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Low Inflation Rate May Go Even Lower

   Today the BLS released CPI data showing the core rate was 2.1% year over year and 1.6% for the quarter. If one accepts my theory that Owner’s Equivalent rent needs to adjust the CPI downward by 0.25% (or even more), then the 90 day core CPI would be 1.35%. With oil in the mid-50’s, its dramatic drop will surely put more downward pressure of CPI in the future. I remember when oil went up above $40 in 2004 and it seemed like a big deal, a high price at the time. Adjusting for inflation, a $40 price 14 years ago is like $53 this week (it’s now $56 for WTI oil) so we are almost equivalent now to the

2018-11-14T17:32:05+00:00November 14th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|0 Comments

The Case for a Strong Dollar

   A popular myth is that the US deficits and recent tax cuts are so huge and out of control that the global investment community will dislike the US economy and sell off their dollar-based assets, making the dollar collapse. Assuming the recent tax cuts aren’t as effective as thought and start to reduce the cuts due to pre-set changes in the law (the whole thing reverts back in less than a decade due to Byrd amendment) then deficits may not get that much bigger. The tax law of December, 2017 actually raised taxes on corporations with offshore operations and closed loopholes such as large personal state income tax deductions, causing some personal form 1040 taxpayers to pay more. The

2018-11-12T15:16:14+00:00November 12th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|0 Comments

Elections’ Influence On Investments

    Yesterday’s elections imply the political situation is moving away from a pro-business tax cutting era to a more of a slow growth, centerist era. Over the next two years I expect the liberals and centerists to grow stronger, resulting in a less business friendly climate, including higher taxes. Perhaps political compromises will enable a hidden back door of tax increases. The situation is likely to lead to a lower degree of deficit supplied stimulus and thus the federal deficit may grow at a slightly slower pace. Rising taxes would act to dampen inflation and growth, making yields go down. Taxes could be increased by closing loopholes (like ending excessive depreciation deductions that only businesses would notice) or raising tariffs

2018-11-07T16:42:28+00:00November 7th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|0 Comments

What Is The Proper Level For Rates?

  Regarding the concern that interest rates will rise to dangerously high levels, I doubt this will occur. The fear that Quantitative Tightening, where the Fed sells its holdings of bonds to undo QE, will make rates go up a lot is incorrect. When QE was implemented from 2009-2014 it didn’t create inflation and probably only lowered interest rates by 0.5%. The reason yields went down was because of global fears of falling into a debt/deflation trap and because other Developed countries (the EU, Japan, Scandinavia, Switzerland) had negative rates. I don’t see things getting better in Europe; probably the economic problems have not been truly solved in Japan. Thus since the fundamental reason for low yields in the U.S.

2018-11-05T17:54:35+00:00November 5th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|0 Comments

Employment Growth Not Inflationary

Today the monthly employment data was released by the BLS showing good jobs and wage growth. Traditionally this is viewed as inflationary and thus damaging to bonds. However, at the top of an economic cycle is when inflation and employment data peak, followed by a crash caused by excessive Fed tightening and by a reduction in corporate earnings caused by higher wages and higher interest rates. This reminds me of 2008 when oil was ludicrously high at 144 (it went to 35 in 2009). The extreme rise in oil’s price helped to slow down the economy and tip it into recession. Inflation is not caused simply by workers getting a job, rather the real cause is when the money supply

2018-11-02T12:17:31+00:00November 2nd, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Employment Growth Not Inflationary

Enterprise Zone Tax Savings: Be Careful

     The new tax law signed December, 2017 allows for investments in Enterprise Zones to be free of capital gains tax if held 10 years. Assuming someone is in the 23.8% federal bracket for capital gains this may seem appealing, but some of the tax savings might go to sellers of these properties. Assuming the properties appreciate immediately by half of the amount of the tax savings then the seller would indirectly get half of the value of the tax cut. If the buyer overpaid by half of 23.8% then he only saves half, which is 11.9%, then if divided by 10 years holding, that’s about 1% a year saved. Every bit of savings helps to boost returns but what

2018-10-31T13:18:12+00:00October 31st, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Enterprise Zone Tax Savings: Be Careful

Unaffordably High Rates To Create Recession

   Considering how fragile the economy is and how moderate income people are hurt when they try to buy things using a loan then soon the damage from rising rates will result in recession. Yes, it is fair for the Fed to try to return to “normal” where real rates are 2% and the QE purchases are sold off in a QT program, but that won’t happen because we are in a brave new world of excessive debt balances. This means people simply can’t afford to pay higher rates.    The debt / GDP ratio went from about 150% during much of the past century, before 1996, to 365% today, a huge change. If you earned $50,000 in 1990 and

2018-10-25T14:19:54+00:00October 25th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Unaffordably High Rates To Create Recession

Stocks Crashed Today: Should You Buy Gold?

  Stocks crashed hard today, the NASDAQ was down 4.4%, the most in 7 years. Yet gold, which many people think is a hedge, only went up 0.22%. I believe the intrinsic value of gold, based on inflation indexes, is roughly $800, some $436 below today’s price of 1,236. Thus in theory gold should first need to drop to a “cleansing crash” bottoming out price of $800 and then later, during a recession, a new round of inflationary stimulus will make it go up. To generate massive inflation society would first need to go through a dramatic, deep recession that would trigger bipartisan demands for aggressive reflation. Thus it is way too early in the cycle for gold to go

2018-10-24T14:42:00+00:00October 24th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Stocks Crashed Today: Should You Buy Gold?

Hedge Funds Are Failing: Regime Change

    A webinar by a prominent hedge-like mutual fund offered no good reason for their underperformance. I suspect they incorrectly assumed they were diversified, but they failed to realize that during a bubble, most assets have their correlation rise to be nearly fully correlated. The only quality diversification tools (especially during bubbles) are low duration Investment Grade bonds, or buying puts, etc. and thus they weren’t as diversified as they thought. They say their losses are in middle of the pack of peer group competitors but since they greatly underperformed a short term bond index (like the bond ETF AGG which lost 1.31% in 12 months, versus the 9.85% loss of a hedge-like fund in 12 months thru 9-30-2018) and

2018-10-19T17:29:14+00:00October 19th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Hedge Funds Are Failing: Regime Change

Major Stock Crash; Bonds Improve

    Stocks crashed today, thus rescuing bonds, since yields dropped because of the stock crash. The 10 year Treasury yield dropped 1.6 basis points; in after-market trading the yield dropped even more (a total of 3.5 basis points), like a stone in water. The SP stock index dropped 3.3%; NASDAQ declined 4.08%. The VIX exploded up 44%, making it too hard for speculators to buy put options thus forcing sales of stock out of the hands of short term speculators. Much of the world’s stock indexes have been negative for the YTD. Looks like the U.S. market is moving towards a global stock bear market, as are bond yields. This morning the PPI inflation data was released showing inflation YoY

2018-10-10T14:00:35+00:00October 10th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Major Stock Crash; Bonds Improve