Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Miracle Rally Sends Dow to 8th Straight Gain

Over the past two days, I've tried to make the case that I am optimistic instead of pessimistic and that the recovery we've been told over and over and over again ad nauseum is actually real and not fully backed by the free printing of money.

Oddly enough, we have in America a free press, but it is largely the one used by the Treasury and the Fed to create money, not the one that enlightens opinion with words of wisdom. I have tried my best to drink the Kool-aid that says all is well, the Fed has the economy under control and that unemployment really is only 9%, when all along I know there are dangers lurking everywhere, the Fed is actually out of control (lost all control when they dropped interest rates to ZERO), and that unemployment in America is much closer to 20% (maybe even above that) than 10% when factoring in all the part-time jobs, heuristic and hedonic measurements and adjustments made by the BLS and other government statistic-throwers.

I simply cannot profess to any kind of fundamental economic theory that would have me believe that the best way to solve a debt and solvency crisis is with more debt and by keeping insolvent companies (banks, GM, Chrysler) afloat with taxpayer dollars. Neither can I avow to any belief in the Federal Reserve, knowledgeable in the fact that the Fed, since 1913, has reduced the buying power of the US dollar by 97% and that since 1971 - when Nixon closed the gold window - the world has been operating with a fantasy reserve currency, backed only by the good faith and credit of the United States of America, the world's biggest borrower and instigator of costly wars for the national "good."

Label me a pessimist if you must, but not before reading this somewhat over-the-top (but not by much) article on why small businesses aren't hiring.

Then read the comments, including this one:

I am a self employed business owner, and my brother is also a small business owner. Neither of us will hire an employee under any circumstance, even if the economy was improving or even just steady. Here is why; the local, state, and Fed governments are out of their f---ing minds with rules, regulations, fines, direct and indirect ( hidden ) taxes. Hiring an employee is almost a form of self destruction where you are forced to provide guarantees to the employee and the state to provide for their well being. OSHA, Labor dept, DOT, Workers Comp., Unemployment, Health Care rules for Cobra, retirement , EPA, Dept. of Environmental Conservation, IRS, State Taxation, etc. etc. and f--k all of that bull---t. Been there, done that, will not do it again. This article describes myself and almost all the self employed people that I know to perfection. When help is needed, hire other self employed guys and gals, 1099 them and you are done. Keep overhead to an absolute minimum.
Maybe then, you'll begin to understand my anti-corporate, anti-government opinions.

Some of the biggest news today was that concerning the proposed merger of the NYSE/Euronext and the Deutsche Boerse. As it turns out, merger is an incorrect term by which to identify this transaction. Rather, the NYSE is selling itself to the Deutsche Boerse, meaning that even though there will be co-headquarters in New York and Berlin, the Germans will hold the controlling interest - about 60% - meaning one of our most basic institutions, the venerable New York Stock Exchange, will be largely owned by foreigners.

While this is not new nor novel - recall the Japanese buying up most of Manhattan's expensive real estate in the 70s (at inflated prices) - the precedent it sets is troubling. What will we sell next? The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Capitol, the White House?

Some may argue that the latter two edifices are already foreign-owned, the title is still officially held by the US government, for now, though, as economics becomes more and more a dark science, that is subject to change. As it is, I am writing from a home heated by fuel supplied by a company based in Spain - a deal backed fully some years ago by Senator Charles (Sellout) Schumer - so, if our energy resources are to be parceled out to foreigners, why not the rest of the country. After all, there's no security risk in that, no?

Maybe having a bunch of rich German bankers running the NYSE is a good thing in disguise. The low volume of trading (Tuesday was the lowest of 2011 so far) is a signal that the exchange may not even be worth what the Germans are supposedly offering, which is about a 10% premium from where the stock (NYX) closed on Tuesday. Maybe it's time for Americans to throw up he white cloth en masse and surrender to the economic forces of the rest of the planet, put up big "for sale" signs in all the harbors and ports, and say goodnight. The party is officially over. Call it a day. Stop pretending that we're "exceptional" and sell us off for parts.

Maybe some of us could actually get a job in the deal. Of course, it would be a wages more commensurate with those in Thailand or Nigreia, but, hey, it's a buyer's market. Maybe the banks can sell off all that unsold REO for pennies on the dollar and retire their debt, along with their businesses. Let's be honest. America is for sale and the parceling out of the NYSE is just one, big, obvious example of just how broke we really are.

Speaking of broke, one thing that the crooks and manipulators on Wall Street simply could not see happen was breaking the string of positive closes by the Dow, which managed, miraculously, devoid of any news, to shake out of its dolorous decline of more than 40 points around 2:45 pm, and close slightly positive for the 8th day in a row. Now I know that America is bankrupt, financially as well as morally.

Strange as it may seem, only the Dow ended in plus territory and it was the only one riding a winning streak. Somebody at Goldman Sachs must have a bet, heavily-leveraged, that the Dow will continue going up for ten straight days. Only two left!

Dow 12,239.89, +6.74 (0.06%)
NASDAQ 2,789.07, -7.98 (0.29%)
S&P 500 1,320.89, -3.68 (0.28%)
NYSE Composite 8,343.84, -36.01 (0.43%)

Declining issues still stomped all over advancers, 4089-2399. New highs outnumbered new lows on the NASDAQ, 162-20; and on the NYSE, 196-13. Volume was down in the pits again, just barely above Tuesday's 2011-low level.

NASDAQ Volume 1,898,219,125.00
NYSE Volume 4,424,957,000

Oil futures finished slightly lower, down 23 cents, to $86.71, as OPEC production reached its highest level in two years and gasoline supplies in the US were at their highest levels in 21 years, due to diminishing demand.

Gold gained $1.40, to $1,365.50, while silver was flat, at $30.28.

In Washington, our comedy channel, otherwise know as congress, proposed some "big" spending cuts in the 2011 budget, which, by the way, is already five months down the road. These cuts of anywhere between $35 billion and $74 billion, are minuscule compared to the overall size of the proposed federal budget ($3.8 trillion) and less than 3% of the proposed deficit.

These aren't cuts, they're a mockery of the American public and the laws of economics.

Lastly, the video not to be missed, in which the difference between homeowners who don't pay mortgages and bankers who cheat at every turn is discussed:

Bankster vs. Deadbeat

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