fbpx

Welcome Bear Trader Visitor

BullsNBears.com (BNB), a publisher of news, research and other information covering secular bull and bear markets, is an affiliate of Bear Trader.

Gradually Worse

This time last year, the great debate was whether inflation would be “transitory.” That question is now settled (Narrator: “It wasn’t transitory at all.”), we have moved on to debating what the Federal Reserve will do about it… and can do about it. The experts at the...

No Soft Landings

“There’s no soft landing when you’re this far out of equilibrium.” —Tom Hoenig My last four letters featured highlights from the Strategic Investment Conference. I told you they would build toward a conclusion that might not be obvious. Today we’ll lift that final...

Rock and a Hard Place

Two weeks after SIC ended, I’m beginning to assimilate everything. Different pieces are connecting in my head. I’d like to tell you I have a vision for uninterrupted peace and prosperity. Sadly, that’s not the case. Good things are coming, but not just yet. For now,...

Hardening of the Economies

Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, occurs when substances like cholesterol accumulate and impede your blood flow. This keeps your body from delivering nutrients where needed. Left untreated, it usually doesn’t end well. Something similar is happening to...

A Little Harder

The Strategic Investment Conference wrapped up this week with another wave of strong, fascinating speakers and panels. I gave you some highlights in last week’s Soft Now, Hard Later letter. Today I have more to share and, as you’ll see, the plot thickened...

Soft Now, Hard Later

The Strategic Investment Conference is in full swing. This is our 18th consecutive year and the third in an all-online virtual format. In 2020 we had to make that transition quickly, yet somehow the team pulled it off. Now we are getting the hang of it—though I do...

The Fed Is NGMI

We found out this week that the first quarter was recessionary: GDP down 1.4% when the expectation was that the quarter would be up 1%. Rather large miss! Even so, the quarter-over-quarter comparisons were difficult so I believe the Fed will look past it and a...

Into the Fire

If you haven’t noticed—perhaps because you live on Mars—inflation is here. Not just in the US but almost everywhere. Prices for everyday goods and services, including necessities like food, are climbing rapidly. The US Consumer Price Index rose 8.5% in the 12 months...

Other Possibilities

An old Danish proverb, later attributed to everyone from Mark Twain to Nostradamus to Yogi Berra, says, “Predictions are difficult, especially about the future.” I would refine it a little: Predictions are actually pretty easy. Accurate predictions are very difficult....

Curve Ball

“I would not interpret the currently very flat yield curve as indicating a significant economic slowdown to come.” (and subprime is contained.) —Ben Bernanke, March 2006 Evidence continues to mount that a recession is coming soon. The latest was this week’s “inverted...

Things Are Getting Better

In these letters, I look at the economy and tell you what I think, for better or worse. Recent missives were mostly negative. I regret being the bearer of bad news but sometimes that’s just reality. I often say that I am the most optimistic man in the room, and it’s...

Another Strange Recession

Back in the good old days, recessions were simply the unpleasant part of the business cycle. Consumer choices, exuberant businesses, and monetary policy would periodically generate growth contractions. We debated the timing, but recessions didn’t come out of the blue....

Change Squared

“How did you go bankrupt? Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.” - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises Change usually comes slowly. But every now and then, events like Pearl Harbor, September 11th, and COVID-19 come out of nowhere and change everything. We can look at...

Inflation Thoughts

But mouse-friend, you are not alone In proving foresight may be vain: The best-laid schemes of Mice and Men Go oft awry, And leave us only grief and pain, For promised joy! How much inflation is okay? People have different answers. I think it should be very low, but...

Financialized Everything

Interest rates—the “price of money”—have been unusually low for most of this century, particularly since the 2008 crisis but going back to Greenspan’s era. The wisest people I know differ on exactly why. Was it purely a policy choice, or the result of larger,...

Time to Rethink the Fed

“In many important ways, the financial crash of 2008 had never ended. It was a long crash that crippled the economy for years. The problems that caused it went almost entirely unsolved. And this financial crash was compounded by a long crash in the strength of...

So Goes the Year?

You’ve heard the old stock market adage, “As goes January, so goes the year.” If so, 2022 will be a wild ride. Of course, in this context “wild” doesn’t necessarily mean a loss. But it could, and given the well-documented human tendency to buy high and sell low,...

NASDAQ Could Fall Another 13%

This article was written exclusively for Investing.com The NASDAQ Composite has fallen sharply to start 2022, down nearly 13%. But don't expect the index to race back to record highs anytime soon. The index faces a battle on two fronts, higher rates, and falling...

Beijing’s Dilemmas

Ranked by population, the United States is the world’s third largest country, behind China and India. But the gap is greater than the ranking implies. According to Worldometer, as of 2020 China had 1.44 billion people, India 1.38 billion, and the US 331 million. In...

Year of the Bookends

If you are a booklover like me, you probably have many shelves. On some of those shelves you probably have bookends holding the books in place. They come in opposing pairs—similar but reversed. What if the COVID-era economy has bookends? I think that may be what’s...

Coming to America

This week is a little bit different than your usual Thoughts from the Frontline. It is Christmas Day as this is sent out, so not the time to ramble on about inflation and the markets. Instead I’ll share a story from my good friend Vitaliy Katsenelson. He immigrated to...

Inflation by the Numbers

Milton Friedman famously said inflation is “always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” He was right but that short statement doesn’t fully explain how inflation works. It has other causes, too. The period in which he did his most famous research showed inflation...

What Really Caused Inflation

You won’t be surprised to know I disagree with recent Federal Reserve policy choices. The Fed’s future choices are more important, though. Debating what they should do is one thing. Anticipating what they will do is critical. Today we’ll “war game” what the Fed is...

Back up the Truck to buy INVU shares

“Back up the truck to buy INVU shares” has been exclusively available to ShinyPennyStocks.com subscribers since November 29, 2021. “Back up the truck” is an old saying that is used by professionals on Wall Street on rare occasions.  Another is “buy it with both...

Capital Excess

Why do we invest? Everyone has their reasons, but funding retirement may be the most common one. Whenever the time comes, we want to relax in comfort and security. Yet this whole “retirement” idea is really quite new. For most of human history, almost everyone worked...

Blowout quarter for Investview

Investview (INVU) reported their financial results for their quarter ended September 30, 2021.  The blowout results were, as I had anticipated.  Operating and free cash flow results came in as expected.  For more highlights covering financial results see Investview...

Worth a Thousand Words

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a good holiday. I’m writing this issue early in the week while enroute to join family in Dallas. Today will be different and I hope you like it. The charts and comments below are drawn from the “Clips That Matter” feature of...

Shortages Are Relative

In some simplistic economic theories, shortages never happen. Supply and demand for any particular good are always perfectly balanced in a given time and place. If you can’t get what you demand at that moment, you pay a higher price or you demand something else. But...

Energy Complexity

If I had to describe my last 500 letters in one word, it would be “complexity.” The older I get, the more I realize problems I once thought had reasonably straightforward solutions are, in fact, hideously complicated. That doesn’t make them unsolvable but it reduces...

Trick or Treat Economy

To Jerome Powell and the Fed: It’s a lesson too late for the learning,Made of sand, made of sand.In the wink of an eye, prices are risingIn your hand, by your hand. Are you going away with no word of farewell,Will you leave your inflation behind?You should have...

When Tools Stop Working

Because I believe in the division of labor, I rarely use hand tools today. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, I had two 4 x 8 pegboards on my garage wall full of tools along with my large Craftsman toolbox. I had the right tool for every job around the car, house, and yard. I...

Logistical Sandpiles

At the risk of overusing a favorite metaphor, today we’ll talk about sandpiles. My past sandpile stories focused on financial crises. The same principle holds in any complex system, though. Everything works until suddenly it doesn’t. As Minsky said, stability breeds...

Xi’s Changing Plan

Six months ago, few Americans had heard of Evergrande. Now many worry this Chinese property developer’s downfall will start an economically devastating chain reaction. They’re right about the chain reaction part, but I don’t think it will “devastate” anyone outside...

What Could Go Wrong?

I have written several letters on the theme that the best investment posture is cautious optimism. Pessimism and bearishness never get you in the game, while untamed optimism means that at some point, you’ll have a serious setback. The cautiously optimistic investor...

The Return of Stagflation

I have been writing this letter for 22 years. Sometimes I look into the future and other times merely try to explain the present. Today I’m going to look at several possible futures. There are forces at work in both Congress and the Federal Reserve that could take us...

Human Capital Losses

Remember math class? Let me give you a quick refresher. In the equation 3 x 5 = 15, the 3 and 5 are factors, and 15 is the product. You can’t have a product without factors. In economics we talk about “factors of production.” If you want to produce something, you need...

Perfect Storms

Having been Puerto Rico residents for almost three years now, Shane and I have learned a few things about living in the tropics. In Dallas, we didn’t often think about hurricanes, though we did have tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Ditto for earthquakes. North...

COVID Consumer Headache

If you look just at 2021, it seems the US economy is tearing higher. Real GDP grew an annualized +6.5% in the second quarter, the Commerce Department estimated last week. This follows a similar +6.3% first quarter, and a pandemic-interrupted 2020 that turned out not...

Federal Reserve Folly

Great news: The US economy is officially out of recession. We know this because the National Bureau of Economic Research’s official recession-calling committee said so this week. The economy has been in an expansion phase since last April, making this the shortest...

Xi’s Big Mistake

I have mixed feelings about China. On the plus side, I think the country’s massive economic transformation may be one of the most impressive events in human history. Bringing hundreds of millions from primitive rural lives into relatively prosperous cities within a...

TINA Is Stupid

In the 1980s, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher liked to say, “There is no alternative” to her market-driven economic reform ideas. She said it so much people began abbreviating it as “TINA.” Whatever you think of Lady Thatcher’s policies, the slogan was...

The New Inquisition

It is as essential to democracy that the minority should voluntarily submit to the measures adopted as it is that the majority should voluntarily approve them. Democratic government rests upon the principle that it is better to count heads than it is to break them....

Long Humanity

“At the end of the day” is a trite figure of speech, but it sometimes fits. It signals you’ve used all your time, and now you’ll wrap up and begin thinking about tomorrow. I like to say designing the Strategic Investment Conference agenda is my personal art form....

Politics with No Labels

You can’t always get what you wantBut if you try sometime you findYou get what you need There’s no way around it: Investing in public companies is always political. Corporations exist because governments charter these artificial entities and legally shield the owners...

Technology Rules

Macroeconomic forecasting is too politicized. I don’t mean that in a partisan sense, though it may be so. The bigger problem is that forecasters spend most of their time thinking about central bank decisions and government policies. In the long run, those aren’t the...

Deflation Talk

If you could ask the world’s top central bankers what really terrifies them, I think the honest answer would usually be “deflation.” It is their greatest nightmare. They think a little inflation is good (thus the 2%+ target), and they’re confident they can subdue it...