Guest Post by Bob Hoye
Guest Post by Capitalist Exploits
“If you’ve got young people who don’t know what to do, I’d urge them not to get MBAs, but to get agriculture degrees,” – Jim Rogers
“All your viewers who got MBAs made a terrible mistake; they should try to exchange them for farming degrees or mining degrees”. – Jim Rogers speaking to a Bloomberg anchor
In 2004, Jim’s book Hot Commodities was published. In the book he focuses specifically on sugar and coffee due to favourable supply demand issues. Over the few years following publication both commodities rallied hard producing gains of 155% and 232% respectively.
We did not disagree and discussed Input Capital and their agricultural streaming model which we really liked and still do. We discussed opportunities for traders in “The Ag Trade” where Mark discussed specific trading strategies he was employing.
Guest Post by Michael Ashton
Money: How Much Deflation is Enough?
Once again, we see that the cure for all of the world’s ills is quantitative easing. Since there is apparently no downside to QE, it is a shame that we didn’t figure this out earlier. The S&P could have been at 200,000, rather than just 2,000, if only governments and central banks had figured out a century ago that running large deficits, combined with having a central bank purchase large amounts of that debt in the open market, was the key to rallying assets without limit.
That paragraph is obviously tongue-in-cheek, but on a narrow time-scale it really looks like it is true. The Fed pursued quantitative easing with no yet-obvious downside, and stocks blasted off to heights rarely seen before; the Bank of Japan’s QE has added 94% to the Nikkei in the slightly more than two years since Abe was elected; and today’s announcement by the ECB of a full-scale QE program boosted share values by 1-2% from Europe to the United States.
Guest Post(s) by Michael Ashton
Reading some of the comments people have posted in various places, I thought it would make sense to spend the time to re-create the projected-index chart in the prior article, but using something approximating GSCI weights. The GSCI is production-weighted, which means it is very heavily energy-linked (I used 2008 weights just because they were the first ones I found: 78% energy, 10% agriculture, 6% industrial metals, 3% meats, 3% precious metals), yet I was comparing its 10-year real return to an equal-weighted “prediction.” How much does this change the picture?
As it happens, quite a bit. Here is the new chart (sourced: Enduring Investments).
I want to talk about commodities today.
To be sure, I have talked a lot about commodities over the last year. Below I reprise one of the charts I have run in the past (source: Bloomberg), which shows that commodities are incredibly cheap compared to the GDP-adjusted quantity of money. It was a great deal, near all-time lows this last summer…until it started creating new lows.
Guest Post by the Fine Folks at NFTRH
With all the hype and noise built in to daily and weekly market management, sometimes it is worthwhile to dial out, calm things down and touch base with markets on the big picture. Here are views on various markets (with limited commentary) by way of some NFTRH monthly charts.
Let’s start with currencies, since they are a reflection upon global policy making, which has been unprecedented in its direct market interference over the last few years.
Nominal Charts – Currency
We noted the hot air patch in the Canada dollar last year. I had thought CDW might stop and find support at 85, which is a measurement from the topping pattern; but so far, no dice.
Fellow commodity currency Aussie is at what should be a strong support zone.
 evidently my uninformed use of stockcharts.com’s symbol for the Rupee is incorrect. I have had input that this chart is an inverted view of Rupee-USD. Looking into this.
Crude oil is not the only commodity that is crashing. Iron ore is on a similar trajectory and for a common reason. Namely, the two-decade-long economic boom fueled by the money printing rampage of the world’s central banks is beginning to cool rapidly. What the old-time Austrians called “malinvestment” and what Warren Buffet once referred to as the “naked swimmers” exposed by a receding tide is now becoming all too apparent.
This cooling phase is graphically evident in the cliff-diving movement of most industrial commodities. But it is important to recognize that these are not indicative of some timeless and repetitive cycle—–or an example merely of the old adage that high prices are their own best cure.
Instead, today’s plunging commodity prices represent something new under the sun. That is, they are the product of a fracturing monetary supernova that was a unique and never before experienced aberration caused by the 1990s rise, and then the subsequent lunatic expansion after the 2008 crisis, of a cancerous regime of Keynesian central banking.
NFTRH 323 ends the year in the same fashion as we began, calmly portraying what is in play within the market’s swings, laying out probabilities and honestly interpreting what the bigger trends are, without bias or emotion. NFTRH 323, out now!
Check out a subscription to start the new year. It promises to be rewarding.