Weekend Gold Forecast - Sunday, Jan. 3

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I’ve grown a little bearish over the near-term, given the excessive bullishness I see in options buying and retail trading. High flyers like Tesla and Bitcoin are not driven by fundamentals, but by speculation and excess liquidity. This extreme risk-taking leaves the markets vulnerable to a sharp correction, in my opinion.

It seems most of the “good news” is already baked into the markets. Governments passed more stimulus, and vaccines are making their way across the globe. Stocks are at new all-time highs and there’s talk about a repeat of the roaring 20s. However, what’s happening in the real economy is entirely different. I don’t think we will understand the depth of this divide until next year. Below are some “potential hazards” I see going into next year. 

EVICTIONS AND FORECLOSURES: 

According to a recent survey by the US Census Bureau, of the estimated 17 million adults who are not current on their rent or mortgage payments, 33% could face eviction or foreclosure in the coming months. 

Eventually, moratoriums will be lifted, and people will need to start paying rent. By the end of next year, I expect to see foreclosures popping up in some cities. Increased housing inventory could lead to lower prices and perhaps a housing glut. Rural housing should do better as people migrate out of cities to safer and more spacious arrangements. 

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

How many restaurants, shops, malls, hotels, etc., won’t reopen in 2021? How many office buildings will remain vacant as employees work from home? How many commercial leases won’t be renewed? How many tenants walked away from their facility/business, never to return? Eventually, this could lead to a massive restructuring of commercial assets and could take years to unwind. 

LOST TAX REVENUE

 The long-term tax outlook for major cities is bleak. As employees work from home, they will no longer commute into the city. Tax revenues could plunge as companies and residents flee high tax states. Municipalities will be forced to raise taxes or slash services (probably both). Consequently, the exodus from states like California to low tax states like Texas will only make matters worse.

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