28 May 2017

Discussing The Recovery™ and Financialization With Alan Greenspan and the Limited Liability Establishment

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."

Mark Twain

Here is an encounter during a Congressional hearing that Bernie Sanders had with Alan Greenspan in 2003.

In the light of history, how do you think that events have shone any light on these two different perspectives?

The pity is that Senator Sanders could have this same conversation with Janet Yellen, and  most of the mainstream media, and the professional elite, and certainly the majority of his political colleagues on both sides of the aisle, today.  And their responses would still be substantially the same.

That is the shameless hypocrisy of the credibility trap.

And what excuses will they offer after the next financial crisis?

27 May 2017

And I've Got One More Silver Dollar...

Well, I've got to run to keep from hiding
And I'm bound to keep on riding
And I've got one more silver dollar
But I'm not gonna let them catch me, no
Not gonna let 'em catch the midnight rider.

And I don't own the clothes I'm wearing
And the road goes on forever
And I've got one more silver dollar
But I'm not gonna let them catch me, no
Not gonna let 'em catch the midnight rider.

And I've gone by the point of caring
Some old bed I'll soon be sharing
And I've got one more silver dollar
But I'm not gonna let 'em catch me, no
Not gonna let them catch the midnight rider.
No I'm not gonna let 'em catch me, no
Not gonna let them catch the midnight rider...

Celui qui est mort.

RIP Gregg Allman

26 May 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Drawdown in Hong Kong Physical - Non-Farm Payrolls Next Friday

"Today, the top one-tenth of 1% owns nearly as much wealth as the bottom 90%. The economic game is rigged, and this level of inequality is unsustainable. We need an economy that works for all, not just the powerful.

The problems we face, did not come down from the heavens. They are made, they are made by bad human decisions, and good human decisions can change them."

Bernie Sanders

Stocks went mostly unchanged in a trade that became very quiet after noon in the US.

As a reminder this is a three day holiday weekend with the markets closed on Monday for Memorial Day.

There will be a Non-Farm Payrolls report for May next Friday 2 June.

VIX has once again fallen to single digits. This has been a sign of relative complacency in recent months.

As noted in the report below, the level of physical gold in Hong Kong has fallen to a lower level than usual.  This most likely is nothing of significance, but I like to keep an eye on such things.  Typical the inventory level has been closer to a million ounces.

Please remember God's creatures as best that you can, and those created in His image, the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely.

Have a pleasant weekend.

25 May 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts -- A House of Desolation

"God who gave us life gave us liberty.   Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?  Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."

Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Northeast Portico

“A true opium of the people is the belief in nothingness after death, the huge solace, the huge comfort of thinking that for our betrayals, our greed, our cowardice, our murders, we are not going to be judged.”

Czesław Miłosz

"I urge you, brothers and sisters, to beware of those who cause arguments and put obstacles in your way with things that are contrary to the teachings you have learned. Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord, but their own vain appetites and inclinations.   By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people."

Romans 16:17-18

Stocks set new highs, and gold and silver corrected a bit on a quiet Comex option expiration. The charts continue to exhibit interesting patterns and excesses.

The economic news of The Recovery™ meanders along its mediocre path, with a rise in long term unemployment and the sluggish growth in the broader economy driven by an exhausted middle class and staggering working poor.

Several fellows sought to engage me in conversation yesterday, challenging the observation that 23 million people will be denied affordable access to healthcare for themselves and their families by this abomination that has slouched out of our House of Representatives.

Their points, while differently expressed, were that since these unfortunates do not have such access to reliable and affordable healthcare now, it is no great loss for them.   It is as if this is the result of the natural order, and not of a damnable system of apportioning out the wealth of the country, its products, and its benefits in a corrupt and distorted manner that is without equity, compassion or mercy.

And therefore it is implied that the fate of the weak, the elderly, the children and the disabled is deserved, because they are not life fully worthy of life.  If they were then they would be rising up in the world on its own terms through their innovation and diligent power as do the exceptional and the elect of this world and its favored few.

We all seem to be gifted with a rare talent for knowing the right things to do, and yet rationalizing exceptions to those principles for ourselves, not of any real necessity when you get right down to it, but for our convenience.  And we have a remarkable talent for broadly blinding ourselves to the nature and consequences of our own actions.

We are truly masters of deflection and self-deception. We see our elite boldly standing on their vain pedestals of patriotic righteousness and credentialed authority.  And can we not help but think that we have learned nothing, both from history and from the words of the prophets.

If our Lord came back, not as we expect in glory as the Son of Man, but as a humble lamb of innocent perfection, there should be little doubt that we would stand by while those from the established power structure would crucify Him again.

And this certainly is not because He would deserve it, not in the least.  Although there can be no doubt that we would hear some fine sounding reasons for it.

It is because by His very nature He is truth, and is therefore inconvenient to the established order of worldly powers, and the gods of the market that seek to measure the value of all in their twisted scales.  His casting of a light is the greatest offense of all to the lords of the darkness of this world.

If you ask any of our elite what they intend with their actions, none would say that yes, I set out this morning to damn myself eternally, with lies and profits from the abuse of the innocent.  No, they have achieved great wealth and power because they are the most capable, the most virtuous, the hardest-working:  exceptional.

In their own minds they might even see themselves as serving the order of God, or at least the god that they have erected themselves, and chosen to honor and obey.  And yet they do, if not in the rigorous sense, but in all practicality damn themselves in their selfishness and pride, and blind themselves to it.

Most cannot even imagine such a judgement as applying in their own case. We may think that there is no higher power than themselves and, if there is, that it is some immanent and disinterested source of power that is there for us to use, as in every other case, for our own ends.

After all, the elite have been able to use their words and their cunning wit to rise to such positions of power, and maintain on so many other occasions, that surely they will not fail them in their final reckoning.   Even God Himself could not find the ability to best them in their arguments and authority.

But the simple truth of the matter is this—  they will not serve any other but themselves.  Non serviam.

Surely those striving for power and rule over the well-being of others have taken on a higher obligation for justice by.

But before we cast judgement on others, we must look at ourselves, and in our own hands see the lash of vanity and the hammer of greed.  We too are wielding them against our brothers and sisters, the least of these, at the very foot of His cross.  Hypocrites and sinners, are we all.

And yet hope and forgiveness is there, if we will but take it, and cast off our blindness and see.

Forget now and go on, and do not thank or acknowledge His truth in any way, or take any obligation or restraint for ourselves that we do not willingly place there, at our pleasure, convenience, and discretion.

We will decide what is enough for Him. For this is what we do, every day, in our foolish blindness.

May God have mercy and forgive us, especially in that moment when we will finally see ourselves as we really are, stripped of all worldly ornaments and illusions, and then know what we have done, and what we have failed to do, with perfect clarity.

Have a pleasant evening.


24 May 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - We Inflate Assets and Crush People

"Legitimate power always includes attentiveness to justice, When power is not attentive to justice it cannot endure. This is a summons to us to keep the agenda of justice for the vulnerable alive and front and center to maintain a kind of subversive stance toward power.

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..."

Walter Brueggemann

"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason.  But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich."

John Kenneth Galbraith

“In the eyes of the empire builders men are not men, but instruments.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

As a reminder there will be an option expiration for the precious metals on the Comex tomorrow.

The Fed's minutes were released today.  They showed a bias to raising rates in June if the recent economic weakness proved to be transitory.

The question of the Fed's changing their benchmark interest rate is probably a little less significant than the question of what they will be doing with their enormous Balance Sheet.   Currently they are rolling the instruments over, but will likely be looking to start capping those renewals of the current holdings.

Removing items from the balance sheet has a less predictable impact on financial assets as compared to interest rates which is easier to hedge.

After the bell the CBO released their new study for the House proposal for 'reformed' healthcare.  And the Bloomberg spokesmodels trumpeted it as good news.   In this latest version the budget deficit would be reduced by 198 billion over ten years.  Huzzah!  Of course one has to accept a lot of assumptions to make that valid.

And only 23 million people would lose their access to health insurance, instead of 24 million.  Improvement!

Medicaid would be slashed and older people and those who are sick would be paying much higher insurance rates.   But at least the tax cuts for the wealthiest would be there as a consolation.

Luckily the Senate isn't going to have any part of this inhuman piece of repugnant trash, which in my opinion disgraces the House GOP for all to see.   Have no illusions about these jokers.  And that includes the corporate Democrats.  See the video below.

The Fed, a servant of the financial system, continues to pursue its dual mandate of inflating financial assets and crushing working people.

People keep waiting for some outrage that will spark an outcry, but slowly but surely the dehumanizing of the republic at the hands of the ubermenschen continues, in most of the Western countries.   It is the fashionable thing to do.

Have a pleasant evening.