A Comprehensive Discussion of the Economy and Financial Markets

The Incrementum Fund’s advisory board has held its quarterly meeting on January 10, and the transcript has just become available. Readers can download the transcript via the link below this post.

 

 

Unfortunately two board members (Dr. Frank Shostak and Rahim Taghizadegan) were unable to attend this time. We hope that you will nevertheless find the board’s discussion of a wide range of topics relevant to today’s financial markets interesting.

 

1-Gold vs commoditiesGold rises to an all time high against commodities – a strong sign that economic confidence is waning – click to enlarge.

 

We would especially point to the debate surrounding central bank credibility (or the “confidence bubble” as Mark Valek refers to it), which we believe is probably the most important subject investors need to confront these days. As we have recently mentioned, Jim Rickards has as always made a number of very interesting remarks on the finer points of Fed policy.

He inter alia pointed out that the Fed’s flexibility tends to be hampered in election years, as it doesn’t want to be seen as influencing the election outcome. This could be especially relevant this year (a similarity to the years 2000 and 2007/8, we might add), as it happens just as the economy and the markets appear to be at a crossroads.

 

2-DXYUS dollar index, daily – the board’s consensus was that the dollar would no longer make much headway against major currencies, as the Fed was likely to soften its stance. So far this seems to be the case – not even the ECB and the BoJ were able to put pressure on their currencies beyond a single trading day – click to enlarge.

 

Recent moves in the gold price and the fact that a number of other markets have also begun to act in a manner that seems no longer consistent with what the planners would presumably like to happen, certainly appear to indicate that the irrational faith of market participants in the “central bank put” is slowly but surely crumbling.

 

3-SPX vs. CommoditiesThe growing gap between stocks and commodities – this is a divergence crying out for mean reversion – click to enlarge.

 

Inevitably the “inflation vs. deflation” debate was revisited as well. Deflationary pressures are currently enormous. On the credit side, low-rated debt is in crisis conditions, while commodity prices are going down and consumer price increases remain well below the arbitrary “targets” set by central banks. This provokes the usual reactions by the central planners, which in turn is apt to build up ever greater tension in the markets (especially as it becomes increasingly obvious to all that their methods are not working).

 

4-breakeven inflationUS 5-year breakeven inflation rates have been under pressure for years and have been plumbing new lows for the move in 2015 – click to enlarge.

 

How long will this trend continue? Ironically, after the Fed’s rate hike, the US yield curve has flattened even further. This greatly undermines the “everything is awesome” narrative and indicates that the promised series of rate hikes is highly unlikely to happen.

 

5-yield curveThe US yield curve has continued to flatten following the Fed’s rate hike – click to enlarge.

 

6-junk bond yieldsA “stealth” credit crisis has been underway for some time – these days it is no longer as stealthy as it used to be – click to enlarge.

 

As always, all kinds of markets were discussed and one unavoidable topic was crude oil – is there anything on the horizon that could reverse its trend? There is nothing obvious, but at some point the market will have discounted every eventuality. Global demand is actually at a record high, and with producers pumping all out because they need the money, there is no longer any spare capacity. This creates a set-up in which surprises are possible.

 

7-March CrudeWTI crude – a relentless downtrend – click to enlarge.

 

As of January 10 when the meeting took place, the board’s consensus in terms of trade allocations consisted essentially of a bullish bias on gold and US treasuries and a bearish bias on stocks – in line with the members’ views on the economy and the expected reactions of central banks to economic developments.

In the short time since then things have actually played out that way, but these trends are all still young. Readers should keep in mind that when it comes to trading ideas, opinions can frequently and quickly change, depending on developments. We would however say that the essential elements on which these deliberations were based remain definitely in place at this time.

 

8-Incrementum Inflation signalThe proprietary Incrementum inflation/deflation signal vs. inflation-sensitive assets – click to enlarge.

 

Download Link:

Q1 Incrementum Advisory Board Meeting Transcript (pdf)

 

Addendum:

Please note that the transcript is dated “2015” – this is a typo, it should of course be 2016.

 

Charts by: StockCharts, St. Louis Federal Reserve Research, Incrementum AG

 

 
 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 
 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke

   
 

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • How to Stick It to Your Banker, the Federal Reserve, and the Whole Doggone Fiat Money System
      Bernanke Redux Somehow, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke found time from his busy hedge fund advisory duties last week to tell his ex-employer how to do its job.  Namely, he recommended to his former cohorts at the Fed how much they should reduce the Fed’s balance sheet by.  In other words, he told them how to go about cleaning up his mess.   Praise the Lord! The Hero is back to tell us what to do! Why, oh why have you ever left, oh greatest central planner of all...
  • India: Why its Attempt to Go Digital Will Fail
      India Reverts to its Irrational, Tribal Normal (Part XIII) Over the three years in which Narendra Modi has been in power, his support base has continued to increase. Indian institutions — including the courts and the media — now toe his line. The President, otherwise a ceremonial rubber-stamp post, but the last obstacle keeping Modi from implementing a police state, comes up for re-election by a vote of the legislative houses in July 2017.  No one should be surprised if a Hindu...
  • Moving Closer to the Precipice
      Money Supply and Credit Growth Continue to Falter The decline in the growth rate of the broad US money supply measure TMS-2 that started last November continues, but the momentum of the decline has slowed last month (TMS = “true money supply”).  The data were recently updated to the end of April, as of which the year-on-year growth rate of TMS-2 is clocking in at 6.05%, a slight decrease from the 6.12% growth rate recorded at the end of March. It remains the slowest y/y growth since...
  • What is the Buffet Indicator Saying About Gold?
      Chugging along in Nosebleed Territory Last Friday, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite indexes closed at record highs in the US, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average only a whisker away from its peak set in March. What has often been called the “most hated bull market in history” thus far continues  to chug along in defiance of its detractors.   Can current stock market valuations tell us something about the future trend in gold prices? Yes, they actually...
  • The 21st Century Has Been a Big, Fat Flop
      Seeming Contradiction CACHI, ARGENTINA – Here at the Diary we have fun ridiculing the pretensions, absurdities, and hypocrisies of the ruling classes. But there is a serious side to it, too. Mockery makes us laugh. And laughing helps us wiggle free from the kudzu of fake news.   Is it real? Is it real? Is it real? Above you can see what the problem with reality is, or potentially is, in a 6-phase research undertaking that has landed its protagonist in a very disagreeable...
  • A Cloud Hangs Over the Oil Sector
      Endangered Recovery As we noted in a recent corporate debt update on occasion of the troubles Neiman-Marcus finds itself in (see “Cracks in Ponzi Finance Land”), problems are set to emerge among high-yield borrowers in the US retail sector this year. This happens just as similar problems among low-rated borrowers in the oil sector were mitigated by the rally in oil prices since early 2016. The recovery in the oil sector seems increasingly endangered though.   Too many oil...
  • Will Gold or Silver Pay the Higher Interest Rate?
      The Wrong Approach This question is no longer moot. As the world moves inexorably towards the use of metallic money, interest on gold and silver will return with it. This raises an important question. Which interest rate will be higher?   It’s instructive to explore a wrong, but popular, view. I call it the purchasing power paradigm. In this view, the value of money — its purchasing power —is 1/P (where P is the price level). Inflation is the rate of decline of...
  • Rising Oil Prices Don't Cause Inflation
      Correlation vs. Causation A very good visual correlation between the yearly percentage change in the consumer price index (CPI) and the yearly percentage change in the price of oil seems to provide support to the popular thinking that future changes in price inflation in the US are likely to be set by the yearly growth rate in the price of oil (see first chart below).   Gushing forth... a Union Oil Co. oil well sometime early in the 20th century   But is it valid to...
  • Warnings from Mount Vesuvius
      When Mount Vesuvius Blew   “Injustice, swift, erect, and unconfin’d, Sweeps the wide earth, and tramples o’er mankind” – Homer, The Iliad   Everything was just the way it was supposed to be in Pompeii on August 24, 79 A.D.  The gods had bestowed wealth and abundance upon the inhabitants of this Roman trading town.  Things were near perfect.   Frescoes in the so-called “Villa of the Mysteries” in Pompeii, presumed to depict scenes from a...
  • A Bumper Under that Silver Elevator – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      The Problem with Mining If you can believe the screaming headline, one of the gurus behind one of the gold newsletters is going all-in to gold, buying a million dollars of mining shares. If (1) gold is set to explode to the upside, and (2) mining shares are geared to the gold price, then he stands to get seriously rich(er).   As this book attests to, some people have a very cynical view of mining...  We would say there is a time for everything. For instance, when gold went ...
  • Silver Elevator Keeps Going Down – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Frexit Threat Macronized The dollar moved strongly, and is now over 25mg gold and 1.9g silver. This was a holiday-shortened week, due to the Early May bank holiday in the UK. The lateral entrant wakes up, preparing to march on, avenge the disinherited and let loose with fresh rounds of heavy philosophizing... we can't wait! [PT]   The big news as we write this, Macron beat Le Pen in the French election. We suppose this means markets can continue to do what they wanted...
  • The Knives Come Out for Trump
      A Minor Derailment GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – Yesterday, stocks fell. And volatility shot up.   When too many people have too many knives out at once, accidental cubism may result   Reports Bloomberg:   The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 370 points, Treasuries rallied the most since July and volatility spiked higher as the turmoil surrounding the Trump administration roiled financial markets around the globe. Major U.S. stock indexes...

Support Acting Man

Austrian Theory and Investment

Own physical gold and silver outside a bank

Archive

j9TJzzN

350x200

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com