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Persistent High Volatility

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Photo Credit: picme1983 || Imagine a hurricane that never stops entirely

This should be a short post. When valuations are high, volatility is typically high as well. When interest rates are low, volatility also is high. Why? A situation has been set up by the functional equivalent of the “Wizard of Oz” where small changes to interest rates or economic activity will have big impact on stock prices.

And so I am telling you, be ready for whippy markets. The sorcerer’s apprentices at the Fed, gamely trying to cover for their bosses (Congress) who have no coherent idea of what to do, will keep short-term, high-quality interest rates low.

And that’s fine, not, as even the slightest variation in wording will make economic agents jumpy. When markets are priced to perfection, even the slightest breeze makes the branches at the top of the tree move hard.

My advice to you is simple. Run a balanced portfolio, and resist the trends. Buy low, sell high. Sell to the greedy, and buy from those who panic.

Final note: as far as economics goes, there is very little difference between the red and blue parties. The purple party controls DC, and all they do is run huge deficits and ask the Fed to monetize them via expanding bank credit. Would that we could vote them all out of office, balance the budget on an accrual basis, and link the dollar to gold.

We are going to have some significant disaster out of the current policy, but I can’t tell what kind of disaster will come. They expected inflation in the Great Depression, and got deflation, as the rich were able to protect their interests. That may happen this time as well. Don’t be too certain that we will get inflation.


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