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It’s not an NHS crisis, it’s a social care disaster

You’ve probably all noticed that I haven’t been writing much lately. Well, not on this site, anyway, though I have been doing rather a lot elsewhere. In the last couple of months, my life has been upended. I suppose I should have seen this coming – the signs have been there for a long time – but the speed at which this has happened has shocked me. At the end of October, my father suffered a fall at his home on Sheppey, where he has lived alone since my mother went into a nursing home in August 2014.  He was […]

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It’s A Retail Apocalypse: Sears, Macy’s And The Limited Are All Closing Stores

It has only been two weeks since Christmas, and already we are witnessing a stunning bloodbath of store closings.  Macy’s shocked the retail industry by announcing that they will be closing about 100 stores.  The downward spiral of Sears hit another landmark when it was announced that another 150 Sears and Kmart stores would be shutting down.  And we have just learned that The Limited is immediately closing all stores nationwide.  If the U.S. economy is doing just fine, then why are we experiencing such a retail apocalypse?  All over America, vast shopping malls that were once buzzing with eager […]

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It’s Not Over: Rogue Republican Elector Announces He Will Not Vote For Trump And Urges Others To Join Him

Donald Trump has already lost one of his electoral votes, and there are indications that a number of additional electors may be prepared to abandon him.  Prior to the election, I warned my readers that we would not officially know who the next president would be until December 19th.  On that Monday, the 538 members of the Electoral College will gather in their state capitals in all 50 states to formally elect the next president.  Throughout U.S. history electors have voted according to the will of the people more than 99 percent of the time, but in 2016 there is […]

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Still Can’t Party Like it’s 1999

I came of age in the early ’80s, when Prince was king of the airwaves (pun intended). His smash hit “1999” had an end-of-days feel to it, asking everyone to “party like it’s 1999.” As time went on and the end of the century loomed, the world grew nervous about what would happen when we reached the year 2000, or Y2K. In the end, none of the doomsday predictions came true. The computers still worked, air traffic control still functioned, hospitals and banks carried on. But one thing did stall after 1999… income. It turns out that real median household […]

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Marxist Bubbles And Taleb’s Turkey: It’s Going To Be An Awkward Thanksgiving

Over a third and growing quickly. That’s the share of the market that’s now comprised of blind sheep passive indexers. That much passive money is nothing to sneeze at. Call me old-fashioned, but I was originally led to believe that the function and role of markets in a capitalist society was to direct capital to its most productive end — you know, Smith’s “Invisible Hands” and the productivity/profit link and all that jazz. So what happens when instead of being deployed by thinking profit-driven investors… a growing portion of a nation’s savings are invested with the same diligence generally utilized […]

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Like It or Not, It’s the Democrats’ Era, and Your Taxes Are Going Up

If Hillary Clinton and Donald Drumpf clinch their party’s nominations, Americans will have to pick between the the two most hated candidates for the presidency in history. Hillary has an unfavorable rating of 56%. Not much better than Drumpf at 64%. Yet recent online polling by Pivit suggests there’s an 80% chance the democrats will win, and a 78% chance it will be Hillary. It’s only a 14% chance for Donald, 4% for Cruz and 2% for Sanders (ouch). But no one can deny the popularity of Drumpf and Sanders or the reasons behind their support base. There’s a deep […]

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The 10-Year Treasury: It’s Less Than You Think

When the Fed was created in 1914, it was set to task of controlling short-term interest rates in an attempt to iron out financial cycles. It succeeded for many years. But by avoiding the natural rebalancing (and occasional pain) from free markets, we just got a bigger bubble into 1929. Then, when it finally burst, we got the greatest depression in all of modern history! Since the Fed and other central banks were created, they have always manipulated short-term interest rates to try to encourage borrowing and spending in slowdowns – to make the natural economic cycle “go away.” And […]

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Corporations Are Defaulting On Their Debts Like It’s 2008 All Over Again

The Dow closed above 18,000 on Monday for the first time since July.  Isn’t that great news?  I truly wish that it was.  If the Dow actually reflected economic reality, I could stop writing about “economic collapse” and start blogging about cats or football.  Unfortunately, the stock market and the economy are moving in two completely different directions right now.  Even as stock prices soar, big corporations are defaulting on their debts at a level that we have not seen since the last financial crisis.  In fact, this wave of debt defaults have become so dramatic that even USA Today is […]

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The Recession Isn’t a Few Months Away… It’s Already Started

So the S&P 500 is out of correction for now and the coast is clear. NOT! This is exactly what we’ve been predicting would happen – after reaching new lows, stocks would have to bounce before they inevitably resume their longer-term trend, which is down. But stocks haven’t been the only victims of late. Just a couple weeks ago the January nonfarm payroll report came in at 151,000 jobs. So much for the expected 190,000! And of the ones reported, they were mostly low-wage jobs. Pile that on top of the disappointing Christmas and retail sales in December. Not to […]

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It’s Bad: Corporate Earnings Are Down, While Debt Is On The Rise

I recently wrote to you about a number of factors that show the stock market saw a major top back in May 2015. The most glaring? Small-cap stocks have diverged massively from large-cap since May. They’re down 24% while large-caps are down only 12%. This is the classic sign that the dumb money is pouring in and the smart money is leaving. Then there’s a classic head and shoulders topping pattern that was initially broken last Friday, January 15, when the S&P 500 moved below 1,880 (next stop is 1,595). I sent Boom & Bust subscribers an alert about this 30 […]

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