Friday, May 6, 2022

Producer Price Index

The following chart shows the natural log of the producer price index for all commodities. When using natural logs, constant exponential growth is seen as a straight line.


We've been screaming towards the top of the channel like a runaway train. Our engineer (the Fed) is now desperately attempting to apply the brakes. The odds of a soft train landing seem incredibly low. Beware the rapidly approaching Deadman's Economy Curve. We're likely to derail!

Some might argue that we've already derailed. The worst is now behind us. I'm not convinced. Since when has maximum pain been achieved with near record low unemployment? It seems to me that we still have plenty of pent-up depressionary pain potential. Surely the unemployment rate has not achieved a permanently low plateau, especially given all the financial pain both the stock and bond markets have recently dished out. In fact, it's entirely possible that the pain party might just be getting started. Perhaps the Great Recession will be followed up with an even greater one. *cringe*

This is definitely not financial advice. I am and have been very concerned about our long-term future, much like many must have been during the fall of the Roman Empire. Who is responsible? We all are.

No single raindrop believes it is to blame for the flood.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Like Roths to the Flame

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com.

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com.

Safety seeking momentum traders have clearly fled long-term government bonds and piled into the riskier bond alternatives of consumer staples and utilities. The dividend yields are now SO low, even as long-term bond yields have sharply risen. In my opinion, it will someday end in tears. Think consumer staples [Hostess Brands] can't ever go bankrupt? That there isn't intense competition within the sector? Think utilities [California's Pacific Gas and Electric Company] can't ever go bankrupt? Good luck on those theories.

In order to invest in either stock market sector now I'd need to be compensated for the extra risk. As a recent investor in both sectors, just not seeing the future rewards any longer. At all. In the last few months, it's been like a wild train ride to crazy town. Want absolutely no part of it. The bargains are gone and all that's left is empty momentum driven euphoria. Just an opinion, of course. Can't speak of your opinion on the level of this insanity. Perhaps, unlike me, you feel that relative parabolic moves higher are now the new normal? All I can say is heaven help us all if you are right.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Trading Update X

In my IRA, all in on TLT @ $119.20. No longer sitting in cash awaiting opportunities. Long-term interest rates have reached the level I predicted in March of 2021. The 20-year bond looks to be the best bargain of the bunch, perhaps because TLT is now so unloved by retail investors and has a similar maturity.

The following chart shows the natural log of the 20-year Treasury bond yield. When using natural logs, constant exponential growth (or in this case, decay) is seen as a straight line. We have reached the trend line in red.


As is usual with my investments, this is intended to be a long-term holding. There's a lot of risk here, but if I am right about the particular path of our long-term future, then I feel pretty good about it. Well, as good as I could feel believing in an illusion of prosperity anyway. Counting on the Fed to engineer some sort of a landing. I do expect the plane to touch the ground again. Hindsight may easily show that touch was way too gentle a word though.

Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected. - George Soros

Friday, April 8, 2022

Brace for Impact

The following chart shows the natural log of the consumer price index for food and beverages. When using natural logs, constant exponential growth is seen as a straight line. I have added green and red trend lines to show how the growth has changed.


This is your captain. While a soft landing is still theoretically possible, please brace for impact. Place your feet firmly on the floor, tuck your arms and elbows close to your sides, bend over your thighs as tightly as possible, and tuck your head as closely as possible to the surface you are most likely to strike when slammed forward. Thank you for choosing to fly with Federal Reserve Airlines. We hope you have enjoyed your flight, the upcoming landing notwithstanding.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Household Net Worth


Behold the household wealth creation of a pandemic combined with ZIRP. Broken window fallacies be damned. Break them, and break them good I say. It's a brand new era of unprecedented prosperity! And should this plan ever start to falter, look for plague, pestilence, and NIRP to save the day!!

Seriously. Other than recent bitcoin and stock market performance, there's absolutely no reason to fear downside risk or reversion towards the mean theories. Even in uncharted territory, the Fed always knows what it's doing. Always has your back!

I know I said I was serious in the last paragraph. It was gallows humor. Sorry about that. I actually just bought more I-Bonds. Not only do they track inflation as seen in the CPI, but they can never deflate. Not that many are all that worried about deflation again. Yet.