Friday, August 05, 2011

Following Herd, Fools Have Rushed to Stock Market Slaughter

In a Manipulated Market, The Only Winners Are The Manipulators

Despite the fact that US gross domestic product and consumer spending have been limping along all year, the stock market still rode to an unfathomable rally. The market managed to soar to pre-recession highs even as the economy remained in a tailspin.

This dichotomy makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Consumers are still de-leveraging and the flow of credit has slowed to a crawl.

The government's U-6 unemployment figure — the true jobless rate — now stands at a whopping 16.2%. Yet, the government admitted just two years ago that it had been systematically underestimating job losses for the previous three years. There is no reason to believe that anything has changed.

Additionally, one of the President's closest economic advisors, Austan Goolsbie, has noted that roughly 1% to 2% of our population's unemployed are simply unaccounted for on a monthly basis due to a variety of factors. And those who run out of unemployment benefits are no longer counted among the ranks of the unemployed.

However, according to the research of respected economist John Williams, more than one-in-five Americans (22.7%) is currently unemployed or underemployed.

The market hasn't even noticed.

After falling to 6,547 in March of 2009 (at the peak of the financial crisis), the Dow rapidly shot back above 10,000 in October of that year. None of the fundamentals had changed; the US was still reeling from the worst economic decline since the Great Depression.

Yet, that didn't make a bit of difference to the market. Wall St. seemed oblivious, overwhelmed by optimism and delusion.

In February of this year, as the economy was grappling with high unemployment, a decimated housing market, and oodles of other negative indicators, the Dow somehow managed to surpass 12,000. And it stayed there, virtually uninterrupted, until just this week.

A rational mind has to ask, How could this possibly happen?

It's the result of a herd mentality, not fundamentals. Investors were bidding up the stock market in a delirious frenzy, hoping to recoup previous losses. Many hoped to enrich themselves, buying at what was perceived as an opportune time. And when everyone else is buying, and seemingly making money, the herd will always follow.

Simply put, lots of new money was flowing into the stock market and pushing up the average, much of it the result of the Fed's quantitative easing program. This influx of funds clearly wasn't the result of any sort of recovery, which is now more evident than ever. Consequently, lots of people have gotten burned and still more will suffer the same fate.

The relatively strong earnings reports that previously lifted the markets were the result of cost-cutting and layoffs, not strong revenue growth. And that's been putting even more downward pressure on jobs and wages, resulting in weaker economic growth and lingering recessionary effects.

Ultimately, the merry-go-round will end up right back where it started.

Wall St. is a pretty poor barometer of the economy's health, since it is simply a bet on the future performance of a select group of companies listed on three major stock exchanges.

Additionally, the majority of the country doesn't have any direct investments in the stock market.

Unquestionably, the market does not reflect the personal finances of the masses or how they are faring in their day-to-day lives.

Yet, despite the litany of negative indicators, the fools continued to rush in — quite enthusiastically.

But the institutional investors, the real market movers, have already taken their profits and pulled the escape lever. The herd tried to follow, but obviously not all of them were able to squeeze through the emergency exit at the same time.

The fallout isn't over yet; not by a long shot. There will be a bloodbath.

By some estimates, "high frequency trading" is responsible for close to 70% of all volume in US markets. Wall St. computers can track hot stocks and immediately buy up all available shares, subsequently selling them at higher prices. Millions of shares can also be dumped in just milli-seconds.

Retail investors don't stand a chance. They are the mercy of the Wall St. market-makers.

The reality is that markets are manipulated. Sadly, a very heavy price has been, and will continue to be, paid because of this. Billions of dollars will be lost, yet again.


  1. Anonymous2:19 PM

    Rigged Market Capitalism. What is coming next will be even worse...eventually...the system will gorge itself to death. Or said another way...the parasite will die when it kills its host. maybe we can rebuild our country on the burning rubble left behind by the political, military, media, financial and energy elites. I hope we see them all hang.

  2. Anonymous11:28 AM

    Wrong again Mr. Kennedy...its Monday after the ratings downgrade and the markets are STILL RISING because America is NUMBER 1!!! you have any money I can borrow? Have a nice day.