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Will Bear Market End with Disgust for Capitalism?


Deficits -- and the interest on them -- could destroy America's economy.


The Chinese Shanghai Composite Index recorded its fourth consecutive down-week as investors remained concerned about how long China's exceptionally loose monetary policy will continue. The banking regulator has already instructed lenders to raise reserves to 150% of their non-performing loans by the end of this year -- up from 134.8% at the end of June, and the central bank has increased money-market rates to drain liquidity.

However, US Global Investors opines that historically sustainable market rallies out of a cyclical trough usually start with an expansion in valuation multiples followed by a recovery in earnings. "China may be poised to enter this second stage against a favorable macro backdrop. With surging money supply and significantly lower commodity prices from a year earlier, corporate earnings in China could produce upside surprises going forward," said the report.

Of the 96 stock markets I keep on my radar screen, 77% (last week 47%) recorded gains, 18% (47%) showed losses, and 5% (4%) remained unchanged. (Click here to access a complete list of global stock market movements, as supplied by Emerginvest.)

John Nyaradi (Wall Street Sector Selector) reports that as far as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are concerned, the winners for the week included CurrencyShares Russian Ruble (XRU) (+5.0%), First Trust Amex Biotechnology (FBT) (+4.8%), iShares MSCI Australia (EWA) (+4.5%), and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) (+4.2%).

On the losing side of the slate, ETFs included Claymore/AlphaShares China Real Estate (TAO) (-4.2%), Market Vectors Coal (KOL) (-3.1%), SPDR KBW Regional Banking (KRE) (-3.1%), and iShares MSCI Brazil (EWZ) (-3.0%).

As far as credit markets are concerned, Bloomberg reported that banks were increasing lending to buyers of high-yield company loans and mortgage bonds at what might be the fastest pace since the credit-market debacle began in 2007.

"Federal Reserve data show the 18 primary dealers required to bid at Treasury auctions held $27.6 billion of securities as collateral for financings lasting more than one day as of August 12, up 75% from May 6. The increase over that 14-week stretch is the biggest since the period that ended April 2007, three months before two Bear Stearns Cos. hedge funds failed because of leveraged investments."

This is a sign of credit markets moving towards normalization.

Referring to the mind-boggling US budget deficit, the quote du jour this week comes from 85-year old Richard Russell, author of the Dow Theory Letters. He said:

"Comes the dawn -- and the penalty. There's a price to be paid for Bernanke's all-out battle to thwart the bear market. And now it's being told. Yesterday the White House itself admitted that the budget deficit over the next 10 years would be $2 trillion above their original outrageous estimate of $7 trillion dollars.

"As I said all along, it would have been better to have allowed the bear market to run its course to conclusion. That would have been extremely painful, but the US would have recovered. However, deficits in the trillions could ultimately 'break' this nation. I can't imagine how Bernanke-Obama plan to handle the coming mind-blowing deficits, plus the interest on those deficits.

"The pressure will be on the reserve status of the dollar, the level of the dollar compared to other international currencies, interest rates, and the standard of living of all of us living in the new 'banana republic,' the United States of 'bankrupt' America.

"When you take all this in, you can begin to see how this bear market could end with stocks selling below known values and people despising the stock market and capitalism."

No positions in stocks mentioned.
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