Is Stress Contageous?

Can your kids ‘catch’ your stress?

An interesting question asked in an article over at Can your kids ‘catch’ your stress?.

You may think you’re doing a good job of shielding your kids from your anxiety and stress. But research shows that your children are probably picking up on it anyway—and it’s affecting them, physically and emotionally, more than you could imagine.

But how do kids know that something’s wrong, even when we keep telling them—and ourselves—that everything is fine? Neuroscientists call it attunement, and it may have to do with our ability to feel empathy. “Attunement is basically a fancy word for what we used to call the mother-infant bond, where parent and child are so attuned to each other that the child can pick up on a parent’s stress and absorb it almost by osmosis,” explains Code, who calls it “the mind-body connection” in his book. “It’s not so much what we say or do to our kids. It’s more about the ‘vibe’ we give off in their presence. We simply cannot fake being calm to our kids.”

Many parents aren’t even aware of how high their stress levels really are, Code points out. Between the still-weak economy and our increasingly isolated modern lifestyle, “stressed out” has become the new normal. The push to be the perfect parent is also ratcheting up the stress levels—and harming children rather than helping them. “It’s not about, ‘The more attention I give my kid, the better they’ll turn out.’ Rather, it’s about, “The calmer and more social I am, the better my kid will turn out’,’ Code says. “It turns out we were so busy killing ourselves to make our kids happy that our stress is now making them unhealthy.”


How to combat stress as a family:
1 – Parents, have a family purpose bigger than your kids. The article mentions being social as a way to beat stress.
2 – Be calm. What works for you, stop and take a breath? Read a Psalm and pray? Take life a little less seriously and play.
3 – Eat well and get enough sleep. These are also critical for overall health to cope with stress. Also supplement with Omega 3′s, magnesium and vitamins.

The Bullish Case for the Economy

“The Fed actually has one lever left in its bag of tricks: the reverse repo market,” Hackett tells me.

As he explains in his most recent client letter:

The definition of a reverse repo transaction is as follows: A purchase of securities with an agreement to resell them at a higher price at a specific future date. This is essentially just a loan of the security at a specific rate also called reverse repurchase agreement. Through QE-1 and QE-2 the Federal Reserve has helped re-liquify the banks and helped support runaway government borrowing at rates far below the true market rate by printing money. What quantitative easing did not do was get the fractional banking system going through the typical money multiplier effect. Banks are afraid to lend, borrowers are afraid to borrow and zombie loans remain in decay. This has kept the key housing asset market stuck in reverse.

The result is that the banks have deposited at the Federal Reserve 1.8 trillion dollars of unlevered capital better known as NBR’s (Non Borrowed Reserves). This is a massive amount of capital that it sitting there idle doing nothing and earning next to nothing. The Federal Reserve and the U.S government want this money to move into the system to help roll current government debt coming up for maturity and for future borrowings as well as for other bond asset purchases for states and municipalities and to help supply and expansion cheap mortgage loans.

These NBR’s can be levered 10:1 in the fractional banking system that we have today. This opens the possibility of extending bank credit by up to 18 trillion dollars without printing any more money or reserves by the Federal Reserve. That is a lot of money and a huge expansion of money supply.


Practical Insight:
1 – This economist’s bullish case isn’t about private sector growth but just “there’s more money to lend.” A key piece to growth is available credit (at least it has been) but how is this any different than where we are today? As stated, at best it kicks the can down the road.
2 – For this “bullish case” to work, there must bean increased demand for debt. The supply is there but the demand has been lacking. People want to pay off debts not accumulate more of it. So good luck there.
3 – Perhaps how this could play out is deflation first, thru 2013 and then (hyper?)inflation starting in 2013 and lasting until…2016/2017 (or later?) as trillions of dollars funnel into the market.
4 – We are between a rock and a hard place, there are no easy answers – only politicians who place their reelection efforts above the citizen’s best interests believe in easy answers. At some point we have to drink the medicine and it will be bitter.


Heavy stuff but critical to key an eye on for those who have IRAs, EFTs, stocks and those who want to save their cash. Economic cycles are part of life, until 2008 we’ve had it good for a long time, the next leg down of the bear market is coming.

John Mauldin writes:

It was relatively easy for me to forecast the recessions of 2001 and late 2007 over a year in advance. We had an inverted yield curve for 90 days at levels that have ALWAYS heralded a recession in the US. Plus there were numerous other less accurate (in terms of consistency) indicators that were “flashing red.” (For new readers, an inverted yield curve is where long-term rates go below short-term rates, a [thankfully] rare condition.)

And since stocks drop on average more than 40% in a recession, suggesting that you get out of the stock market was not such a challenging call. Although, when Nouriel Roubini and I were on Larry Kudlow’s show in August of 2006, we got beaten up for our bearish views. And you know what? The stock market then proceeded to go up another 20% in the next six months. Ouch. That interview is still on YouTube. Timing can be a real, um, problem. There is no exact way to time markets or recessions.

…page 3…

Think about this. The Fed announced this week that it would extend low rates until 2013. They are practically pushing people into higher-risk assets in a search for yield, at PRECISELY the time we may be slipping into recession, which will put those assets at their highest risk (Mike’s note: for example many government retirement accounts are behind so higher risk funds is a way they think they can catch up). I think this could end in tears and land those who are close to retirement in even worse shape.

If we are headed into recession, and I think we are, then the stock market has a long way to go to reach its next bottom, as do many risk assets. Income is going to be king, as well as cash (and cash is a position, as I often remind readers).

If we go into recession, we’ll know several things. Recessions are by definition deflationary. Yields on bonds will go down, much further than the market thinks today. And while the Fed may decide to invoke QE3 to fight a deflation scare, the problem is not one of liquidity; it is a debt problem.

So, I guess I am going out on a limb, without any help from an inverted yield curve, and saying that we will be in recession within 12 months, if we are not already in one. This will be unlike any recession we have seen, as there is not much that can be done, other than to just get through it as best we can. Sit down and think about your own situation and prepare.


Also from Toby Connor:

As I have been warning investors for many months, stocks have now entered stage III of the secular bear market. Gold on the other hand is now in the final parabolic phase of a 2 1/2 year C wave advance.

My best guess was that we would see a Dow:gold ratio of between 5-6 before this C wave ended. The ratio was at 5.71 as of today. For reasons explained in the nightly reports I think we may still have a little further to go on the downside for stocks and a little further upside in gold. So it’s entirely possible that we could see a Dow gold ratio of 1:5 before the trends reverse.

Stocks on the other hand, after what should be a very convincing bear market rally, will roll over and continue down into a final four year cycle low, probably in the late summer or early fall of 2012.

Depending on whether or not the Fed tries to fight the cleansing process stocks should either test the March 09 lows, or if Bernanke tries to stop the bear market with another round of quantitative easing, we could see the March 09 lows breached.

Either way I expect that 2012 will go down as one of the worst years in human history. Certainly in the same category as 1932 if not worse.


Practical Application:
1 – Save your cash
2 – Bank at a top rated safe bank
3 – Pay off debt
4 – If possible, hold off on that large purchase
5 – Exit any high-risk stock positions

Happy Marriages Heal a Broken Heart

Marriage TRIPLES your chances of surviving major heart surgery

A happy marriage can be as good for heart health as stopping smoking, losing weight or keeping blood pressure in check, experts say.

Heart bypass patients with supportive spouses are more than three times as likely to still be alive 15 years later than those who have never tied the knot, a study found.

They were also often more likely to live to tell the tale than those in bad marriages.


Practical Application:
1 – Attend a marriage enrichment conference
2 – Pray with your spouse
3 – Don’t hold grudges against your spouse

Wrinkles Predict Risk of Bone Fractures

A very surprising Yale School of Medicine study reports that wrinkles on a woman’s face may predict her risk for bone fractures later in life. In findings presented on June 6 at the Endocrine Society Meeting in Boston, the researchers said that the severity and pattern of skin wrinkles, as well as overall skin firmness, may offer important clues about bone mineral density in women entering menopause.

Skin is the largest human organ. It reveals a lot about our overall health, diseases, allergies, deficiencies and much more. Healthy skin is attainable from the inside-out. Our top inside-out recommendations to improving skin tone are:

  1. Cleanse Your GI Tract
  2. Coconut Oil and Omega-3s
  3. Avoiding foods your are allergic to
  4. Not eating after 7:30PM
  5. Vitamin C supplements.