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Enough is enough. I've reached my tipping point on the insanity that's going on in the media. And on Wall Street. And on Madison Avenue, for that matter.
These three groups are dedicated to treating the rest of the world like mushrooms - keeping us in the dark and feeding us manure.
I want to do exactly the opposite. I'm making it my mission to shine a bright light on the messages that are being sold to us. Messages meant to misdirect you and me. To mislead us. Or to cover up what's really going on.
Take last Thursday, for example, when a key bit of global economic data came out. Something that could make or break your investments for the rest of the year...
You see, Germany is the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. It's an industrial powerhouse that for decades has been driven by exports - sending cars, machinery, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals all across the globe.
The country's export focus makes Germany a key bellwether for how consumers across the world are doing. Strong consumer spending tends to mean high demand for imports, which bodes well for Germany. So when Germany's manufacturing industry shrunk for three quarters running this year, it put traders on high alert.
Not that you saw much about this on the news, of course. No, they had more "interesting and political" things to talk about both on TV and online. Like who said what about Ukraine and this and that about the "impeachment," as if it's going to change anything. Well, it's not.
But the fourth largest economy in the world shedding factory jobs at the fastest rate in almost 10 years - that can change everything. It's a key sign that the global economy might not be doing so well.
The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union - "Brexit" - is a red-hot vortex of uncertainty. British politics, society, and of course, business are all up in the air right now - and have been since the referendum in June 2016.
The UK has a general election next month that may very well determine how or even if Brexit happens. Beyond Brexit, all parties are making big promises to the electorate, to boot, the cost of which could be an additional drag on the world's sixth largest economy.
Investors, as we all know, hate uncertainty. Personally, I could never figure out why. All that chaos is like catnip for me; the bargains can be unbelievable.
Right now, for instance, some of the most prestigious, expensive real estate on Earth is trading at unthinkably cheap prices; double-digit gains are practically built in.
Negative interest rates are already in effect in at least eleven countries.
What's more, the total value of negative yielding bonds is expected to keep rising as central banks keep pushing rates lower.
Meanwhile, odds are growing rapidly that America will be the next major economy to institute a negative interest rate policy.
Ultimately, hundreds of millions of investors will be victimized by this dubious practice.
The UK has recently appointed Boris Johnson as its new prime minister during its "Brexit" departure from the European Union.
Now not paying attention to what's happening in Britain is an expensive mistake.
So today, Garrett's going to walk you through the big changes underway in Britain and even bigger changes that could rock markets in short order. Plus, this stock will put you in the best position to profit...
Last Friday, our Garrett Baldwin warned readers against the Deutsche Bank and German banks as a whole.
Well, as it turns out, there’s yet another European country that could go bust at virtually any second now.
In 2008, just before Lehman Brothers' balance sheet collapsed and a furious employee punched CEO Dick Fuld square in the face, then-New York Fed President Timothy Geithner had a big idea...
Take the big, failing U.S. banks, and sell them for pennies on the dollar to the larger, somewhat healthier banks.
Make these institutions larger, and they could absorb all the toxic balance sheets - and save the global financial system from calamity.
That was the theory, at any rate. We all know how it worked out in the end: Counter-party risk froze the global credit markets and sent the financial system into a tailspin.
Congress failed to grasp what would happen to a financial system that lacked sufficient liquidity to function - like a brain running low on oxygen - before it passed the $787 billion stimulus of 2009. Two more rounds of quantitative easing, courtesy of an "independent" Fed, would follow.
Of course, the "real" costs are virtually incalculable - incalculable costs that are still, a decade later, being borne by the middle class and working people of this country.
The geopolitical situation – particularly between China and the United States – in these past few weeks has caught and held my attention like nothing else.
I'd call it understandable.
I'm currently in Singapore for Asia's annual oil and gas conference, and I'm getting an earful about the politics between my country and theirs.
Of course, the world is aware of the current state of the U.S.-China trade war. With tariffs coming from both ends, neither country is backing down.
I've discussed this in detail in many previous Oil & Energy Investor columns.
But things are getting hotter in this particular geopolitical realm.
Now, while the conference that I'm attending covers three days of intense energy-specific discussions, there are other conferences and summits going on in Asia to discuss other matters of global importance.
In particular, one that was just this past week was the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC.
Europe has always played a huge role in the U.S. markets. The U.S. Treasury reported that European investors and central banks held $1.6 trillion of U.S. Treasury securities in June. More importantly, they had purchased $114 billion of that over the past year, including $32 billion from April to June.
And although there's no breakdown of U.S. stock and corporate bond holdings by country, Treasury holdings are about one third of total foreign securities holdings. Assuming that ratio applies to European holders, then they hold a total of roughly $4.8 trillion in U.S. assets, and added nearly $100 billion of that over the April-June period.
There's little doubt that this has helped drive the stock market blowoff.
That cash flows into the U.S. markets. When European investors buy Treasuries, most of those purchases are from U.S. Primary Dealers, even if they are not direct purchases of US stocks. The dealers use some of the cash they get in those sales to Europeans to buy stocks. When European investors, or U.S. corporations in Europe, buy U.S. assets, that adds liquidity to the U.S. system and fuel for the inflation of the U.S. stock market bubble.
Talk about a hangover. The world's got $247 trillion of debt hanging over its collective head.
If there's a broken link anywhere along the chain of global connection, or if a big debt can't be serviced, or rolled over, or there's a default, there's one thing I know for sure... Contagion will be swift, and stocks will throw up their gains quickly.
Don't look now, but we're getting to a breaking point thanks to escalating trade wars, emerging markets debts that have to be rolled over this year, and the fact that China's stock market is already in the tank.
It's like déjà vu all over again.
Our Tim Melvin is all about those unreasonably good returns, and he's got his sights set on Africa's frontier market.
With U.S. markets tapped out, our Tim Melvin is going to show you how to look across the Pacific Ocean to find 2018's high returns...
I spent several years of my career in real estate, so I've seen a bubble or two. I've watched them inflate, I've stepped out of the way, and I've watched them explode into carnage.
It's never pretty.
Right now, with so much attention on global growth, tariffs, tax reform, and the stock market, no one is really paying attention to a bubble - a dangerous one - forming up right now in Europe.
Why care about Europe?
Well, Europe matters to us - a lot. It matters because a steady flow of buy orders from European dealers, banks, and investors is required to keep U.S. stocks and bonds inflated. U.S. markets would collapse without European buying.
I'm going to show you some charts in a minute - some of the scariest charts I've seen since 2008, really.
The media didn't pay very close attention to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week. Aside from coverage of the copious amounts of snow and the quick left spin on U.S. President Donald Trump's reception by the global elite, no one was really watching the gathering of billionaires and politicians there in the Alps.
They should have. The attendees are the One Percent and the people who worked to make 'em (and keep 'em) that way. These folks can money-whip the world in any direction they want it to go.
I'm not saying it's right; I'm not saying it's fair... but it's the reality. No investor can afford to go unaware of what these folks are doing.
I mean, I'm a skeptic, and not a believer in those weird "Illuminati" or "Trilateral Commission" conspiracy theories, but the Davos crowd comes pretty close.
They can raise and destroy markets, create or eliminate jobs - entire industries, even - and make or break just about every politician in the world.
The headlines from this gathering of gatherings, what few there were, were almost uniformly bright. Trump declared America "open for business," and the sentiment was well-received by the global honchos listening in.
Poor, beleaguered Greece hopes to get its next €7.1 billion ($7.5 billion) bailout payment in June, just in time to make roughly €6 billion ($6.5 billion) in payments to creditors in July.
Now, tense negotiations in Valetta, Malta, last month appeared to smooth some stumbling blocks to releasing the latest tranche of the €86 billion ($92 billion) "rescue package," but this deal is not a done deal.
Then again, it's likely Greece will get its next handout... but there's a better than even chance it might be its last.
And that should have investors all over the world, even in booming America, concerned.