Encana -OIl and Natural Gas – Prayer Is Not A Strategy : Get Out

Too little , too late

The company will outspend cash flow next year, with its cash flow of $1 billion to $1.2 billion reflecting a cash shortfall of $550 million, based on U.S. crude prices of US$50 per barrel and US$2.75 natural gas prices.

Our position: Analysts and the company executives are sleep walking past the graveyard.

Encana Corp slashes dividend and cuts capital spending

  • from Tuesday Financial Post

Encana Corp. is planning to “reset” its dividend next year as it adjusts to a protracted downturn that has seen oil prices decline to a six year-low.

The Calgary-based company said it is cutting its dividend by 79 per cent to six cents from 28 cents. The company’s stock tumbled more than eight per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.

“This reset better aligns our dividend with our cash flow or balance sheet and recognizes the very high quality investment options in our portfolio,” CEO Doug Suttles told analysts during a conference call outlining the company’s 2016 capital program.

Canada’s oil and gas sector is in the middle of an austerity drive, as one of the world’s highest-cost jurisdictions comes to terms with prices that have dipped below US$35 per barrel and have lost more than 50 per cent of their value in the space of a year.

The industry has lost 35,000 jobs since OPEC members started driving down prices by raising output in a bid to squeeze out high cost-producers in November 2014.

Canadian companies have responded by reducing headcounts, shelving projects, reining in capital expenditure and cutting dividends to protect their balance sheets — and there may be little respite in the new year.

Encana plans to cut its capital spending by 27 per cent next year to between US$1.5 billion to US$1.7 billion, with half the budget allocated to its Permian basin straddling Texas and New Mexico.

Indeed, the company plans to raise investment in its Permian operations to around $800 million from $700 million a year earlier, but will throttle back in Eagle Ford, and in the Canadian shale plays of the Duvernay and Montney, as it focuses on the most cost-effective play in its portfolio.

While the capital budget was in line with expectations, both total production and liquids production fell short of expectations, which will likely see our cash flow estimates come down with leverage increasing further,” wrote Kyle Preston, an analyst with National Bank Financial Inc. The analyst sees the company’s announcement as “negative,” and cut its price target to US$8 from US$10.

The company will outspend cash flow next year, with its cash flow of $1 billion to $1.2 billion reflecting a cash shortfall of $550 million, based on U.S. crude prices of US$50 per barrel and US$2.75 natural gas prices.

“While we do not see any near-term risk of breaching any debt covenants, we believe the budget may have to be revised down again if commodity prices remain at or near current levels for an extended period,” Preston said.

NONSENSE_ look where prices are – don’t base analysis on dreams:

Crude Oil & Natural Gas

INDEX UNITS PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE CONTRACT TIME ET 2 DAY
USD/bbl. 35.71 -1.64 -4.39% JAN 16 11:25:36
USD/bbl. 37.14 -1.31 -3.41% JAN 16 11:24:40
JPY/kl 28,540.00 -870.00 -2.96% MAY 16 11:26:00
USD/MMBtu 1.79 -0.03 -1.70% JAN 16 11:25:41

Read More on The Sector Sea Change at http://www.youroffshoremoney.com

 

Christine Till's photo.
UPDATE:

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed a growing glut, with crude inventories up 4.8 million barrels last week. Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a decrease of 1.4 million barrels.

“Only the staunchest contrarian could derive anything bullish out of that report,” said Peter Donovan, broker at Liquidity Energy in New York.

“The actual numbers were more bearish than all expectations, as well as more bearish than the API report released last night,” he said.

Financial Planning 2016 – because you waited too long for Tax Haven Planning In 2015

The  Steps to  Your Offshore Success  :What Is Your Tax Plan for 2016

 

First Step : Identify your Goals – Why Go Offshore?

WHY GO OFFSHORE?

The motivations for individuals and corporations to utilize offshore planning and offshore companies include the desire to:

Reduce tax

Protect assets

Manage risk

Maintain privacy

Avoid bureaucracy

Reduce costs

Enhance assets

THE BENEFITS OFFERED BY OFFSHORE COMPANIES

 

More specifically, the reasons for going offshore and utilizing offshore

companies for tax planning and offshore business include:

Free remittance of profits and capital

Access to top-rated debt history jurisdictions

Access to tax treaties

Security of property rights

Accessing low cost areas

Banking privacy

Reduced taxation

The search for political stability

Your Investment Portfolio

Investment holding / wealth management

Professional services or consultancy

Patent, royalty and copyright – isolating payments to a no or low cost

jurisdiction

Personal and corporate tax planning

Step 2

Offshore Banking

Jack A. Bass and Associates has specialist expertise and knowledge of the

ever varying account opening and maintenance requirements of a wide variety

of reputable international and offshore banks.

Potential clients must understand that opening an offshore bank account is

not a simple matter and can be time consuming. Some offshore and

international banks may take longer than one month to open an offshore bank

account from receipt of a completed bank account opening package.

Consequently potential clients are encouraged to ensure that they provide

us with a complete picture of themselves and their intended business

activity.

Step 3

Asset Protection

The unexpected protective consequence of the LP structure is actually

what gave birth to Asset Protection. What the banks found out was that the

Limited Partners were unable to force distributions to pay their other

obligations. The big news was that neither were the banks, even when they

had valid judgments! They were only allowed the wimpy remedy of a “charging

order.” The net effect was that the banks were happy to settle for much

less than owed, rather than wait it out for an indefinite period with

General Partners that were friendly to their investor debtors, not to the

banks.

This was the birth of asset protection planning. Many of those investors

happened to be doctors. If it worked for banks, why wouldn’t it work for

malpractice suits or employee lawsuits? The answer was that it did!

Thus was born a new field of law: Asset Protection. Since the Limited

Partnership (LP) worked so well during the real estate crash, it became the

base of the new planning. However, instead of many different investors as

Limited Partners, the new Asset Protection planning used only the immediate

family members. Thus the LP became known as the Family Limited Partnership

(FLP).

Today, there are over two-dozen foreign jurisdictions that have enacted

specific asset protection legislation, including: The Bahamas, Belize, Cook

Islands, Bermuda, Nevis, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Gibralter and the Turks &

Caicos Islands, to name just a few.

The Gold Standard is The Cook Islands Trust – note an asset protection trust is NOT a tax reduction plan – you still are responsible to pay taxes on the trust assets.

If you are serious about preserving your wealth, the  Asset Protection Trust is the most serious, well-thought out plan ever devised.

I cannot encourage you enough to take the time to educate yourself about the options available to you and how you can truly protect what you have worked so hard to create.

NEED ADVICE? The MAGIC Bullet Steps of Offshore Success

Your Goals –Combined With Guide Our Expertise

If you’ve found your way to this page, chances are strong that you’re a

value creator and want to keep more of the money you get as a result of

creating value. You can only rely on yourself – you cannot rely on a

government agency for your financial future.

We’ve Done All the Research

We’ve done all the research and conveniently gathered all U.S. and

International regulations pertaining to Asset Protection,Tax Havens, Tax

Planning,Offshore Banking , Information Technology, Physical Security,

Records Management, Privacy, and Third Party Invoicing into one place

An overview of our assistance with your goals:

There are dozens of jurisdictions, such as Luxembourg, Hong Kong,

Singapore and the British Virgin Islands that offer a great business

environment with fully legal tax benefits.We have to match your goals to

the right jurisdictions.

The Magic Bullet Step Number 1

The most important thing that you MUST do is seek advice from qualified

advisor – Jack A. Bass, B.A. LL.B. (someone who understands international

tax jurisdictions and tax law) . Your advisor must understand the benefits

of particular offshore jurisdictions. It is your responsibility to take

action.

In most jurisdictions you can set up your offshore company in as little as

a few weeks. We most often start the process with registering a company

name and sending in the right documentation and supporting documents for

the incorporation and a bank account(s) or merchant account for you and

your business. All of this can be conducted by internet on in rare cases we

will attend in person – for you.

The Magic Bullet Step Number 2

Specific Action – Move Your Assets To A Low / No Tax Jurisdiction

The key is in the planning and design. Clearly the most tested and solid

plans begin with an offshore jurisdiction.

Second to jurisdiction is the structure of your accounts – incorporation,

design, layering and bank accounts.

The Magic Bullet Step 3

Thirdly (more important for some clients than others) is what we call the

Asset Protection via Limited Partnership or Trust. This tool creates the

initial legal barrier between you and your money and whoever may want to

get at it. It is designed to hold “Safe Assets,” such as Stocks, Bonds,

Mutual Funds, Notes Receivable and other Liquid Assets. The LP may also own

membership interests in Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) that may have

been created to hold “Risky Assets” such as real estate, income producing

properties, boats, airplanes, etc. Once these risky assets have been

sanitized by placing them in an LLC, you can now safely hold those

interests. Importantly, LLC owners like the shareholders of a corporation

generally cannot be held liable for the acts of an LLC.

 

Contact Information:

To learn more about offshore company formation and structure your business

interests overseas ( again- at no cost or obligation)

Email info@jackbassteam.com

all email answered within 24 hours

or

call Jack direct at 604-858-3202 for a  one  half hour no fee consultation.

10:00 – 4:00 Monday to Friday ( same time zone as Los Angeles).

A business based overseas, coupled with an offshore bank account, is the perfect medium to build your wealth in a low tax jurisdiction. YOU CAN DO THIS and Jack A. Bass can help !

IF YOU WANT SOME HELP ON LOWERING YOUR TAX BURDEN  there is no cost or obligation to enquire and there is no benefit to inaction.

VIDEO

VideoJB offshore.mp4  The First Rule Is Safety

 

Linkedin  John Bass

Kinder Morgan ( KMI) / Shipping Sector/ Natural Gas – Why Chase Stocks Down ? – plenty of reasons to watch and wait

There was a recent video / interview of Jim Cramer saying his industry sector guru called $ 20.00 as the bottom but Cramer saw the stock in free fall and just did not know.

 

Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI)

Analysts have been split on whether Kinder Morgan’s dividends are sustainable as the pipeline industry’s ability to tap equity and debt markets to finance growth dimmed. The company’s stock has slumped 27 percent this week to $17.47 as of 12:34 p.m. in New York. Moody’s Investors Service warned on Tuesday that Kinder Morgan’s bonds were on the verge of tipping into junk.

“Dividend growth is unrealistic,” Vivek Pal, a managing director at Jefferies LLC in New York, said in a note to clients before the announcement. The company needs a 50 percent dividend cut to avoid being downgraded to junk, he said.

Prior to today’s announcement, Kinder Morgan had been expected to lift its 2016 dividend to $2.14, according to Bloomberg Dividend Forecasts. Companies across the oil and gas industry have been slashing or freezing dividends to conserve cash as plunging energy prices choked off money needed to drill wells, pay debts and purchase drilling rights.

Transocean Ltd., Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Linn Energy LLC are among those whose investors have seen payouts halted amid the crunch that began 18 months ago. Kinder Morgan’s $40 billion-plus debt burden exceeds the economic output of entire nations, including Bolivia and Bahrain.

We have no oil / gas stocks in the managed accounts.Braggin ‘ Rights – out of Chesapeake at $22

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK)

We have no shipping stocks – Summary from Seeking Alpha

Dry bulk shipping unlikely to recover before 2017, consultant says
Dec 3 2015, 19:15 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor Contact this editor with comments or a news tip
Dry bulk shipping faces at least another year of pain, according to a new report from Drewry Shipping Consultants, which says companies in the industry will not return to profitability until at least 2017.Drewry says its dry bulk freight rate index fell 14.5% in September from August, and rates have fallen another 13.8% between September and November, although numbers for the full Q4 will not be available until early next year.”Demand has almost dried up,” Drewry’s lead analyst says. “China’s iron ore imports have stagnated, China’s coal imports have come down massively and India’s coal import growth has also slowed down.”Drewry forecasts demand for iron ore growing at 3%-4% over the next few years, but says demand for coal, especially in China, will not rebound any time soon.Related tickers: DRYS, SBLK, SALT, DSX, PRGN, EGLE, NM, NMM, SB, SINO, SHIP, FREE

Safe Bulkers Inc. (SB) – NYSE
$1.04-0.17(-13.64%)12:26 PM, 12/04 

Safe Bulkers Inc. stock chart
Today5d1m3m1y5y10y
52wk high:4.92
52wk low:1.03
EPS:-0.39
PE (ttm):N/A
Div Rate:0.04
Yield:3.31
Market Cap:$101.02m
Volume:450,843

Good Advice  DOES COST Money -and it does SAVE Your Portfolio

Tax Haven Wealth Management : GUARANTEE of 6 % OR YOU DON’T PAY

 

The key is to give yourself options. They may not love any of the scenarios, but providing choices usually leads clients to eventually embrace one.

Despite solid advice, some clients just spend too much. Others, like the married couple we’ll call Matthew and Elizabeth, diligently save but still run into retirement-planning problems.

Matthew and Elizabeth became clients of Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts a few years back, looking to manage their portfolio and put a retirement game plan in place. At 66, Matthew was considering retiring. Elizabeth could finally travel now that she was no longer the primary caregiver of her mother, who had passed the year prior. Together, we looked at their joint financial picture and analyzed the situation.

Then came some bad news: They wouldn’t be able to confidently cover living expenses if Matthew stopped working. They were shocked, because they’d done so much correctly—worked hard, lived within their means and consistently saved for retirement, putting away $2.3 million between retirement and non-qualified investments. Matthew even ran some preliminary retirement numbers online over the years to make sure they were on track.

Part of the problem was that Matthew’s planning assumptions were too rosy. He didn’t assume he’d have any variability on his portfolio returns, he didn’t assume he’d have health-care costs once Medicare kicked in, and he didn’t assume that retirement could last more than 20 years.

We projected that if Matthew retired at 66, the couple would only have about a 70 percent chance of being able to cover lifestyle expenses without having to make adjustments to spending over time; if either of them experienced a modest long-term care event that ate into their resources, they would achieve only a 65 percent success rate.

Their miscalculations aside, the other part of Matthew’s and Elizabeth’s retirement problem was that they, like many other people, put others’ needs before their own, in traditional “sandwich generation” style.

When their kids asked for help with down payments on houses, they obliged. When Elizabeth’s mom needed in-home help for a few years prior to her moving in with them, they covered it. Consequently, these unforeseen events ultimately put their retirement in jeopardy.

Working toward a solution

Matthew and Elizabeth weren’t happy to hear they weren’t on track to retire, but they appreciated having a framework from which to choose their solution.

Ultimately, Matthew chose to work 30 hours per week so that his company could continue to pick up their health-care costs (saving them about $1,000 a month in Medicare-related costs). The part-time work allowed him to take off every Friday, and that gave him the added benefit of “test driving” retirement.

He and Elizabeth also decided to downsize their home and buy long-term care coverage. The LTC insurance assured that their children wouldn’t be faced with the possibility of someday having to assist them financially.

As with all best-laid plans and good intentions, sometimes things go awry with retirement planning. However, by exploring alternative saving tactics, you can still achieve your goal.

Investment Management

Offered by Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts

We can administer your account via the internet so that you can track your returns and only you can transfer funds from that account.

Guaranteed Investment Performance

( minimum 6 % annual return)  Or You Don’t Pay

Our stock market letter :  www.amp2012.com

 

Information must proceed action and that is why we offer a no cost / no obligation inquiry service.

Email info@ jackbassteam.com or

Call Jack direct at 604-858-3202 – Pacific Time 10:00 – 4;00 Monday to Friday

( same time zone as Los Angeles)

The main intention of our website is to provide objective and independent information that will help the potential investor to make his own decisions in an informed manner. To this effect we try to explain in a simple language the different processes and the most important figures involved in offshore business and to show the different alternatives that exist, evaluating their pros and cons.

On the other hand we intend – in terms of  offshore finance, bringing these products to the average citizen.

Do something to help yourself – contact Jack A. Bass now !

A final word of advice – information without action will produce nothing in the way of improved investment returns.

The US Energy Sector on the Verge of a Cataclysmic Default

 

The U.S. E&P sector could be on the cusp of massive defaults and bankruptcies so staggering they pose a serious threat to the U.S. economy, according to Paul Merolli, a senior editor and correspondent for Energy Intelligence, an energy sector news and analysis aggregator. Merolli’s report calls out the over-leveraged, under-hedged U.S. E&P sector, which has been trying to keep up appearances over the past 12 months by slashing operating costs and capex to keep production costs lower than oil prices.

But experts believe that lower costs and improving efficiency won’t be enough for the sector as it grapples with some $200 billion-plus in high-yield debt, which the U.S. E&P sector used to finance the shale oil boom. According to Standard and Poor’s, there have already been 19 U.S. energy sector defaults so far in 2015, while another 15 companies have filed for bankruptcy. The default category also includes companies that have entered into “distressed exchanges” with their creditors.

Moreover, a Nov. 24 report from S&P Capital IQ titled “A Cautionary Climate” shows that the total assets and liabilities of U.S. energy companies filing for bankruptcy protection have grown in each quarter of 2015, and the third quarter was no exception with assets totaling more than $6.2 billion and liabilities totaling more than $8.9 billion. Each quarter of 2015 was larger than the total for all U.S. energy bankruptcies in 2014.

Also see: Oil Patch Bankruptcies Total $13.1 Billion So Far This Year

U.S. E&P Sector: Junk rating

According to Energy Intelligence, Standard & Poor’s applies ratings to around 100 E&P firms. Of these, 77% now have high-yield or “junk” ratings of BB+ or lower, 63% are rated B+ or worse, and 31% or 51 companies are rated below B-. Companies rated B- or below are effectively on life support, while those rated C+ are “maybe looking at a year, year-and-a-half before they default or file for bankruptcy,” according to Thomas Watters, managing director of S&P’s oil and gas ratings, speaking to Energy Intelligence.

High-yield E&Ps are expected to see negative free cash flow of $10 billion during 2016, even after all the recent capex cuts and efficiency measures. Unfortunately, capital markets are closing rapidly to new E&P debt issues. Last year, the U.S. E&P sector raised $29 billion from 44 issuances of public debt in 2014, but this year only $13 billion has been raised across 23 issuances, almost all of which occurred during the first half of the year.

What’s more, the U.S. E&P sector is woefully under-hedged. Energy Intelligence’s data shows that small producers have 27% of their oil production hedged at an average price of $77/bbl, mid-sized firms have 26% hedged at $69, and large producers have just 4% hedged at $63.

U.S. E&P sector: a final lifeline

It is believed that the U.S. E&P sector will really start to cave in April when banks are due to start their next review of borrowing bases. Borrowing bases are redeterminedevery six months, and banks use market oil prices to calculate the value of company oil reserves, which companies are then able to borrow against.

Haynes and Boone’s Borrowing Base Survey is predicting an average cut of 39% to borrowing bases when the next round of revaluations take place. In September, The Financial Times reported on a research note from Bank of America which pointed out that only a fifth of “higher-quality” energy companies had used up more than half of their borrowing base capacity. For junk-rated companies, however, it’s a different picture. Citi points out that only 21% of the junk-rated energy companies it covers have any borrowing base capacity left at all.

So with borrowing bases set to fall at the beginning of next year and capital market access drying up, it looks as if many oil companies are going to find their liquidity deteriorating significantly going forward. Another source of concern for E&Ps and their lenders are price-related impairments and asset write-downs which have already amounted to $70.1 billion so far this year, compared to the $94.3 billion total for the previous 10-year period of 2005-14. And there could be further write-downs on the horizon:

“Year-to-date, there has been $70.1 billion in asset write-downs in 2015, approaching the $94.3 billion total for the previous 10-year period of 2005-14, according to Stuart Glickman, head of S&P Capital’s oil equities research. And he expects even more write-downs and impairments to emerge at year-end. “Companies are putting this off for a long as they can. You don’t want to be negotiating in capital markets with a weakened hand,”

“Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest US independent producers, shocked earlier this month by indicating a $13 billion reduction in the so-called PV-10, or “present value,” of its oil and gas reserves to $7 billion. Had Chesapeake used 12-month futures strip prices — instead of Securities and Exchange Commission-mandated trailing 12-month prices for PV values — the value would’ve fallen to $4 billion.” — Source: Energy Intelligence, “Is Debt Bomb About to Blow Up US Shale?

This conclusion is also supported by research from S&P Capital IQ:

“Using data from SNL Financial, we looked at natural gas-focused companies across the value chain to see whether there is a relationship between their level of revolver usage and their forward multiples. Within this subset of companies, exploration and production (E&P) companies have the greatest usage of their revolving credit facilities — 57% on average, excluding those with either no revolving credit or no usage on their revolving credit lines. As of late September 2015, this sub-industry also had a forward EBITDA multiple of about 6.2x.” — Source: S&P Capital IQ, “A Cautionary Climate.”

E&P sector waiting for a bailout

All in all, it looks as if the U.S. E&P sector has a rough year ahead of it, but for strong companies with investment-grade credit ratings, next year could become an “M&A playland” according to Energy Intelligence. The six-largest integrated majors together hold a war chest of some $500 billion, and there’s a further $100 billion in private equity sitting on the sidelines.

Whatever happens, it looks as if the U.S. E&P sector is about to undergo a period of significant change.

Protect Your Portfolio Profits – in a low tax jurisdiction Read more at  http://www.youroffshoremoney.com

VIDEO

Video

JB offshore.mp4  The First Rule Is Safety

Tax Planning  International Services  

 

 

The Five Worst-performing S&P 500 Stocks In The Past Month.

 

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Here’s a list of the five worst-performing S&P 500 stocks over the past month.

5. CF Industries Holdings Inc (NYSE: CF)

CF Industries’ stock has declined 16.8 percent over the past month, as the company continues to suffer from falling fertilizer prices. Now trading at around $46, the stock has put quite a bit of distance between its share price and the $71 target that Barclays set for the stock back in August.

4. Columbia Pipeline Group Inc (NYSE: CPGX)

Columbia’s shares have fallen 17.2 percent over the past month and are now down 38.3 percent year-to-date. Disappointed investors can take comfort in the fact that the president of the company apparently sees the decline as a buying opportunity and recently purchased nearly 30,000 shares at a price of $24.31.

3. NRG Energy Inc (NYSE: NRG)

NRG has had a rough year this year, declining 41.5 percent in 2015. Things haven’t gotten any better for shareholders in the last month, as the stock declined another 18.1 percent on news that Moody’s has placed NRG Yield Inc (NYSE: NRGY) on review for a credit downgrade.

2. Wynn Resorts Ltd (NASDAQ: WYNN)

Investors in Macau-exposed names endured another month of weak gaming revenue numbers, fears over the health of the Chinese economy and concerns over increasing government regulation. Wynn’s shares dropped 20.9 percent in the past month and have declined 59.0 percent year-to-date.

1. Joy Global Inc (NYSE: JOY)

The honor of the worst September investment so far go to Joy Global. Slumping commodity prices and Chinese construction forecasts, as well as Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT)’s disappointing guidance drove Joy Global shares down 31.5 percent over the past month, the worst monthly drop of any stock in the S&P 500.

Joy global is now down 65.8 percent year-to-date, the second worst performance of any S&P 500 stock in 2015. CONSOL Energy Inc (NYSE: CNX) shares have fallen 67.6 percent year-to-date.

Disclosure: the author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.

for better advice on protecting your portfolio profits read http://www.youroffshoremoney.com

The Bear Market Has Just Begun

 

Today the narrow-minded canyons of Wall Street are littered almost entirely of trend-following bulls and cheerleaders who don’t realize how little there is to actually cheer about. Stock values are far less attractive than they were on that day back in 2009 and this selloff has a lot longer to run. There are hordes of perma-bulls calling for a V-shaped recovery in stocks, even after multiple years of nary a downtick.

Here are six reasons why I believe the bear market in the major averages has only just begun:

1) Stocks are overvalued by almost every metric.One of my favorite metrics is the price-to-sales ratio, which shows stock prices in relation to the company’s revenue per share and omits the financial engineering associated with borrowing money to buy back shares for the purpose of boosting EPS growth. For the S&P 500 (INDEX: .SPX), this ratio is currently 1.7, which is far above the mean value of 1.4. The benchmark index is also near record high valuations when measured as a percentage of GDP and in relation to the replacement costs of its companies.

 

2) There is currently a lack of revenue and earnings growth for S&P 500 companies. Second-quarter earnings shrank 0.7 percent, while revenues declined by 3.4 percent from a year earlier, according to FactSet. The Q2 revenue contraction marks the first time the benchmark index’s revenue shrank two quarters in a row since 2009.

S&P 500
SNP3:13PM EST
  • Virtually the entire global economy is either in, or teetering on, a recession. In 2009, China stepped further into a huge stimulus cycle that would eventually lead to the largest misallocation of capital in the history of the modern world. Empty cities don’t build themselves: They require enormous spurious demand of natural resources, which, in turn, leads to excess capacity from resource-producing countries such as Brazil, Australia, Russia, Canada, et al. Now those economies are in recession because China has become debt disabled and is painfully working down that misallocation of capital. And now Japan and the entire European Union appear poised to follow the same fate.

This is causing the rate of inflation to fall according to the Core PCE index. And the CRB Index, which is at the panic lows of early 2009, is corroborating the decreasing rate of inflation.

 

But the bulls on Wall Street would have you believe the cratering price of oil is a good thing because the “gas tax cut” will drive consumer spending – never mind the fact that energy prices are crashing due to crumbling global demand. Nevertheless, there will be no such boost to consumer spending from lower oil prices because consumers are being hurt by a lack of real income growth, huge health-care spending increases and soaring shelter costs.

4) U.S. manufacturing and GDP is headed south. The Dallas Fed’s manufacturing report showed its general activity index fell to -15.8 in August, from an already weak -4.6 reading in July. The oil-fracking industry had been one of the sole bright spots for the US economy since the Great Recession and has been the lead impetus of job creation. However, many Wall Street charlatans contend the United States is immune from deflation and a global slowdown and remain blindly optimistic about a strong second half.

Unfortunately, we are already two-thirds of the way into the third quarter and the Atlanta Fed is predicting GDP will grow at an unimpressive rate of 1.3 percent. Furthermore, the August ISM manufacturing index fell to 51.1, from 52.7, its weakest read in over two years. And while gross domestic product in the second quarter came in at a 3.7 percent annual rate, due in large part to a huge inventory build, gross domestic income increased at an annual rate of only 0.6 percent.

GDP tracks all expenditures on final goods and services produced in the United States and GDI tracks all income received by those who produced that output. These two metrics should be equal because every dollar spent on a good or service flows as income to a household, a firm, or the government. The two numbers will, at times, differ in practice due to measurement errors. However this is a fairly large measurement error and it leads one to wonder if that 0.6 percent GDI number should get a bit more attention.

5) Global trade is currently in freefall. Reuters reported that exports from South Korea dropped nearly 15 percent in August from a year earlier, with shipments to China, the United States and Europe all weaker. U.S. exports of goods and general merchandise are at the lowest level since September of 2011. The latest measurement of $370 billion is down from $408 billion, or -9.46 percent from Q4 2014. And CNBC reported this week that the volume of exports from the Port of Long Beach to China dropped by 10 percent YOY. The metastasizing global slowdown will only continue to exacerbate the plummeting value of U.S. trade.

 

6) The Fed is promising to no longer support the stock market. Back in 2009, our central bank was willing to provide all the wind for the market’s sail. And despite a lackluster 2 percent average annual GDP print since 2010, the stock market doubled in value on the back of zero interest rates and the Federal Reserve ‘s $3.7 trillion money-printing spree. Thus, for the past several years, there has been a huge disparity building between economic fundamentals and the value of stocks.

But now, the end of all monetary accommodations may soon occur, while markets have become massively over-leveraged and overvalued. The end of quantitative easing and a zero interest-rate policy will also coincide with slowing U.S. and global GDP, falling inflation and negative earnings growth. And the Fed will be raising rates and putting more upward pressure on the U.S. dollar while the manufacturing and export sectors are already rolling over.

I am glad Ms. Yellen and Co. appear to have finally assented to removing the safety net from underneath the stock market. Nevertheless, Wall Street may soon learn the baneful lesson that the artificial supports of QE and ZIRP were the only things preventing the unfolding of the greatest bear market in history.

Michael Pento produces the weekly podcast “The Mid-week Reality Check,” is the president and founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies and author of the book “The Coming Bond Market Collapse.”

 

Trading Alert : Leon Black’s Sell-Everything Call

Depression - an idea whose time has come back!

 

When financier Leon Black said his Apollo Global Management LLC was exiting “everything that’s not nailed down” amid rising valuations, he made headlines. Two years later, other private-equity firms are following suit — dumping stakes into the markets at a record clip.

Firms including Blackstone Group LP and TPG Capital Management have been capitalizing on record stock markets around the world to sell shares, mostly in their companies that have already gone public. Globally, buyout firms conducted 97 stock offerings in the second quarter, more than in any other three-month period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Since Black made his comments in April 2013, the MSCI World Index has gained 18 percent, stretching valuations even higher. Headwinds that threaten to rattle global equities are everywhere — from the Greek and Puerto Rican debt crises to an eventual increase in U.S. interest rates.

“It’s clear that we are currently in an environment of frothy valuations,” said Lise Buyer, founder of IPO advisory firm Class V Group. “The insiders — those with the most knowledge — are finding this a very good time to take some money off the table.”

This year, private-equity firms sold $73 billion of their buyouts to the public, a record amount over a six month period, Bloomberg data show.

Hilton Deal

The biggest such deal this year came in May when Blackstone sold 90 million shares, or $2.69 billion worth, of hotel-chain Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. in a secondary offering. Blackstone took the company private in 2007 for $26 billion and did an IPO in December 2013, raising $2.7 billion. After the latest sale, Blackstone’s stake in Hilton fell to 46 percent from 82 percent before the IPO, Bloomberg data show.

The largest European exit so far this year was the $2.46 billion IPO of online car dealership Auto Trader Group Plc in London, where Apax Partners sold shares. In Asia, private-equity firm China Aerospace Investment Holdings Ltd. sold 2.3 million shares in a $2.12 billion IPO of China National Nuclear Power Co.

While the firms have been trimming their stakes in public companies, they’re doing fewer initial offerings in the U.S. PE-backed IPOs have had the slowest start to the year since 2010, selling $8.2 billion in stock.

The reason: Many of the larger companies that were swooped up during the buyout boom that ended in 2007 have already gone public. Today’s selling is largely private-equity owners getting out of those assets.

Fundraising Spree

“It’s been a lot more about harvesting public positions than creating new ones through IPOs,” said Cully Davis, co-head of equity capital markets for the Americas at Credit Suisse Group AG. “The markets are open and the financial sponsors are pretty astute about timing their exits.”

Buyout firms were also motivated to exit older positions as they seek investments for new funds, said Klaus Hessberger, co-head of equity capital markets for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at JPMorgan Chase & Co. The funds raised $438 billion last year, a post-crisis record, according to an April report by research firm Triago.

Selling to companies or other buyout shops was still the more popular way for private-equity firms to unload assets over the quarter. They sold $57 billion of assets in 284 sales in the second quarter, compared with $39 billion for stock sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In an echo of Leon Black, Frank Maturo, vice chairman of equity capital markets at UBS AG, said, “Private equity is selling everything that’s not bolted down. With the robust valuations in today’s market, they are accelerating monetizations of companies they own.”