RF's Financial News

RF's Financial News

Saturday, March 13, 2010

This week in Barrons - 3-14-2010

This Week in Barrons – 3-14-10:

Our Thoughts:
Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter … Jack Benny

From a paper called: “Gold and Economic Freedom": “In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. Under a gold standard, the amount of credit that an economy can support is determined by the economy's tangible assets, since every credit instrument is ultimately a claim on some tangible asset. Therefore, gold and economic freedom are inseparable. -Alan Greenspan.

- Last month the government ran up the largest monthly deficit in history totaling $220.9 billion, 14 percent higher than the previous record set in February of last year.
- The Obama administration is projecting that the deficit for the 2010 budget year will hit an all-time high of $1.56 trillion, surpassing last year's $1.4 trillion total.
- The Obama administration is forecasting that the deficit will remain above $1 trillion in 2011, giving the country 3 straight years of $1 trillion-plus deficits.

Now isn't that interesting? Alan Greenspan said that without gold you can't be economically free, AND that asset determines the amount of credit a country can support. So we have NO gold standard, and we’re running the biggest deficits in the HISTORY of our nation – even Alan Greenspan realized that this would end badly. Our nation is bankrupt – our banks keep two sets of books – our infrastructure is crumbling – our people are either under-employed and/or un-employed – our states can’t make budget – our deficits are in the trillions, not to mention the $80 trillion that we are going to owe for all of our programs – What on Earth do we do about it?

I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either … Jack Benny
Well – we can appoint Ms. Janet Yellen as Fed Co-Chair because she believes in “keeping the monetary presses running and dealing with the inflation later". If someone could logically explain to me how we get out of the multitude of messes we are in, I'd gladly sell my gold and silver and go on with life a happy camper. Now – having said that – Jim Taylor wrote me with a fascinating paper which I’d like to take the time to share next week – thanks Jim!

The Market:
The more people I meet – the more people are trying to get OUT of this market at these levels than get IN. Did you know:
- 7,000 Baby Boomers are day are retiring – and for the next 15 years that number is going increase, as the biggest wave of our money making population goes from their earning days to their sustaining days.
- Which means – not only have the baby boomers been responsible for all the economic and financial gains we've seen over the last 20 years, BUT more of them are going to need to take money OUT of the market versus putting money IN.
- 51% of the Baby Boomers are not prepared retire – and have less than $50,000 in savings

If you add up the ponzi scheme economy, with the demographics, you come away with something a whole lot less rosy than Wall Street is telling you. It’s true that in the short term, they can use the President’s Working Group to manipulate the market, and they can also use mark to model instead of mark to market.

BUT what about this news blurb: “07:48 AM The White House turns to short sales to help stem the foreclosure crisis, allowing delinquent borrowers to sell their homes for less than the amount owed and forcing banks to forgive the difference. To speed the process, the government will hand out cash to both mortgage servicers and homeowners.” Just so I clear on this – a zillion people got conned into the idea that houses only go up, so they decided to "get in" while they could. During 2004 to 2006 people 4 to 5 TIMES what a house was worth – and started the greatest real-estate orgy of all time. Most couldn't afford it, but figured "Hey it only goes up, so what's the risk?" Let me suggest – IF you were smart enough to hunt down an outfit that would allow you to buy a home you could not afford, and smart enough to know how to lie on the application – you were probably smart enough to know that your rate would reset higher and you were NOT going to able to AFFORD IT when that happened. Notice the words “Forcing banks to forgive the difference". As the banks go ahead and “forgive billions” between what the house is now worth and what they paid, doesn't that mean billions just "vanish?" And doesn’t that mean that more banks will declare ‘bankruptcy’? And isn't the FDIC basically bankrupt? So, who's going to make up the difference? Oh, that would be you and me...again.

It's not so much knowing when to speak, but rather knowing when to pause … Jack Benny
With all that in mind, the only question is: How far can it go before the wheels fall off? We know their intent is to keep pushing so much stimulus that the people get a false sense of security and actually re-elect Congress in November. I said quite a while back that the market would run up and try and challenge the old highs at 10723, but would probably fall short, stalling out at the 10600 level. Well, we’re here and are we building a new base to push up through the old high and run to 11,500? I still don't think so. We could push thru the old highs – people rush in – and then we sell and the late-comers get crushed.

Honestly – the mutual funds don’t have enough money to keep buying. The public isn’t jumping in to buy the market. Which just leaves Bernanke and his henchmen – and I’m not sure that there’s that much left?

We have been leaning long the market, but at some point in the not too distant future, we'll be buying puts and shorting stocks. But until we roll over and it's proven to me the bear market bounce has ended, we'll be leaning long but keeping our finger near the sell button.

I’m still holding:
CLF at 61.77 - hard stop at 62.50
NTRI at 16.47 - hard stop at 17.00
VDSI at 8.51 - hard stop at 8.60
FSYS at 30.09 – hard stop at 32.00
DRIV at 28.17 – hard stop at 28.65
SPY at 109.55 – hard stop at 114.29

If you’d like to view my actual stock trades - feel free to sign up as a twitter follower – “taylorpamm” is my nickname on Twitter – fyi.

Remember the Blog http://rfcfinancialnews.blogspot.com/
Until next week – be safe.

R.F. Culbertson

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