Grantham’s Forecast: Is A Crash About To Start?

   Jeremy Grantham of GMO published a document at on Jan. 3, 2018 that the SP needs to go to 3,400 to 3,700 to be high enough to have a crash. First a melt-up (where stocks go up far too fast) is needed to lead to a crash. The big stock price increase of 2019 implies that a melt-up has occurred. The idea would be a 60% increase from the 2,100 level in mid-2017 until it reached 3,400 in 21 months. In actuality it took over 30 months to climb nearly 60%. If a bubble is too modest and gentle then apparently it is less likely to crash. Recently the SP reached 3338. It dropped 1% today. Grantham mentioned

2020-01-24T17:44:02-08:00January 24th, 2020|mayflowercapital blog|0 Comments

30 year Anniversary of Nikkei Crash

   The Nikkei index in Tokyo peaked 12-29-89 at 38,915. Now it’s 23,837 (a 38% loss) despite massive stimulus, gigantic government debt of 600% of GDP (double the US percentage), Quantitative Easing, negative interest rates, and outright purchase of equities by the central bank. Much of the last 30 years it traded near 10,000, a 75% drop. Some real estate in Japan dropped 90% after the 1989 crash and some Japanese mortgages were sold with a 95% drop in price below par. It seems a lot of bubbles result in a long term drop of 75%. The U.S. NiftyFifty stocks of the 1970’s dropped about that much (and never fully recovered when adjusting for inflation, despite the huge 1999 boom).

2019-12-30T18:17:55-08:00December 30th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on 30 year Anniversary of Nikkei Crash

Why The Fed Funds Market Has Had a Shortage of Lenders

   The mystery of the Fed funds market experiencing a shortage of available lenders and thus trading at high rates may be because U.S. banks don’t want to risk loaning to a high risk bank whose parent is based in the EU. If the EU breaks up then the ECB central bank would be unable to continue its existence and its going out of business would be a bigger catastrophe than the Lehman bankruptcy of 2008. If a European bank defaults on a repo loan in theory the ECB could loan money to the failed bank who could then make good on their repo loan. But this rescue wouldn’t happen if the ECB is eliminated. The global banking system is

2019-11-15T18:05:59-08:00November 15th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Why The Fed Funds Market Has Had a Shortage of Lenders

Should Bearish Investors Avoid Gold and Treasuries?

    Have bearish investors gotten ahead of themselves regarding buying gold and Treasuries? One strategy some people (who are bearish about stocks) use is to buy gold and long-term Treasuries with the expectation that they will go up in value when stocks crash.  The problem is that if too many stock market bears did this then they would make the price of gold and bonds too high to make this strategy succeed. Gold should only be roughly 1,000 based on its long-term pattern of appreciating in line with CPI inflation; instead it has been around $1,500. Perhaps the $500 “excess” price is like a long-term put on stocks? If a repeat of the crash of 2008 occurs perhaps gold will

2019-11-08T17:58:25-08:00November 8th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Should Bearish Investors Avoid Gold and Treasuries?

Why Stock Prices Are High

                     Why are US stocks trading at twice the intrinsic value (as indicated by PE10)? The total amount of newly printed money injected into the global economy from all central bank’s Quantitative Easing (QE) programs in the past 10 years has been about $13.5Trillion, not counting some done by Japan before the 2008 GFC crash. Assuming global investors were reluctant to invest in the EU and Japan then this new money went into the U.S. stock market. The U.S. market has about $30Trillion in stocks; it was about half of that in 2013. Taking an average of 2013 and 2018 values implies over the past six years on average US stocks were priced by the market at $22trillion. About a

2019-10-25T15:29:44-07:00October 25th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Why Stock Prices Are High

Bank Repo Market Distress Not A Concern

     The bank Repo (repurchase) market where banks use a Repo transaction to get cash from their inventory of Treasury bonds has created some distress in the banking system resulting in the Federal Reserve offering to buy $60Billion a month to add liquidity to the system. Some bearish commentators have implied that this is a tip off of an impending financial crisis. I disagree. The problem is merely a minor technical difficulty in implementing new Dodd Frank regulations. Any time someone writes up a new regulation or even a voluntary safety procedure there is the possibility of unforeseen technical difficulties occurring which necessitate a fine tuning to handle the contradictory goal of making the new seat belt fit comfortably yet

2019-10-11T17:32:56-07:00October 11th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Bank Repo Market Distress Not A Concern

“Repurchase” Market Crisis

         This week from Monday, Sept. 16 to Wednesday the 18th the banking system had a bank and bond market “repurchase” (repo) market crisis. The repurchase market (repo) is where a bond dealer buys a Treasury bond and then finances the purchase by selling it and agreeing to immediately repurchase it (allowing the dealer to get cash), somewhat like a loan. Normally the interest rate for these is about the same as the Fed funds rate, about 2%, but on Monday it spiked to 9.5%. The problem was caused by unwisely written overly strict rules such as the Liquidity Coverage Ratio which is a stress test based on extreme hypothetical conditions like the crash of 2008. Even though there has

2019-09-20T16:45:37-07:00September 20th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on “Repurchase” Market Crisis

Will Bonds Perform the Same as in the 1970’s Inflation Era?

   During the 1970’s there was a significant increase in inflation in the US and the UK which made interest rates rise, thus damaging long term bonds. Gold’s price rose during the 1970’s and was the best asset during that era. Stocks spent the inflationary era of 1966 to 1982 going down 50% and then their prices returned to their starting points after a 16 year bear market, so on a nominal price return basis investors made no gains, however they did get dividends. Could this time be different where yields are repressed by central banks and not allowed to rise in tandem with inflation? There was a precedent for that in the UK in the 1970’s the real rate

2019-07-12T16:11:06-07:00July 12th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Will Bonds Perform the Same as in the 1970’s Inflation Era?

Will The U.S. Become a Bankrupt Banana Republic?

   Looking 30 years ahead the growing federal deficit as forecast by a Congressional agency implies the U.S. will become a Banana republic with high interest rates and an unaffordable gigantic budget deficit. Since people may become alert to this and take steps ahead of time to overcome the problem then I expect the following things to occur: * Defense spending greatly reduced, resulting in less global stability and greater flight capital into the US and similar countries. The increased flight capital puts downward pressure on interest rates. * Social Security starting age raised to 72, forcing more workers to delay their retirement, creating a surplus of job seekers, which is deflationary. * Medicare and Medicaid spending reduced through new

2019-06-26T17:52:47-07:00June 26th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Will The U.S. Become a Bankrupt Banana Republic?

Negativity About the U.S. Dollar Is Wrong

    It seems a many financial advisors and financial commentators are making an increasing amount of negative comments about the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasuries. I disagree with them. I remember the 1970’s when there were many scary headlines about the end of Bretton Woods monetary agreement, Watergate, Nixon’s resignation, the U.S. defeat in Vietnam, the two OPEC oil shortages of 1973 and 1979 that severely damaged the economy, and the US embassy hostage situation in 1979 in Iran, etc. The dollar went down in value and the economy performed poorly while inflation increased dramatically in the 1970’s. Gold went up from $43 in August, 1971 to a peak of $880 in January, 1980. The inflation-adjusted price return of the

2019-06-14T17:25:55-07:00June 14th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Negativity About the U.S. Dollar Is Wrong