A few people (very few) have been trying to get me to stop writing this blog because they believe I’m just another permabear who always predicts the “end of the world” and perpetually moves his date forward. (And I’d hate to be that kind of guy.) I recognize that they are just crows on a wire — otherwise known on the internet as “trolls” — who can easily caw at everything that walks by because they are out of reach and so have nothing to lose. (As in we don’t even know who they really are.) They can simply fly off if they are wrong and never be heard from again or change their name and keep visiting here and posting other negative comments. Typically, trolls just move on to the next person they hope to offend because that is their constant game.
Nevertheless, I offered a serious bet that they are wrong about my being wrong and that I’d apologize publicly if I am wrong. I have even said that, if I am wrong by very much, I will probably even stop writing this blog. They could still prove right, and we’ll know if they are very soon; for their claim is that the market will continue to soar to greater heights.
In spite of the past couple of weeks of troubling market news, one of them is crowing already about how I should concede because I said I would apologize if my predictions of a failing global economy and failing US stock market didn’t come about by “early summer.” I say they are coming true, and you can read my take on how the early summer ended in an article I just published called, “Icarus Flies, but FAANGs Fall from the Gaping Maw of US Stock Market – And My Blog is Still Here.”
You can read the crow’s comments there, too, but I’m going to repost them here because I entertain this minute murder of crows for a reason. I am using them as a foil. They are proof of how some people cannot see the end even when it is pointed out to them … and because, if I am wrong about so much, it is good for me to eat crow myself. I think, however, they will wind up proving themselves cannibals and having to eat themselves; but we’ll see who eats crow. I am upping the stakes just by writing this.
The three crows are probably, in fact, all one person, as they write with an identical style and with the same exact claims, and that is typical of trolls to hide behind pseudonyms. (I use a pseudonym for fun, Knave Dave, but I don’t hide behind it. My real name is readily easy to find for all who want to see it.) The one crow who has just done his taunting responded to that article with this complaint:
trublu97 also posted the following:
To his cawing, I offer the following response:
This crow writes in the same exact style as another commenter here who goes by the name “Richard French.” I’m going to use that name to speak for them all since they all three write the same things the same way. He’ll be the namesake of this small blackened flock as trublu97 isn’t much of a name.
Here is my response:
Early summer is over, but before it ended, two out of the five FAANGs crashed, and two more out of the five FAANGs did remarkably poorly for how good their reports were. Whether that is the start of the next big leg down that I said would happen in the early part of summer, no one can say right now. If nothing like that had happened, my bet would be over and I would have lost; but that’s a major event.
I’m not going to take a victory lap on that, but it is far from proving me wrong, too. As the article clearly states, that major event means the jury is going to have to deliberate a little, while we wait to see how this plays out. Nevertheless, I will honor my bet in the manner described below while we wait for the jury to make a decision. (The jury being simply the market itself — which way it goes from here — a non-partisan in deciding this bet.)
The FAANG fallout was so major that only one stock is now really leading the market up. As that stock’s report (Apple’s) was by far the best in its history and as Apple just became the nation’s first trillion-dollar company as a result, it is more than a little telling (in my never-so-humble opinion) that its stellar news only gave a three-day boost to the market. Each day was much weaker than the day before with the last of the three looking like the market (as in all indexes) was going to go down that day (Friday), but the market managed to end the day just barely above flat. So, even that boost from the biggest company’s greatest quarter appears to have rounded off to nothing within the week of their report.
The breakdown of the FAANGs is clearly (as acknowledged by several well-respected and often bullish analysts above) the most significant change in market’s dynamics that could happen in the US market because throughout most of the “recovery” period the FAANGs were broadly recognized (by bulls and bears) as being the only stocks taking the market up, and four of the five bull stocks died (as uphill leaders not as companies) during the last few days of “early summer.” With all of the FAANGs’ reports now in and almost all other reporting in, the question that remains is whether this crash of the all-important FAANG leaders is the next leg down in an overall market crash or if they bounce back.
So, what I’m going to do to honor my bet is this: I’m going to hit the pause button on article writing while we wait for the jury to come in. If the market takes another major leg down from right here, I’ll declare I was right: the second leg down of an extensive market crash began at the end of early summer, just as the first one began at the end of January when I said it would.
As for my use of the word “extensive,” I have always maintained that the market would not likely fall between January and “early summer” — that the next drop would not happen until now but that it definitely would happen NOW. I’ve said repeatedly that the market will most likely wait to drop until after the Fed’s next increase in its rate of unwind, which happened when they closed their books at the end of July.
If the market recovers from the all-out crash of one FAANG (that put the “F” in FAANG), the deep fallout of another FAANG (Netflix), and the down performance of two more, I’ll say I was wrong and will discontinue writing the blog because I haven’t the stomach to just endlessly dog this failing economy anyway.
If it trundles along sideways, I’ll just keep waiting it out on pause to see which way the market decides to go. (I’m not talking about any one-day blip here in EITHER direction (unless the one-day or few-day move is massive) as being a deciding factor, but enough days in either direction to establish a reasonable trend line.)
It, however, looks to me like I’m right! The crush of the FAANGs is quite simply the biggest negative transformation in the market’s functioning that we’ve seen throughout the entire so-called “recovery” period. The FAANGs are where all the positive action has been, and now they are (with the exception of Apple) where all the negative action is. That happened with great alacrity right at the time when I thought the market would turn.
So, at this point, I think it is going to prove out that I was right, and that the market rollover that several major institutions like Morgan Stanley have asserted is happening right now will turn out to be the start of another major leg down for the market as Morgan Stanley, Nomura and some others are now saying. Even if money rolls over to other sectors of the market, it will result in a significant market loss because none of those sectors can replace the fantasy thrust the FAANGs have given. They don’t have that kind of narrative power. They are just boring utilities, etc.
There is something else I want to make clear here because you (trublu97) seem to be deliberately missing the point every time I say it: I have ALWAYS said that this market crash will take YEARS to play out, not weeks or months — that every fall like the one in January will see rises after it with falls further down — that the market would break in January and is going to go on a long and very bumpy ride down from there to wherever its true bottom lies. So, I won’t let you hold me to a different standard than what I’ve claimed.
(I think, but have not bet nor even predicted, that it will go down about 60% in the Dow, and I think it will take a couple of years to find that bottom if the Fed doesn’t prop things up and longer if it does, which will the Fed will do with less success than before if it does try to intervene.)
Now, Richard, what are you going to put on the table? The NASDAQ you were crowing about a week ago looks pretty bleak, and the property market, where you claimed I was wrong and had no experience, is looking RAPIDLY worse by the day. (Something I believe in so much that I’ve put mine on the market to capture the gain at the market’s peak.)
Looks to me like you’re on the downside of the bet. You need to have some skin in the game, instead of just playing the lazy game of troll. So far, you’ve refused my requests for you to put something at stake, yourself. I’ve got almost six years of writing this blog that I’ve put on the line, while you’ve risked nothing; so I’m going to put you on the stake, and here is how I will do that.
Because the market is at a tipping point where it has not decided where it is going but has made a major change technically in my direction, I’ll honor my bet by going as far as stopping in my article writing while we wait. I won’t publish any here or on any other site. But I’m going to venture something about weasels that “I already know” here, too: If you’re wrong, like a true troll, you’ll just faint away and disappear. You won’t give a tenth the apology that you demand I give if I am wrong. You are only a troll who has cowered away from putting anything on the line, and you will cower away from any apology as serious as the one you are demanding if I am wrong. (And I do this to show what the limited opposition is really made of.)
Therefore, since you’ve failed to step up, I’ll put this on the table for you: if YOU are wrong, and the market does go down another major drop from the present “moment” at which it hinges, your name (Richard French) will become a byword on this site by which we all can describe the clowns who cannot see the crash when it is happening right under their feet even after someone points it out to them.
Fair enough? It’s a reasonable cost for a critic — to have his own reputation as a self-appointed critic on the line if he is wrong where he has criticized others. You get to put your nothing reputation at stake now, just as my real reputation (built over five years here) is at stake. We may even sometimes use the nickname “Frenchies” or “Rich Frenchies” in your honor to describe the morons who cannot see the cracks in the earth that are opening up under their own feet but stand around and crow about how great things are … if you prove to be outstandingly and embarrassingly wrong. (Of course, that still really costs you nothing as no one knows who you really are.)
As for your definition of “apocalypse,” you can’t even get that right. It means “a revelation.” However, because a book that describes the end of the world as we now know it was titled The Apocalypse, the word has come to be associated with end-time kinds of events. But let me point out that even the global “holocaust,” to use the word you are reaching for, that is described in The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, to use the full title, does not happen in a day or a week or a month. It plays out over several YEARS.
I’m not talking about that kind of “apocalypse” (end of the world) but just the end of the financial world and its economy as we know it (which, incidentally, does make a perfect set-up for the kind of financial picture given by John, the writer of The Revelation of Jesus Christ, to use its fully translated title, as a part of those final days).
I did not coin the word “Epocalypse” in order to talk about earth’s final days, however, just the final days of earth’s dollar-based financial system as we now know it and the crash of its current Americocentric, dollar-based economy. I’ve been writing my revelation about how the modern economy ends. I do not come about it divinely or by reading tea leaves but by seeing — without economic denial or political bias (either Republican or Democrat) getting in my way — where the trends are clearly headed and where true economic fundamentals will take the practices that are currently being employed; and I am betting on the strength of true economic fundamentals (reality) to intervene now and begin once again to rule the day.
As is the case in that greater Revelation, this will all take years to fully play out. I’m guessing one-and-a-half to two on the short side, but it could take much longer. No predictions as to how long it takes, but I’ve never said it will be a fait accompli by the start of summer or even by summer’s end. What I have said will start by early summer is the market’s next major leg down and the obvious crumbling of the entire global economy.
I’d say the latter is already pretty obvious to most people as the chorus of “global synchronized growth” that permabulls were crowing about at the start of the year, has grown silent all over the world. And now we wait with crow-baited breath to see what the market is currently doing. Is it rolling over or just playing with us? (And, to be abundantly clear again, by “crumbling,” I mean the obvious start of crumbling. I’ve said many times, landslides often happen by slowly sluffing away or by one big chunk sliding and then another chunk half a year later; but this mountain is going to move, and that is already becoming quite evident.)
So, while we wait, my article publishing (in order to show I am honorable in my bets) goes on hold (and I welcome the comments pro and con of others here on that matter).