THE MIRAGE OF STRENGTH
by Bert Dohmen March 4,2014
participation rate” (LPR) is now at 63%, the
lowest in 36 years. That’s the number which
doesn’t count people as “unemployed” if they
haven’t had a job for a year. According to the
government, it will continue to decline to a rate
of 61% by 2017, the lowest ever.
But through the magic of
governmental accounting, this will actually reduce the
unemployment rate. Theoretically, the way it’s calculated, if
no one is working, thus giving a zero “LPR,” then the
unemployment rate would be zero. Well, the only place with
a zero unemployment rate is in the labor prison camps of
Russia and North Korea.
Household income, a very
important economic number which is the fuel for retail sales,
has been declining since the year 2000, down 7.2%,
inflation-adjusted. That is an incredible decline. That’s what
is causing the malaise in retail sales. And that causes empty
shopping malls and dying strip malls, which further reduces
Just as the public is duped by
economic numbers out of Washington, investors are duped by the
causes for the rise in the stock market. The biggest buyers of
stocks over the past five years have been companies buying
back their own stock (per Bill Gross of PIMCO). This reduces
the number of shares outstanding, which increase the “earnings
per share.” This rise in EPS is then touted to attract more
investment buying for those stocks. The stock price rises, the
stock options that top executives hold appreciate, allowing
them to continue the big buybacks. It’s a beautiful scam and
produces an illusion of strength.
But the low volume on the
exchanges, which is even much lower when you take out high
frequency trading (about 70% of volume), shows that there is
not much participation. All the big traditional buyers of
stocks, such as pension funds and mutual funds, have been
sellers of stocks in the past five years.
How long can this mirage of
stock market strength continue? The answer: Until there is an
exogenous event driving stock prices down. This would slow or
stop the buybacks when companies see their sales and profits
To read more
articles go down the page to: ARTICLES OF INTEREST .
MARKET FORCASTS 2011-2012
Market Calls late 2011
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SOAR or CRASH, you can
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followed by the 20 year bear market, and a decline in
U.S. T-bonds of over 40% in the late 1970’s among
more about Bert Dohmen and Dohmen Capital
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
by Bert Dohmen January 22,2014
IBM came out with a shockingly disappointing
earnings report, with sales in China down a
whopping 23%. They blame the lack of orders from
the large SOE’s (state owned enterprises).
According to the Wall Street Journal, that
consists of a 17% drop in sales of its hardware
group last quarter, and “a stunning 40% drop in
Chinese hardware sales.”
Street Journal reports that last quarter, sales in its “growth
markets” (international) fell 9%. “IBM doesn’t think
business in China will improve for another quarter or two.”
Perhaps IBM should be planning on “a year or two.”
bulls are very much surprised. They shouldn’t be if they had
been observing the China scene more closely.
ago, I wrote an e-book, THE COMING CHINA CRISIS. Of course,
that was not a popular topic because China was touted as the
big growth engine for the world. However, to me the current
situation has similarities to 2007 when I cited all the
“canaries in the mine” in the US financial markets in my book
that year, PRELUDE TO MELTDOWN.” The book correctly predicted
a global crisis in 2008. The bulls on Wall Street didn’t like
that book either, as it shattered their bullish story for
In June of
2013, when China experienced a severe credit crunch and
over-night interest rates soared from 7% to 25% in one day, I
warned in our WELLINGTON LETTER that this was the big event
that the invisible, subsurface erosion in China’s financial
system was emerging. Such a credit crunch does not go away by
itself. It sets off a chain of events, shutting off credit to
private companies, which then accelerates into an avalanche of
The lack of
credit creates a private sector recession. Money printing
usually helps companies with good connections to the
government, but it doesn’t do much for the general economy.
China credit crunch is still being denied. In fact, the
government has prohibited the use of the two words in articles
and on the internet. The government papered over the
aftershock of the June crunch, largely by pushing money into
projects which only benefit the big, powerful families
controlling the SOE’s. And then the government produces some
dubious economic statistics showing good growth. However, the
fact is that when lending to private firms stops, the economy
stops. The crunch could easily get worse and eventually lead
to significant social protests.
central government has done its best to ‘manufacture’ positive
economic statistics which we consider largely false. But
western economists believe them almost religiously.
in June 2013 could be for China what the summer of 2007 was in
the US when the commercial paper market froze. At the time, I
considered the commercial paper event the last piece of
evidence that the credit market meltdown had started and would
lead to a financial crisis in 2008. That’s what propelled me
to write the book.
At the time,
it was incomprehensible to me that the commercial paper market
freeze-up event didn’t get much attention. But when major
firms, like Goldman Sachs, GE, Dow Chemical have to go to
Warren Buffet for loans because they can’t get it anywhere
else, it’s serious. And that’s what happened in 2007-2008.
Yet, Wall Street stayed bullish, at least in the media, even
as the subprime mortgage derivatives melted down.
I see the
same thing happening in China now. We started a China
newsletter, THE CHINA BOOM-BUST ANALYST, two years ago. But US
investors couldn’t understand that China was very important to
their entire investment portfolio. The IBM story this month
probably will soon be forgotten, perhaps in the next 48 hours.
But the China recession will worsen.
You may say
that GDP growing at 7.7% can’t be a recession. Well, that’s
the political number produced by the bureaucrats. Watch the
private sector PMI published by HSBC-Markit which I expect to
go below 50, indicating ‘contraction.’ It is now barely above
For the full article, go to:
THE STOCK MARKET:
FLOATING TO NEW HIGHS
by Bert Dohmen 12.13.2013
As of Nov. 22, the
major indices have risen for seven consecutive
weeks. The sub-surface negative factors continue
to increase. However, as long as the major indices
rise, most money managers must ride the trend…at
least until year-end.
The DJI and the S&P 500 made new
all-time highs almost each day over the past several weeks.
The daily gains aren’t stellar, but they show how well the PPT
(Plunge Protection Team of the US Treasury) can execute the
agenda of making the market rise. They can’t make the economy
recover, so they focus on paper assets that they can control.
In our Wellington Letter
of Oct. 20, one month ago, we wrote:
In the meantime, the market
and the high performance stocks are selling at valuations not
seen since the tech bubble top in late 1999 to early 2000.
Traders made a lot of money ahead of that, but they had to be
able to turn on a dime. Those who started shorting the market
too early because of the stratospheric valuations and many
other negatives experienced pain. Yes, sometimes it’s best not
to analyze and just “go with the flow.” (But you have to know
when the end has arrived.)
October we even mentioned a potential “run for the roses”
going into year-end. Now we hear analysts in the media talking
about a “melt-up,” which is the same. The short sellers have
to be very good at picking the right stocks to short. There
are many, but shorting stocks with the most excessive
valuation is still a little risky unless you have patience.
We did see two episodes of
strong selling this month; each lasted three days, depending
on the index. That’s how “distribution” is done: sell on big
volume, and then let the market rise on lower volume in order
not to discourage the buyers. ”Distribution” is when the big,
smart money sells to the less experienced money manager. We
have to keep in mind that this rally is not based on
fundamentals but on excess money.
Unemployment Report Shocker
The article below
was written by the founder of our firm, Bert
Dohmen and posted on the excellent Forbes.com.
It is most important at this time, as it confirms
what Bert Dohmen has been saying for years: US
economic statistics are unreliable. Yet, investors
and money managers world-wide bet billions of
dollars every day on such numbers. Here is the
article on Forbes.com.
On Nov. 19, 2013 it
was revealed that the “unemployment number”
released on Oct. 5, 2012 was “faked.” It appears
that Washington is copying the methods of China.
On that very day, Oct. 5, 2012,
we wrote that the numbers were false in our Smarte Trader
service. We explained how it was probably done. We e-mailed
our analysis to G.K. of CNBC, who talked about it on CNBC.
Jack Welch picked that up, and posted on Twitter. The rest is
This is what we wrote on Oct 5,
2012, just before the last election:
From Oct. 5, 2012 Smarte
The U.S. unemployment rate
announced today plunged below 8%, from 8.1% to 7.8%.
Economists had expected a rise to 8.2%. When 2 plus 2 doesn’t
add up to 4, there is great skepticism…Has Washington adopted
the Chinese method of producing economic growth: pressure the
Do you smell a rotten fish
somewhere? In China, the party bosses tell the statisticians
the number they want, and magically, that’s the economic
number they get. The big job creator, our president, now has
the lowest unemployment rate since he took office. However,
only 114,000 jobs were added in September versus a revised
142,000 in August. So, it actually worsened.
OPPORTUNITY or TRAP?
Bert Dohmen 10-22-2013
For the past days, the stock
market has celebrated the temporary end of the debt ceiling
debate in Washington. The big questions for investors and
Is the rally an opportunity,
or will it be a trap?
Our advisory services nailed it
on Oct. 16 when the stalemate in Washington was resolved.
This could mean incredible opportunities are ahead for active
traders who have the best professional analysis and guidance,
using advanced technical analysis, available to them. But
beware of the big trap at the end, whenever that may come.
In our services for short term
traders, we wrote:
“…. scanning several thousand
charts, our best guess is that we could see a very speculative
period in the markets. This would be like late 1999 which
led to the March 10, 2000 top and the subsequent market
plunge. But that period was exceedingly profitable for us
and our subscribers to this service. The gains of many
stocks were incredible, but not based on fundamentals. In
fact, at the time, we suggested that buying stocks without
earnings would produce bigger gains because no earnings metric
could be used. That’s exactly what happened.
Such speculative phases are
caused by excessive money sloshing around in the financial
system. The Fed has created at minimum $3.7 TRILLION, which is
not used for economic activity because there is practically no
growth. Therefore, that liquidity goes into speculation. We
believe that a very profitable period from now until year-end
is ahead for active traders. We aim to help you capitalize on
THE TECHNICAL VIEW of the DOW JONES INDUSTRIALS (DJI)
below is of the DJI (daily). Note the 3 peaks, each one
slightly higher than the last. The 3rd peak is
usually the last one after which the market can decline more
forcefully. Point 3 was a new high without follow through. We
saw what happened after points 1 and 2. The DJI declined about
1000 points. Note the indicator below, which also has 3 peaks,
but each one is lower than the last. That’s a negative
note the short diagonal line connecting the two recent
bottoms. That should provide some short term support and a
brief bounce. After that bounce, that line should be broken to
the downside. Of course, just because technical rules call for
that, doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen. The PPT (The
President’s Working Group on the Financial Markets) is still
there to support the market, until market forces eventually
to see the chart:DJIchart
EXTREME CAUTION ADVISED!
By Bert Dohmen
August 29, 2013
In the almost four
decades we have been trading the markets, we have
learned that when Wall Street firms start selling
their own investments, including firms they
control, it’s a sign that a top is being formed.
In late June 2007, the huge
private equity firm Blackstone (BX) went public. At the time,
we had warned of a monumental financial crisis to occur in
2008, while Wall Street analysts were very bullish. Our
technical analysis told us that a very important bull market
top was being made. And then we read the news that BX had
advanced its IPO date by one week. To us that
indicated urgency and that a serious freeze-up in the markets
As it turned out, doing the IPO
one week earlier allowed the firm to get $4.5 billion in cash
for its stock certificates. One week later it might have been
too late. It was excellent timing. Obviously their reading of
the conditions in the credit markets required urgency. The
high on the day of the IPO was $38.00. It hit $3.55 in early 2009, for a 90% decline. The buyers got
BUY OR SELL? THE
MOST CRITICAL TIME is NOW!
By Bert Dohmen
August 9, 2013
How much would it be worth to YOU to have the guidance of a
highly respected analyst
important market decline over the past 35 years?
How much would it be
worth to have the analysis of someone
who predicted the 20 year
bear market in gold in 1981, after having been bullish from
1977 to 1980? It happened!
The next gold bull markets started exactly 20 years later and
his clients were on board.
How much would it be
worth to get the advice of someone
who in 1982 called US
Treasury bonds “the opportunity of a lifetime.” Zero-coupon
T-bond funds appreciated more than 20-fold over the next 30
What would it have
been worth to YOU to have the continuing market assessment of
someone who in 2007
predicted a “global financial crisis” in 2008. In fact, he
felt so strongly, he wrote a book in 2007, PRELUDE TO MELTDOWN.
As you know now, it happened!
All the above was done by Bert Dohmen, founder and
President of the Dohmen Capital Research group. And now his
analyses and forecasts are available to you for only $49
per month. That’s a deal. Professionals pay him $2400 per
hour for his advice. Traders and investors pay up to $6000 per
CHINA: A Credit
Credit is the lifeblood of any economy.
By Bert Dohmen July 25, 2013
When credit tightens, either because of intent
by a central bank, or through market forces, the economy goes
into recession…or worse.
China’s money supply (M2) growth in May was up
15.8% compared to one year ago. Some economists say that since
there is plenty of money growth, the credit crunch will be
just “temporary.” We must point out that the growth of the
money supply does not determine whether or not there is
a credit crunch. The availability of credit depends on confidence and the willingness of lenders to lend.
Take the case of the US at the start of the
2007-2008 Credit Crisis: credit markets became totally frozen.
The Commercial Paper (90-day corporate I.O.U.s) market froze
and even large companies like GE couldn’t roll their paper on
expiration. We saw this immediately as a crisis scenario, but
amazingly no one in the financial media rang the alarm bells.
That was the start of global crisis.
And what was US money supply growth at the
time? Like China, it too was in the double-digits, rising from
a 12% to a 15% growth rate by the end of 2007. In spite
of this, the credit crisis intensified culminating in an
Armageddon scenario in 2008.
During the last six months China has
injected nearly $1.6 trillion in new credit (21% of GDP)
into the economy. If there can be a credit crunch even with
that much credit being added to the system, then you know that
the problems are big.
Currently, China has a serious credit crisis.
No private borrowers can get a loan, regardless of
Our advice at this time: BEWARE!
Will a China
Credit Crisis infect the Global Markets?
By Bert Dohmen
June 24, 2013
week of June 17, 2013 had some very important clues for what
is ahead for the markets. The Federal Reserve had a two day
meeting. The statement of the Fed after the meeting, and the
press conference of Fed chief Ben Bernanke were widely
misinterpreted in our opinion. The markets tumbled. Does this
create a buying opportunity or is it a warning sign?
Our June 21
issue of our CHINA BOOM-BUST ANALYST present the
results of our work and our predictions. These will be very,
very important for your investment portfolio. Here is an
China’s Credit Crisis
the largest credit bubble in the world. We have tracked the
private sector credit in China for the past several years.
It’s a parabolic curve, and as market observers know,
parabolic moves eventually collapse. We discussed this in our
e-book, THE COMING CHINA CRISIS (150 pages) one year
ago. It was greeted with great disbelief, similar to our book
written in 2007, PRELUDE TO MELTDOWN, which predicted that
2008 would see a potential meltdown in the US system. Very few
people believed it and the financial media ignored it.
On June 20 the global markets were shaken by
the big overnight surge in short-term interest rates in China.
The SHIBOR rate (similar to the short-term LIBOR interest rate
in the western world) soared to over 11% overnight.
repo rate soared over 25%.
are sending an important message. What is really behind the
market turmoil of the week of June 17? You will get Bert
Dohmen’s interpretation in the CHINA ANALYST as well as the
other services we offer.
extremely important for all business leaders and investors,
whether you ever intend to invest in China (which we don’t) or
not. You may ask, “why should you spend your valuable time
reading about China if you have no intention of trading or
investing in the country?”
whatever happens to China will tremendously influence the
world economy and your investments. Many large US and European
companies depend on China for a significant portion of their
sales and profits. These companies are household names. A
crisis in China will have global repercussion.
You can stay
ahead of the crowd by being knowledgeable about what is
happening in China, not what
the media is telling you about China. Amazingly, 99% of
all analysts still believe
the fiction of 7.5% GDP growth in China. Knowing the
truth, our subscribers have been able to adjust their
prepared for what’s ahead will help your portfolio thrive
during this age of turmoil. For less than $31/month you can
stay ahead of the crowd. The CHINA BOOM-BUST ANALYST is the
most authoritative China research publication you can find at
such a low cost. Go to:
Bert Dohmen did an important
interview about China on Dec. 22, 2012. Judge
yourself if it was on target.
Here is the link:
By Bert Dohmen
June 1, 2013
To buy stocks right
now is to bet on the willingness of the major
central banks (that is, Europe, the Federal
Reserve, Japan, and China) to create as much money
as possible to prevent a stock market and economic
Prudent analysts say the ratio
of a country’s debt to its GDP is already too high for many
countries. Our view is that no one knows what is too high.
Whether debt is 100% or 260%
(Japan) of GDP, who says the central banks can’t double it?
Who is to say that in a market crisis, the Fed or BOJ in Japan
can’t double their monthly infusions? In fact, we consider
that ratio somewhat artificial and perhaps meaningless. GDP
measures total economic activity. What does it have to do with
the government’s debt? The government doesn’t produce the GDP.
It’s comparing apples and oranges. It would be more
relevant to compare governmental debt to tax receipts.
Before the Greenspan/Bernanke
era, the current rate of money creation would have been
unthinkable. But anything and everything is possible now.
Imagine, the Fed is now buying from 70%-80% of all Treasury
securities sold to finance the deficit. There is no reason
it can’t go to 100% or higher. We are not saying it is good or
prudent, just that there is no limit… until no one wants to
accept your currency.
Believing that at some point the
central banks will “get religion” and reverse their
questionable policies is like believing in Santa Claus.
History shows that the worse the conditions become, the
greater the policy errors of governments. Just read about the
German hyperinflation of the early 1920s, or Zimbabwe, or
China, or John Law in France. To have a sense of history now
is to be ahead of the pack.
By Bert Dohmen
May 4, 2013
Over the next several months, we will see some
disappointments in reported corporate sales and
earnings. Those stocks will suffer. Will the stock
market care? So far it hasn’t.
earnings are down 2% year-over-year, yet the stock market rose
to new all-time highs. The S&P 500 is selling at a P/E of
15.5. With operating earnings declining over the past year and
the economy now apparently in a weak spell, stocks are no
longer cheap. However, Wall Street doesn’t advertise the
“operating earnings,” and uses “reported earnings,” which are
better. Operating P/E ratios are not such bargains.
have stocks like Linked In, Amazon, Google, etc. selling at
P/E ratios reminiscent of 1998-1999. But they are still
rising. It’s a signal that there is a lot of speculative
capital available for stock because it has nowhere else to go.
Eventually, the ending won’t be pretty, similar to the year
2000. But for now, big profits can still be made.
essential thing is to have an advisor who uses technical
analysis to catch the tops. And that is what we have done
consistently for the past 35 years.
believe that there will be some type of economic recovery
later this year, then buying select stocks will still pay off.
Our technical indicators are positive on a many stocks.
you must be willing to sit through some periods of volatility.
Nothing goes up in a straight line. If you buy stocks now, you
have the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank (ECB), the
Bank of Japan, and China’s central bank on your side. They are
basically providing an insurance that the markets will not
have a big decline. That’s a very good guarantee…until
eventually it doesn’t work anymore. But for now, it’s the best
guarantee investors could ever hope for.
hopes that its $85 billion per month monetary injection will
eventually help to produce a stronger economy. Right now that
liquidity goes into speculation, such as real estate and
WAR ON GOLD
By Bert Dohmen
April 18, 2013
We are now seeing a
‘war on gold.’ For the past several months we have
been mentioning that the gold bullion banks and
the central banks were putting lots of downward
pressure on paper gold so as to discourage those
who thought that gold was better than paper money.
Although we have been bullish on
gold for the long term (i.e. 5 or more years), we turned
bearish on the intermediate term. In our Feb. 15 issue
of our WELLINGTON LETTER, we wrote:
In the longer term, gold has
broken the 200-day m.a., which by definition says it’s in a
bear market now. A rally now would not necessarily mean a new
uptrend. There is a lot of resistance to overcome on any
upmove. To look at a chart objectively, pretend you don’t know
what it is. Then ask yourself: would you buy it or sell it?
That’s the way to keep your emotions out. Now that all
indications have turned bearish, the big hedge funds are known
to have significantly reduced their positions and the big
bullion banks are easily manipulating the price downward.
Because there are so many individual investors in gold, we
could see a further, self-feeding decline.
We were especially bearish on
the gold and silver mining stocks. However, we did not think
that gold would plunge $250 in three days as it has done.
We view this as an orchestrated
campaign to discourage people who think that gold may be a
better asset than paper currencies. After an $84 per ounce
loss on Friday, most of it after the London trading closed,
gold plummeted $155 on Monday.
Last week, the Establishment
issued a warning about what was ahead. First Goldman Sachs
(GS) gave a ‘sell signal’ on gold. GS said: “We believe a
sharp rebound in gold prices is unlikely. The fall in prices
could end up being faster and larger than our forecast, as
aggregate speculative net long positions across Comex futures
and gold ETFs remain near record highs.”
GS gave a six- to
twelve-month target of $1,490 and $1,390. GS is not an
impartial observer. They are heavily involved in precious
metals trading for their own account. Such warnings from GS
are usually given before the event and too often ignored by
the general public. They are not forecasting; they’re
telling you what the agenda is.
In our trading service, SMARTE
TRADER, we sold the mining stocks short about two weeks
RIGHT ON SCHEDULE—A CORRECTION!
(excerpted from the March 31 Wellington Letter)
Our attempt at
Pop the champagne corks,
dance in the street, celebrate the record high S&P!
Well, it’s only by a fraction,
but it is still a new high. The S&P 500 closed at 1569, about
five points above the previous all-time high set on Oct. 9,
2007. Long-time subscribers will remember that at that time we
gave a “sell” signal just two trading days later. Those who
believed that a new high was bullish had a bad surprise, as it
was followed by the 2008 crisis.
Last Friday’s new high was made
on the last trading day of the month and the quarter. Big
hedge funds had every reason to support the market going into
the close today in order to maximize their performance fees. Next week we should get a better idea whether a pullback or
market correction will be allowed.
As you know, there are many
clues that the rally of the last three months involved a bit
of engineering. We have discussed the role of the PPT (the
President’s Working Group on the Financial Markets), which has
the authority to produce “orderly markets.” We believe that
there has been mission creep and that the mission now is to
produce a rising market. Just notice that almost each day, the
DJI is up 40-60 points, even on days when the market tumbled
early in the morning based on adverse news.
Additionally, since May 6, 2011,
HFT (high-frequency trading) operations have no longer acted
to knock the market down, even on a daily basis. On that day,
the DJI tumbled almost 1,000 points in less than an hour. The
regulators at first blamed it on a “fat finger,” that is, some
clerk with a fat finger pressing the wrong key on a computer.
That excuse was laughable.
THE ILLUSIVE TOP—PART II
By Bert Dohmen.
The market has been defying all
the technical rules, as well as market history, and could
continue to so. We have never had the Federal Reserve pursuing
such an aggressive attitude.
Steve Forbes said, “We are in
uncharted waters now.” He is so right.
Eventually, when inflation
starts rising, the Fed will have to start withdrawing
stimulus. At the first sign of that, it will be a race to the
exits in the investment markets. There is no painless way to
exit from this, contrary to what Bernanke thinks.
The earnings growth of US listed
companies in Q4 was down from one year before. Yet the stock
market had a great Q1 this year. What happened to the theory
that the market reflects earnings growth? Analysts who did
their homework have stayed very cautious, because of the
dismal numbers. However, if you didn’t look at all the
technical flaws in the markets, disregarded the negatives, and
bet on a better future, then you would have been bullish.
The Optimist’s View
The bears make a good point: the
last time the DJI was at this level, unemployment was around
4% and the economy was humming. Now unemployment is 7.7%, the
number of unemployed is at a record high, etc.
The only problem with that
argument is that liquidity trumps all those economic factors.
Money is much more relevant.
The massive monetary creation by
the Fed is producing the fuel for the rally. Unless you think
that will stop, the market should rise until Bernanke leaves,
though with periodic market corrections. We all know that this
cannot end well. But the day of reckoning may still be a long
time in the future.
The pessimists have given too
much credence to the reality of the unsustainable debt
globally and not enough importance to the power of infinite
money creation by the central banks.
The Illusive Rally Top
By Bert Dohmen.
1. Several important
things happened during January to give the market
up move a little more life:
2. The big battle about raising
the debt ceiling has been postponed. The Republicans have
chosen to retreat for now and delay D-day until May.
Japan embarked on a massive
reflation program, designed to plunge the value of the yen,
increase the sales of large Japanese firms abroad, and boost
the stock market. It wants to create inflation where there
is none. This has big international implications.
3. The Fed has made it known that
its stimulus in 2014 may be 40% bigger than the one in
2013, $1.4 trillion.
4. The implementation of the new
Basel III requirements for banks was postponed. These would
have required large global banks to post higher reserves on
a number of debt classifications, which banks were just
unable to do. They either would have had to sell billions of
dollars of stock or sell big units of their firms,. Neither
was possible in the current environment. This had been a
great concern. Now it’s removed.
The Basel III is one of those
complicated, small items that the average person didn’t even
want to know about. But it presented huge problems for banks
that were not able to sell assets fast enough to be in
It was very much like the
“mark-to-market” rule that helped to precipitate the global
crisis starting in 2007. It required banks to write down the
value of assets (such as long-term bonds) to market value,
even if the banks intended to hold them until maturity. Banks’
loans had to be written down, even though the borrowers were
current in their payments. It was a ridiculous rule.
In 2007, I wrote that the rule
would cause a banking crisis. The regulators didn’t understand
that. When finally (in March 2009) the Congress told the FASB
to rescind the rule, saying “or we will do it for you,” the
bottom in the market crash was in place. That’s how important
it was. Yet probably only 1 out of 1000 investors was aware of
it. (Read about this in our book, Financial Apocalypse,
where we have our real-time analysis on this and other events
The stock market indices
continue to float upwards, totally ignoring any negatives in
the U.S. or abroad. Nothing seems to matter—chaos in Egypt,
Syria, Iran’s nuclear “accident,” negative U.S. GDP growth,
etc. As you know, I don’t believe that this is market forces
at work; instead, it is
Ben Bernanke’s Fed making
sure that confidence stays as high as the S&P index even while
GDP growth stutters into negative territory. But that may come
to an end…very soon.
As I have written in the
Wellington Letter, my view is that “the President’s
Working Group on the Financial Markets,” which has the
official mission to “preserve orderly markets,” has
changed its mission slightly. Now it appears to be “to assure
that there is no meaningful market decline.” It is allowed to
manipulate the markets via the stock index futures.
So, the question is, what is the
agenda, and will the Fed allow a much needed correction?
(read the entire article at this
“Six Reasons Why I STILL
Wouldn't Own APPLE Stock”
By Bert Dohmen. January 25,2013
prescient view on Apple as featured on FORBES.COM)
Dec. 5, I wrote an article entitled
Seven Reasons Why I Wouldn’t Own Apple Stock Now;
judging by some of the comments to the article, it
was like attacking the Pope.
When emotions on
a stock get that high, you know it’s a bubble.
I’ve been asked
by investors to give my current views. I look at stocks
unemotionally. I don’t care much about the widgets a company
makes. I focus on what management is doing. The most important
factor in producing a major trend change in the price of a
stock, outside of economic conditions, is a change in the
Apple (AAPL) was
made the most successful company ever by Steve Jobs. When he
left, a new management took over. As an investor, you have to
adjust to such an important change.
Here is the
recent history of my observations:
As early as
late August 2012, I wrote on twitter.com that the boom in
Apple was coming to an end because the new CEO had shown a
trend of “disappointment.” Every new product since then was
less than expected. Steve Jobs always delivered more than
Apple hit its
all-time high of $705 on Sept. 21. Six days later, I wrote
on twitter that my downside target was $520. That seemed
outrageous, but it was hit about three weeks later on Nov.
On that day, I
predicted a rally to $581. The rally actually hit $589, just
a bit higher. Thereafter, I predicted that the next
decline would go to $422.
Here are my
six reasons why I still wouldn’t own Apple stock.
(for the entire article, please
go to forbes.com. Link: http://onforb.es/W4mZ9r
CHINA RECOVERY or JUST A BOUNCE?
By Bert Dohmen. January 2013
China’s manufacturing picked up
for the third straight month in November. We had predicted a
short-term improvement, as the Communist Party Congress needed
some good news while appointing a new government.
The “official” PMI (from the
government) rose to 50.6 in November from 50.2 in October and
49.8 in September. That’s a seven-month high. However, it was
below expectations. This PMI measures the large firms, the
SOEs, which are mostly governmentally owned. A reading below
50 indicates an economic contraction. We don’t think the
governmental number is reliable.
An analyst with the Development
Research Center of the State Council said the report indicates
that “companies have finished cutting inventories, which
points to further expansion in coming months.”
We prefer the HSBC private
sector PMI, which focuses on SMEs (small and medium-sized
enterprises). It gained only slightly but at least got above
50 for the first time in 13 months, which means anemic
expansion. The bulls say this signals a coming recovery. We
believe it’s just a normal counter-trend bounce.
Let’s look at some of the
Chinese steel prices have
declined sharply this year, as shown by the chart. This is
painful for the cities whose steel mills are major employers.
Therefore, everything is done to give the appearance that all
is well in the steel business.
Seven Reasons Why I Wouldn't Own Apple Stock
written for Forbes.com By Bert Dohmen
I loved Apple’s products, its
marketing, and thought the Apple stores were sheer genius,
especially with the “Genius Bar.” I always asked, why doesn’t
Microsoft, with all its
billions of dollars, do this? Well, MSFT finally started
imitating Apple, with limited success. Too little, too late.
I turned bearish on Apple stock
for various reasons in late August this year. (See my postings
on Twitter.com.) In our advisory services, such as the
Wellington Letter, I started warning that soon we would see
“buyer exhaustion.” Was there any money manager who didn’t own
the stock? When everyone is in, the smallest hint of
disappointment can turn into a selling binge.
On September 21, the stock hit
an all-time high of $705. That was the “exhaustion” point.
Thereafter, I concluded that an important top could be in
place and that a meaningful decline was ahead.
My downside target was $520,
which seemed crazy when the stock was at $700. My reasons:
rest of the article on Forbes.com, please go to this link:
RESOLVING THE “FISCAL CLIFF” RESOLVE
THE “ECONOMIC CLIFF?”
Excerpt from the
Wellington Letter November 13,2012
Our work strongly
suggests that the incomprehensible, low-volume
market rally in late summer was clearly
manipulated. It defied all fundamentals, logic,
and technicals. We wrote that eventually reality
would have to erase the huge divergence between
market action and economic fundamentals, not only
in the US, but globally. With the election, and
the elimination of any hope of economic
improvement, the bearish trends should now fully
exert themselves. It won’t be pleasant for the
The leading and most beloved
stocks—Apple, Google, and Amazon—look absolutely dismal (see
the CHARTIST section). These were the leaders to the upside,
and they will now lead to the downside.
It will be similar to early
2008. There will be periodic rallies based on renewed hopes,
but they will quickly fade away. Eventually, there could be
another full-blown crisis similar to the one in late 2008.
This creates great opportunities
for well-informed traders and investors. Our clients had the
chance to make great profits during the 2008-2009, and we aim
to repeat that. We can’t change the global situation, but at
least we can take steps to protect ourselves.
(After the election) we advised
taking positions in the inverse ETFs that are geared to rise
in price as the index or sector declines. Investors who are
not very experienced, as well as those who intend to stay with
their positions for a long time, should stick to the
Analyst Tony Boeckh, who headed
up the excellent Bank Credit Analyst publication for many
years, calculates that a total of $US20.1 TRILLION has been
spent by the governments and central banks of the US, Japan,
Europe and China between 2008 and 2012: $US13.1 TRILLION in
budget deficits and $US7 TRILLION in central bank asset
purchases. The size of this reflation is without precedent. He
says this has been responsible for avoiding another Great
Depression and 20-year bear market.
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