Sunday, January 3, 2010

Outlook from the Moutain Top for 2010

Predictions are interesting because they allow us to really document and work through what we think and feel. We'll revisit these predictions throughout the year to measure how we're doing. No matter how negative I want to be, I still understand that the Fed is spewing its flood of funds at a pace that has not been seen before. The massive liquidity has been the fuel for the ascent back to the 10500 level in the Dow, an amazing almost 4000 point run up in the index. Our government is committed to see assets increase in value no matter the life-style cost in the longer term. Remember, this asset value increase is so important to re-establish confidence in the financial system. If J6P (Joe six-pack) doesn't believe in the integrity of the system a key player has left the table. Much of the moves of the government are meant to get him back in the game.

One last note - don't forget risk. It is really neat to see the huge gains the market posted last year. Don't make the mistake of forgetting that the entire financial system was almost destroyed in the process. The market is still down some 35% from the Oct 2007 highs. Yes, you can go to Vegas and plunk down your entire net worth on red or black and make an easy fortune, the problem is that this is a tremendous risk as well. What significant changes have been made in the market to remove the risk from the system? What would embolden you to take more risk now.

Let me hear from you on the comments section. I'd love to know your perspective.

I will make a new post regarding year-end / month end analysis over the next couple of days to set up trades for the coming month.



Interest Rates will rise, but not at the direction of the Fed. - The market will demand a more just compensation for the risk it has taken in Treasuries. The 30-year will hit 6%. The market is predicting a rise in the Fed Funds rate coming in August, but I think they will delay raising rates overtly until November or December at the earliest. Any slow down in the economy will be another excuse not to raise them at all in 2010.

While the Fed stated they will stop Quantitative Easing in March of 2010, they will not be able to stop because losses on their book will be immense.

Housing issues will improve through April at which time the impact of increasing interest rates will force the hands of banks and they will begin to release their inventory of "non-foreclosed homes" on the market pushing the new wave of speculators underwater teaching them that falling knives are tough to catch. Some are pointing to the HAMP requirements that state that banks that had home owners that modified mortgages and failed to keep the terms of the deal (make their payments) must release this inventory and use short sales as the tool to divest themselves of the inventory as another reason for a coming drop in home prices. I don't see it that way, I see the government changing their minds again and lifting this requirement when they figure out that it could hurt the recovery.

We will see at least 2 currency devaluations in 2010. These will manifest themselves in the form a North Korea style announcement where you will wake up and the currency will be declared -10% less in value or more. These devaluations are necessary to continue each country's desire to sell goods cheaply abroad. The US' motivation of course is simply to reduce the relative amount of the crushing debt that we continue to heap upon ourselves.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will become the dumping ground for all private mortgages loans made in 2009 and 2010. The banks will avoid taking losses and pass all of them to the US taxpayer. The Christmas present (uh-unlimited losses) that the government gave the US tax-payer on Christmas day is unbelievable. For the next 3 years the loss limits on these two organizations have been lifted and we are backing them with a blank check.

The Euro will face continued pressure, the US dollar will rise significantly against the Euro from the 1.432 level it is as of this writing. The US dollar will actually fall relative to the South Korean won, Australian dollar, and many other commodity based economy currencies. The dollar will strengthen against the yen.

Small business lending and personal credit will continue to decline through 2010.

Gold will actually decline to the $950 area and then move higher later on in the year when it becomes increasingly obvious that Bernanke and Geithner have no intention of pulling liquidity. This will be the opportunity to add more to the position. Gold ends the year in the $1150 to $1200 range. Longer term, gold is still a buy.

US equity markets will end the year slightly positive (meaning less than 5%). This year will be volatile and gains should be harvested when they are acquired. This means that there will be periods of gains and you need to take advantage of the ranges in the markets and buy at the low end and sell at the high end. I still maintain that the Fed will support this market directly or indirectly at all costs. As housing reverses, be prepared to see unexplainable increases in equity markets. Bernanke knows the conventional thoughts that the collapse in 1937 occurred because the Fed increased rates too soon, he'll be sure not to repeat that lesson. This is how we'll be sure to over inflate and also create the next collapse in 2011 or 2012.


Middle East tensions will boil over. The US will give Israel the green light to defend herself and presumptively attack Iran. Russia and China will condemn the attack and they will choose the side of their trading partner against Israel by selling arms and providing material support.

Upon attacking Iran, Syria and Lebanon will engage Israel on their northern fronts.

Oil moves to $100 this is based on the continued debasement of our currency through the actions of the Fed and Treasury and also geopolitical tensions.


Republicans sweep away the majority held by the Democrats in the mid-term elections. The third-party movement continues to garner support but is quashed by the two party system.

Obama names a replacement for Justice Ginsberg who retires in 2010.

Obama is able to pass some sort of health reform. He passes the reform knowing that it is unconstitutional. The strategy is to destroy the health care industry as we know it in the next several years. When the high court determines that the legislation cannot stand, a one-payer system (government) medical system will be the only option left to pick up the pieces. The final step will not take place till 2013 or 2014. No matter what, abortion will be a major component of the bill and will not be removed.


Despite failed terror attempts our personal rights and privacy will continue to be eroded in the name of our safety. Our government will continue to take measures to protect you after each attempt (meaning safety measures that will waste your time and add little to your safety).

Christians continue to be attacked for their beliefs (read by the secular world as intolerance) and there will be several prosecutions of Christians for their beliefs. This will of course continue in Europe, but will also begin in the United States.

There they are. I reserve the right to add more as I see them, but I'll add them to the bottom and date them so they will be easily identified.