Thursday, September 30, 2010

Free Preview of October CMV Newsletter

Hello World,

Below is a preview of the CMV (Contrarian Market View) Newsletter for October. See the end of this post for a free book offer with the purchase of a subscription the full monthly newsletter. (Note: due to the limitations of a blog post the appearance of this preview is not as it will appear in the actual subscriber copy.)

October, 2010

H. L. Quist's
Contrarian Market View

Market Overview

Given your inquiries and comments, many CMV subscribers are confused, flummoxed and depressed. The common thread in the preponderance of your emails and calls is your inability to determine the future direction of the economy or in a more macro sense, the direction of the country. This issue of CMV is deliberately dedicated to bring clarity and profitability into your life. Focusing on the economy and reducing the possible outcome to a minimum, CMV envisions three distinct scenarios looking forward to 2011 and beyond:

1. The Bernanke Re-Flation Plan Succeeds
On September 21st, the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee made it abundantly clear that it wants more INFLATION. The Committee announced, "Measures of underlying inflation are currently at levels somewhat below those the committee judges most consistent, over the longer run, with its mandate to promote maximum employment and price stability."

In short, we know what the Fed will do. What we don't know is, will their strategy be successful? CMV believes it will and it could open the door to enormous profit-making opportunities for you — IF you dare to share CMV's vision.

Under this scenario the following results most likely would occur:

The new Congress would cut off additional stimulus funds, extension of unemployment benefits etc., thereby putting more pressure on the Fed to create "growth and employment opportunities." (As stated)

The Fed would undertake massive Quantitative Easing (QE-2) which would flood the markets with liquidity and further devalue the US dollar.

Stock and commodity prices would surge as a result and the appetite for risk would become ravenous. Bond investors would nail down profits while freeing up multi-trillions of investment capital that eventually would find its' way into real estate.

In the early stages of the RE-FLATION CYCLE, manufacturers and retailers would discover pricing power and new profit margins, employment demand would increase, consumer sentiment would turn positive and the illusion of permanent prosperity would return echoing the sights and sounds of THE GREENSPAN PLAN of 2002.

THE BERNANKE RE-FLATION PLAN is another short-term fix that ultimately results in another longer-term problem — a crack-up boom. As the Wall St. Journal editorial opined on September 23rd, "Central Bankers who wish for more inflation usually get their wish, and the result is rarely benign." In the interim, however, enormous profits can be realized. (See pages 15-18)

2. The Bernanke Re-Flation Plan Fails.
Ultimately it will. It's simply a matter of time. CMV's position is that there is one LAST RODEO — meaning, the RE-FLATION PLAN will be the last desperate attempt to cover up all the Fed and political transgressions of the past 50 years. The only question is, will the US (and most of the world) have a temporary reprieve before THE GREAT RECKONING? CMV's answer is yes.

Let's reduce these two widely divergent scenarios to the minimum. Given a choice between INFLATION and DEFLATION (aka Depression) what choice would bankers take? Inflation, of course! Why? The Fed believes (firmly) that they can prevent Inflation from getting out of control. Deflation, on the other hand, is a death knell that has little chance of resuscitation. Although it hardly needs to be said, the following results would quite possibly occur.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would continue its decline and return to negative in 2011-2012.

Unemployment would rise significantly above the Bureau of Labor's fallacious 10% and consumer sentiment would plunge. Prices of most goods and services would decline dramatically as demand disappears.

The Federal Debt and the Budget Deficit both would explode as the Treasury's tax revenue plummets and QE-2 balloons. An international monetary crisis looms large as the prospect of default by the US on its sovereign debt becomes possible.

Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, has resolved that this scenario will not occur on his watch.

3. Slogging To The Future.
What in the world is a "slogging economy?" A perfect model is Japan from 1990 to the present. Remember, Japan's efficient and torrid economy in the 1980s was the model for all the world to duplicate. What has the 20 year SLOG produced?

The Nikkei Dow reached almost 40,000 at the end of 1989. A resounding crash took the index down to 7,000 and their market has never recovered.

The outrageously over-valued real estate market which sported the highest inflated prices in the world collapsed about 70% and has only recovered modestly since the 90s. The Japanese acquired trophy real estate properties all over the world at premium prices such as Pebble Beach, the Rockefeller Plaza, etc. and either walked from their obligations or sold at severe discounts.

Interest rates for both borrowers and savers have consistently been the lowest in the world. Global investors have for years borrowed in Yen at about one percent and invested elsewhere at much higher yields in what is known as the "carry trade." The lesson learned is that low interest rates did not result in domestic economic growth. Is the US dollar the carry trade currency of the future?

The point of this exercise is that, in CMV's opinion, option number one is the most likely. The outcome of a successful RE-FLATION will present unique and alternative investment opportunities for those who dare to be different. As you will soon discover by reading the remainder of this issue of CMV, the INFLATION TRADE has already begun. Here's the bottom line:

The Bernanke Re-Flation Plan, if successful, should present unique profit opportunities for outsized gains that should be realized during the next two to three years. An inflation-induced boom will end in a resounding crash. You and your family are dependent on your ability to see that the future isn't what it used to be!


It appears that most readers of CMV have missed the opportunity in Rare Earth Elements that was presented to them many months ago. Advisor clients of H. L. Quist, however, discovered them in their portfolios. To get your attention and validate CMV's recommendations here are some of the results:

Symbol Date - Recommended Entry - Price/Sh Current - Price/Sh Unrealized Profit
MCP -- 8-20-10 -- $13.00 (1) -- $26.00 -- 100%
REE -- 1-01-10 -- $3.86 (2) -- $8.60 -- 123%
TASXF -- 8-01-10 -- $.81 -- $1.84 -- 128%

(1) #1 on the NYSE with an increase of 25.3% for the week ending 9/24/10.
(2) In July, 2010 the price/share declined to $2.00. Ranked #1 on NYSE/AMEX at 36.8% increase for the week ending 9/24/10

What are these 17 elements and what are they used for? Molycorp Minerals (MCP), the owner of a mine in Mountain Pass, California, and has the richest REE deposit outside of China, provides the following:

"Rare Earth materials create enabling technologies that are found throughout Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), Plug-in HEVs (PHEV), all-Electric Vehicles (EV) as well as in standard gasoline or diesel vehicles. Powerful neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets are vital in the electric motor and regenerative braking systems found in the above electric vehicle categories and are also crucial to several other systems in the vehicles. Virtually all HEV, PHEV, and EV on the road today also rely on Rare Earths (primarily lanthanum) in the battery pack which stores energy normally wasted during coasting and braking and saves it until needed by the electric motor. To estimate positive impacts to our environment, the US EPA assumes each HEV will have twice the mpg and only half the emissions as an equivalent gas or diesel vehicle. For every 100,000 HEVs (such as the Toyota Prius) that replace existing vehicles we save well over 1 million pounds of CO2 emissions per year and 4.8 million gallons of fuel. HEV, PHEV, and EV contain from 20 to 25 pounds of Rare Earths, where a standard vehicle can contain on the order of 10 pounds. Demand for energy-efficient electric vehicles is growing significantly. Global demand is projected to be 4 to 6 million vehicles per year by 2013 so the impact on the Rare Earth market could be staggering. Additional Rare Earth supply sources must come on line to support this growing industry. Hybrid electric vehicles: Headlight glass: neodymium. Hybrid electric motor and generator: neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, and terbium. Component sensors: ytterbium. LCD screen: europium, ytterbium, cerium. Glass and mirrors polishing powder: cerium. UV cut glass: cerium. Diesel fuel additive: cerium and lanthanum. Hybrid NiMH battery: lanthanum and cerium. Catalytic converter: cerium/zirconium and lanthanum." Source: Molycorp Minerals, 23 Jul 10

In August, the Chinese government which controls 97% of all the existing production of REEs, announced that they would cut their exports which amounted to about 64 million metric tons in 2005, by 70%. Two of the primary REEs, cerium oxide and lanthanum oxide increased in price by over 2,000% on the news! Now, here's the big news — if the above is not compelling enough to get your attention — from the September 24th issue of the WSJ:

"The Department of Defense is completing a study to identify the potential national security risks of rare-earth dependency."

In addition, the House Committee on Science & Technology in late September began marking up a bill that would encourage the US government to hedge against rare earth shortages. It's well within the area of possibility that the federal government would declare rare earths as "strategic to the national security" and purchase a proven deposit. Could MCP or REE be a prospect?

The Re-Flation of Real Estate

First, the bad news:

The Central Planners in Washington now recognize that despite all the loan modification programs like HAMP and other initiatives, the housing sector is not going to lead America to an economic recovery. In fact, it could lead to either Option #2 or #3 as outlined in the MARKET OVERVIEW, (Page 1). There are about 11 million residential properties whose mortgage balances exceed the home's value and a shadow inventory of an additional 3.7 million vacant homes. David Rosenberg, Chief Economist at Gluskin Sheff says, that if prices drop another 5% to 10%, 40% of all American homeowners would be "underwater" on their mortgages. That would be catastrophic for not only the homeowners but the real estate industry and the US economy.

Added to this witches brew of "toil and trouble" is that investors in 2,300 residential mortgage securities, worth approximately $500 billion, are suing the banks that originated or are servicing faulty subprime mortgage loans to repurchase them. The lawsuits contend that the originators stuck them with "flawed loans marred by poor underwriting and faulty appraisals" (WSJ September 23, 2010). Can you say fraud?

Here are a few of the prospective re-purchasers and their potential liability:

Bank of America -- $35.2 billion
J. P Morgan Chase -- $23.9 billion
Deutsche Bank -- $14.1 billion
Royal Bank of Scotland -- $ 9.4 billion

And, the list goes on. The question is, to what extent will these buy-backs effect the reserves of these banks? The principal benefactors of the buy-backs would be Fannie and Freddie and by proxy, the US taxpayer.

The Good News?

If, and it's unquestionably a big IF, the BERNANKE RE-FLATION PLAN is successful, there should be re-mediation of the mortgage mess. Here's why. Mortgage debt is a constant. The appreciation of real property values through inflation will reduce the number of 11 million homeowners that are underwater. More importantly it will change market sentiment and psychology.

A significant number of home owners, witnessing an uptick of home prices in their neighborhood, will be encouraged to pay their mortgage and wait to walk. Investors also witnessing the uptick will be encouraged to invest risk capital in search of a higher return and the residential market will be on its way to recovery. CMV believes that, as simple as this solution may seem, RE-FLATION will begin to fix the problem. Funny, why didn't the MOTUS (Masters of The Universe) think of that?

Or, have they?

Serious Money
Macro Investing

A good friend and former client shared with your author that he had interviewed recently with an advisor who, after analyzing the portfolio mostly intact from your author's management four years ago, stated that the client was too over-loaded in one sector and needed to ‘diversity.' The over-loaded sector was precious metals. The advisor's recommendation? Sell the Precious Metals and diversify into an array of equity funds. Completely ignored was the past ten year performance of the names in his previous portfolio.

For example, Oppenheimer Gold & Special Minerals Fund (OPGSX). During the past ten years, this fund has had an average annual return of 24% which includes the precipitous drop of 30% during the crash of 2008. In fact, this sector is the only one that has not only made a 100% "V" correction but has gone on in 2010 to robust new highs up 35% as of September 24, 2010. Most individual names in the portfolio mirror this result. The message here is that:


My friend is again my client.

It is CMV's opinion that the investment climate in America and quite possibly the entire world has radically changed. The clouds are dark, foreboding and unpredictable. Buy & Hold, Asset Allocation, Model Portfolios, and even stock picking based upon earnings and fundamentals are no longer the keys to wealth accumulation. Macro Investing with Active Management has become the new model for sophisticated investors.

David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital said in a recent WSJ article:

"For years I had believed that I didn't need to take a view on the market or the economy because I considered myself a ‘bottom-up' investor. The lesson I've learned is that it isn't reasonable to be agnostic about the big (Macro) picture."

Mr. Einhorn has placed a huge macro bet that gold prices will continue to rise because of concerns that the out-of-control US budget and federal debt has a negative impact on the US dollar. Do you want to follow the "smart money" or follow the advice of an advisor who still believes that Microsoft, GE and GM are good growth stocks?

There is no question that High Frequency Trading (HFT) has un-leveled the playing field. Another "Flash Crash" is almost inevitable. Super computers such as "The Beast" featured previously in CMV contribute greatly to market volatility. On any day the HFT is buying high risk assets and the next day makes a 180° turn to safe-haven US treasuries or currencies.

CMV took a Macro View years ago when he told audiences and clients that Macro Trends were the key to investing. Realtors, for example, refused to accept the fact that the boom was unsustainable.

The irony, of course, is that there is SERIOUS MONEY to be made in MACRO INVESTING at exactly this point in time and CMV can position you if you are serious about SERIOUS MONEY.

Assuming that the BERNANKE RE-FLATION PLAN succeeds these are a few of the Macro sectors that should significantly outperform any other investing strategy:

The Devaluation of the US Dollar — Sell Short

The Appreciation of Precious Metals — Buy Long

The Panic Demand for Rare Metals — Buy Long

The Number One Alternative Energy (Nuclear) — Buy Long

The Rise in Interest Rates (US Treasuries) — Sell Short

The Rise in Commodities — Buy Long

There is one critical supposition to support CMV's Macro Investing. If CMV is correct, the US is at the cusp of a short-term inflationary cycle that could morph into Hyper-Inflation. All of the above sectors should perform extremely well given this environment BUT it will come to a calamitous end when it has run its' course in a "crack-up boom." CMV's strategy is simple and direct:

Make Huge Gains And Get The Heck Out of Dodge!
(The Financial Markets)

When the next crash occurs CASH will be king. That cash may be in Canadian or Aussie dollars or Swiss francs but those that have no debt and cash will be wealthy, independent and positioned to seize opportunity. The non-believers will become wards of the government.

The Inflation Jeannie Reappears

CMV's favorite metaphor has lifted her lovely body out of the bottle. While the talking heads on CNBC continue to remind us that "there is no inflation" evidence to the contrary is surfacing everywhere. To wit:

Arizona cotton farmers are celebrating as they prepare for the harvest of this year's cotton crop. Early in 2009 the market price of cotton was about $.40/lb. Last week, cotton for October delivery reached $1.09/lb — the highest price since (get this) the Civil War!

Retailers, with lean inventories and current and discounted sales are faced with a major dilemma. Should they restock at higher prices or wait and hope they can get through the Christmas rush with current inventory.

In a related sector, Nike reported a 9% increase in operating profit of $559 million in its latest quarter due to improvement in demand for its athletic apparel and less costly discounting. What impact will the 150% increase in cotton prices have on Nike next quarter?

The travel industry has reported that Americans have spent much more on airplane seats, hotel rooms and rental cars than experts had projected. Hotel revenue which plunged 30% from 2007 to 2009 has now recaptured all the decline in less than a year. Revenue passenger miles has returned to 2007 traffic levels at the airlines which have increased fares 3.9%. Travel employment increased 2.5% in the second quarter of 2010. What's ahead? Increased prices, of course.

Steel prices have risen for some types of products as high as 12% and as low as 1% since this past summer. China, which produces about 50% of the world's output, has cut production 3% to 5% and recently increased its prices on plate steel by 12%.

Other base metal prices that have risen off their 2009 lows are:

Aluminum + 65% -- Nickel +154%
Zinc +105% -- Copper +164%
Tin +120% -- Titanium +265%
Lead +151%

The penultimate evidence that inflation is poised to have a decided impact on personal budgets will be witnessed by shoppers. Commodity prices have already seen a market increase this year.

"GREED" and "PROFIT" are now available for you iPad users.

You can also pay for the year's subscription to the CMV (just $99) plus receive both books free (USA addresses only) by clicking here for the paypal payment window link.

Financial Questions? Contact hlquist at djmwealth dot com

-- H. L. Quist

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