General


General23 Mar 2009 09:08 am

The goals and form of the bailouts is just an extension of the US’s long standing belief in the “trickle down” theory of economics. In this theory you support and give to the wealthy so that they in turn can use their profits to create new jobs and subsidize reasearch and development spawning new technology and life enhancing discoveries.

Does this theory have any merit? Does it work in the real world?

Of course it works, but not very efficiently.

Imagine a huge furnace that is constructed to generate heat for an entire wintry culture. The ideal is that coal put into this centrally located furnace would warm the entire society. This image will suffice to relay what has happened to our “trickle down” economy since the Reagan years.

Initially let’s say we found that for every lump of coal we produced a rise of one degree of temperature per household. State thermal engineers hailed this as a success saying that coal used by individual consumers produced less than 1/2 of a degree per home.  After a few years the furnace began to be less efficient and we had to add more coal to produce the same benefits. As the years progressed we soon had to use 5 and then 10 lumps of coal to produce one degree of heat.

In the US economy let’s say we use to get close to one dollar of growth in GDP for every dollar spent by industry. Soon industry’s impact on the real economy began to weaken and we needed five dollars of investment to produce one dollar of growth and now we need something like 10 dollars of investment to produce one dollar of growth.

Since the 1980’s the bulk of this investment by corporate america has been done with borrowed money. The amount of borrowed money needed to produce one dollar of GDP growth has been climbing steadily over the last two decades. The efficientcy of the system has slowed drammatically, and growth has been maintained by creating mountains of debt.

Now, even though we are being told that the mountains of debt created through credit is a major cause of current economic crisis. We are also being told that bailing out the big furnaces is the only way to prevent our society from freezing to death. We are being told that these financial furnaces these multinational behemoths are too big to fail.

Yet, the bailouts and loans are just adding to the mountain of debt which is suffocating the entire system, and each dollar given to these corporations is producing less and less growth. The amount of jobs and wealth being produced per dollar spent is decreasing with every loan. Sure trillions of dollars will create some jobs, but it should create 10 to 20 times the number of jobs it probably will create.

These stimulus plans based on corporate bailouts will produce more jobs in the short run. They will also produce growth in the general economy. But they are duplicating the process by which we have arrived at this crisis. They are generating growth at the cost of future payment. They are delaying tactics which only serve to make the problem larger in the long run. One dollar of growth for every ten dollars borrowed is going backwards not forward and any temporary relief provided by these actions is at best an illusion and at worst a set up for the future.

It may be too soon to worry about stimulating the economy. The first task for dealing with a patient in crisis is to get them safe and stable. The first job of this economy should not be stimulating growth but making all citizens usually referred to as consumers safe and stable. Putting money in their pockets immediately is what is needed. Creating an environment where saving and getting out of debt is important rather than trying to stimulate and encourage citizens to consume more would be the first step towards health. Stimulating the economy will be important at some time, but job one is stability and safety.

We don’t have time for trickle down solutions. Some captains of industry need to go down with their ships, and some furnaces need to be upgraded for better efficiency. And maybe the average citizen needs to challenge the idea that there are those out there too big to fail and that we aren’t by logical comparison too small to succeed.

Later this week I’ll explore the way that socialistic solutions are created and then demonized by economists and financial pundits.

Jim Guido

General15 Mar 2009 08:35 pm

In general I’m a very content person. Most people I know have many regrets, dreams and unfulfilled desires. Much conversation is devoted to things they wished they had done, places they would like to visit and things they would like to see.

Me, well I’m pretty happy with my life.

If you’ve read my book Exploring Intimacy you got a pretty good handle of how I approach life. Likewise if you’ve taken the time to read my lyrics which along with Exploring Intimacy which are part of this site, you have an even clearer view of my simple desires and intense appreciation of human existence.

Though generally content, I always do look forward to getting to know people and learning and talking about the magic and drama of life.

Yet, I guess I do have a couple of loftier dreams. My day-to-day happiness does not depend on them, and my life will continue to be  fulfilling with out them, but they are wishes all the same.

Probably the biggest dream I have is for David Bowie to hear my music and read my lyrics. I’ve always appreciated his art and would truly be honored to have him listen to and view mine and then talk to me about his reactions. There are others I would love to share my songs and books with such as Peter Gabriel, Brian Ferry, Annie Lennox and David Byrne, but Bowie tops my list.

If anyone knows of a sure fire way to have David Bowie hear my music or get him to visit my site, please let me know.

My other dream is to play some basketball with Michael Jordan. Though I blew out my achilies  two years ago, I would still like to see what it is like to play perhaps the greatest competitor of my life time in the sport that has provided my life with so much joy.

Again I would like to encourage all of you visiting my site to spend some quality time with my lyrics, books and music.

Jim Guido

General08 Mar 2009 02:50 pm

The popular wisdom is to blame our reckless credit and borrowing habits for the current economic crisis. If we indeed fall into an extended period of economic decline and contraction it will be attributed to our economy drowning in a sea of debt and credit. Already it is common to talk about the current economic hardships as being a direct result of our country living beyond our means. This does not just apply to the US, but to the entire global economy.

I deem the views expresssed in the previous two paragraphs as being narrow and one sided. Though it is true that the great ocean of debt and living beyond our means has led to our economic reckoning, it is also true that those very practices created the very boon which preceded the bust.

The business cycle of boom and bust was long ago identified, but its reality is forever ignored. In my eyes capitalism receives too much credit for our boom times and far too little blame for the bad.

Throughout history there have been many wealthy societies, nations and empires. Though the last few have been capitalistic in nature, the majority have not. Empires, almost by definition, are extremely wealthy and powerful social entities. Rather than a specific economic format such as capitalism wealthy societies seem to share a few basic characteristics. The following is a general list.

1) Cutting edge and well developed infrastructure.
2) A ample food supply
3) A wealth of natural resources
4) A large inexpensive labor pool
5) Technological, artistic and scientific advancement
6) The use of other people’s food, resources, money, labor, and talent

Like all other empires the US’s ascendancy had more to do with the above list than the fact that it had a capitalistic economic system. The US had land, incredible resource wealth that matched  the inventions and discoveries of the time, slave labor and arable land. As opposed to other powers of the time period it had 50 united states that made up a huge land area with no language or legal barriers. Being able to pool together the resources of such diverse land areas was an incredible advantage over most other nations.

The US also had the advantage of being geographically distant from most competing international power houses.

When all these factors are considered almost any sophisticated economic system would have done. Capitalism was more of a beneficiary than a cause of US power and wealth.

For every way I could name a way in which capitalism fostered economic growth and technological development I could also identify a manner in which it impeded or hampered economic growth and development. Likewise for every way in which capitalism increased efficiency one could name at least one in which it generated waste and inefficiency.

In previous blogs I’ve gone into detail in how a capitalistic system is inherently wasteful and inefficient. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is one of the most inefficient and wasteful systems available.

Returning to the original theme of this post I want to point out that our abuse and misuse of money, resources and credit gave rise to our initial wealth in the first place. Our wealth and progress was based on our ability to expand and develop. Our economic expansion was based on the exploitation of domestic and global resources as well as slave and third world labor. The policy of borrowing increasing amounts and percentages of money was all but necessary in our competitive system of free enterprise.

A business who instead of borrowing waited to expand until they had stockpiled profits to pay for expansion would be at a severe disadvantage to those companies that borrowed. The most leveraged companies had greatest ability to expand and quickly increase market share.

Likewise, if the American consumer only bought according to need a huge percentages of businesses would never have been in existence. Our social wealth was a product of our living beyond our needs and in the long run living beyond our means.

Much of our wealth was a fabrication build on stealing from the future. We came to a land in which its inhabitants lived in harmony with nature. The people had more of a desire to adapt to nature than to exploit it. This meant that many of our resources were virgins, unused and exploited. While other nations had been using and depleting their resources for generations the America’s were brimming over in resource wealth. This allowed us to use resources at a pace and manner unforeseen by our ancestors.

One could make an argument that in the span of a few generations we’ve used the resources that should have been spread out over a few centuries. Likewise, we’ve borrowed money from the future. By some accounts we’ve borrowed money well into the future. Almost anyone can live and appear wealthy if they spend a life time of money in  few short years.

Imagine that at the age of 20 you were given all the money you would earn over your entire life time. Then imagine being able to double that amount by borrowing against it. Now, how wealthy could one appear if that spent all that money in ten years or less. This is essentially what modern capitalism has done.

As a nation we never were as wealthy as we thought we were. We’ve been borrowing and stealing from others around the globe for years. We’ve used their talent, resources and labor. We’ve borrowed from our future and theirs. Yet, now that are borrowing is coming due, we are forgetting that are wealth was mortgaged. We never completely owned the wealth we lived.

Capitalism is not a system structured in the present. It is competitive progress oriented  system in which winners take from others and the future to have relative wealth.

Does the system work? Yes, it does.

Could we devise a better system? I believe so.

Will we? Not if we continue to believe our nation’s wealth was created by capitalism.

Jim Guido

General03 Mar 2009 03:37 pm

A little after George W. won his first election I decided to check out his personal history to see what kind of leader he would be. One of the most consistent threads through out his professional life was an ability to increase his personal wealth while his businesses generally suffered or even failed. On more than one occasion he showed an ability to jump ship just before the business would decline or go bankrupt.

Despite his businesses looking rather weak upon his departure he was always able to find partners for his next business venture. It appears that him and his closest investors always profited handsomely from his tenure and departure, but the business was left in a general state of decline.

It appeared likely to me that George would over leverage the US and bury us in a mountain of debt. Soon into his administration my concerns regarding his attitude towards the national debt were quickly validated. During the last two years of his first term and throughout his second term I use to joke with friends that George W. was going to implement his standard business strategy and bankrupt the nation.

As time passed my prediction of his leading us into bankruptcy became less of a joke and more of a somber warning.

As the stock market and the economy began to turn south it was my wife who pointed out that my prediction was a little short sighted. She noted out that I had underestimated George W.’s skills of profiting off of, and causing, the financial ruin of others. It wasn’t just the US he was leading into a deflationary depression, but the entire globe.

What was truly amazing to me and demonstrated a lot of luck or skill on George’s behalf was how long he kept the economy levitating on almost no real economy. I kept expecting the bottom to fall out before the second year of his second term. But, somehow, almost magically, the stock market and economy kept “bubbling” along.

Yet. just as had been his history George got out early enough where those following him could take the lions share of the blame.

I have the perfect business venture for George W. if he decides to go into another business. He could a company that manufactures “golden parachutes” because his career has been blessed with some of the most visually stunning “golden parachutes” ever devised by the corporate mind.

I think it should be mentioned that George W. comes from a long line of this form of capitalist. His family and extended family roots  acquired much of their wealth during the Great Depression.

Few benefit from depressions, but those who do become the financial kingpins of the next economic cycle.

Jim Guido

General21 Feb 2009 10:30 pm

Two weeks ago I wrote a couple of blogs warning that the Dow needed to get to 8400 in a hurry, and if didn’t the market was in danger of a major decline into the late March or early April time frame. This prediction was based on a combination of wave and cycle theory which makes up the technical analysis I use for the market.

Well the Dow did not get to the 8400 mark and has fallen some 10% over the last few weeks. The stock market has become like an old demented dog which has forgotten all his old tricks save one. No longer able to fetch, stand up, beg or shake hands it only knows how to roll over. And boy has this dog gotten into rolling over.

Now, I expect the stock market to stage a mini rally which could last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, and then I expect the markets to plunge in the most dramatic fashion thus far.

This, like the previous posts, is written as a warning. I so feel for those who are being convinced to keep their savings and retirement in the stock market. The buy and hold strategy, even for the relatively young, is not a good idea. As I mentioned in previous posts, the length and depth of market downturns (bear markets) are proportional to the length and strength of the up trend (bull market).

The typical bear market is 3/8 of the bull market. Since the up trend was 33 years in length (the longest in US History), the downturn should last some 9 years or so. From a technical point of view the bear market started in November of 2007, which means the stock market should bottom in 2016 or 2017.

In the last Depression it took twenty five years for the market to surpass the previous highs. Likewise since this promises to be a longer and steeper decline than in the 1920’s and 30’s the way back to the 2007 highs should take more than 25 years to accomplish. Holding stocks some 30’s just to earn back all your losses makes no logical sense.

For the average person it makes most sense to get out and preserve whatever savings you have. When stock markets around the world are declining staying put is actually increasing your relative wealth.

Please, be careful. Better times will come.

During the last Depression those who got out early and preserved the most wealth bought at the bottom when everyone else was in financial ruin. It was from the pool of these people that many of today’s billionaires were formed. One of the reasons that Deflationary Depressions come around is that it is the greatest opportunity for people to become future tycoons. It’s the time when there are few winners and so many losers, and the winners take home the biggest pots imaginable in the great poker game we call capitalism.

People are lying to you when they say no one wants a deflationary depression. When the stakes are this great, and the winnings are so profound, there will always be people licking their chops at the opportunity to totally dominate the Monopoly game.

But for all of us who just want to live a simple and good life, it is time to stop betting and hit the sidelines. When the stakes are this high someone with slick hands always wants to deal the cards.

I could be wrong about the exact timing of how this will all unfold. Yet, if this downturn ended this year, or even the next, it would be breaking the pattern which has been in place for hundreds of years.

So, as Clint Eastwood would snarl as he held his gun in your face, “Do you feel lucky, punk? Do you?”

No, but I do feel fortunate to be able to get out now while I can, and I caution you to consider to do the same.

Jim Guido

General16 Feb 2009 12:45 pm

Over the last decade the concept and term of entitlement has been all but stripped of its original meaning. Being entitled was something bestowed upon someone, in which a right or claim was earned. Most commonly this was accomplished through a verbal or written contract.

Recent propaganda has focused on the emergence of a feeling of entitlement rather than on the functional reality of being entitled. In this way entitlement has been reduced to a quality of those who are spoiled and pampered, and who expect things without earning them.

Discussions and exposes abound in which spoiled children and lazy adults just expect a high standard of living to be handed to them. This is rebuffed by tired admonitions such as “there is no free lunch.” Yet, in all these discussions the difference between true and imagined entitlement is never addressed. This has allowed many people to equate the term entitlement with a unreasonable and spoiled demand from the lazy and immature.

So, when a corporation complains that it is drowning in a sea of entitlements from ex and current employees they are capitalizing on the image of lazy workers passively expecting money for nothing.  When they talk of their inability to pay out their retirement plans they succeed in casting the labor unions and workers as greedy overly “entitled” lazy hordes who are trying to get something for nothing. Likewise, Social Security is the biggest “entitlement” program our government is saddled with. An entitlement which our grand and great-grandchildren will have to pay off, while simultaneously depriving them of a decent life.

What is missing in all this propagandic hyperbole is the functional reality of entitlement in modern society. In a capitalistic society almost every human transaction involves some form of entitlement, where a verbal agreement or tacit contract is formed.

When I got to a restaurant and order a meal the proprietor of the eatery is “entitled” to the money he charges me for the meal. At my job I am entitled to receive pay for services provided to my employer. The bank which loans me money is “entitled” to payment of the principle plus interest as was agreed upon. Feeling entitled gives you no rights or legal claim. Yet, when it comes to functional interactions in the real world, actual entitlement accompanies most transactions.

Our government and corporations are fond of bewailing the social safety net aspects of social security and health care benefits. Often trying to make them sound socialistic in nature and as a contaminate to free market capitalism.

Yet, the fact of the matter is that our corporations and government created these contracts with employees and citizens as a proposed  fair exchange. These benefits were given to us in exchange for our hard work and services. Instead of  money up front, money was taken from our pay checks and put into social security and retirement plans. Job benefits such as medical and dental were offered us in exchange for actual pay. These entitlements were in the spirit of true entitlement. They were contractual rights and claims which were bestowed upon us in exchange for our toil and services.

These deferred payments were a boon to the corporations and government. Our entitlements cut down on their immediate overhead and allowed them to invest, expand and grow at an accelerated pace.

Yet, now our receiving of these promised contractual entitlements is being painted as an unfair hardship urged on by the whimperings of a spoiled society.

In truth much of the discussion regarding entitlements in our culture would be better framed in terms of people, corporations and governmental agencies honoring their contracts. Especially those contracts that were fully and publically discussed.

Sure there are many unread and fine print dominated contracts which could and probably should be contested. Yet, let’s not let the purveyors of this sort of deception and manipulation prevent us from recognizing and honoring the more straightforward entitlements that were articulated and continue to be articulated in plain sight.

Here are some lyrics of a recent song which touches on some similar themes. The recording of this song will not be done for many months. So, in the meantime go to the music section of this site to check out many of my songs and lyrics.

Svengali                             6/24/08

Molders of mass point of view
Keenly distort and confuse
Bait us to take up a side
Divert our eyes from the light

We could all be such kind human beings
We could create a caring society
But they will tell you its only a pipe dream
Kill or be killed is the only reality

Conmen must first win your trust
Proving their case is a plus
Protecting you from foreign harm
They’ll rob your home take the farm

Slogans come easy to the quite sleazy
Making promises they don’t plan to keep
Yet they then scare you with bad men soon coming
Then they will blind you with fanciful history

Molders of mass point of view
Keenly distort and confuse
Bait us to take up a side
Divert our eyes from the prize

We could all be such kind human beings
We could create a caring society
But they will tell you its only a pipe dream
Killing for freedom is their warped reality

Conmen vying for our hearts and minds
Endless spying and invading private lives
Can you see what’s happening?
Can you see ambition’s their only friend?
We are all lab rats in their great experiment
They try to actualize their plan for eugenics
Can you see what’s happening?
Can you see who’s your real friend?
Can you feel the danger we’re in?
Can you see what’s happening?
Jim Guido

General11 Feb 2009 01:34 pm

America’s War on Terror is little more than a War on Reason as we are expected to ignore the facts and believe the story. In fact, if one asks questions or makes the most reasonable conclusion of the evidence at hand the are quickly labeled a kook, conspiracist, or an antisemite.

The term ignorance literally means to ignore. To be ignorant doesn’t mean an inability to think or reason, but rather a choice to ignore what is apparent and understandable. Identifying ignorance is not a judgment of one’s inability to think, not a statement of stupidity, but rather an indictment that a person is ignoring facts and evidence.

In the War on Terrorism we are often asked to be and remain ignorant by our media and government. First we are asked to believe that a man in the mountains of Afghanistan pulled off the most ghastly successful terrorist event in history. We, are told that we know he did this because we were monitoring all his communications and movements for years. Asking how a fully monitored man could pull off such a devious feat from half way across the globe with very limited technology is not allowed in the war on reason.

Second, we are asked to believe that a group of inexperienced fliers could execute such difficult and skilled maneuvering of commercial aircraft. Third, we are asked to believe that our highly skilled and practiced military air defense system failed to react for some 40 minutes or so and then could not intercept the planes.

Also we are expected to believe that skyscrapers designed to withstand the impact of several aircraft fell from the impact and resulting fires from one commercial airliner. Not only did the two towers fall due to these prepared for circumstances, but a third skyscraper fell due to fires caused by debris from the two towers. These were not the first skyscrapers to burn, but they were the first to come down due to fire.

All three skyscrapers fell in almost textbook demolition style. The science of bringing down buildings was formed due to the fact that building do not fall in this fashion on their own. The odds of three buildings all falling in this manner without scientific assistance is beyond astronomical. Add to this the fact that the three buildings all fell at a few tenths of a second off of the speed of gravity and you are left with a very unreasonable explanation. How could buildings supposedly pancaking their way down free fall at gravitational speed? But such questions aren’t allowed in the war on reason.

This event which took place well over seven years ago drammatically changed our view of the world and officially began the War on Terrorism. Since then no successul terrorist events have occured on US soil. We are led to believe that the same people who allowed a heavily monitored known terrorist and some suspected terrorists who were taking pilot lessons in the US to hijack planes and fly half way around the country to attack a known target are now preventing any further terrorists event by a people maniacally dedicated towards harming us. Even though every single day hundreds of people, tons of weapons, and illegal contraban cross our borders not one single terrorist event has occured. This is the stuff of the war on reason.

The war on reason is on full display in the way we are asked to view the conflict between Palestine and Israel. We are led to believe that Hamas is a terrorist organization. The fact that they are the democratically elected representatives of the nation of Palestine is never mentioned. We are told that the military of Hamas hides amongst the populace. Yet, many journalists from around the globe report that the miltants of Hamas dress in miltary uniform and usually leave the urban ares to fight the Isaelis in the open.

The Palestinians are an imprisoned people who are not allowed to get weapons let alone defend themselves with a standing army. Yet, we are told that the incursions and killing of Palestinians will continue until they cease the smuggling of weapons and the firing of rockets into Israel. The majority of arms the Palestinians have are not even capable of penetrating the  body armor of the Israeli soldiers. They are defenseless against the Israeli air force and this helps explain why over 100 Palestinians are killed for every Israeli.

Though American TV is fond of showing footage of Palestinian rocket fire, the truth of the matter is that these home made rockets have up to the last report I read last week not killed a single Israeli.

Can you imagine the outrage that would be a result of some nation bombing our urban areas in an attempt to kill a few isolated leaders of a group the bombing nation labeled as terrorists? Well, that is exactly what the Israelis are doing in their supposed attempt at killing Hamas leaders. Reports out of Pakistan have the US bombing urban areas in Pakistan in our attempt to kill “known terrorists”.

I’m not trying to pick sides here. I’m just pointing out how the available facts and evidence do not support the official stories and actions on the war on terrorism. We are being asked to remain ignorant and in so doing we are being asked to be blind and reactionary.

Why are we being asked to be this way? That is the question.

Jim Guido

General10 Feb 2009 09:03 pm

Well I mentiond that the 8400 number was looming as an important hurdle for the Dow. Today it was repelled from that number with significant force. If the Dow does not recover immediately and get above 8400 by the end of the week. I believe, from a technical point of view another leg down is all but certain.

This leg down could be quite spectacular taking the Dow down to at least 6000 and probably 5600 before sustaining a rally. This mini crash should be completed before the end of March.

Please read the parevious two blogs to get a better picture of what this means for people with retriement plans from their jobs and/or passive investors. The financial media is fond of  saying  that markets always rebound and you always make money in the long haul. I provided some numbers in the previous posts which give a different perspective.

It is important to note that it took till 1954 for the stock market to accede its highs from 1929. That is 25 years before people made their money back. This potential depression has all the earmarks of being at least as damaging. Most bear markets last 3/8 as long as the bull market. This bull market was far longer than the bull market that topped in 1929. One should not expect this bear market to be short or for its recovery to be swift.

Be careful.

Jim Guido

General06 Feb 2009 06:59 pm

As a follow up to yesterdays post I would like to say that the market responded well to its need for urgent bullish movement. Yet, despite today’s sharp rise some work remains to be done and time is running out.

As I noted yesterday the Dow needs to break 8400 and stay above it for awhile to negate a very steep fall showing itself in many technical charts. I also stated that a further climb above 9000 is needed over the next few weeks to keep the net dip from demolishing the November lows.

Though today was a nice move there were danger signs present. Short term sentiment indicators for the Nasdaq 100 have now gone into overbought territory and look ripe for a short term decline. Now, it is possible for the overbought condition to last a couple of weeks, and it is possible that the Nasdaq could still rise another 5 or 10% before releasing the overbought condition, but that is not the norm. Since, as I mentioned yesterday, the Nasdaq usually leads the way up an down, it would be natural for the Nasdaq to start down early next week. This is not a prediction, but rather a statement of statistical probability.

The fact that the Nasdaq is now overbought and the Dow is still below the critical 8400 mark is a negative sign for the market. Yet, the last two days advances have been on higher volume which is a good sign. Couple that with the possible big news coming out of the Obama camp regarding the stimulus plan and this rally could have one more sizeable burst early in the week. Will that burst be enough to send and keep the Dow over 8400 for the foreseeable future?

That, my friends is the key question.

Since the goal of this and last nights post is to warn the casual investor of possible damage to their portfolios and nest eggs, I will give an update next week on how this got resolved and how safe things look over the net couple of months.

Jim Guido

This weekend I plan on a post on some thoughts regarding the war on terror.

General05 Feb 2009 07:07 pm

I don’t often discuss the stock market on this site, but sometimes things have to be said.

In order to understand the market I use a few basic tools. First I use wave theory to follow trends and Fibronacci numbers to anticipate possible turn points and trend changes. In addition to this I employ time cycle recognition to see intermediate and long trends and I use sentiment indicators to help make short term decisions and predict how the market will respond to news. In addition to these tools I also apply basic principles of social psychology to understand the herd mentality.

Well some interesting things are coming to light. The rally off of the November lows is struggling to say the least. The Dow, which had risen some 22% off of its lows has fallen back and now is treading water at about 9% off the bottom. The Nasdaq 100 which had risen some 26% had also fallen but has climbed back up to near 22% above its low.

The good news is that the Nasdaq 100 has been leading the way up and down over the last several years. The bad news is that the Nasdaq 100 rally in terms of time frames and waves looks ripe for a decline. The Dow needs to climb above 8400 and stay there farily quickly and then leap above 9000 within the next couple of weeks. If the Dow does this the Nasdaq rally could hold or even gain some in a consolidation phase before the next time frame conducive to a rally wave arrives.

Yet, if over the next few days the Dow does not get a foothold above 8400, it could get real ugly real quick. In such a scenario the Dow, S&P, and the Nasdaq could fall anywhere between 25 to 40% by late spring. I totally expected the current rally which earlier peaked at 25% to get closer to 40 – 50% before the next leg down. I also did not expect the next leg down to culminate before the fall.

I am not a financial advisor or expert, but sometimes a friend can warn you of a possible storm as well as a weatherman. So many people I know have lost a lot of money either actively engaged in the market or just passively involved through their retirement plans.

Yes, there will be some breath taking rallies over the next few years, but the downswings are most likely to be even more impressive. As an example the Japanese stock market topped in 1989. Since then it has enjoyed some incredible rallies of 60% or more but currently it is still down an amazing 80% from its high. So, after almost two decades anyone holding on to stocks waiting for good times to return would still be 80% poorer than in 1989.

Could it happen here? Well, if history and mathematics are any guide the answer is not only it could happen, but it is probable.

This is how the math of rallies can be deceiving. Let’s say the Dow losses some 80% of its value like it did in the last depression. in such a scenario the Dow would go from its high of 14,200 down to 2,800 then even if the Dow rallied an amazing 140% it would still only be 6,820. Even after that tremendous rally the Dow would still be down some 52%. Let’s say after the huge rally the Dow corrects a relatively minor 30% an the Dow is back to 4800 or some 63% down from the high. This is the kind of obscene swings bear markets incur in Deflationary Depressions.

Yet, if you keep your money safe the value of your money soars in a deflationary environment. Since Japan is a land of savers the average consumer is not suffering in their economy. Even though Japan has been in a deflationary depression for almost two decades one seldom hears of any social unrest or dire circumstances in Japan. Yet, those who stayed in the stock market are much poorer than they would have been otherwise.

Jim Guido

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