Financial Bubbles | timiacono.com - Part 3

Food Stamps and Unemployment

More evidence that the current economic “recovery” is unlike any other comes via Robert Doar in this item at Real Clear Markets where food stamp SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) usage has failed to take its usual course following the end of a recession by moving lower along with the unemployment rate.

Of course, new claims for unemployment insurance reached a 14-year low earlier today, so, the recent trend shown above shows no sign of reversing.

Why is this happening? The answers you might hear are likely dependent upon the political party affiliation of the person responding to the question, but this also involves changing demographics, ongoing cultural changes related to government assistance, and a host of other issues related to our financial/economic system and the decline of an aging empire.

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Peter Thiel on “the Government Bubble”

Billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist and hedge fund manager Peter Thiel talks with the folks at CNBC about central bank money printing and asset valuations.

Thiel notes:

We’ve been in this world where people have been printing money at the Fed for six years and it is a very strange question of what happens when it ends … I think the thing that is most distorted is the bond market and fixed income, and perhaps less on the equity side, but we certainly are back in a government bubble of massive size.

October is Far from Over

For obvious reasons, there hasn’t been much reason to update the chart below as it has been a virtually seamless glide higher for U.S. stocks over the last couple years. Also for obvious reasons, now there is a reason to update the chart.

I haven’t been paying much attention to markets lately (or writing much, as evidenced by those first two sentences above), but one thing should be clear to any casual observer, namely, that the sphincter factor has increased considerably in just the last couple weeks with perhaps a much bigger increase in store since October is far from over.

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Art Cashin on the Selloff

Art Cashin, Director of floor operations at the NYSE for UBS, talks about yesterday’s huge stock sell-off following Wednesday’s fresh record highs. As is the case for most pundits, Cashin offers no clear reason for the change in market sentiment.

Cashin notes: “Rumor-mongers are out and about so viewers should be careful … it’s clearly rather heavy selling … there’s nothing narrow about this selloff.”

It’s worth pointing out that one phrase that was noticeably absent from the discussion of yesterday’s market action was “buy the dip”, though that appears to be happening today.

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