Archive for December, 2012

2013 NOT A CLIFF, BUT A VERY SLIPPERY SLOPE

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

The current” Bull Market” galloping along on Wall Street, is now approaching 4 years and counting.

In the context of a very sluggish, limping U S economy, this “Bull Market” defies  conventional logic.

The markets gains have been fueled by several  non sustainable factors.

A gluttony of government expansion and spending coupled  with the various Q E ‘s ( so far 1-2-3-4) has injected unprecedented amounts of paper currency  into a very stagnant economic climate.

Corporate earnings have increased, not by business expansion, but by payroll shrinkage. The P/ E  ratios and earning per share have come at the expense of steady high unemployment.

As 2012 comes to a close, many companies have pared their overhead a low as functionally plausible. They  will be hard pressed to provide any semblance of  earnings growth going forward as they were able to provide in the past 2 or 3 years.

Beginning in 2009, the Fed initiated Q E 1  to buy distressed mortgage securities, later expanding it to include purchase of treasury bonds, all with newly printed $ ‘s.

The bond crisis in Dubai in late 2009 in which a default was narrowly averted, signaled a       “Every thing is not o k ” sign that the World economy was becoming over  extended.

In 2010 the flush of the massive U S stimulus  was beginning to fade.

The economic stability of Greece became a concern, followed by economic woes in Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Portugal.

The Government of France became Socialist, and the French economy has displayed  signs of distress.

The struggling World economy has spread to all corners of the Planet, with the fissures being  disguised behind  massive amounts of paper money being printed by Central banks ,  to keep money  cheap.

Since mid 2011, the economy has moved laterally yet the Bull Market continues to defy reality.

It is frightening to think that the softening World economy has spread despite  almost $ 90 billion per month of Fed spending on QE 3 & 4,the Euro Central Bank pledging unlimited bond support, and similar actions  being pushed by central banks of Japan and England.

The central bank of China has been forced to instigate several stimulus infusions to bolster the sagging growth of  Chinese businesses.