Showing posts with label NFL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NFL. Show all posts

Friday, November 24, 2017

Stupid Money for a Stupid Country

It's Black Friday, the day known in America as the day to get the best deals on just about anything, from computers, to wide-screen TVs, to clothes, to toys, to, well, you get the picture.

Big TVs are all the rage in fat-a$$ America, as usual. People just can't seem to stop plopping down on the couch or easy chair to gaze at oversized images of overpaid actors or athletes doing things the average Jane or Joe calls "entertainment."

As far as network shows are concerned, they're the epitome of immorality and trashiness these days, as multi-cultural stupidity has overtaken the airwaves. Homosexuals, deviants, people of diverse backgrounds overpopulate network fare. In the sports arena, it's mostly minorities doing the running, throwing, diving, catching, and, especially in the NFL, kneeling during the national anthem.

Ordinary people watching the millionaire thugs, bullies, wife-beaters, and serial abusers of self and others has taken a bit of a hit this season, with both attendance and TV viewership lower, but there are still millions of people who - for whatever reason - cannot separate themselves from the stadia or the television, despite the paucity of good play, the obligatory self-congratulatory on-field celebrations, and the obscene amounts of money that help pay these goons, sell their merchandise, and fill the stands.

Thankfully (yes, let's not forget that yesterday was Thanksgiving), perhaps, people are paying for their entertainment, trinkets, TVs, and trash with equally worthless money. Federal Reserve notes (debt instruments) are the medium of choice (make that demand, by force, by the federal government) for payment in the former land of the free. The value of the almighty dollar has fallen precipitously since its inception in 1913, when the Federal Reserve System took control of the monetary affairs of the country.

In 1913, a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk would cost somebody about 38 cents. Today - or rather, in 2008, according to this handy chart - those items would cost roughly $5.37, an increase of over 1400%.

A new car, in 1913, could be had for about $500. In 2008, new cars averaged over $27,000. An average house cost $3,400 in 1913. Today, one can have multiple walls and a roof over one's head for a mere $206,000.

People will protest that these numbers are hogwash or some other kind of whitewash, eyewash, or mouthwash, because wages were lower back in 1913 and cars and houses are better today than back then. Such an argument would be hard to maintain when one considers the materials going into new homes and the massive amounts of plastic needed to build a new car. Back in the day, houses were mortar, plaster, wood, brick, pipe and other durable building materials. Today's homes are pressed wood, plastic, sheetrock and other flimsy stuff that probably will be mostly done with after fifty years.

Further, milk and eggs are pretty much the same (actually they were better, more nutritious, and more wholesome back in 1913) then as now, but we pay much more for them.

Another argument can be made that Disposable Income in 1913 was $1,283.04; $30,465.50 in 2008, an improvement of 2,374%. OK, but, how about the federal income tax? In 1913, it was 1%. In 2008, it was roughly 18.5%, an increase of 53,414%, but, who's counting? Good thing the government accepts only fiat Federal Reserve Notes for payment of taxes, and it's no wonder that they try to collect more and more of them every year because, well, they're not holding their value very well.

So, go shopping. Buy junk you'll throw away in a few years. Pay for it with dollars that aren't worth much. You'll be rewarded for such foolish behavior by having to pay more and more every year, especially in taxes, because the government - yes the government of which halls of congress are populated by molesters, liars, crooks, bribe-takers, and miscreants of all stripes - just can't get enough.

And you keep paying them, and paying them, and paying them.

Go ahead. Spend those nearly-worthless Federal Reserve Notes.

It's Black Friday.

At the Close, Wednesday, December 22, 2017:
Dow: 23,526.18, -64.65 (-0.27%)
NASDAQ: 6,867.36, +4.88 (+0.07%)
S&P 500: 2,597.08, -1.95 (-0.08%)
NYSE Composite: 12,390.83, +4.95 (+0.04%)

Monday, September 25, 2017

Stocks Drop, Gold, Silver Soar, NFL Ratings Tank

Less than a week after the Fed committed to selling off their hoard of toxic and subprime bond "assets," stocks are down, gold and silver are up and the NFL is imploding.

None of this is coincidence. The market rally has run its course, as phony as it always was. US dominance in global currency markets - as the reserve currency - is waning. Gold and silver and hard assets will become more and more valued as economies adjust to the new realities of a bi-polar (East vs. West) global economic paradigm.

There is no stopping the forces that have been at work for a long time. The United States has squandered its treasure, the US government is ineffective, emasculated, and impotent. The rest of the world has tired of US domination, just like sports fans have tired of boring games complete with bold-faced, meaningless protests by millionaires on the sidelines and on the field.

A great reset is coming because working Americans are not happy. They toil and cannot save. They work only to see their paychecks taxed and exploited by government programs - from horrible attempts at education to crumbling infrastructure - and they are told to shut up and pay up, so now they are fed up.

If you're one of the millions of Americans who have had their pay stagnate, their credit cards and social security numbers left unprotected and hacked, and who have seen their money pay for social welfare programs that are designed only to enrich the status quo and keep the recipients on the dole, then you know the score.

It's why Donald J. Trump won the presidency. It's why Hillary Clinton is a whiner and sore loser. It's why the left is fighting so hard to continue their wasteful policies, but there's no going back. Change is in the wind.

Get used to days like this one in the stock market. This is only the beginning.

At the close, Monday, September 25, 2017:
Dow: 22,296.09, -53.50 (-0.24%)
NASDAQ: 6,370.59, -56.33 (-0.88%)
S&P 500: 2,496.66, -5.56 (-0.22%)
NYSE Composite: 12,141.60, -10.23 (-0.08%)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Last Hour Rally Salvages Gains, Though Markets Down for Week

A tumultuous week came to a very anti-climatic conclusion on Friday, as the President issued a challenge to congress to come up with the "framework" of a deal within the next 24 to 36 hours to solve the wrangling over the debt ceiling and budget issues.

President Obama's 11:00 am new conference did little to move the matter in a more positive direction, and stocks languished throughout the day, finally putting together a half-hearted momentum rally in the final hour of trading.

In Europe, 82 of 90 banks passed the European banking Authority stress tests, but eight failed - four of them in Spain - and 12 more received barely passing grades.

Citigroup posted better-than-expected second quarter results, but still finished in the red for the day. Taking its cue, Bank of America (BAC), which reports on July 19, fell below $10 per share, finishing exactly at 10.00, after trading as low as 9.88, the lowest in more than two years.

The entire day was rather disjointed and purposeless, as stocks drifted around until the ramp-up at the close.

For the week, the Dow shed 177 points, the NASDAQ fell 70, the S&P gave back 27 and the NYSE composite dropped 183 points.

The late rally made little sense, unless one gives credence to the thought that it was a positive sign from the markets that a debt ceiling deal would be hatched by Monday.

Dow 12,479.73, +42.61 (0.34%)
NASDAQ 2,789.80, +27.13 (0.98%)
S&P 500 1,316.14, +7.27 (0.56%)
NYSE Composite 8,227.04, +35.91 (0.44%)

Advancers led decliners, 3945-2570. The NASDAQ offered 40 new highs and 34 new lows, while the NYSE had 62 stocks make new 52-week highs and 51 reach new lows. The combined total of 102 new highs and 85 new lows is cutting the margin rather closely and is reflective of the choppiness inherent in current markets.

NASDAQ Volume 1,825,291,125
NYSE Volume 4,370,969,000

A swath of economic data points offered no suggestion of improvement. The CPI fell 0.2%, the Empire Index returned a -3.76, industrial production and capacity utilization were both stagnant at 0.2% and 76.9%, and the Michigan consumer sentiment fell from 71.5 in May to 63.8 in June.

Crude oil continued on its zig-zag path, gaining $1.55, to $97.24. Gold hit another record, up 80 cents, to $1,590.10. Silver was up 38 cents, at $39.07 per ounce.

The NFL lockout continued, but both sides seem intent on reaching a deal, saying they would continue working over the weekend in order to conclude talks as early as possible without jeopardizing the preseason or regular season.

Maybe congress should take a hint from the players and owners. The American people have had about as much stalling and posturing as they can handle.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No Rest for the Wicked; Stocks Fall Again

Conditions in Europe have not really changed much since yesterday's news of a crisis in Italy's continuing funding, except that Greece - before even receiving all of its most recent bailout money - already has put out its hand for more.

The word for the deepening debt crisis in Europe most-bantered about these days is contagion, the likelihood that issues of underfunding and failing to meet obligations by sovereign governments will spread. Here's a tip: contagion is already in effect. A few years ago Iceland defaulted on debt, refused to take austerity and cash from the IMF and is well on its way to a newfound prosperity without the rigors of international finance and fractional reserve banking.

However, on the continent, Ireland, Greece, and now Italy are suffering strains of the same disease - that of over-promising (mostly on government employee pensions and benefits) and failing to pull in enough revenue in taxes, fees and levies to pay out promptly and graciously. Portugal and Spain are not far behind, and the tiny nation of Belarus has already defaulted and devalued its currency. Belgium is also a basket case.

Contagion is here and its happening now.

What this really means is two things: 1) The European Union is in its death throes after just 11 years of existence, and, 2) Many of the largest banks in Europe are nearing the end of their government-supplied rope and will hang.

And maybe there's a third link to the disaster that is modern Europe: people will cheat, steal, riot, and eventually revolt. Forget collecting taxes. Government officials will be happy if they escape with the clothes on their backs and a few thousand Euros to see them safely out of their respective countries. Whether or not the contagion has enough virulence to travel across the Atlantic Ocean and infect the United States is a matter for politicians and their media lackeys, because the United States is the world's largest debtor with a total debt (on the books, not including the unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicade and Medicare) well beyond its annual GDP, making the United States the worst of all nations with a debt-to-GDP ration of over 100%.

Not only is the USA a basket case gone full retard, the debt is growing larger every day, and every day the Obama administration and the congress dithers over raising the debt ceiling (they all agree that the US cannot default), the situation worsens. We are in the midst of the most enthralling and frightening economic condition of all time. Many, many grave errors have occured over the past thirty years, not the least of which was the hollowing out of our industrial base which provided good jobs for millions of Americans. Those jobs went to Mexico and then to Southeast Asia and China. They are gone, many for good, and there is no way to bring them back soon.

It brings up an interesting proposition, supposing that the mindless cretins we call our "leaders" in Washington haggle and argue right up to the August 2nd deadline. Who gets stiffed in the case of a default? Would the US actually stop paying its military? Social Security recipients? Food stamp mouth-breathers? How about China?

There are no good answers, only bad and horrible conclusions. The answer is China. Stiff the Chinese on their $1.8 billion or so in bond holdings and go to war, as war solves all problems in a way. Both countries get decimated in a protracted struggle or blow each other and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere away in a nuclear holocaust. The first way is slow, painful and regrettable. The second is quick and completely devastating, and since neither side would likely opt for MAD (mutually assured destruction), the first choice is rather obvious.

Will it happen? Hopefully not. And there's the very good chance that the politicians, controlled by the banking and industrialist interests, would opt on stiffing seniors. What the heck, they're old and going to die soon anyway, why not just accelerate the process. And wipe out the food stamp class as well. They contribute nothing, so starve them to death. Nice scenarios, no?

Whatever happens over the next few weeks, nothing is really going to be solved. Even if the government officials decide on a compromise of $3 trillion in budget cuts over ten years, the annual deficit will probably be close to a trillion dollars each and every year. They're only cutting $300 billion a year out of the budget. It's kind of like using a sponge to empty a bucket. It works, but not very well. By 2022, the national debt will have grown to over $24 trillion, and that's if they work out a compromise that cuts some of the deficit and tax revenues remain steady for the next ten years, two possibilities that are not very good bets.

In other words, you, me, your kids, their friends, your neighbors and their neighbors are royally screwed unless we begin taking off the rose-colored shades and rid ourselves of the infliction known as normalcy bias pretty soon. Normal is going away. Austerity, poverty and desperation will become rampant, as they're already spreading across the land and are in place in Europe.

Not to sound like the whack-job on the street corner, shouting, "prepare or die," it is time to hunker down and get serious about the issues plaguing the globe, most of which start and end at your local bank branch, which is probably a Chase, Bank of America or Wells Fargo. They're the problem, have been the problem and will continue to be the problem until they are forced to meet their realities and be broken up, though that will not happen. We're beyond that, and, with the politicians thinking more about elections in 2012 rather than whether or not there will be a nation and an engaged electorate at that time, the chances of complete systemic breakdown are greater than they were in 2008, when the unthinkable almost happened. This time, there will be no bailout, because it will be the government going under.

Whether that's a good thing or not will be for historians to judge, but one thing's for certain: we cannot continue along this path much further without some kind of catastrophe. It's coming faster than anyone can imagine.

As for the markets, the major indices bounced along the flat line for most of the session, with the NASDAQ (where the highest risk stocks reside) taking the worst of it. There was a slight bounce after the Fed released the minutes from the last FOMC meeting, in which it was revealed that the Fed governors were torn between more stimulus and raising rates. There cannot be a greater divide of opinion, which, at such a critical time, is a very, very bad omen and portends more mistakes by the Fed straight ahead.

That bounce lasted only a few minutes as stocks fell to their worst levels of the day into the close. It was truly ugly and sets up some very dicey trading for the remainder of the week. Even as earnings are rolling out from a variety of companies, interpreting economic data is going to be a challenge. PPI is out on Thursday along with initial unemployment claims, and Friday, a veritable stew of data comes forth: CPI, Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization, the Empire Index for NY state and the Michigan gauge of consumer sentiment. Things could get very messy down on the trading floors. Good time to stock up on tissues and handkerchiefs because there's likely to be a bit of sweating and some crying before the week is out.

Dow 12,446.88, -58.88 (0.47%)
NASDAQ 2,781.91, -20.71 (0.74%)
S&P 500 1,313.64, -5.85 (0.44%)
NYSE Composite 8,192.75, -35.98 (0.44%)

Declining issues outpaced advancers, 3806-2726. There were 56 new highs and 37 new lows on the NASDAQ. The NYSE showed 46 new highs and 37 new lows. Combined, there were 102 new highs and 74 new lows. Not much margin for error as the tide seems to be turning very bearish, very quickly. Today's volume was a bit perky, with much of it occurring in the final two hours' rush for the exits, another disturbing sign.

NASDAQ Volume 2,028,997,125
NYSE Volume 4,215,946,500

For those of us who drive combustion engine vehicles, another knife in the back from our friendly oil producers, who drove the price of WTI crude up another $2.28, to $97.43. Gold, however, made a new all-time high at $1,562.30, gaining $16.20 on the day. Silver added 35 cents to $36.10.

With gold and silver rising, stocks falling, and, by the way, the 10-year note down to a yield of 2.87% - from 3.12% a week ago - all signs point to a very rough patch dead ahead. The flattening of the yield curve is happening at an unprecedentedly rapid pace. The clowns in Washington better come to a deal soon, like tomorrow, because financial armageddon awaits. The same goes for the millionaire players and billionaire owners of the NFL. People are tired of gamesmanship and waiting.

Now is the time for decisive action.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stocks Stall While Precious Metals Soar

Well, that week-long, pre-holiday buying rush seems to have come and gone now that the three-day weekend has passed, which really isn't surprising, considering how vaporous and baseless the entire five days rally was.

Low volume, as usual, was the telling factor in the melt-up last week and now it's gone, maybe for good. There are no more suckers in the market, or at least not as many as there were a few years ago. One look at today's volume numbers will stamp that as fact. Today might go down as the lowest volume trading day of the year, though there have been so many, it may not, and besides, nobody's keeping score.

One the other hand, precious metals did astonishingly well. There seems to be another shift to safety underway and nothing is safer than gold, and maybe silver, if the price manipulation would ever cease.

Other than the obvious, there was little to report from the exchanges. One wonders how the CNBC anchors manage to stay awake on days like this.

Dow 12,569.87, -12.90 (0.10%)
NASDAQ 2,825.77, +9.74 (0.35%)
S&P 500 1,337.88, -1.79 (0.13%)
NYSE Composite 8,404.63, -20.85 (0.25%)

Advancing issues had a slim advantage over decliners, 3278-3231. On the NASDAQ, there were 149 new highs and 27 new lows. The NYSE new highs beat new lows, 173-7. Combined new highs: 322-34. As mentioned, volume was dismal.

NASDAQ Volume 1,569,571,875.00
NYSE Volume 3,676,082,750

The real action was in commodities. Oil surged again, gaining $1.95, to close the day at $96.89. Gold was boosted $30.10, to $1,512.70, while silver gained an inordinate $1.70, to finish at $35.41.

The world still waits for the congress and president to decide on whether or not to raise the debt ceiling. Both houses remain in session, even though the week is usually reserved for yet another undeserved week-long vacation. With any luck, congress will allow the government to borrow to its heart's content before the NFL settles their issues.

Truthfully, more people are concerned about the NFL season than the debt limit. Obviously, one can live without a functioning currency, but Sundays without pro football is an unthinkabel reality that nobody seriously wants to consider.