How well do you remember the financial crash of 2008? Did you know that stocks began falling right at this time of the year prior to the last financial crisis? Traditionally, the period from May through October has been a time of weakness for stocks. On average stocks hit their lowest point of the year on October 27th. Most people don’t remember this, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average actually began plunging right at this time of the year just prior to the financial crisis of 2008. Most people do remember the huge stock crash that happened in the fall of that year, but the market actually started to slide in May. Throughout the first four and a half months of 2008, stocks moved up and down in a fairly narrow range, and on May 19th 2008, the Dow closed at a peak of 13,028.16. From there it was all downhill for the rest of the year. Just checking the Dow right now and the Dow peaked at 18,312.39 on May 19th 2015. On the 8th June 2015 the Dow has fallen to 17,766.55 a fall of 545.84 (2.98%).
The VIX (which is a closely watched measure of market volatility) has just jumped by the highest percentage we have seen so far in 2015. A rising volatility is not a good sign. The US dollar index is surging once again. We just witnessed the largest seven day rise in the US dollar index since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Based solely on history, this is another indication that trouble is ahead.
US exports have fallen for four months in a row, when exports start going negative for a few months it is warning that we may be entering a recession.
September 13th 2015 – The Feast of Trumpets, end of the Shemitah year, the 29 of Elul
September 25th 2015 – UN Agenda signed, Pope visits NY
September 28th 2015 – Blood Moon
The first day of Shemitah was September 25th 2014. In two weeks the market lost 735 points. The the Shemitah year ends on September 13th 2015. Why compare the end of this Shemitah cycle with the end of the last one? The answer is to be able to learn from it. Looking back, there were so many warning signs leading up to the financial crisis of 2008, but most people totally missed them. Now, many of those same signs are appearing again and they are still being missed. Please realize that the global financial system is in far worse shape than it was in 2008. Debt levels all over the world have exploded over the past seven years. From the last recession, in the United States, our national debt has doubled (9 to 18 trillion dollars). At this point it is mathematically impossible to pay it off. Experts say we are in the midst of the greatest stock market bubble of all time, the greatest bond bubble of all time and the greatest derivatives bubble of all time.
All over the planet, large banks are massively overexposed to derivatives contracts. When this derivatives bubble finally bursts, there won’t be enough money in the world to bail everyone out. The key to making sure all of this does not start collapsing is for interest rates to remain stable. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that the Federal Reserve should hold off raising rates until at least 2016. However, the problem is what is happening in Greece.
After years of intervention by the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF) what is happening in Greece is a clear sign to the financial world that no nation in Europe is truly safe. Greece has just put back repayment of its loans until the end of the month. Greeks have been pulling their money out of the banks so the banks’ assets have dropped and liabilities ratios have increased. In April, private sector deposit outflows amounted to approximately 5 billion euros. The question is could people in the USA lose confidence in the banks and start pulling their money. This would put tremendous pressure on banks here and they are already hanging on a thread. Capital controls are now being brought in across Europe limiting the amount of money someone can withdraw at one time. If the Greek government were to default on their loans, the Greek banks surely could no longer be assumed to be solvent. They are holding large amounts of Greek government debt and have been financial a lot of the government’s stop-gap issuance of short-term bills. The ECB would clearly overstep its bounds if it were to continue to raise the ELA ceiling after a Greek default. If the ECB stops funding the Greek banks via this mechanism, a further acceleration in the ongoing bank run has to be expected. It is possible that Bond yields will start spiking in Italy, Spain, Portugal or Ireland and all over the rest of the continent. By the end of it, we could be faced with the greatest interest rate derivatives crisis we have ever seen.
As we have seen the payment due on 5th June 2015 didn’t happen. Three further payments in June 2015 have been postponed until the end of June. The Greek interior minister explained during a television interview “The money won’t be given – it isn’t there to be given”. If Greece is allowed to fail, it would tell bond investors that their money is not truly safe anywhere in Europe and bond yields will spike. If interest rates start spiking this could create serious problems in the financial world. It isn’t going to take much to topple the current financial order. We’re looking at 2008 multiplied by a hurricane. Once one domino falls, the rest will topple quickly behind it.
It may not be Greek debt default that starts the domino effect that will circle the financial markets of the globe. It may be interest rate increases or the bankruptcy of another bank. They will try and hold it together that little bit longer, but eventually the house of cards will fall. What are you going to do when this happens?