Monday, January 7, 2013

Something is Broken

Ever get that nagging feeling that something isn't quite right, you don't know what it is, but you're sure something important is broken, and it's going to cause problems?

That seemed to be the sense of things today. This marking the first day of the first full week of trading, and, after that spectacular, fiscal-cliff-solution-induced-rally last Wednesday, stocks have been just spinning their wheels.

Maybe it's the end of the holidays and getting back to reality, or, for those of us up in the North country, the dreary, dank, dark and depressing days of winter (only 73 mare days until Spring!), but there's a problem out there lurking that's bigger than the upcoming debt ceiling fight, the next unemployment report or whether we dip back into a recession.

It's the kind of feeling that pervaded Germany during the rise of Naziism, in which people didn't trust each other any more, everybody was on guard against some unseen, invisible, but just under the surface threat.

To put one's finger on it exactly would be a stroke of luck - or genius - but let's take a stab at it.

The house of cards the US has built up after the fall of the TBTF banks back in 2008 seems to be crumbling, and, like a house of cards, it starts at the top, where those on the bottom or even in the middle, can't see the collapse coming.

After the nonsensical debate and drawn-out rhetoric over the so-called "fiscal cliff," congress delivered a solution that was only half a solution, that being the taxation part. The hard part, cutting spending, is still ahead, and anybody who knows anything about how Washington has worked for the past thirty years knows that the congress and the president aren't willing or able to cut programs in any meaningful way.

So, the political structure at the top of the pyramidical structure called our society isn't working, and that's going to cause problems down below. The bankers, politicians and corporations currently at the top of the food chain don't seem to have adequate answers, only mildly appeasing artical solutions and glad=handing all around while the suppress and repress the rest of society. Eventually, one little slip up, one mistake, one good blow of wind from out of the blue takes the top cards off the structure and down tumbles everything into a massive, wrecked heap.

How long can the nation survive with clowns twirling dishes on stoks and juggling balls in the air at the top of the structure? So far, about four years, but it hasn't been pretty. There's just this feeling that it's all going to get worse.

Maybe if we turned Dow theory on its head, and noticed that the transportation average had moved to a technical, secular bear market back in July and August of 2011, and hasn't recovered to exceed the previous highs, and the Industrials since then have made a concerted, upside move based on nothing but short-covering rallies, asset inflation thanks to continual pumping by the Federal Reserve, that would give us all a clue to where things are going.

Or, maybe the Federal Reserve, the OCC and Fannie Mae all settling up with the banks on the first Monday of the New Year is a what? Coincidence? And nobody is concerned?

Maybe it's the breakdown of the relationship between the A-D line and the new highs vs. new lows. Maybe it's the flu. Maybe it's gold being constantly hammered down, or silver stuck in perpetuity at $30/ounce. And, maybe those are just symptoms.

Something is broken, for sure. Nobody is sure exactly what it is, but it could be everything.

Dow 13,384.29, -50.92 (0.38%)
NASDAQ 3,098.81, -2.85 (0.09%)
S&P 500 1,461.89, -4.58 (0.31%)
NYSE Composite 8,636.91, -30.77 (0.35%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,702,506,875
NYSE Volume 3,513,878,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2852-3657
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 286-15
WTI crude oil: 93.19, +0.10
Gold: 1,646.30, -2.60
Silver: 30.08, +0.136

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