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Jim Cook

 

RUNAWAY SOCIAL SYMPATHY

Every once in a while I switch the TV channel from Fox to CNBC to see what the liberals are saying.  After listening awhile I get a deep sense of hopelessness and foreboding for our country.  The most important thing for the left is giving money to people.  They are happy to see the growth of food stamps, disability payments, housing subsidies, free healthcare and all the other welfare benefits.  They utterly fail to see the damage it is doing to the recipients.  Whole cities that once flourished have deteriorated into rotting eyesores populated with shambling hulks of chemically dependent drones.  These people are no longer employable.  They have become incompetent and helpless and the liberals can’t see that it’s their doing.

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The Best of Jim Cook Archive

 
Best of Doug Noland
July 28, 2008
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Today, there is little liquidity in the securitization or corporate bond markets. So, the multi-Trillions of strategies relying on shorting securities for hedging and speculating purposes have gravitated to the relative liquidity of U.S. equities. And, when it comes to hedging against or seeking profits from heightened systemic risk, one can these days see rather clearly how incredible selling pressure can come down hard on the 19 largest U.S. financial institutions. And when one considers the scope of derivative strategies that incorporate "delta hedging" trading dynamics – where the amount of selling/shorting increases as the market declines (systemic risk increases) – one recognizes the possibility of a marketplace dislocation along the lines - but significantly more systemic - than the "portfolio insurance" fiasco that fueled the 1987 stock market crash.

Importantly, this issue of acute systemic risk has taken a turn for the worst with the recent deterioration in the conventional mortgage market. The highly exposed GSEs, mortgage insurers, and leveraged speculators are positioned poorly to withstand a bust in prime mortgages. The fate of the U.S. Bubble economy today rests on the ongoing supply of low-cost "prime" mortgages. Any meaningful tightening in conventional mortgage Credit – including the lack of availability of mortgage insurance, required larger down payments, and/or tougher Credit standards – would have a major impact on Credit Availability for core housing markets throughout the country (many that have thus far held together fairly well). Such a tightening would put significant additional downward pressure on prices, exacerbating already escalating problems for the GSEs, Credit insurers, and speculators.

Doug Noland is a market strategist at Prudent Bear Funds. Their website is www.prudentbear.com.