A bear market is coming if President Trump’s agenda does not move forward quickly. I have been saying for months now that the Federal Reserve is hiking rates not because we are in a strong economy that needs cooling off but instead to save pension fund holders and others who depend on the income generated from bond yields.
The Trump rally ended back in March. That was the turning point when the markets started pricing in the reality that President Trump was being blocked even on a common-sense travel ban from radical Muslim countries that support terrorists and that generally dislike America. If a common-sense travel ban can’t even get put in place, how does Trump’s economic agenda have any hope?
Bear Market Coming As Economy Slows
We are six months into Trump’s presidency and we have no clear plan for raising the debt ceiling when the government runs out of money in August. We have no big comprehensive corporate tax reform yet. We have no tax cuts for working Americans yet. We have no repatriation of trillions of overseas dollars yet. We have no massive infrastructure plan to boost the economy yet. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continues to hike rates.
The chart below shows the effects of rate hikes on commercial and industrial loans.
The arrows mark the three rate hikes since the end of the Great Recession. When the Fed hikes rates next week, we could have commercial and industrial loans drop below the zero line and signal a contraction for the first time since the Great Recession.
Today, there’s a greater chance that a bear market will happen than not happen because of trend logic. Trend logic is the idea that a trend will continue until it actually ends. Assume continuation of the previous trend until proven otherwise. The Federal Reserve is on a rate hike up-trend. Commercial and industrial loans are in a downtrend. Assuming these trends continue, the yield curve will go flat or inverted within the next few months. The only thing that will stop this gloomy scenario from taking place is if one of those trends change.
The only thing capable of preventing the next bear market is if Trump’s economic agenda moves forward on tax cuts and infrastructure spending, or if the Federal Reserve does not raise rates in June. Since I see neither of these outcomes happening right now, rather than assume a magical trend change appearing from out of nowhere, it’s better to assume continuation of the previous trends until proven otherwise.
Peter Schiff gave an excellent speech at Cambridge House recently about the deteriorating US economy, check it out: