Monday, August 15, 2011

40 Years After Nixon Killed the Gold Standard, The Great Sucker Rally of 2011

Those savvy traders who toil at their computer screens, doping out the finest of five-minute investments, went at the markets today like the economy was in the midst of a major boom, sending the Dow up by more than 200 points and all major indices back to levels prior to the careening downshift from August 4th.

Like it never even happened...

Like there's no debt crisis in Europe. Like the US debt to GDP ratio isn't close enough to 100%. Like the unemployment rate isn't 9.2% (really, upwards of 17%).

Supposedly, according to experts at these kinds of things, this is what the Fed was saying when it pegged federal funds rates at zero percent last Tuesday - that treasuries and savings were for fools and that the only way to make money was to invest in risky assets, like stocks.

It just so happens that today is the 40th anniversary of then-President Nixon closing the gold window, and setting global economies off on a fiat money adventure, wherein currencies are backed by nothing but "good faith and credit" of sovereigns, and nothing more. Whatever hell in which Richard M. Nixon is currently residing, one hopes that the flames are hot enough to toast his dead bones to a crisp, because, more than anything else, taking the US - and thus, the world's reserve currency, and thus, all other currencies - off the gold standard in 1971 has created the gross inequalities in income levels and the bankster/crook/casino mentality that pervades capital markets today.

Nixon destroyed the concept of sound money and replaced it with a world of volatile, floating currencies, mountains of debt and middle class wage slavery. If anyone asks who caused the great collapse of currencies and the three-year financial mess that the world is currently embroiled in, tell them, "Nixon did it," because he started it all (and maybe, when people wake up to reality, they'll elect Ron Paul president to undo it).

Traders (not investors) took to the market like hungry wolves right out of the gate, ignoring the August Empire State Manufacturing Index, which delivered the third straight month of negative readings, coming in at -7.7, an hour prior to the opening bell. It was the third straight month the index came in below zero, which indicates that the economy of NY state has been contracting since May.

Well, it's just one state, like Greece, and Italy, and Portugal and France, are each just one country. But, if New York is contracting, you can bet other states are doing similar, or just barely expanding. Besides, New York is one of the biggest states, by population, 4th in the US.

No problem. Just move along, the government will fix all the bad economic data that's coming out this week, including industrial production, capacity utilization, new and existing home sales, PPI and CPI. Besides, Ben Bernanke has made it very clear that the only place to put your money to work is in equities (oh, and oil), not bonds, or gold or silver.

As CNBC's chief cheerleader, Jim Cramer, would say, BUY, BUY, BUY.

Dow 11,482.90, +213.88 (1.90%)
NASDAQ 2,555.20, +47.22 (1.88%)
S&P 500 1,204.49, +25.68 (2.18%)
NYSE Composite 7,482.71, +178.83 (2.45%)

Stock winners beat losers by a count of 5737-970, in a broad-based beat-down. On the NASDAQ, new lows continued to outnumber new highs, 49-14. The opposite was true on the NYSE, with 11 new highs and just six (6) new lows. The combined total of 25 new highs and 55 new lows, still retains a modest downside bias.

Volume returned to more pedestrian levels after the ridiculous wind and unwind of the previous seven sessions.

NASDAQ Volume 1,915,922,250
NYSE Volume 4,952,016,500

Oil caught a bid, gaining $2.50, to $87.88. With any luck, the speculators and oil barons controlling the futures markets will have it back to $100/barrel by Labor Day. In case nobody's noticed, even though oil is well off it's highs around $100 just three weeks ago, prices at the pump have barely budged. The oil companies say that's because the gasoline already delivered was bought at a higher price and has to be sold at a higher price. When that runs out, and gas can be bought lower, then prices will come down.

Yeah, sure. AAA reports the national average for a gallon of unleaded regular at $3.594 per gallon, down about a nickel from July 22nd, when oil began to slide.

Gold and silver suppression schemes seem to be running out of fuel, however. Gold gained $15.40, to $1,758.00, while silver was up 19 cents, at $39.31.

On Tuesday, a slew of data hits the street, though it will mostly be ignored since there is no other way to make money than by buying stocks.

Finally, below is a video (ain't technology great?) of Richard Nixon forty years ago today, dissembling, in his own beautiful, self-destructive way, in front of the entire world. Enjoy.

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