Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Crude Oil Price Trend Forecast 2016 Update - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Will Deutsche Bank Crash The Global Stock Market? - Clif_Droke
3.Gold Price In Excess Of $8000 While US Dollar Collapses - Hubert_Moolman
4.BrExit UK Economic Collapse Evaporates, GDP Forecasts for 2016 and 2017 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold Stocks Massive Price Correction - Zeal_LLC
6.Stock Market Predicts Donald Trump Victory - Austin_Galt
7.Next Financial Crisis Will be Far Worse than 2008/09 - Chris_Vermeulen
8.The Gold To Housing Ratio As A Valuation Indicator - Dan_Amerman
9.GDXJ Gold Stocks - A Diamond in the Rough - Rambus_Chartology
10.Gold Boom! End Game Nears As Central Banks Buying Up Gold Mining Companies! - Jeff_Berwick
Last 7 days
This Commodity Has Perked Up its Investors' Portfolios - 27th Sept 16
Charting the Continuing Gold Market Correction - 27th Sept 16
Stock Market Crash and Recession Indicator Warning: Extreme Danger Ahead - 27th Sept 16
Financial Markets and FX Setups 27th Sept - 27th Sept 16
Crude Oil, Forex and Stock Market Trend Forecasts - 27th Sept 16
Why There is Trump - 27th Sept 16
Save Up to 70% in Shopping Expenses for Daily Items - 27th Sept 16
Gold’s Moving Averages and Long-Term Outlook - 26th Sept 16
September Stock Market - The Not So Silent Demise of Deutsche Bank - 26th Sept 16
SPX sell signal confirmed - 26th Sept 16
SPX is testing the next level of support - 26th Sept 16
Outrageously Entertaining US Presidential Campaign Final Stages - What Happens Next? - 26th Sept 16
BoJ, FOMC and Where To Now? - 26th Sept 16
Stock Market New All Time Highs Next - 26th Sept 16
Why Trump Will Win US General Election 2016 Prediction Forecast - 26th Sept 16
Martial Law Rolls Out Across the US As Jubilee Nears - 26th Sept 16
Stock Market More Correction Likely - 25th Sept 16
US Presidential Election Forecast 2016 - Trump Riding BrExit Wave into the White House - 25th Sept 16
US Economy GDP Growth Estimates in Free-Fall: FRBNY Nowcast 2.26% Q3, 1.22% Q4 - 24th Sept 16
Gold and Gold Stocks Corrective Action Continues Despite Dovish Federal Reserve - 24th Sept 16
Global Bonds: Why Our Analyst Says Things Just Got "Monumental" - 24th Sept 16
Where Did All the Money Go? - 23rd Sept 16
Pension Shortfalls Could Be 4X To 7X Greater Than Reported - 23rd Sept 16
Gold Unleashed by the Fed - 23rd Sept 16
Gold around U.S Presidential Elections - 23rd Sept 16
Here’s Why Eastern Europe Is Doomed - 23rd Sept 16
Nasdaq NDX 100 Big Cap Tech Breakout ? - 23rd Sept 16
The Implications of the Italian Banking Crisis Could Be Disastrous - 22nd Sept 16
TwinLakes Theme Park Summer Super 6 FREE Return Entry for Real? - 21st Sept 16
Has the Silver Bullet Run Out of Fire Power? - 21st Sept 16
Frack Sand: The Unsung Hero Of The OPEC Oil War - 21st Sept 16
What’s Happening With Gold? - 21st Sept 16
Gold vs. Stocks and Commodities, Pre-FOMC - 20th Sept 16
BrExit UK Inflation CPI, RPI Forecast 2016, 2017 - 20th Sept 16
European banks may be more important than the Fed this week - 20th Sept 16
Gold, Silver, Stocks and Bonds Grand Ascension or Great Collapse? - 20th Sept 16
Mass Psychology in Action; Instead of Selling Gilead it is Time to Take a Closer Look - 20th Sept 16
Hillary - Finally Well Deserved Recognition for Deplorables - 20th Sept 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

The Power of the Wave Principle

Chronicle Of A Debt Foretold - When Central Banks Buy Equities

Stock-Markets / Stock Markets 2016 Jan 23, 2016 - 03:17 PM GMT

By: John_Rubino

Stock-Markets

Critics of today’s fiat currency/fractional reserve banking world have (for what seems like forever) made the common sense point that when debt rises faster than cash flow, bad things are bound to happen. In every cycle since 1980 this has been dismissed by the vast majority who benefit from inflating bubbles — until the bubble bursts.


And here we go again. The following chart from Stock Traders Daily shows the relationship between margin debt (money borrowed by investors against existing stock positions in order to buy more stock) and cash on hand in brokerage accounts. The idea is that when investors hold lots of cash they’re pessimistic, and when they borrow a lot they’re optimisitc. Extremes of either tend to signal changes in market direction. At the end of 2015 investors were even more excited than at the peak of the housing bubble, indicating that there’s not much retail money left to be tossed at US stocks.

Margin debt vs free cash Jan 16

China, being a little more bubbly than the US, is a good indicator of where US margin debt might be headed:

China margin debt Jan 16

Another red flag is being waved by corporate debt, much of which is being taken on to fund share repurchase programs. These tend to benefit shareholders in the moment but at the cost of higher leverage and less flexibility in the future. Where in the past net debt has tended to track EBITDA (a broad measure of earnings). starting in 2014 the former has soared beyond the latter. Just as a spike in margin debt implies a lack of retail stock buying in the future, soaring corporate debt implies limited borrowing power and a scale-back of share repurchases going forward.

Corporate debt vs EBITDA

Based on both history and common sense, we should expect not just a slowdown, but a cratering of equity demand from both individuals and corporations in the year ahead. What happens then? Either the market crashes and prices go back to levels that attract wiser capital, or a new source of dumb money emerges.

And that would be government. Already, the Bank of Japan owns more than half of the Japanese stock market. And now China — displaying its customary cluelessness about what markets are and how they work — is countering the recent bear market with public (which is to say borrowed) funds:

China Vice President Vows to ‘Look After’ Stock Market Investors

(Bloomberg) – China is willing to keep intervening in the stock market to make sure a few speculators don’t benefit at the expense of regular investors, China’s vice president said in an interview.

Calling the country’s market “not yet mature,” Vice President Li Yuanchao said the government would boost regulation in an effort to limit volatility.

“An excessively fluctuating market is a market of speculation where only the few will gain the most benefit when most people suffer,” Li told Bloomberg News after arriving at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. “The Chinese government is going to look after the interests of most of the people, most of the investors.”

Li, 65, is the most senior Chinese official yet to underline the government’s readiness to intervene should the market turmoil of last summer and the start of 2016 continue. So far this year, the Shanghai Composite and the Hang Seng China indexes have both lost more than 15 percent, even as the central bank injects cashinto the system to drive down borrowing costs and boost the economy.

Companies exchanging long term bonds for equities and individuals using equities as collateral to buy more tend to distort equity valuations, but only temporarily, as the players’ finite borrowing capacity is eventually maxed out and the buying has to stop.

Governments are a different story, since they can create trillions of dollars with a mouse click. Their ignorance is thus a lot more dangerous because it short-circuits price disclosure on a vast, potentially open-ended scale.

When a central bank buys equities, it doesn’t have teams of analysts running valuation studies and creating model portfolios. Presumably it just makes across-the-board purchases, which tends to float all boats. So the wheat doesn’t get separated from the chaff and capital has no idea where to flow. Malinvestment becomes rampant and the result is, well, what we have today: Chinese ghost cities, Japanese zombie companies and US tech unicorns worth billions before generating their first dollar of earnings. And that’s before the Fed and European Central Bank really get going.

By John Rubino

dollarcollapse.com

Copyright 2016 © John Rubino - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife