#FederalReserve aka #Fed Discovers Gold – Fools Gold

No.  I am NOT talking about the movie, Fool’s Gold.

foolsgold

I am talking about the Fed finding wealth and a strong economy where there is none.

Like the little boy who cried “Wolf!”,  the Fed keeps saying “The Economy is good!”

Here is the fool’s gold the Fed uses to keep saying :The Economy is good!”

1. Auto sales are up.  Well they were up until the recently released May report showed a drop of 6%.  The recent auto sales were propped up by easy credit but now they have run out of buyers.  Here are details.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-autos-idUSKCN0YN4K0

2. Home sales are up.  Well they were up until the June 1, 2016 report.  Again home sales have been boosted by easy credit and low interest rates until now. Here are details.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/01/mortgage-applications-drop-because-of-rate-uncertainty.html

3. Unemployment is down.  Well unemployment has dropped to 4.7% but the recent jobs report announced June 3, 2016 showed a shocking one fifth the average number of jobs created.  Unemployment went down because more people have given up or are retired. Here are details.

http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/03/news/economy/us-economy-may-jobs-report/

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Here are the real concerns the Fed should be looking at.

1. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  These firms have been using derivatives to hedge against interest rate changes and lost $475 million last year. Here are details.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/freddie-mac-may-need-another-taxpayer-bailout-next-week-2016-04-29

2. US Productivity.  The statistics show it went down 1% in the first quarter and now one of the Fed members says it may go down again this month. Here are details.

http://www.reuters.com/article/usa-fed-evans-productivity-idUSU8N16O051

3. Corporate Bond Sales.  These are still high and may match last year’s record in order to finance other mergers. Here are details.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-28/get-ready-for-a-big-wave-of-u-s-corporate-bond-sales-in-may

In summary, the 2008 bailout involved lower interest rates.  But the Fed should have raised interest rates in 2011 instead of maintaining the ridiculous 2% inflation target.  Here is how:

https://michaelekelley.com/2015/03/27/the-kelley-monetary-policy-rule/

Or if you want more information on whether a recession is coming or not, read this.

https://michaelekelley.com/2015/03/02/why-another-recession-is-coming/

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The Fed is chartered with controlling inflation and encouraging job growth.  One Fed member recently said they are too busy to add a third task aka improving the economy.  Well they have dropped the ball on job growth which would have improved the economy.  Here is what the Fed could have and still can do for job growth.

https://michaelekelley.com/2014/03/28/federal-reserve-can-create-jobs/

Good luck out there.

Why GLD Is Bad and GOLD Is Good

Friends, here is why the GLD fund aka ETF is the worst investment if you like GOLD.

gold2confetti

1.  GLD Is Paper Gold

GLD is actually the SPDR Gold Trust Electronic Traded Fund.  It is a promissory note for GOLD.  It is backed by physical gold but the real ratio is controversial.  See

http://www.forbes.com/sites/afontevecchia/2011/11/15/is-gld-really-as-good-as-gold/#7b10e4f93ca1

2.  GLD Is Supported By The Fed Which Wants the US Dollar High and Gold Low

In a previous post, I discussed how the US Dollar and GOLD move in opposite directions.

In that post, I explained that the Federal Reserve wants to keep the dollar high so to do that, it depresses GOLD prices by encouraging the sales of paper GOLD.  See

https://michaelekelley.com/2015/07/20/dear-fed-plz-raise-gold-price/

3.  GLD is a CDO aka Tranche

Remember the Great Recession of 2008?  It was brought on by CDOs and tranches based on bundled mortgages.  GLD is a tranche aka a bundle of paper gold.

Statistics prove that 13% of CDOs before the Great Recession were sold to multiple buyers.  It is like selling an acre of land in Florida multiple times.

https://michaelekelley.com/2015/01/28/remember-cdos-theyre-baaaack/

4.  Paper Gold is rumored to be oversold by 200 times

You need to read this.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-30/paper-gold-dilution-hits-294x-comex-registered-gold-drops-new-all-time-low

5.  GLD Has Lagged Gold Mining Stocks Year To Date

NEM, a gold mining stock, is up 34% from 01/01/2016 to 2/5/2016.

Meanwhile GLD is up only 10% from 01/01/2016 to 2/5/2016.

That is probably because investment companies are avoiding GLD.  So NEM is a GOOD investment right now not GLD.

 

Here are Solutions when a Recession Comes

https://michaelekelley.com/2014/10/16/8-things-to-do-when-recession-happens/

 

Here is Some More Information

Lessons From How The Great Recession Happened and What A CDO Is

http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/Pubs/te/MAC/2e/MAC_2e_Chapter_15.pdf

Good luck!

PS  I own NEM and care about you but I cannot be held responsible for your decisions.

Japan – Why Negative Interest Rates?

A number of countries have implemented a negative interest rate policy (NIRP).  Why?

neg_int_rates

Generally Central Banks try to stimulate their country’s economy by lowering interest rates.  This encourages banks and businesses to issue loans or take out loans.

Japan had a +0.1 interest rate and had nowhere to go but negative to lower interest rates in order to stimulate their economy.

Here is how it works.  Banks usually pay interest to use your money.  Instead a negative interest rate works like a safe deposit box. You pay to have the bank hold your money.

Unfortunately, people would rather have cash which results in hoarding and does the opposite of stimulating the economy.

For more information, see this website:

http://www.bloombergview.com/quicktake/negative-interest-rates

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VIX Predicts Pits While Pundits Have Fits

VIX, measuring stock market volatility, last spiked this much in 2007.

vix_predicts_pits_while_pundits_have_fits

Coincidence?  This spike in VIX is predicting a recession (aka the pits) much like it did in 2007.

The result is recession-deniers aka pundits are having fits.  They are saying, “This can’t be happening.”

Meanwhile, believers in the predictability of VIX are saying “It is deja vu all over again. (Thanks to Yogi Berra)

Here are some other signs of a possible recession.

https://michaelekelley.com/2015/05/29/mergers-and-acquisitions-set-record/

/https://michaelekelley.com/2015/02/20/fed-warns-of-two-bubbles/

https://michaelekelley.com/2015/02/24/would-you-pay-39-more-than-asked/

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-27/when-will-we-ever-learn/

Here is how to prepare yourself.

https://michaelekelley.com/2014/10/16/8-things-to-do-when-recession-happens/

Good luck!

Mergers and Acquisitions Set Scary Record For May

Please read the quote from MarketWatch.com below and guess why this is bad.

fish_eat_fish

“U.S. mergers & acquisitions activity is on track for a record month in May, with $241.6 billion of deals already announced, topping the previous record of $225.8 billion announced in May 2007, according to Dealogic data.”

ANSWER: The previous record was just before the Great Recession.

Specifically, eighteen months later the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was worth almost half of what it was in May 2007.

Here is a summary of why a recession is coming in plain English.

https://michaelekelley.com/2015/03/02/why-another-recession-is-coming/

Thanks to Team-Studer.net for the photo.

The Kelley Monetary Policy Rule

Everybody hates rules but this is a breakthrough policy to free the fearful Fed.

fear

Background

The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) has held the Fed Funds Rate (the interest rate the Fed charges banks) below 1 percent for 7 years.  That is unprecedented.   The Fed originally lowered the Fed Funds Rate to 0.25% to counteract the last Great Recession.

When the Fed lowered its primary interest rate, it also started Quantitative Easing (QE) by buying securities in order to pump money into the economy to stimulate it.  Now the Fed has stopped buying securities via QE.

Today

The next step according to the standard Fed playbook is to raise the Fed Funds Rate, completing the unwinding of the previous actions.

Unfortunately the Fed Funds Rate has not risen to normal levels because the Fed is afraid to hurt the economy.

What Is Normal?

https://michaelekelley.com/2015/02/11/fed-inflation-target-is-abnormal/

According to the above website, if the Fed wanted the Inflation Target to be 2%, then the Fed Fund Rate should be 2% plus 1.44% or 3.44%.  Then 3.44% should be the normal Fed Funds Rate.

What Are The Fed’s Options?

How does the Fed get back up to the normal 3.44% Fed Funds Rate?  It can do one of these:

1.  Reverse QE by selling securities OR

2. Set the long-term interest rate to set a goal OR

3. Simultaneously raise the Fed Fund Rate AND offer another round of QE.

Ideally, the Fed should have raised the Fed Funds Rate while phasing out QE from 2011 to 2014.

The best is option 3 which has the most influence and least fear.

But How Fast?

A return to normal Fed Funds Rate involves small baby steps in a gradually higher Fed Funds Rate while offering a phased out QE.

If the Fed only raised the rate .25% each quarter, it would take 13 quarters or over 3 years to get to 3.50%.

Kelley Monetary Policy Rule

The Taylor Rule involves raising the Fed Funds Rate 1 percent for each 1 percent in inflation.  We have no inflation so the Taylor Rule is of no help.  The Kelley Monetary Policy Rule states the Fed Funds Rate will be increased gradually and QE will be reduced gradually to zero at a rate inversely proportional to the Fed Funds Rate.

This should eliminate any fear by the Fed or the financial market and get us back to normal.

Good luck.

Stop In the Name of Love

This is the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) Chairwoman, Janet Yellen.

yellen (2)

She probably doesn’t dance like she used to, but she still gets around.

Pick your favorite caption to go with this photo.

1. I have 5 grandkids.  How many do you have?

2. You know the cop on the Monopoly board that sticks his hand out and says, “Go to jail”?  Well, I am nothing like him.

3. Congress, you silly old goats, will you stop harassing me?

4. Let’s make a deal.  I will not increase interest rates for 5 months in exchange for less harassment.

5. We give you five five mints in one. You know, five money printing presses in one country.

You have to hand it to Janet, she has a nice smile.

Have a great day!

 

Why Another Recession Is Coming – In English

Friends, here is a tutorial on how we got here and how to prepare for the worst.

ssminnow
Easy Money

The Federal Reserve (Fed) offered Quantitative Easing (QE) 3 times.  At first it saved the big banks and the stock market started going up.  But then the Fed kept giving out easy money to the big banks.

Leveraged Loans and Junk Bonds

The banks, that received the QE money, issued junk bonds and leveraged loans that were used for debt creation not real products and services.  Specifically QE went to Mergers and Acquisitions (M & A) and oil investments.  Here is an example.

Richard Baker, chief executive, along with his investment firm, NRDC Equity Partners, relied heavily on borrowed [leveraged loan] money. Of the $1.2 billion that it paid for Lord & Taylor, only $25 million [2%] came in the form of equity, with the remainder made up of debt financing. [The New York Times]

Do you think any of us could buy a house with 2% down? Nope.

New Bubbles

For 2014, three things happened.  The dollar reached a new record high, the Dow Jones hit a record 32 times and leveraged loans went back to 2008 pre-recession levels.  Some economists are calling this a bubble.  Here is a chart to prove it.

See https://michaelekelley.com/2014/12/20/leveraged-loans-predict-crash/

Some Good News

The good news is the stock market is up, gas prices are low and unemployment is back to 2003 levels.

But the Economy Struggles

The economy is struggling for several reasons.  First, the easy money went into debt rather than real products which creates jobs.  Secondly, very little money went into infrastructure which also creates jobs.

And Wage Inequality Is Greater Than Ever

The CEO to worker compensation ratio is 296 to 1 today versus 20 to 1 in 1965.   The rich have gotten richer.  Unfortunately the upper class does not change its spending patterns.  Several studies have proved this despite what politicians say.

So the economy has stalled even though the stock market is up.  Only the middle and upper classes have money to invest in the rising stock market.

Oil Price Drops and Leveraged Loan Bubble Bursts

Oil prices have dropped because of excess supply and over-leveraged oil investors.  For more information see this easy to understand website.

http://wolfstreet.com/2014/12/07/bloodbath-in-oil-patch-junk-bonds-leveraged-loans-defaults/

Solutions for the Federal Reserve and Congress

Here are some solutions because blogs should offer solutions rather than just complain about our problems.

There is still time for the Federal Reserve to pump up the economy by providing funding specifically for infrastructure which will create jobs and kick start the economy.  Also Congress, or better yet, each state can raise the minimum wage.  The economy will only take off if new jobs are created or lower class or middle class people get pay raises.

Here is a list of 7 suggestions that will not soak the rich.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/7-ways-to-help-the-middle-class-without-soaking-the-rich-2015-02-05?page=1

But if the government drags its feet or does more of the same Quantitative Easing, here is what you can do to prepare for the worst.

Solutions for the Rest of Us

https://michaelekelley.com/2014/10/16/8-things-to-do-when-recession-happens/

Lessons From How The Great Recession Happened and What A CDO Is

http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/Pubs/te/MAC/2e/MAC_2e_Chapter_15.pdf

Good luck!

When Kids Ask What GOP Stands For

I tell them it means “Government Obstructionist Party”.

GOP

They shutdown the government rather than pass a budget and raise the debt ceiling.

Consequently the economy lost $24 billion dollars for the quarter.

And the Congressional members did not lose a dime of income during this shutdown.

Here is a list of names of the 144 obstructionists that voted NO on the House of Representatives bill that raised the debt ceiling.  All of them are members of the GOP.

http://politics.nytimes.com/congress/votes/113/house/1/550

Here is a quote to think about.  “The extreme right has 90 seats in the House,” Mr. Echevarria, CEO of Deloitte, said. “Occupy Wall Street has no seats.”

Please make a note of these for the 2014 election so we can even the score.