The Ghosts Of Crashes Past, Recent, And Future

The area in the yellow box below shows what happened less than two weeks after if I reiterated those strong warnings that things were about to go very bad:

Dow stealth bear market fulfilled 2014 stock market crash prediction

I wrote and published the article two weeks before the big dip that took us into the yellow box in the graph above — a time which the author who published this graph now refers to as “a stealth bear market.” I would later write that, as far as I was concerned, the events that happened that fall broke the spine of the bull market completely (the Trump rally that ended the period in the yellow box being an entirely new phenomenon built on a different basis of speculation). As with the author who published the graph, I disagree with those who say this has all been one long bull market of recovery.

I think I was right about that fall with the perspective one gets when looking back from a distance. If you took all your money out of the stock market at the start of that yellow box, you could have kept it out of the market for almost two years, and you would have missed nothing but a bumpy ride to nowhere. The bull clearly broke its back with that first big plunge in the fall of 2014, never to recover without massive intrusion by a new force in the market.

Technically, the S&P fell 19% by the time that break finished playing out, so it missed becoming an officially declared bear market by a mere nick; but I think it is clear the market broke … like a hurricane that misses being named a hurricane by just one mile per hour. It’s a naming technicality that doesn’t change how bad the storm was. At any rate, I had been smart enough to stop myself short of saying the market would “crash” or that total calamity would hit the economy and had predicted, instead, that a market downturn of major significance was about to happen. Clearly it did, so I got to keep writing my blog.

Note that the massive change this event brought to the market was ONLY reversed by the momentous election of Donald Trump and the ensuing Trump Rally. You can see the exact point that happened near the end of the yellow zone above. Without that event, the market would still be churning sideways; but I never said the change I was predicting in 2014 would be apocalyptic or that the market would stay down forever.

As noted then, I also had not predicted anything dire for quite some time prior to that. (I’m not a permabear, always predicting doom and gloom until it happens.) It took a new major historic event to upset the country and extract us out of that seemingly endless sideways bounce and crawl of the “stealth bear” that had begun right when I said the market would break.

The ghost of a Christmas crash most recent

The next time I predicted a major downturn in the market was not until December of 2015 when I also bet my blog on the prediction coming true, and this time I was even more specific. Just a few hours before the Fed raised interest rates for the first time since the official part of the Great Recession, I wrote the following prediction:

Let me share something counter-intuitive. Whether the Fed raises interest rates or not, this Wednesday is D-day for the Fed’s economic recovery because the Fed is Damned if it does and Damned if it doesn’t. I’ll certainly show you why, but the counterintuitive part is that you can expect the market to crash upward as it leaves Wonderland and returns to reality.

Maybe I am a contrarian to contrarians because while I have taken the contrarian view that the recovery is an illusion, most contrarians appear to believe the stock market will crash as soon as the Fed raises rates. I take a counterintuitive view as being most likely. The market will most likely soar, even though raising rates definitely will cause its demise. How is that possible?

Fear of the Fed’s first rate increase is already priced in as the expectation for Wednesday’s Fed meeting. If the Fed raises rates, I would expect a momentary pause — a gasp of uncertainty — as investors quickly look around to see if the sky falls. Then when it doesn’t fall, they will breath a huge sigh of relief and take that as proof that the contrarians or bears were wrong. In sudden euphoric lightness of being they’ll proclaim, “We’re all right! We made it! We survived the day we have been told to fear, and the sky didn’t fall.” Worry will give way easily to euphoria, which wants to happen. The feeling of nothing can stop us now will take the day. The Fed’s plan worked; things didn’t fall apart as the prophets of doom and gloom said. We are well on our way!

But what do you know about euphoria and human beings? In my experience, euphoria is more often divorced from reality than based upon it. It skews perception of reality, and usually comes in a manic-depressive wave. First you are washed over by the crest of euphoria and then you are sucked down into the trough of despair….

The economy doesn’t crash because the Fed ends its free interest. The economy is already sinking. What crashes is the illusion of recovery. December 16, 2015, is D-day because it’s the day when reality starts to sink in….

[The market] may bounce in euphoria over the simple relief that it didn’t immediately crash when the fuel tap was shut off, but that death spasm can’t last long with nothing left to lift prices up…. you will very soon be able to look back and see that this day, Wednesday, December 16, was the turning point. (“The Epocalypse: What Will D-Day Look Like?”)

View single page >> |

Disclosure: None.

How did you like this article? Let us know so we can better customize your reading experience. Users' ratings are only visible to themselves.

Comments

Leave a comment to automatically be entered into our contest to win a free Echo Show.