As President, Donald Trump constantly pointed to new record rises in the S&P 500 stocks as proof of the booming economy, even though as a savvy businessman he knew it was a lie. It was rising because of the Fed zero interest rate policy. Companies were borrowing at low rates not to expand plant and equipment investment so much as to buy back their own stocks from the market. That had the effect of boosting stocks in companies from Microsoft to Dell to Amazon, Pfizer, Tesla and hundreds of others. It was a manipulation that corporate executives, owning millions of their own company shares as options, loved. They made billions in some cases, while creating no real value in the economy or the economy.
How big is today’s US stock market bubble? In October 2008 just after the Lehman crisis, US stocks were listed at a total of $13 trillion capitalization. Today it is over $50 trillion, an increase of almost 400% and more than double the total US GDP. Apple Corp. alone is $3 trillion.
Over the past four quarters, S&P 500 companies bought back $742 billion of their own shares. Q4 of 2021 will likely see a record increase in that number as companies rush to pump their shares ahead of a reported Biden tax on corporate stock buybacks. Since the beginning of 2012, the S&P 500 companies have bought back nearly $5.68 trillion of their own shares. This is no small beer. The dynamic is so insane that amid a Microsoft decision last month to buy back ever more shares, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella dumped over 50% of his Microsoft stock in one day. But the stock barely budged because Microsoft itself was busy buying back shares. That indicates the level of unreality in today’s US market. The insiders know it’s about to crash. Tesla’s Elon Musk just sold $10 billion of his stock, allegedly to pay taxes.
Making the stock market even more vulnerable to a panic selloff once it is clear the Fed will raise interest rates, there is nearly $1 trillion in margin debt as of data from October, debt for those buying stocks on borrowed money from their brokers. Once a major market selloff begins, likely early in 2022, brokers will demand repayment of their margin debt, so-called margin calls. That in turn will accelerate the forced selling to raise the cash calls.Will the Federal Reserve Crash Global Financial Markets As a Means to Implementing Their “Great Reset”? – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization