19 March 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Hey Mister Tangerine Man

Hey Mister Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning, I'll come followin' you

Take me for a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship
All my senses have been stripped
And my hands can't feel to grip
And my toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin'

I'm ready to go anywhere I'm ready for to fade
On to my own parade cast your dancin' spell my way
I promise to go under it.

Bob Dylan, Hey Mister Tambourine Man
Stocks took a dive today, with a broad wave of selling with about 450 of the SP 500 stocks going lower.  What was odd about this was that there did not seem to be any flight to safety, with bonds and the precious metals flat, and the US Dollar lower.

The catalysts for the selloff were relatively slight for such a broad reaction.

 Facebook is implicated in a misuse of its users profile information by Cambridge Analytica who used it to craft tailored political campaign messaging in the last Presidential election.

There is also quite a bit of tension on the international and domestic political horizons that are making the markets edgy at these levels.

There is also a two day FOMC meeting this week, with an expected 25 bp rate increase almost certain. But all eyes will be on the 'dot plots' this Wednesday afternoon to try and discern if there will be three or four rate increases this year.  The markets are already starting to price in four.

The stock market bubble has been fueled by the Fed and the US monetary and fiscal policies.  They have been pumping quite a bit of money, top down, with most of it (if not all) being snagged by the one percent and put to their own uses, which do not favor broad demand or real GDP growth.  We have seen the usual growth of monopolies, non-productive deal-making, and paper asset bubbles.

So at the end of the day, the reason for today's big selloff is that there is another financial asset bubble in equities as noted here previously, led by the FANG tech stocks.

Narrowly led bubbles lead to wild volatility swings before they finally revert to the mean.  And that reversion in this case is likely to be in the neighborhood of a 20%+ stock market correction.

Financial reform is not only being neglected, the GOP with the help of corporate Democrats are rolling back the mild financial reforms from the widely disappointing Obama Administration.   This is not going to end well.  And they are driving huge deficits to benefit their cronies and donors.  Not that Obama did not essentially do the same thing for Wall St.

Hillary was in India saying the usual tone deaf and elitist things that are so popular among Beltway Liberal Democrats these days.   There are rumours she will run again in 2020.  She may still have the raw power within her hapless and self-referential party to get nominated, but barring a GOP selection of some even more outrageously bad candidate I don't think her chances will be good.   She is the poster child for the kinds of things that the public wants to change.

The times they are a-changin'. And at some point the winds of change may start blowing a hurricane.
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it's ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.
Tomorrow is the first day of Spring.

Have a pleasant weekend.

18 March 2018

Hypocritical Corporate Democrats Selling Out While Feeling Your Pain

"You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

Abraham Lincoln

As always, the GOP does the same thing in the service of Big Money, and much worse and most of the time, unabashedly.  I don't spend a lot of time on them because they don't seem to be a potential vehicle for the kinds of economic change that we need the most.  Their service is to the monied interests and every cockamamie think tank ideology that supports the one percent and then some.

But the Democrats, who are the traditional party of the working class and the New Deal, keep trying to ride this 'lesser of two evils' gimmick and avoid doing more than talking about badly needed genuine reform.  They want to have their cake and eat it too.  The cake is public office, frosted with huge Big Money political contributions, speaking fees, and post-office payoffs.

Don't blame Bernie or Jill Stein for Hillary's loss.  And don't blame the voters, or write off half the country, the blue collar working class and the working poor, in the arrogant, elitist manner of Mitt Romney.  But the Clinton campaign did, and it is clear that Hillary has learned nothing from her loss.

Her high disapproval ratings across a broad portion of the electorate were well known.  And the reasons for this disapproval showed up clearly in her campaign, which epitomized all the self-referential policies that the out of touch Beltway Democrats have been pursuing since before 1990.   The 'best qualified candidate' of all time lost to a reality show host and a fast-talking NY real estate developer.

And they lost the Congress, most of the governors' offices, and broad support in the middle and lower working classes in their pursuit a credentialed elite supported by the one percent, hidden beneath the figleaf of identity politics.

Their attitude is that the working class has 'no where else to go.' And when working people do occasionally go someplace else in their desperation for change, they are condemned, vilified, thwarted, and further alienated.

There was a groundswell of popular support for Bernie Sanders.  His broad appeal and ability to raise non-corporate money was an undeniable phenomenon, an indication of where the Democratic base was heading.  And it was determinedly and at times brazenly ignored, ridiculed and then suppressed by the Democratic insiders and their consultant/media enablers who feed on their money machine.

The Democrats have abandoned their New Deal principles and constituency, and do as little as they can for the public.  Meanwhile they have been pursuing the same kind of razzle dazzle elitism that has been their brand since the Clintons showed them how easy it was to have big personal paydays. 

And they are not likely to change until there is a rebellion within their own party that tosses them out, or a third party rises up to replace them.

That is what the people who live off the donation/consultants money flows fear the most— that someone will disturb their own 'good thing.'  And they become the very things that they pretend to despise while maintaining a hypocritical rationale that grows thinner by the day.

17 March 2018

Pro America Rally Tonight - In the Garden of Beasts

“You demagogues are like the fishers for eels; in still waters they catch nothing, but if they thoroughly stir up the slime, their fishing is good; in the same way it's only in troubled times that you line your pockets.”

Aristophanes, The Knights

"They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective, toward which all their deceit is directed, is to capture political power, so that using the power of the State and the power of the market simultaneously they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.

American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists [Big Money], the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery."

Henry A. Wallace, former Vice President of the US

"It [Citizens United] violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president."

Jimmy Carter, former President of the US

There is no good thing that cannot be turned to evil purposes by an unbalanced passion that crushes all distinctions and reason and commitments to virtue.  Nothing.

Evil makes virtue its servant by elevating one facet of our ideas as above all others.  It is when love of one thing turns into an instrument of hatred for so much else.

It takes patriotism and turns it into a paranoid fear of the deplorable, objectified other.  It takes  a portion  of an otherwise benevolent ideology and turns it into a blinding affliction, into a fury of singular purpose.

It  provides allows an individual to excuse themselves and provide a rationale for increasingly terrible actions.  It can even infest the former victims of oppression, and turn what they have learned towards the very things that they themselves have hated and resisted.

It is above all a hypocrisy that tempts the confused and naive by filling their emptiness with something that they think serves them, benefits them, and gives them meaning and purpose without having to think.  It crushes all distinctions and reason into simple, distorted choices.

It finds its moment when harshness is enshrined as exceptional, as unfortunate but necessary, rising above even the self-evident truths of equality and the public good, and love of neighbor, and finally above the normal restraints of both good and evil.

Its name is expediency and exceptionalism.  Its tools are fear and deception.  Its methods are violence and harshness.   Its fruits are blood and destruction.

And above all, it is the very opposite of love.   It has no substance of its own; it is a pure opposition to that which has life and existence.   It is the negation of life.  Without hate and anger it has nothing to say.

You will find no love in it.  And that is how you will know the madness— the unspeakable.

16 March 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - And the Love of Most Will Grow Cold

"We labor and labor and labor for stuff that never satisfies us.  The market ideology is now the new form of imperial power and many of us, without any critical reflection, have signed onto that, and organized our lives in that way so we do not have any time, energy or capacity for the things that are rightly important to us, our human-ness."

Walter Brueggemann, Truth To Power

"And then many will fall by the wayside, and will hate and betray one another. False prophets will arise, and lead the people astray. And because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.    But those who stand firm in faithfulness to the end will be saved."

Matthew 24:10-14

There seems to be a crescendo of corruption and a storm of deceitfulness rising all around us.  How we react to these trials of the day will determine many things, not the least of which is the choice of whom we will serve, whether we realize it or not.

Be wary of the stories being woven that are designed to lead to your fearful acceptance of the unspeakable towards its intended victims.   And be especially wary of interpretations of the faith that are centered on worldly riches for the believer, as an end of faithfulness in itself.  Our Lord did not say, 'Pick up your big fat wallets and follow me to the mall.'

Stocks were attempting to rally today on supposedly good news about consumer sentiment and industrial production. The pundits on bubblevision are celebratory.   And the cash stock indices ended about unchanged.  However the futures sold off into the close, once the technical games in the market had been played for the day.

Gold and silver were off a bit again, most likely because of the stock option expiration and some additional Dollar strength.  After all, the latest addition to the three ringed circus in Washington, Larry Kudlow, said to sell gold and buy 'King Dollar.'   Let's see if those who are not clients and courtiers to the prevailing monetary powers will agree.

Next week we will have an FOMC meeting. There is a 99.95% chance that they will raise rates 25 bp.  And so the focus might be on wording moreso than actions.

Please remember to care for God's creatures, the least of these, during the hard winter months. And pray for your brothers and sisters,  all of whom are carrying heavy burdens and crosses of their own.

Have a pleasant weekend.