for a big rally in stocks, oil prices will recede on the expected warmer winter, the dollar will stabilize and China and other emerging markets will decline from an extreme over bought position as inflation begins to pick up. Investors money flows will favor the US and its much undervalued markets, particularly tech and bio tech.
But what out the dollar you ask, once again I repeat the US consumer has carried the world on its back since the early 1980’s. The dollar is transitioning to better position US manufacturing to export to emerging market consumers and the US economy is transitioning back to production from consumption. Its not that the US is going to stop buying things its just that emerging markets growing middle classes are going to consume at the much faster growing pace.
So what’s going on, I am warning of bubbles on one hand and saying buy buy buy on the other hand …Some sectors such as commodities and emerging markets seem very over extended to me for some time,yet no one is talking about it . Sell offs are never predicted by by the main stream press or the pundits ,they generaly appear out of the blue…..
James J Foytlin
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
How To Recognize a Financial Mania When You're Smack Dab in the Middle of One By Susan C. Walker, Elliott Wave InternationalNovember 12, 2007
When you're caught in the middle of a bad storm, you don't really care whether it's a tropical depression or a full-strength hurricane. You just know you're hanging on for dear life. The same idea applies to financial markets. When a market is trending up strongly, it's hard to tell whether it's just a bull market or a more dangerous financial mania.
The recent tremendous ride up for global and U.S. financial markets, including the Dow, looks and feels more like a mania than a mere bull, says Elliott Wave International analyst Peter Kendall. This distinction is important to recognize in the rising stage, because manias always result in a crash that takes them back beneath their starting point.
Kendall recently published his research into current financial manias throughout the world in SFO (Stocks, Futures and Options) magazine. The article, titled "Financial Manias and the Trade of a Lifetime," suggests an even more stunning finish for the current manias: "The speed and global scope of the unfolding credit crisis suggest that most of the fast-rising markets of the last decade will crash in unison," he writes.
Editor's note: Elliott Wave International invites you to read the full five-page article with charts from the October 2007 SFO magazine by Elliott Wave International's Pete Kendall called "Financial Manias and the Trade of a Lifetime."
As co-editor of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, Kendall searches for trends that help traders to move in and out of markets. By comparing other historic manias with the impressive rise of the DJIA since the late 1970s, he focuses on the skyscraper pattern that they all have in common. The four historical manias are the Dutch Tulip mania of the 1630s, the South Sea bubble of 1720, the U.S. stock crash of 1921-1932 and the dot.com bust of the 1990s and early 2000s. Once you can see the similarities, you will be better prepared to face the music when the crash comes. As Kendall writes, "once the belief that the markets will always rise becomes widespread, it actually signals the start of a price swing that tends to be a career-breaker for any trader who tries to oppose it."
He also discusses current manias, such as the Nikkei, which has yet to return to its start after a manic rise to its all-time high in December 1989, and the Dow, which reversed from its rise in 2000 but made a U-turn in 2002. The starting point for the Dow's mania as shown in the chart included in the article is at the 1000 level.
Kendall, who is also writing a book about financial manias, titled The Mania Chronicles, describes five telltale signs that help an investor to tell the difference between a regular bull market and a mania. It's a mania if:
1. There is no upside resistance, and rising prices seem to be perpetual.2. Everyone in the market looks like an expert.3. There is a flight from quality investments to riskier investments.4. As financial bubbles pop in one area, they bubble up in others.5. The crash after the peak takes back all the gains the mania made.
No. 5 can be viewed only with hindsight. But the first four signs provide essential clues to what's shaping up in the markets.
"By studying past mania experiences, traders can gain valuable insight into the collective emotions that drive their markets," writes Kendall. "It's possible to make significant money in the advancing stages of a mania with no knowledge of its existence. But there is nothing like recognizing a mania for what it is in real time to help a trader keep those gains and deal with the relentless crash after it peaks."
In the last part of the SFO article, he asks the key question, Are we at the peak yet? Find out his answer by reading the whole article for yourself.
Susan C. Walker writes for Elliott Wave International, a market forecasting and technical analysis company. She has been an associate editor with Inc. magazine, a newspaper writer and editor, an investor relations executive and a speechwriter for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Her columns also appear regularly on FoxNews.com
Pakistan declares a state of emergency and arrests lawyers …hummmm that’s a bad thing?
CNBC’s Jim Kramer calls Andrew Cuomo a communist, Spain’s King tells Hugo Chaves to shut up, Hillary stiffs an Iowa waitress and New Jersey voters finally said “NO” , its about time on all accounts.
Excessive valuations in commodities seem to weigh heavy on the market last week. Oil prices seem to be approaching “bubble” levels. A Super model gives the sell signal for the euro .Lets face it Europe’s heavily export dependent economies are going to suffer greatly if the euro continues a sustained rally.
China’s stocks continue to look way a head of themselves and this blogger continues to wonder why so many investors turned a deaf ear to investing in china in 2002 and yet are so will to now take the plunge at much greater valuations.
Sub prime continue to grab the head lines with rumors of bankruptcy’s echoing through the financial sector. Things are so bad at Citi bank that Prince Alwaleed the largest share holder invited Sandy Weill to met the Prince in Riyadh.
While this time of the year is often hectic. I would like to stress the importance of taking the time to review year-end strategies that could benefit your investment portfolio. For example ,by sitting down face to face or over the phone to look at each of your holdings ,with the help of your tax advisor we can determine if any changes should be made that could reduce your tax liabilities .Areas include IRA’s ,SEP-IRA’s, bond swaps and years –end tax loss selling. We will also want to review your asset allocation to determine if anything needs to be rebalanced in order to stay on track with your investment goals. I know this sounds like a lot of information to think about; however, I think a one hour portfolio review session will be an excellent investment of your time.
James J Foytlin
Horwitz and Associates
Toll Free 1(866)492-3959
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
While Putkin signs the pact of steel with Iran, the US congress gives peace a chance and stages a sit in, forgoing medaling in the life of their fellow citizens for a short while. But one member of congress was working and he was putting the finishing touches on his (Charley Rangel) 1 trillion dollar tax increase proposal, who says politicians don’t need more time off.
Can you say bubble, China now boast many of the world largest corporations by market cap, but no irrational exuberance here …yea right. Look out belowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
Financials continue to pressure market, looks like when it comes to the sub prime debacle, its best to think of the cock roach theory, there never is just one…looks like more unraveling to come .I know I was slow to the party on this one but financial institutions look to continue for some time to be trying to quantify the risk on this one. Look out below….
The Yankees and Merrill Lynch have something in common a big loss means time for a new boss. Housing continues to show weakness and oil moves ever higher. Yet despite the proclaimed demise of the consumer Master Card had huge earnings and the 3rd quarter GDP was better than expected and Halloween candy was sold out by early October.
Oh the irony of it all, Congress wants to punish executives for poor performance and tax payers would like to impose the same rules on congress, we can only hope ….
James J Foytlin