Source: Charles Hugh Smith Blog

“There are two generalities that can be applied to all asset bubbles: 1. Bubbles inflate for longer and reach higher levels than most pre-bubble analysts expected. 2. All bubbles burst, despite mantra-like claims that ‘this time it’s different’. The bubble burst tends to follow a symmetrical reversal of very similar time durations and magnitudes as the initial rise. If the bubble took four years to inflate and rose by X, the retrace tends to take about the same length of time and tends to retrace much or all of X. If we look at the chart of the Case-Shiller Housing Index, this symmetry is visible in Housing Bubble #1 which skyrocketed from 2003-2007 and burst from 2008-2012. Housing Bubble #1 wasn’t allowed to fully retrace the bubble, as the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to near-zero in 2009 and bought $1+ trillion in sketchy mortgage-backed securities (MBS)….As noted on the chart, this suggests the bubble burst will likely run from 2019-2025, give or take a few quarters. The question is: what’s the likely magnitude of the decline? Scenario 1 (blue line) is a symmetrical repeat of Housing Bubble #2: a retrace of the majority of the bubble’s rise but not 100%….There is a good case for Scenario 2, in which price plummets below the 2012 lows and keeps on going, ultimately retracing the entire housing bubble gains from 2003. Why is Scenario 2 not just possible but likely? There are no more ‘saves’ in the Fed’s locker. Dropping interest rates to zero and buying another trillion in MBS won’t have the same positive effects they had in 2009-2018. Those policies have run their course.”

The risk of loss in the trading of stocks, options, futures, forex, foreign equities, and bonds can be substantial and is not suitable for all investors. Trading on margin or the use of leverage is not suitable for all investors and losses exceeding your initial deposit is possible. Supporting documentation is available upon request. Trading futures, options on futures, and FX involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Carefully consider whether trading is suitable for you in light of your circumstances, knowledge, and financial resources and only risk capital should be used. Opinions, market data, and recommendations are subject to change at any time. The lower the margin used the higher the leverage and therefore increases your risk. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.