A Black Swan (Recession 2008…Depression 2009?)

What is a Black Swan? Before the discovery of Australia, empirical evidence told us that all swans were white and that belief lasted for 100s of years until a Black Swan was spotted in the wilds of Australia. A Black Swan is a sudden unforeseen event that suddenly changes everything about our long held beliefs.

The significance of the Black Swan is that up until the Bear Stearns Hedge Fund affair, everyone was convinced that we and the rest of the world were in a Goldilocks economy and the world's stock markets were all going up, up and away for years to come. After all, with 3 billion new consumers and 10% a year growth rate, what could stop it? Any and all potential negatives were quickly swept under the rug. We were in a new paradigm and all the Natural Laws of economics, such as supply and demand, the business cycle, money supply and interest rates and the fact that trees can't grow to the sky no longer applied. The fact that we were in the longest period in our stock market history without a 10% correction only served as proof positive that we were in a new paradigm, with no thought given to maybe it is a warning that we were past due for a severe correction at best.


We have been in a 10% per year Fiat Money and CREDIT explosion since 1987; at that rate the money supply and debt double every 10 years (our total Debt Load has doubled in the last 6 years alone). Even though you can fool all of the people some of the time or even most of the time, the trouble is that no matter how low the Interest Rates are, they too are compounding and adding to the overall debt load until we are eventually CRUSHED by the no longer bearable load. Please keep in mind that inflation has always been a monetary phenomenon. We have been in a Guns and Butter Economy for 4 years now and as massive deficits accumulate in conjunction with all time high commodity prices, they want us to believe that there is no INFLATION. Well, the collapse of the Bear Stern's Hedge Funds was a BLACK SWAN; that unexpected event that let the FEAR Genie out of the bottle, and the Bubble Burst as everyone seemed to come to their senses virtually over night.


For the first time ever, every one of the world's stock markets were breaking out to new all time highs; with the biggest moves being made by the most illiquid and riskiest Bourses. Let me remind you about how the Natural Laws of the Pendulum and the Reversion to the Mean works. #1 Nature tells us that everything eventually reverts to the mean and #2 the higher the pendulum swings to one side, the higher it will go when it eventually reverses. Using what ever measures you choose, the Bubble that we are now in is even larger than the 1929 Bubble and you all know what followed when that bubble burst.. Like then, the Democrats, now in control of Congress, are working on one Bill after another in their attempt to replicate the 1930's legislation; from raising taxes (on the rich) to anti-trade bills all the way to anti- business, pro-union legislation. One new spending program after another is being proposed every time Hillary speaks. Senator Schumer's proposed 27% tariff on all goods from China, should it pass, will not only unleash a trade war, but it will shoot inflation to the moon and completely tank the Dollar. Unfortunately it is not just Democrats who are espousing anti-trade sentiment.

I've been writing for three years now about the possibility of an FDR of the 21st Century coming to power, all the while praying that this would be one projection in which I was completely wrong.

Do you realize the daily dollar amount of stock market trading is now larger than three times our GDP? You can't have 40% of all business locked into just trading fiat paper back and forth indefinitely without running into some very severe trouble. I could go on all night, but there is no point as I have already outlined one problem after another in great detail in my past letters.


When it comes to the stock market and the economy, what matters most is the availability of money, which is directly related to the level of investor CONFIDENCE and the FAITH lenders have in being repaid: Not the rates or purported Interest Rate stance of the FED. For almost three years, the yield spread between Junk and Treasuries had dropped from a high of 15% in the 80's to under 3% signaling an almost complete lack of fear. SUDDENLY, the Bear Stern's Hedge Funds opened everyone's eyes to the realization that the "Emperor had no clothes." The FEAR GENIE was now out of the bottle as Risk was attempted to be re-priced virtually overnight and the world woke up to history's biggest liquidity crisis. Cutting, instead of raising rates by 50 basis points, has only served to reinforce the FEAR factor and accomplished the exact opposite of what the FED was trying to do and the world's central banks have had to pump over a $trillion into the banking system in order to avoid a complete financial system melt down. Mark my words "We ain't seen nothing yet." This weekend's meeting of Finance Ministers of IMF members accomplished absolutely nothing for the simple reason that either they don't know what to do OR if they do know, it is not politically palatable; so they continue doing the wrong but politically acceptable thing like cutting interest rates until it is too late. Doing more of what got you into trouble in the first place is moronic.


Suffice it to say that once the unexpectedly disappointing 3rd quarter earnings reporting is over and we retest the August lows, it is still possible that we might get one last media assisted trumped up orgy of buying; probably triggered by a 50 basis point rate cut, that will push the DJII to a new high, but it will be accompanied by all sorts of negative divergences and it will be the only Index that has any chance of making a new high. Trading and breadth will be light and you will have a better chance of making money in Vegas then you will trying to play this last hoped for rally.


A bull market is never over until the cats and dogs run.. Well, the mid and small caps have led the markets for over three years now, but unlike the last three years, they did not make new highs this time around. They will now lead the market on the way DOWN as whatever is left of investor confidence is channeled into the Safe (?) International Big Caps.

As all my faithful readers know, the Markets and especially GOLD have been behaving almost exactly as expected. In my Sept. 22nd letter, although I did not (by definition) see the Black Swan coming, I did warn you about what the Black Swan has exposed and its associated consequences. Only my timing was slightly off as I had assumed that the Market's new high would be made in December or the first week of January after first having tested the August lows. Nevertheless, I strongly recommended that you sell into any rally and continue to hold on to your core Gold positions and to accumulate more Gold and quality Gold shares on all dips.


Look for earnings disappointments and/or the lowering of earnings projections at best. The safest way to play this market is from the short side: Keeping in mind that the market is not yet ready for a one way ride. Long held beliefs die hard. It will behave more like a roller coaster; so unlike Gold, with the market you sell the rallies. But keep your patience, it is still a might early to chase the market down.

After almost two years of steadily falling Real Estate prices, the experts are now only just beginning to admit that the Bubble has burst, but they are still forecasting a bottom is just around the corner. My friends, look at Japan or our last burst real estate Bubble; the final bottom is at least 10 or 15 years away for both real estate and the stock market.


Has just completed a perfect Elliott five wave move, which was subdivided into Wave 3 being 2X Wave 1 and Wave 5 equal to Wave 1 all of which is only Wave I of Wave 3. The Wave 2 pull back should be shallow, back to only approximately 725 to 730 (on the GLD.) We are still early into a major Bull Market in Gold. Continue to buy on weakness. Only this time you can start accumulating the quality mid-size companies that have not moved very much during this last Gold Rally as well as the juniors that are beginning to show some strength on the charts. Not to worry, there is always a Bull market somewhere ,this time its Gold.

Note: I never recommend individual stocks, so please don't ask me.




Aubie Baltin CFA, CTA, CFP, Phd. (retired)

Palm Beach Gardens, FL




23 Ocrober 2007

A single ounce of gold (about 28 grams) can be stretched into a gold thread 5 miles (8 kilometers) long.

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