Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ponzi Schemes, Bubbles and Manipulation Rampant in US Markets

What follows bizarre?

On the absurdity scale, probably irrational, or maybe unbelievable.

That's exactly where US markets are now and for the foreseeable future - or until about the middle of June. Nothing makes sense on the surface, but there are correlations. Below the surface are machinations of big money players, central banks, the Too Big To Fail banks here in the US and Europe and whatever whacky game they're playing in the two biggest Eastern economies - China and Japan.

Consider that the dollar index spent the overnight gaining, fell sharply during the morning in the US, spent the next two hours rising, and ended the day with two hours of flatness, resulting in a final prinat at 4:00 pm EDT of 73.095, a paltry gain of 0.051, hardly a blip on anyone's radar.

Now, the Dow did follow along at the end, though it made all of its gains, back to a small print higher for the day, in the final hour of trading, bouncing back from a 50-point loss.

Meanwhile, silver had its worst one-day decline since the Hunt Brothers got wiped out in 1980. Sure, silver was overvalued on a very short-term basis, but the meaning of the massive, manipulated crash was to get the price back down to where JP Morgan and the rest of the shorts wouldn't be losing theirs. The attacks since Sunday night on the paper silver market, in conjunction with margin hikes by the COMEX, have had the desired effect. Silver is down, the US dollar will live for another day, week, a few months, maybe even until the presidential election in 2012.

Oil finally had its comeuppance, for a day, but if anything is a bubble, it is not silver, which has been suppressed for decades, or gold, which has broken out of the stranglehold of the big banks, but oil and stocks. Crude oil has doubled in the past year along with stocks over the past two years. Some stocks are up as much as 300, 400, 500% or more from the March, 2009 bottom to today. Normal markets do not double in one or two years. One only need to look at the massive amount of stimulus thrown at the markets via the Federal Reserve to see where the bubbles lie.

Where will everything go from here. A guess is a good as anyone can make right now, but if Ben Bernanke is serious about ending QE2 on schedule in June, one can probably side with deflation over the short term, a long-overdue market correction, and crashing interest rates.

Of course, the Fed can't allow interest rates to rise, since that would bankrupt the US government, so their only option is to reign things in, allow the stock market to correct and hope it doesn't crash as money will flow into medium term bonds. The speculative plays in commodities will cease to exist and the dollar will bounce.

That's a best guess scenario, until the next financial crisis, caused by either the Fed, the banks or the government, occurs. And one will occur, because one always does. Heck, it's been almost three years since the last one, so we're probably overdue.

In the long, long run, it's a depression, plain and simple. The Fed cannot continue printing money at a breakneck pace, nor can the government borrow at ridiculous speed, especially when the two biggest buyers of our debt (after the Federal Reserve, via the PDs and POMO), Japan and China, have their own issues and are not all that sound, economically-speaking.

In a world so tangled and cross-reliant, there are no safe havens, only places that will do better than others. Sure, the good, old USA will likely outperform Greece and Ireland, but Germany appears to be the only sane economy in the world, followed maybe by Brazil or India.

Dow 12,807.51, +0.15 (0.00%)
NASDAQ 2,841.62, -20.22 (0.71%)
S&P 500 1,356.62, -4.60 (0.34%)
NYSE Composite 8,584.68, -64.93 (0.75%)

Declining issues took the measure of advancers for the second straight day, 4471-2090, and if this kind of lopsided A/D line continues another day, we'll have no problem calling it a trend. On the NASDAQ, there were 60 new highs and 39 new lows, closing in on equilibrium. At the NYSE, 141 new highs and 22 new lows were recorded. And, surprise, surprise, volume was actually solid today; not a very positive sign for markets.

NASDAQ Volume 2,225,012,000
NYSE Volume 4,968,288,500

The commodity trade seems to e blowing up all over the place. WTI crude futures fell $2.47, to $111.05, when traders were shocked to find that there was actually a glut of oil sloshing around waiting to be turned into useful products, like gas, plastics, etc. The world has been led to believe that there's no more oil out there, that the political disruptions in the Middle East will cause production declines, when nothing is further from the truth. The oil wells and fields will keep on producing through revolution or peacetime, money is money, everywhere in the world, after all. There is simply a greedy cartel of nations and companies that like the price in the stratosphere and people need to drive their cars, run their engines, so it goes.

Gold was squelched a bit again, down $8.50, to $1537.10 at the moment, but that was nothing compared to the raid on silver, which is currently down $2.27, to $41.66. Remember, silver was almost $50 per ounce last week. A line has been drawn in the sand by the central banks and, more importantly, the silver shorts at JP Morgan and HSBC, who have won this battle, though the war carries on apace. Silver is eventually going to $150 on the open market and there's nothing they can do about it, long term. All they have is their paper market in the SLV and PSLV EFTs and they will eventually break down, when all participants require physical metal and they won't have enough.

That's where we stand today, on the precipice of failure of fiat money, for what it's worth.

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