🔑 Key Takeaways
- The Put-Call Ratio is a tool used to measure market sentiment. A ratio above one suggests bearishness, making it a contrarian indicator for investors. It can help predict trend reversals and potential market bottoms.
- Take into consideration market metrics such as the put-call ratio, household consumer strength, economic indicators, and the Fed's balance sheet when making investment decisions. The reverse repo facility on the Fed's balance sheet can act as a release valve without decreasing interest rates. Don't overlook these metrics in making informed investment decisions.
- The Federal Reserve's reverse repo facility helps to control excess capital in the financial system by allowing banks to access collateral directly from the Fed at a higher rate, ultimately preventing interest rates from being pushed negative.
- The Federal Reserve's reverse repo facility has soaked up 2 trillion in cash, which could lead to an increase in government borrowing costs when the money leaves the facility. Banks will have to purchase bills and treasuries from the open market, reducing the government's purchasing power. This move may be a subtle tightening of the Fed's policies.
- As interest rates rise, lenders shift towards alternative debt. The repo facility may dwindle down as banks seek collateral through bills and treasuries. However, the Federal Reserve's expanded repo facility can offset deflationary pressures in the future.
- Though the US government may face challenges with paying bills in the next 10-15 years, it won't be a problem within the next 5 years unless interest rates see a huge increase. Zero interest rates could make borrowing easier, but dumping of US treasuries by the world could lead to a long-term problem for the US.
- The Federal Reserve's ownership of government debt creates a transfer of money, while discussions are ongoing about a top-down surveillance digital currency, with some preferring commodity-backed international currencies over a digital dollar.
- The introduction of CBDCs presents a potential challenge to the power of the dollar in international trade. Institutions like the Bank of International Settlements are working to create a new layer for SWIFT to maintain control over cross-border payments, but concerns about censorship and government control must be addressed.
- When implementing a CBDC, it is important to consider the potential for abuse of power by governments and the increased risk for fraudulent activity. Expansion of the money supply must be carefully monitored to prevent fraud and theft.
- Cryptocurrency frauds flourish due to the lack of regulation, causing institutional investors to stay out while retail investors flood in. The collapse of Ponzi schemes reveals a need for regulation, but overbearing regulations can crush real technological applications. Bitcoin survives as a result.
- Banking history is plagued with greed and instability leading to government intervention. Today, inflation risks arise from excessive printing of money not supported by wealth. SPF is a symptom of the larger Ponzi scheme in our financial system.
- Differentiating asset classes is crucial in the current economic climate. While most cryptocurrencies may not be reliable, some stocks could still endure. Moreover, households may experience significant economic pain over the following year due to over-leveragement.
- Despite concerns about debt and a real estate shortage, waiting for a market crash may not be wise for non-homeowners. Understanding the market and planning for future expenses is crucial.
- Don't wait for a housing market crash to buy a home. Invest in real estate now to take advantage of current prices, as interest rates can be refinanced but purchase prices are permanent. Focus on paying down debt before buying.
- Eliminate high-interest debt, especially credit card debt, before considering shorting the dollar with mortgages. Opt for fixed-rate mortgages to effectively short the dollar and check out Heresy Financial for educational resources.
📝 Podcast Summary
Understanding the Put-Call Ratio as a Contrarian Indicator in the Stock Market
The put-call ratio is an indicator that measures sentiment on the market by looking at the total number of puts and calls being traded. The higher the ratio above one, the more puts being traded, indicating the average retail investors are bearish. This is considered a contrarian indicator because by the time the masses have become the most bearish, most of the bad stuff is already baked into the cake. In light of everything else happening macroeconomically speaking, such as what the Federal Reserve is doing and what the inflation numbers are doing, it looks like a pretty strong contrarian indicator that the bottom might already be in with the stock market.
Understanding the importance of market metrics for investing decisions.
Market makers remain neutral while retail traders usually purchase puts, leading it to be considered a contrarian indicator. A high put-call ratio can suggest a reversal in the market, as it indicates the most amount of bearish activity. Other metrics to consider for investing decisions include household consumer strength, indicators of economic strength or weakness like the FedEx indicator, and the Fed's balance sheet, interest rates, and reverse repo facility. The $2 trillion in reverse repo on the Fed's balance sheet can serve as a release valve for economic conditions without having to lower interest rates. Asset prices have already priced in the pain of the overall economy, but further indicators suggest more pain ahead.
How the Reverse Repo Facility Helps Control Excess Capital in the Financial System
The repo market is where banks buy and sell collateral for overnight cash needs. The Federal Reserve steps in to prevent potential collapse in the financial system by creating cash to lend in the repo market. The reverse repo facility was opened to counteract excess capital resulting from the government spending trillions of dollars and giving rise to an overabundance of cash in the system. Banks have to go out and buy treasuries and T-bills to offset their liabilities, but the Fed didn't want interest rates to be pushed negative, so they opened up the reverse repo facility. Banks can access collateral directly from the Fed at a higher rate, which helps to soak up excess capital.
The Impact of the Reverse Repo Facility on Government Borrowing Costs
The Federal Reserve's reverse repo facility offers risk-free returns for banks who park their cash with the Fed, but the 2 trillion cash has soaked up from the system. When the money leaves the reverse FPA facility, the government's borrowing costs will go up. The Federal Reserve will drop the amount they're paying in that reverse repo facility when that gets too tight for the government. Banks will then have to take the cash and buy bills and treasuries from the open market, which will be a nice boost like a 2 trillion buffer that ends up hitting the government's purchasing power. This move may be an undercover first phase of the pivot, so people won't understand the mechanics of it, and it'll just be like the Fed is still tightening.
The Shift to Alternative Debt and the Future of the Repo Facility
As interest rates continue to rise, lenders may be more willing to invest in alternative forms of debt to gain higher returns. The reverse repo facility may start to dwindle down as banks seek collateral through bills or treasuries. The Federal Reserve has broadened access to their repo facility, demonstrating foresight for when institutions may eventually need it. While this tool may throw a wrench in the short term thesis of monetary debasement, it will eventually be used to offset deflationary pressures. The $2 trillion borrowed has not yet worked its way throughout the entire system, as it sits in deposits and money market accounts. Overall, there will likely be an offsetting of inflation and deflationary pressures, allowing the Federal Reserve to continue tightening until they need to start easing again.
US Government Debt and the Potential Future Challenges
The US government may face major issues of paying its bills in the next 10-15 years due to the high level of spending and debt, but it will not be a problem within the next 5 years unless interest rates rise substantially. Even with interest rates at 6%, the government could take 4-5 years to reach that point. However, if interest rates go back to zero, it will make borrowing easier for the government. Meanwhile, if the Federal Reserve can cause the rest of the world to dump US treasuries, it will become a long-term problem for the US.
The Connection Between Federal Reserve, Government Debt, and a Potential Digital Currency
The Federal Reserve's ownership of government debt means that the interest paid on that debt ultimately flows back to the federal government, making it essentially a transfer of money from one pocket to the other. Governments around the world are exploring the potential of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which would be fully programmable and controlled, allowing for top-down surveillance and control of the flow of resources in the economy. While some believe a digital dollar is necessary to compete with China's CBDC, others see the future in international currencies backed by a basket of commodities, rather than a single nation's currency.
The emergence of CBDCs and their impact on the global financial system
The CBDC is not seen as an immediate replacement for the dollar but technology presents more competition. The current system of using the dollar for international trade, especially through SWIFT, gives the US undue advantage over the global financial system. However, the fear is that other countries may soon trial or research their own central bank digital currencies, displacing the dollar. To maintain power, institutions like the Bank of International Settlements are designing a new layer for SWIFT to act as an in-between system for different CBDCs. The desire for control over cross-border payments, even censorship, is a concern as seen in the track record of government and anti-money laundering laws.
The Potential for Abuse with CBDC Implementation
The potential for abuse of power should be considered when looking at the implementation of a CBDC. Governments have historically abused the power they have been given and a CBDC represents even more potential power over the financial system. While Ethereum is an example of a powerful tool that has not been abused, the potential for abuse still exists. The recent chaos in the market and the crackdown on tokens by the SEC has created a perfect storm where individuals and organizations are looking for higher returns, which can lead to fraudulent activity. When expanding the money supply, it is important to consider the potential for fraud and theft to occur.
Lack of Regulation and Cryptocurrency Fraud
The lack of regulation in the cryptocurrency space has allowed frauds to flourish, such as the example of Nikola creating fake semi truck videos to attract investment. The absence of clear rules has caused institutional money to stay out of the market, while retail investors flooded in. Ponzi schemes and frauds built up during times of easy money and always collapse when inflation takes off. The collapse reveals them as frauds that cannot continue without new money. Once people lose their money and beg for regulation, the government will step in with overbearing regulations that will crush any real technological applications. Bitcoin, however, has passed the point where it can be legislated out of existence, making it a survivor among the 95-99% of cryptocurrencies that will likely be dead in five years.
The Evolution and Flaws of Banking and the Role of Governments in the Financial System
Historically, banks created paper receipts redeemable for gold at any time, but they printed more receipts than there was actual gold, causing a run on the bank. Governments centralized banking and nationalized it, but the boom and bust cycle continued and caused the Great Depression. Today, we don't have to worry about a bank run because there is no limitation on how much money can be printed, but inflation occurs when there is not enough wealth to back up printed money. Governments don't like competition, so they want to have a monopoly on running the money Ponzi themselves. The fall of SPF may go down as the face of the everything bubble, but it's only a small example of what has been going on in our traditional financial system, which is based on continued loaning out of assets.
Over-Leveraged Global Economy and Potential Deflationary Pressures
The global economy is over-leveraged, and there may be more pain to come. While the FTX collapse hasn't caused much contagion yet, there are signals of potential deflationary pressures coming down the pipeline. The money supply has stopped increasing, so prices may start going down and cause further selling. This means that households will likely experience a lot of economic pain over the next year, especially since American households are the most over-leveraged they've ever been. Therefore, it's necessary to differentiate between asset classes. While most cryptocurrencies may go to zero, some stocks may have more room to go down, but many have already priced in a lot of economic pain.
Managing Debt and Real Estate in the Current Market
The massive debt load and real estate market are major concerns. People end up defaulting on credit cards or falling short on mortgage payments, which causes big economic pain. The overall real estate market is controlled by just two indicators: the total number of housing units and the population. We are currently facing a shortage of houses, which means house prices continue to inflate. For people who don't currently own a home, waiting for the next crash may not be a smart move, as rents continue to increase while home prices also double or triple. It's important to understand the state of the market and plan accordingly.
Why Housing Prices Haven't Crashed Despite High Interest Rates
Housing prices in the current market should have crashed due to high interest rates, but they haven't. This may lead to deflation and the Fed backing off interest rate hikes. Those who are waiting for a housing market crash to buy a home may be locked out forever, as prices may start to go up again. It's better to have some skin in the game and buy a home with exposure to the real estate market. Interest rates are temporary and can be refinanced, whereas purchase price is permanent. However, it's important to focus on paying down debt before buying real estate, depending on the type of debt.
Shorting the Dollar with Mortgages: Fixed Rates vs. Adjustable Rates
Mortgages can be an effective way to short the dollar if you expect its value to go down. However, for effective shorting, it has to be a fixed-rate mortgage, as adjustable rate debt will increase interest rates to compensate for the loss of purchasing power due to inflation. This will only lead to more dollars owed, defeating the purpose of shorting the dollar. Therefore, it is important to get rid of adjustable debt, especially credit card debt, before investing or shorting the dollar. Once you've eliminated high-interest debt, you can consider shorting the dollar using mortgages. Heresy Financial, Joe Brown's platform, provides educational content and other resources on financial matters.