Author Archives: Rick Ackerman

     

 

 

Purely Technical Conclusions

In the past, Rick’s Picks has shunned year-end predictions because there are far too many variables to handicap accurately. I’ve decided to take a crack at it anyway this year because I was curious to see what conclusions purely technical analysis would yield for some widely followed issues.

I’m no seer, just a chartist, and I’ll say up front that the question of whether the Dow Industrials are trading at 23,000 at the end of 2015, or at 14,000, is probably no better than a coin-toss bet. Also, because the stock market is a house of cards and only distantly connected to economic reality, only a fool would try to predict the timing of The Big One that we all know is coming.

Stocks could collapse at any moment, to be sure, and although I doubt this will occur next year, the odds are hardly remote. If you absolutely need to know when calamity will strike, I recommend checking the year-end predictions of Bob Prechter, Martin Armstrong and Ross Clark, since they are the very best timers in the guru world.

 

Forecasts-fpr-2015-and-beyondRick Ackerman’s stock market picks with the most bullish, most bearish, and “outrageous” target price alternatives

 

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Nothing to Lose …

Europe’s all-too-predictable relapse into recession is gathering force, threatening not only the pipe dream of economic and political unity, but eroding grandiose illusions that have helped prop up the world’s financial house of cards. The unwillingness of France in particular to play by the EU’s — i.e.,  Germany’s — rules appears to have doomed the EU dream.

The idea of a border-less Europe bound by a common currency and a shared desire to forever banish war from the Continent was a lofty one, but it was mired from the start in deeply rooted political animosities, grass-roots skepticism and bureaucratic overreach. Now these problems, along with a great many others, have turned the EU project into a Tower of Babel. A million pages of meticulously codified EU rules might as well have been written in cuneiform, so inscrutable and arcane have they become.

And useless as well. France’s prolonged economic death rattle has been made possible by running annual deficits larger by half than the 3% “allowed” by Brussels. And now, channeling  de Gaulle for what could turn out to be France’s last hurrah, the French have flouted Merckel’s authority, and common sense itself, by proposing to remedy the problem by hiring more government workers and expanding tax breaks.

Portugal, Greece, Spain and the other deadbeat rabble have been cheering them on, and why not? They think they have nothing to lose — that Germany is the only country with any skin in the game. Their folly is about to be laid bare, however, unless Germany gives in and allows Europe’s Central Bank to monetize the collective debts of Europe Fed-style.

 

france-government-debt-to-gdpFrance’s public debt to GDP ratio. Flaunting Maastricht since forever and a day – click to enlarge..

 

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