Why I’m sending a Crash Alert now

Where is that old-and-tattered “Crash Alert” flag?

Many times since the start of the rally in U.S. stocks in 2009, we hoisted it. And many times has it failed to give us a useful signal.


$20 Oil?

The falling price of crude oil was first thought to be a good thing. Consumers could spend less on gasoline. But a 60% drop in the price of the world’s most important commodity can’t happen without major disruptions.

A lot of investment decisions had been based on oil selling for over $75 a barrel. Now that it’s trading at about $50 a barrel, there’s $25 missing from every barrel sold.


Invasion of the “Zombie Crazies”

report released last week told us that one out of every three people on Social Security’s disability program is a mental defective. In Washington, DC, the rate of nuttiness among the disabled is even higher – 42%. No surprise there.


How Cheap Oil Could Wreck the Economy

Since the crisis of 2008-09 about one-third of capital spending by S&P 500 companies went into energy. And as much as 20% of the high-yield market (junk) now is concentrated in the energy sector.

That boom was built on low interest rates and a high oil price. Without cheap money, cheap gas wouldn’t be possible. And when gas gets too cheap, the cheap money suddenly gets very dear.


Don’t Bet on $70 Oil Lasting Long

Outside of the big oil exporting countries and the US shale-oil business this big drop in prices is widely seen as good news.

Consumers fill their tanks at lower gas prices and have a few bucks left over – money that can be used to buy things. According to the current and conventional delusions of the economic profession, this leads to sustained higher economic growth, more jobs and a cure for impotence.


Puttin’ the Hurtin’ on Gold Miners

The yellow metal lost nearly 1.8% of its value on Friday. And the big precious-metals miner stocks ETF, GDX, plummeted 8.7%.

Meanwhile, Thanksgiving was a success in the Bonner household. In Maryland, tobacco barns are falling down faster than World War II veterans. Your correspondent had planned to try to rescue one of them – using the strong backs of his sons, two of their friends visiting from France and our regular weekend helper, Fernando from Honduras.