Global Markets

Global Markets in Self-Perpetuating Denial

The central bank circus was on full display this week as the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee held a two-day meeting only to emerge with another mind-numbing series of excuses for keeping interest rates at zero when the economy is not in crisis. 

One such claim was that inflation (as measured by economists) is insufficiently high, despite the fact that the price of real-world goods and services (including gasoline again) are steadily rising. The Fed stated that it's afraid raising interest rates – for the first time in nine years by all of 25 basis points – could send the economy into a tailspin. That isn't only bad policy, it is pathetic.

Perhaps it is time we learned this one vital lesson...

Global Economy

Financial News Today: Greek Debt Talks Send Mixed Messages

Financial News Today: The Greek debt talks looked promising today (Tuesday) – for a little bit.

That was before conflicting reports and a German rebuttal pulled the rug out from under positive momentum.

But Greek debt talks are just the beginning. Here's what you need to know.

Global Economy

Greek Stocks Are Up 19% – but Don't Fall for the Rally

Recently, a chorus of voices have deemed the Greek stock market undervalued.

And while they looked to have bottomed out, Greece's new government is starting to renegotiate its debts with the Eurozone. Everything is way too fragile for Greece, and this sudden rally in Greek stocks is unwarranted.

Here's what you need to know about Greece right now, and why it's not worth your money...

global economy

Markets Are Profoundly Unhealthy Now

2014 was the best of times and the worst of times in financial markets. Stocks rallied, of course, while bond yields and commodity prices plunged. In 2014, the S&P 500 gained 13% while the yield on 10-year Treasuries dropped from 3.03% to 2.17%, and the price of oil collapsed by 50%.

And the all-important U.S. dollar rallied as other major currencies such as the euro and the yen plunged. Investors looking for a consistent message from markets had to look elsewhere.

In January 2015, a similar theme spooled out in a completely different way…

The S&P 500 lost 3% – its worst performance in a year – while Treasuries had their best month in five years, as interest rates plunged to record lows around the world. In fact, yields on government bonds in many places are negative, a profoundly unhealthy phenomenon.

Crude oil dropped for the 7th month in a row, something it did during the 2008/9 financial crisis, even after a manic rally on Friday, January 30. The U.S. dollar continued to rally for the 7th month in a row and had its best month since May 2012.

Here's what January's action means for the rest of 2015...

Global Economy

Draghi's Pain Can Be Your Gain with This $10 Stock

Many investors expect "Super" Mario Draghi's recently announced 1.2 trillion euro stimulus program to produce big market gains just like the Fed's QE did here in the United States.

What they're missing is that not all companies are going to benefit. In fact, the vast majority won't.

How do you know if the one you want to buy is one of 'em?

…because it's tied into one or more of the six unstoppable trends we're following.

That's what we're going to talk about today...

Week in Review

A Measured View of a Difficult Week and the Markets

France's 9-11 should remind investors that the world sits atop a precarious geopolitical perch. Madmen with guns have the ability to wreak enormous damage on the fabric of society, which in turn places the stability of markets at risk.

Last week's tragic events in Paris are likely to impose significantly greater security costs on Western societies while leading them to question the open borders that feed immigration and trade, two keys to the future economic growth that will be necessary to dig out of the deepening debt hole they have dug themselves.

Depending on the response, jihadists could win a bigger victory than they imagine if Western governments surrender to their worst fears...

Global Economy

The Perfect "Anti-Trend" Play

The really great thing about following our "Unstoppable Global Trends" is that there are many ways to invest in each of them. The possibilities are endless, as is the profit potential.

Take Demographics, for example.

We've talked a lot about what's happening in Japan right now in Total Wealth and the conditions there that make it the perfect "Anti-Trend" investment. Between the crushing debt, the aging population, the lack of a workable immigration policy, and decades of abysmal fiscal policy working against it, the country is in trouble – thus my recommendation to short the currency.

The play has returned more than 116% since the Japanese yen was at 76 to the dollar when I initially recommended it to paid subscribers. And it's returned another 5% since November 26 when I brought it to Total Wealth readers' attention. Now it's set for another leg up.

But it's far from the only way to play Japan at the moment...

Global Economy

Profit from Greece and the European Union Struggles in 2015

Yet another Greek tragedy is playing out in economically distressed southern Europe.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed to win support for his presidential candidate.

So citizens will head to the polls again, this time 18 months ahead of schedule.

With the "extreme left" party currently in the lead, there's more than political posturing at stake.

Volatility is sure to rise, and the pressure on ECB President Mario Draghi to "do something" will grow stronger than ever.

It feels like "déjà-vu all over again" as Europe continues to try and find ways to remain unified.

While the squabbling continues, we've found the best way of creating investment opportunities...

Global Economy

The World Slides Deeper into the Dangerous "Helicopter Money" Delusion

If it seems to you that central banks and government leaders have run out of ideas, you're not totally wrong.

Indeed, the latest move by Japan smacks of pure desperation, and it might seem silly if it wasn't already an idea that's been floated before.

In fact, we may yet have the chance to see "helicopter money" and its effects after all.

The whole thing is so sad, it's almost funny. Almost.

But like too many crazy ideas, desperate people may be inclined to try anything...

Global economy

The European Crisis Is Going Global – and We're Along for the Ride

After printing $4 trillion since 2008, we've little to show for it.

Endless debates about the effectiveness of QE, or its lack thereof, haven't spawned better decisions, especially in Europe. Think periphery nations like Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

Better yet, take a look at the stock market, where worries about Europe's economy rattled investors. It's certainly not a pretty picture….

Recently one European national leader offered a somewhat unique response for dealing with the financial crisis and debt bubble.

It appears an unorthodox, yet sound, approach on the surface. But when you scratch beneath, it turns out just the opposite is true.

Developed economies would do well to consider the true state of this country's example of a "model" recovery before an even more catastrophic, debt-ridden future arrives, and erupts… Full Story