Media’s Bear/Bull Mental Whipsaw

So who to believe, the “legendary” Jim Rogers, as interviewed by perma-bear/survivalist/gold booster Chris Martenson’s enterprise (click graphic, get story)?

jim rogers

Or Mark Hulbert, he of the contrary mindset (click graphic, get story)?

Correct Beuller, neither. The answer is neither. Don’t believe them. Don’t believe me. Don’t believe anyone other than yourself, after you’ve done a suitable amount of work to define probabilities for yourself. But in this case, if I am going to respect an opinion, based on years of media watching, I’ll take Hulbert, who is not agenda driven. Martenson’s Peak Prosperity? Well, their prosperity peaked with the ‘Peak Oil! tout just before the crash.

As for ole’ Jim, his “baby girl” * all grown up now, he’s one of those consistently wrong perma-icons the media trot out in eyeball harvesting headlines like ‘Man who called 2008 crash has a new prediction’. Like with the now disgraced Marc Faber, Harry Dent and others, the reputation – no doubt in part the result of major marketing efforts over the years – is the product. This clown is touting commodities as a way to protect yourself against the worst bear market in 78 years, which will arrive promptly.

“If you look out the window, you’ll see printing presses everywhere,” Rogers explained in an interview with the Peak Prosperity blog. “You know what happened to all the other countries in history that have gotten themselves deep into debt… it hasn’t been pretty.”

To gird against such weakness, Rogers pointed out that commodities, as you can see from this chart highlighted in the blog post, are offering an historic bargain relative to equity valuations:

Same tune, different decade. The post shows a chart of a bombed out commodity index. Here’s my monthly chart of the CRB index. This is the legacy of Jim Rogers past. How high up the 2002-2008 bubble slope was he promoting commodities? How low down the secular bear market?

crb

Squirrel finds nut on occasion, and squirrel (or squirrel’s media/marketing arms) makes sure to tout the great call endlessly.

Buy commodities because Great Depression 2.0? That is lazy analysis. It’s the old ‘hard assets’ tout. But here’s the thing; that stuff is cyclical. So if commodities are going to boom again stocks are not going to go into the “worst [bear market] in at least 78 years”. Inflation/Reflation-sensitive sectors and many global markets would benefit.

It’s either that or commodities are going nowhere. You can’t have it both ways, cyclical assets generally go up together to varying degrees. Gold is different because it’s got counter-cyclical utility.

I have not checked, but does ole’ Jimbo still run a commodity fund? Eh, Beuller?

* Ever listen to the old Jim Puplava interviews at Financial Sense? A younger Gary used to listen every Saturday morning. Some of the stuff was helpful, but over the years I learned who the promoters were. Jim Rogers ceaselessly touted commodities (and China), often stating “Ahm gonna teach mah baby girl Mandarin” presumably because the US was going to be a Banana Republic in short order. Well, it’s 2020 and indeed we have a president who wants to go Bananas. But how many decades do you wait for these squirrels to find their goddamn nuts?

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