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Imports From China Hit Record High As U.S. Trade Deficit Continues To Explode

It should upset you that virtually everything stocking the shelves of our major retailers seems to have been made somewhere else.  As a nation, we are consuming far more wealth than we are producing, and that is a recipe for national economic suicide.  This week we learned that imports from China hit an all-time record high in October, and that was one of the primary reasons why our trade deficit hit a staggering 48.7 billion dollars during that month.  Year after year we buy far more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from us, and this […]

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The Economy Is Okay? U.S. Retail Store Closings Hit A New Record High As West Coast Homelessness Soars

If the U.S. economy is doing just fine, why have we already shattered the all-time record for retail store closings in a single year?  Whenever I write about our “retail apocalypse”, many try to counter my arguments by pointing out the growing dominance of Amazon.  And I certainly can’t deny that online shopping is on the rise, but it still accounts for less than 10 percent of total U.S. retail sales.  No, something bigger is happening in our economy, and it isn’t receiving nearly enough attention from the mainstream media. Back in 2008, a plummeting economy absolutely devastated retailers and […]

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How High Can It Go? Bitcoin Shocks The World By Crossing The $7000 Mark Less Than 1 Month After It Sold For $5000

Less than a month ago, Bitcoin was selling for less than $ 5000, but now it has smashed through the $ 7000 mark with seemingly no end in sight.  At this point Bitcoin has a total market cap of more than 100 billion dollars, and some analysts are suggesting that it could eventually go as high as a trillion dollars.  Cryptocurrencies overall are up an astounding 640 percent so far in 2017, and personally I regret not investing when Bitcoin was still in the very early stages.  I always thought that governments would eventually crack down and regulate cryptocurrencies out […]

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Why Oil Prices Can’t Bounce Very High; Expect Deflation Instead

Economists have given us a model of how prices and quantities of goods are supposed to interact. Figure 1. From Wikipedia: The price P of a product is determined by a balance between production at each price (supply S) and the desires of those with purchasing power at each price (demand D). The diagram shows a positive shift in demand from D1 to D2, resulting in an increase in price (P) and quantity sold (Q) of the product. Unfortunately, this model is woefully inadequate. It sort of works, until it doesn’t. If there is too little a product, higher prices […]

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The Dow Closes At A Record High For The 9th Straight Time But Experts Warn That A Stock Market Crash Could Be Imminent

The bigger they come, the harder they fall.  On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high for the ninth straight session.  It has been a remarkable run, but many experts are pointing out that big trouble is brewing under the surface.  As you will see below, 79 components of the S&P 500 have already dropped more than 20 percent below their 52-week highs, and it is mostly just a handful of high flying tech stocks that are still propping up the market at this point.  Over the past several weeks, I have been documenting so many […]

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Handout Nation: Combined Enrollment In America’s 4 Largest Safety Net Programs Hits A Record High Of 236 Million

Margaret Thatcher once said that the problem with socialism “is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”.  As you will see below, the combined enrollment in America’s four largest safety net programs has reached a staggering 236 million.  Of course that doesn’t mean that 236 million people are getting benefits from the government each month because there is overlap between the various programs.  For example, many Americans that are on Medicaid are also on food stamps, and many Americans that are on Medicare are also on Social Security.  But even accounting for that, most experts estimate that the […]

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One Approach to High Healthcare Costs

In 2015, I thought my healthcare renewal statement was wrong. The premium for my shrinking family of three (two adults and one child) was increasing by more than 30%, to $ 1,454 per month. My earnings place me out of the subsidy bracket, so these are real dollars out of our budget. There were plenty of insurance companies to choose from. Shrinking availability was not a problem. It was just breathtakingly expensive. Or so I thought. In 2016, my premium jumped to $ 1,733 per month. The galling part is that I had no control. I’d kept tabs for years. […]

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Do Buyers Of Options Benefit From High Volatility?

Search “options and volatility” in Google and you’ll get a dozen websites that say the same thing: option buyers want high volatility and option sellers want low volatility. Oddly enough, this old and relied upon rule of thumb isn’t completely correct. In reality, as an option trade plays out, trend has a far more powerful effect than volatility on final P&L. There are four scenarios that can occur before an option expires: Low Vol, Low Trend Low Vol, High Trend High Vol, Low Trend High Vol, High Trend The charts below illustrate the P&L of a long put in each […]

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A New Dow High?

While the global bond markets have begun to correct their 35 year bull market, the major U.S. stock indices, including the Dow, NASDAQ, Russell and S&P, have rallied nicely. Official U. S. national debt is approximately $ 20 trillion as of December 2016, and has approximately doubled every 8 years at a 9% compounded rate for over a century.        Year         Official Debt 2016          $ 20 trillion 2024          $ 40 trillion 2032          $ 80 trillion 2040        $ 160 trillion […]

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Generation Snowflake: Percentage Of Young Adults Living With Their Parents Hasn’t Been This High Since 1940

Have we failed this generation of young adults by not equipping them to be able to handle the harsh realities of the real world?  According to the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of Americans in the 18 to 34-year-old age bracket that are currently living with their parents hasn’t been this high in 75 years.  At this point nearly 40 percent of our young adults in that age range are living at home, and many are concerned that this could have some alarming implications for the future of our nation. In the United States today, more than 60 million people […]

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