by Dave Kranzler, Investment Research Dynamics:
If the “risk on/risk off” stock market meme was absurd, its derivative – the “trade war on/trade war off” meme – is idiotic. Over the last several weeks, the stock market has gyrated around media sound bytes, typically dropped by Trump, Larry Kudlow or China, which are suggestive of the degree to which Trump and China are willing to negotiate a trade war settlement.
Please do not make the mistake of believing that the fate the of the stock market hinges on whether or not Trump and China reach some type of trade deal. The “trade war” is a “symptom” of an insanely overvalued stock market resting on a foundation of collapsing economic and financial fundamentals. The trade war is the stock market’s “assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.”
Trump’s Dilemma – The dollar index has been rising since Trump began his war on trade. But right now it’s at the same 97 index level as when Trump was elected. Recall that Trump’s administration pushed down the dollar from 97 to 88 to stimulate exports. After Trump was elected, gold was pushed down to $1160. It then ran to as high as $1360 – a key technical breakout level – by late April. In the meantime, since Trump’s trade war began, the U.S. trade deficit has soared to a record level.
If Trump wants to “win” the trade war, he needs to push the dollar a lot lower. This in turn will send the price of gold soaring. This means that the western Central Banks/BIS will have to live with a rising price gold, something I’m not sure they’re prepared accept – especially considering the massive paper derivative short position in gold held by the large bullion banks. This could set up an interesting behind-the-scenes clash between Trump and the western banking elitists.
I’ve labeled this, “Trump’s Dilemma.” As anyone who has ever taken a basic college level economics course knows, the Law of Economics imposes trade-offs on the decision-making process (remember the “guns and butter” example?). The dilemma here is either a rising trade deficit for the foreseeable future or a much higher price of gold. Ultimately, the U.S. debt problem will unavoidably pull the plug on the dollar. Ray Dalio believes it’s a “within 2 years” issue. I believe it’s a “within 12 months” issue.
Irrespective of the trade war, the dollar index level, interest rates and the price of gold, the stock market is headed much lower. This is because, notwithstanding the incessant propaganda which purports a “booming economy,” the economy is starting to collapse. The housing stocks foreshadow this, just like they did in 2005-2006:
The symmetry in the homebuilder stocks between mid-2005 to mid-2006 and now is stunning as is the symmetry in the nature of the underlying systemic economic and financial problems percolating – only this time it’s worse…