The entire concept of a “bull market in stocks” makes little sense. Sound crazy? These days, certainly, because we’re always hearing about a perpetual bull market in stocks. Valuations increasingly disconnected from economic reality, asset bubbles in one class or another, armies of speculators moving like zombie hoards descending on the next fad and blowing it up to infinity and beyond, Buzz Lightyear-like.Why is the whole concept of a bull market generally, nonsense? Because if the value of everything is going up simultaneously, then nothing is going up. If everyone is a superhero, nobody is. If, in an imaginary economy, absolutely everything costs, say, $5, (labor, land, capital whatever) and then the next day everything costs $10, then what’s changed? The answer is absolutely nothing.The only thing that matters is relative valuations between asset classes. Let’s divide them into three of the most basic ones. Equities (stocks), bonds (debt), and commodities (consumer goods). If all three are going up in tandem, then there is no “bull market” in anything. If commodities are going up faster than stocks and bonds, you have inflation, or even hyperinflation. Ask anyone in Venezuela whether they care that their stock market is doing great, nominally. They don’t. They’re looking for their next glop of gruel or morsel of moldy bread to survive the day.But if stocks and bonds are rising and consumer goods are static to falling, you have a bull market in financial assets. This is where we are now. And boy are we really hard and deep into it now. Below is the ratio of the S&P 500 to the CRB Commodities Index.And I’ve got news for everyone. This bull market in stocks relative to consumer goods in dollar terms is already over. It ended almost a year ago. On April 20, 2020 to be exact. Red circle blowoff top above. That was when oil crashed to negative $35 a barrel and we all lived in an alternative financial freakhouse universe. But I have more news than that. This entire “bull market” in stocks has been one gigantic illusion from the very beginning. Stocks aren’t going up. They haven’t gone up for 21 years. Money is going down. Here is the graph of stocks relative to the prime monetary commodity, gold, over the same timeframe above.We can see here that from 1990 to 2000, we had a real bull market in stocks. Equities rocketed in gold terms and in terms of consumer goods generally. Everyone felt richer. Portfolios up, expenses down. But since that time, money has been dying at an accelerated pace and the standard of living has fallen.The bull market in stocks over the last 21 years has been an illusion, a tiny echo of the bull that ended at the turn of the century. We have spent the last 21 years trying to reinflate it, but gold has exposed the lie. We are now at the point where the illusion is about to collapse completely. In my view, we have only a few months left until it all hits the fan. Until then, the bubbles will keep coming in staccato frenetic fashion, moving from one asset class to another faster and faster, until we all get so dizzy we can’t follow it anymore. Last week I speculated that maybe the next target for the zombie hoard will be in penny gaming stocks. I was close. It’s in Macau stocks. It may already have started two weeks ago. The frenzy has started over news about China opening up again. I mean, just look at this crazy chart of the Macau proxy ETF:That last surge higher is just since February 1. We could be at the beginning of a crazy but brief ride higher in Macau stocks right now. New all time highs again, and Macau isn’t even fully open yet. The latest full month statistics for December show a 78.6% drop in visitors year over year. And yet we’re at new all time highs in these stocks already. It’s just completely crazy. I can understand the Macau opening up again trade, but to argue that this factor is being priced in at these levels, at new all time highs? As if none of this full year shutdown hurt any of the casinos fundamentally at all? That’s just totally bonkers crazy. It’s a reflection of the value of the currency these stocks are priced in, not the stocks themselves.What’s happening is that the zombie hoard of bubble chasers is reading the headlines regarding China starting to open up again, and they’re slamming buy orders and call options like they’ve been doing with tech stocks and Gamestop and BTC and all the other fads. We just got news out of Bloomberg that China’s Imax had a face-ripping rally due to exploding ticket sales. China is, indeed opening up, and the zombie hoard of speculators is now going to spray their money hoses at anything Chinese. Macau might be at the center of it.How high can this Macau bubble go, if that’s what we just saw start two weeks ago? The truth is, it doesn’t matter. If you get into it, you’ll get hooked and keep levering yourself up, counting your paper gains, unable to separate from them until you get caught in a vortex. At some point, my view this year, it’s all going to come crashing down when all the damage from 2020 is finally revealed all over the world. You can’t paper it over forever. The damage to Macau casinos doesn’t just go away. It festers in the form of more and more debt, and a damaged consumer base that can no longer patronize casinos in the way it once could. Festering wounds need the paper bandage removed and they need to be operated on. That is painful. And it’s coming.When we think of the word “bubble”, what are we really talking about? A bubble is something that looks, from the outside, to be really big and stable. The shape of it, a sphere, is the most stable shape in the universe. It’s why planets, stars, moons, and possibly even the spacetime continuum itself, spontaneously shape themselves into spheres. The force of gravity equalizes at every point on the sphere, forming equilibrium. Nature always seeks equilibrium. And so bubbles take on the illusion of stability, but unlike a real sphere, there’s nothing inside them. When they pop, they are gone almost instantly. This one is about to pop. Macau appears to be the next victim sucked up by the bubble. Macau will survive and rebuild. The question is, in what form? I wouldn’t take a bet the depended on me getting the answer to that question right.
It may not have originated in Ireland, but the phrase “the luck of the Irish” rings loudly in the country. According to The Irish Post, more money is spent, per capita, on gambling in Ireland than in almost all other countries around the world. Only in two countries – Australia and Singapore – is more spent hitting the slots and the tables than in Ireland.The media outlet doesn’t source its data, but indicates that the Irish love online gambling more than any other form. Online gambling spend is 60%, greatly superior to other forms gambling and sports gambling, which only accounts for 15% of the money. The lottery receives a 10% cut, the same amount given to gambling machines and slots. Casinos, of which Ireland has around 20, pick up 5% of the action.While Australia and Singapore may see more gambling spend per capita, Ireland is the hands-down winner in online gaming spend, with The Irish Post asserting, “Ireland takes the lead globally when it comes to online gambling.” It adds, “With almost 3 billion American dollars spent on gambling and betting every year, that means that each man, woman, and child in Ireland are spending roughly 500 [euros] ($607) annually on this type of entertainment.”The media outlet further indicates that online gambling is most popular in Ireland because the segment is more regulated. It cites “outdated laws” that some casinos are exploiting to attract attention, but the transparency and accountability afforded gamblers by online operators give them an edge. The Irish Post explains that, according to reports, many Irish would prefer to gamble in a British casino than in a domestic one, possibly as a result of the outdated laws.Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Irish loved to gamble online and the segment increased about 15% each year. Last year, with the coronavirus in full swing, the numbers jumped substantially and, with the introduction of live online casino games and live sports gambling, the online segment has skyrocketed in popularity. Online gambling is inarguably the future, looking down the road 20 to 30 years, but it’s never too early for casino operators to start preparing.Surprisingly, the U.S. ranks fifth in terms of per-capita gambling spend, even less than Finland. However, with a population of over 330 million, it’s the largest market available. $120 billion was spent on gambling in the country in 2019, while the Irish spent $2.7 billion through its population of less than five million.
My Home game is currently on hold and games are not running. If there is enough demand, I will re-start the home game in the future.
*****Sign up info is no longer active*****
PokerStars Home Game:
Club ID: 1976954
Invitation Code: playpoker
These prizes are awarded each week to the top three finishers of my home game tournament.
This is important!!! If you win one of the prizes, you must email firstname.lastname@example.org your full name, twitch name, pokerstars name, and email address to claim your prize.
5 Reward Stars for my video training products
3 Reward Stars for my video training products
1 Reward Star for my video training products
Poker Coaching Account
In order to redeem your rewards, a PokerCoaching.com account is required. If you do not have an account, sign up for a FREE Poker Coaching account using the link below.
How to Redeem Your Rewards
Click the video below for instructions on how to redeem your rewards.
How to sign up:
You can NOT sign up through PokerStars New Jersey, only the global clients PokerStars.net and PokerStars.com.
To sign up for the PokerStars home game, simply download PokerStars and then navigate to the Home Game tab.
Click “Join a Poker Club”.
Club ID: 1976954
Invitation Code: playpoker
I then have to manually accept you, which may take me up to 24 hours. Once I have accepted you, be sure to log back into PokerStars and register for the tournament. You will see JonathanLittlePoker under your list of poker clubs.
Then click on JonathanLittlePoker, click on Schedule, then you will see the upcoming tournaments.
Simply register for the tournaments you want to play and you will be all set.
Log into PokerStars prior to the tournament and the table should automatically pop up once the tournament begins. I am looking forward to playing with you. Please please please share this post with your friends. I want this league to be a huge success so I can continue running it. Thank you and good luck!
This game was initially run as a league, with Kuno2001 claiming the title as well as the $1,500 grand prize. I will start the league back up again sometime after the WSOP, assuming there is enough interest.
HUGE congrats to Biszibosz for winning $1,000 plus lots of additional prizes in Season 2. Congrats to Qtunneler for taking 2nd for $500 plus lots of prizes.
I was honored to have a coaching session with the first and second place players from Season 1 of the league. Here I am giving them their coaching sessions live in Las Vegas!
***For those interested, here is how the PokerStars point structure works:
The exact formula for how Home Game statistics are calculated is based upon these factors:
n = number of players in tournamentk = place of finish (k = 1 for 1st place, k = 2 for 2nd place, etc.)p = integer (n * 0.34)
‘p’ determines who receives points. ‘p’ is the number of places that finish in the top third of the tournament. If there are 6 entrants, then n=6, therefore p=n*0.34, making p=2 (integer of 2.04).
If n = 4, 2 points are awarded for 1stIf n = 5, 3 points are awarded for 1st
For n 5, points awarded are:
n * (sqrt(n)/sqrt(k)) / [sum (sqrt(n)/sqrt(k)) for k = 1 to k = p]
Each tournament with 6 or more players pays out the total number of points equal to the number of entrants (n). The numbers generated by the above equation tend not to equal ‘n’, in these cases the points are normalised accordingly, by keeping the same ratio but applying it to n, rather than n.
So if there are 6 entrants n=6, p=2. As p=2.04, only the top 2 finishers will receive points, meaning the equation will work like this:
For 1st, n=6, k=1, p=2.04:
6 * (sqrt(6)/sqrt(1)) / [(sqrt(6)/sqrt(1)) + (sqrt(6)/sqrt(2)) + (sqrt(6)/sqrt(6*0.34))]6 * (2.449/1) / [(2.449/1) + (2.449/1.414) + (2.449/2.04)]6 * 2.449 / (2.449 + 1.732 + 1.71)= 2.49
For 2nd, n=6, k=2, p=2.04:
6 * (sqrt(6)/sqrt(2)) / [(sqrt(6)/sqrt(1)) + (sqrt(6)/sqrt(2))]6 * (2.449/1.414) / [(2.449/1) + (2.449/1.414)]6 * 1.732 / (2.449 + 1.732 + 1.71)= 1.76
These results are then normalised so that 6 points are awarded in total (as each tournament awards ‘n’ points):
For 1st place:
6* (2.49 / (2.49 + 1.76)) = 3.51points
For 2nd place:
6* (1.76 / (2.49 + 1.76)) = 2.49 points