Showing posts with label currency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label currency. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Nothing Can Stop The Mighty Fed Printing Press And Back Room Bookkeepers

The protesting, rioting, and looting was noticeably on the downswing Tuesday night. It could be seen as a sign that cities and states have things under control or just a lull in the overall action. Depending on location, it's likely a little bit of each.

Before the curfews took effect, the Masters of the Universe on Wall Street managed to enrich themselves and shareholders just a little bit more, sending stocks through the proverbial roof, with most of the gains happening in the final half-hour of trading. The Dow, for instance, was up about 100 points at 3:30 pm ET. By the closing bell, it had gained 267 points.

Apparently, there's little to no downside for corporations no matter what happens in the real world. Pandemic? No problem. Print more. Widespread civil unrest? Meh. Print more. Supposedly, a nuclear holocaust would send the major indices to record highs.

What's amazing about the rally since late March is not that it has come with a background of lockdowns, over 100,000 deaths, street protests, rioting, looting, and assorted public dislocation, but that stocks were overvalued even at the low point. First quarter earnings reports were dismal, yet stocks continued their ascent to nosebleed levels that are now more overvalued than almost any time before.

The current CAPE ratio (Robert Shiller's 10-year P/E ratio) stands at 28.96. For purposes of comparison, the same ratio just prior to the 1929 crash was about 30. The figure before the panic of 2008 was around 27.50. Only the dotcom era produced a record high higher than Black Tuesday and the most recent levels, when it peaked at 44.19. For reference, the median CAPE is 15.78.

What we have is a market of zombie corporations controlled by financial manipulators, expert at buying back shares with borrowed money at near-zero interest, limiting the number of shares outstanding to goose the price of the stock higher. Many companies don't really make money anymore. They just play games with the books to make it look like they do.

In the background, other elements of the price-fixing regime that has become Wall Street back rooms, the NY Fed and controllers at Treasury and monolithic banking operations (primary dealers, but mostly JP Morgan Chase) keep gold and silver under wraps on the COMEX, as they did on Tuesday, slapping down the recent runaway rally in precious metals. That's a necessary evil under the control economy because the Fed doesn't like competition for their Federal Reserve (debt) Notes and gold and silver are real money, rather than just currency, like every other sovereign fiat.

Also well under the control mechanism is the price of oil, which is forbidden to fall to prices that comport to affordability for drivers of gas-powered vehicles. There was a brief opportunity to save a little at the pump, but that's now over, with oil pushing toward $40 a barrel. Truth be told, oil is old news. Renewables have taken a serious bite into the overall market share, especially solar, as advancement in solar panels have made self-generated electricity as cheap as what's supplied by fossil fuel plants and in some instances, cheaper.

The price of oil can go to $200, but people with solar installations and hybrid or EVs (electronic vehicles) will barely notice. What they will notice is the slowdown of the outlying economy, which would be crushed under regular unleaded at $6 or $7 a gallon.

There's no stopping this juggernaut monstrosity of a stock market nor the destructive money printing of the Federal Reserve. If and when stocks nosedive again, the Fed will just increase its balance sheet another for or five trillion, loan out money at negative rates and call it a day. By then, there will be no economy, just some cheap, fake import from China masquerading as a market.

Later this morning, ADP will release May private payroll numbers, which will be a disaster and a presage of Friday's non-farm payroll report for May. None of it will matter. Even with unemployment at 20%, stocks will still stroke higher. Welcome to the new world of finance, where nothing matters other than questionable or fraudulent bookkeeping and willful ignorance.

At the close, Tuesday, June 2, 2020:
Dow: 25,742.65, +267.63 (+1.05%)
NASDAQ: 9,608.38, +56.33 (+0.59%)
S&P 500: 3,080.82, +25.09 (+0.82%)
NYSE: 12,046.41, +146.17 (+1.23%)

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Intent on Self-destruction, the Fed and Washington Politicians Should Be Encouraged to Get On With It

Two straight days of losses should have some investors a little concerned that all the money the Federal Reserve is using to prop up markets may not be enough.

Especially frightful is the short term head and shoulders pattern the Dow has printed, raising the possibility for another serious downturn that could leave the Fed outflanked, flummoxed, and low on ammunition.

Considering that the recent move forward off the March lows was anything other than an aberration predicated on the vacuuming up of voluminous amounts of debt by the central bank is just wishful thinking. After all, the entire planet is being ravaged - societally and economically - by a pandemic, the likes of which have not been seen in over 100 years. Stocks should have been sold right into the trash pile. Instead, the past six weeks have primarily demonstrated the Fed's ability to meddle in the natural functions of what used to be a free market. While profits were deteriorating at a manic pace the Fed saw fit to massage market integrity with bubble-gum, candy, and ice cream, looking past the most obvious and painful resolution to overpriced, overvalued equities: a quick crash and revaluation at lower levels, bankruptcies for the least protected or most egregiously offensive, and a sober look at systemic solvency.

Acting more like an overprotective soccer mom than a steward of principled financial policy, the Fed managed the nearly impossible feat of taking an already-overvalued market to even greater levels of investment insanity, throwing ridiculous amounts of capital and liquidity into a hyperventilated landscape on the verge of collapse.

It's high time for the Fed and the president to back away from the punch bowl of fiat fantasy and allow the market to determine for itself where it wishes to go, though the likelihood of that happening are about the same as Dr. Fauci speaking out of only one side of his mouth.

The president wants negative rates and while the Fed protests against the lunacy of capital destruction, they will eventually comply because that's all they know how to do. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a screw, so it's a safe bet that when push comes to shove - sending the major indices back into bear market territory where they belong - the Fed will no doubt begin to engage in financial hari kari.

By introducing negative rates, they will have effectively given up all hope for salvation of the capitalist system, punishing investors and savers even more than a zero-interest rate policy has for the past two decades, now insisting that bond holders lose money and currency is flattened under the steamroller of failed radical policy.

It's one thing to want to rescue a company or an industry from default or liquidation, but the folly and sheer egotistical panache of trying to save an entire economic system is on the table and being gorged upon by the inmates at the Federal Reserve. The panicky regional presidents and FOMC governors are about to put on a show for the ages, demonstrating, for anyone interested, how a group of supposedly intelligent men and woman can openly conspire to their own demise. With every shovelful of capital they feed to the market, the deeper they dig their own grave, with ample assistance from Washington politicians intent on not being outdone. Congress will compete with the Fed for lunatics of the century by doing on the fiscal side about what the Fed is doing on the monetary side, abandoning any remnant of financial discipline by exploding the federal budget with deficits wider than the Grand Canyon.

The American public should allow it. In fact, we should cheer on their efforts emphatically from our stay-at-home prisons. Since the public isn't allowed to go to sporting events or concerts, garden shows or lectures, the least they can do is encourage the people who masterminded this economic mishmash to demolish the antiquated, decrepit, malfunctioning miasma of governance, economy, and policy as quickly as possible, because then, a new functioning system can begin to evolve, one that hopefully does not include elected morons and economic theorists of central planning.

As predictable as day turns to night, the old gives way to the new. If those atop the pyramids of power wish to willfully fling themselves from the their perches, they should be allowed and even encouraged to do so.

It will hasten the pain and speed the healing.

At the Close, Wednesday, May 13, 2020:
Dow: 23,247.97, -516.81 (-2.17%)
NASDAQ: 8,863.17, -139.38 (-1.55%)
S&P 500: 2,820.00, -50.12 (-1.75%)
NYSE: 10,829.44, -226.14 (-2.05%)

Thursday, April 9, 2020

US Federal Government Disrespects Its People; $2 Trillion To Wall Street While Citizens Wait for Checks

At 8:30 am ET Thursday morning, April 9, 2020, the Labor Department announced that 6.6 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week. That's in addition to the nearly 10 million who applied for benefits the prior two weeks.

Have you received your $1200 check from the government yet?

Didn't think so. You are aware that Wall Street had access to $2 trillion weeks ago, right?

That's the number TWO (2) with twelve zeroes behind it. Like this: $2,000,000,000,000.

Bear in mind, the corporate money is coming to corporations via the Federal Reserve, which is not part of the federal government. It is and always has been a private bank, so there's really nothing "federal" about it. As far as the "reserve" portion of their name, they have no money in reserve. They have a balance sheet of nearly $6 trillion, all in various bonds or notes or obligations, otherwise known as debt. Much of it is not worth the paper its printed on or the electrons holding it in cyberspace.

There's no "reserves" at the Federal Reserve. They whip up currency out of thin air. A few keystrokes on their computer and viola! currency at their pleasure. The currency is represented by Federal Reserve Notes, or those pieces of paper some people carry around with pictures of dead presidents on them. Those are the ones, fives, 10s, 20s, 50s and 100-dollar bills floating around in the economy. There is only $1.75 trillion in actual printed currency according to the Federal Reserve. That's a little less than $6000 for every man, woman, and child in America.

The rest of the currency is in electronic form. The currency in your bank account is not really there. Try going to a bank branch and asking for $40,000 in cash, even if you have $100,000 in your account. First, you'd have to fill out IRS form 8300, because any transaction of $10,000 or more, the federal government wants to know about it. They think you might be a drug dealer, human trafficker, money launderer, or maybe a terrorist. It's all part of the Bank Secrecy Act, officially known as the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act. Then, after you've filled out the form, the bank's branch manager will likely tell you that they don't have that much money on hand. After that, you might have to come back on a later date to get some of it, make multiple trips, and go through a lot of hassle to get your hands on your currency.

This seems an appropriate place to explain the difference between money and currency. Here's Mike Maloney (an expert on the subject) to explain in less than three minutes:



The great financier, J.P. Morgan, put it in even simpler terms: Gold is money. Everything else is credit.

With that out of the way, have you received your $1200 yet?

No. Of course not. But Wall Street has already gotten theirs, and probably already spent it too. The stock market has been mostly up lately, the Dow Jones Industrial Average having risen from a close of 18,591.93 on March 23 to close at 23,433.57 Wednesday.

On March 17, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said President Trump would like to get money into the hands of people within two weeks. That was more than three weeks ago. Now, Mnuchin says the first direct deposits will be going out some time next week.

In other words, continue to wait. The government will be here to help in moments, er, days, er, weeks, maybe.

While Wall Street is open for business as usual, millions of Americans - roughly three quarters of the country - is under some form of stay-at-home or lockdown restriction. Ordinary people can't go to work, send their kids to school (they're closed), or venture beyond the boundaries of their own homes without some express, immediate need, like getting groceries, or picking up a prescription drug.

It's a shame. It's also likely unconstitutional. Americans are supposed to have the right to freely assemble. It's in the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

So, not only does the federal government not want you to have any money, they also don't want you going anywhere or associating with other citizens. Because of COVID-19, the government has "suggested" people congregate at distances of six feet apart. Many states have outlawed meetings or congregations of 10 or more people, some, five or more. They don't want you to get together with your fellow citizens, either.

As you wait for your money from the government, ask yourself if $1200 is worth having your first amendment rights taken away. As with anything else that sounds too good to be true, like free money from the government, there are strings attached.

And, while you're pondering that, how about those small business loans that are supposed to help businesses that have been forced to close so that the coronavirus doesn't spread. Those non-essential businesses are getting the run-around from the very same banks (JP Morgan Chase, Citi, Bank of America, Wells Fargo) that were bailed out in 2009, continued to get favors from the Federal Reserve and the federal government since then, and have been getting oodles of cash over the past six months, even before the COVID-19 crisis.

Those loans are full of boondoggles and conditions that limit how much a business qualifies for and what they have to do in order to receive a loan and more conditions for loan forgiveness. It's likely that most small businesses would be better off not taking the loans, toughing it out, filing for reorganization under bankruptcy laws and moving forward without inept government assistance.

The American public is being conned and abused by the very people they voted into office along with the media, the banks, and the Federal Reserve. State and local governments are only marginally less disrespectful. It all stinks to high heaven.

They don't respect you. They don't care about you. They want to control you. That should be obvious to everybody by now.

At the Close, Wednesday, April 8, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 23,433.57, +779.71 (+3.44%)
NASDAQ: 8,090.90, +203.64 (+2.58%)
S&P 500: 2,749.98, +90.57 (+3.41%)
NYSE: 10,902.59, +365.54 (+3.47%)

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Money, Currency, Value, Elusive, Changing, Unequal

This being the final posting for 2019, a divergence...

It's December 31. Do you know where your money is? Better, do you know what your money is?

To the unwashed, money is the crumpled pieces of paper in your pocket with pictures of dead presidents on them and some funny neo-Latin phrases and pulpy words like trust, debt, public, private, America.

It's not. Those papers are currency. Money is different. Gold is money. Silver is money. Diamonds and other precious gems are money. The paper is a convenience, a value identifier. In and of themselves, the papers with 10s or 20s or 100s on them are worth roughly the paper and ink, nothing more. But, in the minds of the unwashed, this is all there is. To them it is money. It is not money. It is currency.

The things we crave: food, shelter, cars, jewelry, these things have value. Words and numbers on paper, or digits on a computer or smartphone screen have only perceived value inasmuch as they can purchase the things we want or need, two wholly different things.

It is the thing itself that has value. The house, who some say is "worth" $450,000, others may see as worth less or as a massive misallocation of value. The house is shelter, an environment, a place of safeness, a sanctuary. It's value is derived from the joy or comfort it bestows upon the occupant(s), the safety it provides from threats of other men, from weather which we cannot control, form animal invaders. It's value, while it may be measured by a currency, is subjective. One man's 30,000 square foot castle may be no more comforting or safe than another man's cardboard box on a city sidewalk. It's a matter of perspective.

Further out, beyond the pointlessness of printed currencies, the anonymity of digitized value-measures, the sheer madness of crypto-currencies, are the certificates of ownership, of stocks, bonds, debentures, options, derivatives. Have these any intrinsic value? Not in the least. It is all perception and judgement of crowds. Often judgements are incorrect, inaccurate, altruistic, nonsensical, amusing, boring, tired, obsolete or otherwise jaded.

Like a horse race, the public gets to choose upon which favoritism is bequeathed. One horse may be valued at odds of eight-to-five. Another, sixty-to-one. They are both horses. They both run. Who is to say which horse is better on any given day? The judgement of crowds is more often wrong than right. The eight-to-five stallion does not always win the race. In fact, in practice, public favorites win only a third of the time. Imagine the same measure applied to value? A painting which sold for $300,000 in 2005, may sell for $2 million in 2020, and $45,000 in 2030. Such is the nature of value and currency. None of the numbers are correct indefinitely, but rather, acceptable in a given time, at a given place. Both value and currency are in constant flux and struggle against reality.

There is no real value in a painting.

A painting can neither feed nor clothe you, shelter you (perhaps from a rainstorm for a short period, but it would ruin the colors), but it can provide joy, prestige of ownership, emotion.

There's a number for all of that; it's elusive and always changing.

But, it's not money.

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

-- Robert Burns, 1788

At the Close, Monday, December 30, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 28,462.14, -183.12 (-0.64%)
NASDAQ: 8,945.99, -60.62 (-0.67%)
S&P 500: 3,221.29, -18.73 (-0.58%)
NYSE Composite: 13,876.15, -67.99 (-0.49%)

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Trade Uncertainty Tempers Markets on First Full Day of Holiday Trading

The first week of the final month of 2019 was a deviation from the general theme of 2019. Stocks were sold with reckless abandon, as were bonds, with the 10-year note bounding back to yield 1.83% - though higher during the day - a level not visited since mid-November.

The bond market felt more like churning than the start of actual long-term selling, but stocks had a different sense about them. Bad news on the US-China trade situation has the financial world in a near-panic as the deadline approaches for added tariffs to be applied on Chinese exports to the US. Additionally, President Trump reimposed tariffs on steel from Argentina and Brazil, citing the two South American countries' recent currency devaluations as reason for slapping on the tariffs "immediately."

While the steel tariffs boosted shares of US steel producers, it only exacerbated the unease surrounding the wider Chinese issue and sent stocks into a day-long tailspin. Selling was the order of the day globally, as bourses from Japan, China, Europe and the Americas all suffered declines with the sourness continuing into Tuesday as trade resumed Tuesday in international markets.

While the focus may currently be on trade and tariffs, there appears to be more to the sudden swing from buying to selling than just the movement of goods around the planet. Recall that Friday (ubiquitously know as Black Friday in the US) also witnessed declines, not the usual euphoria associated with the start of the holiday shopping season. Other concerns are various recent populist uprising in places as diverse as Hong Kong, Iran, Lebanon, India and elsewhere. Besides, it is December, so one can safely assume that any concerted selling is going to be enhanced by year-end profit-taking.

While the mainstream (now nearly completely fake) media will focus on the stock markets' generous advances during the year, they will also conveniently gloss over the dual declines from October and December of 2018, which, taken in such context, renders gains from September 2018 as practically nil.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, for instance, is up only 1000 points since mid-September of 2018, accounting for a gain of less than a half percent. The NASDAQ has tacked on about 450 points since August of last year, while the S&P 500, at current levels, has added just 183 points over the past 15 months, the point being that stocks, though they've recently made new all-time highs, are really not much further ahead than they were more than a year ago, but the media will remind us only of what's happened in the current calendar year, which might be a tad misleading.

In any case, internationally, stocks are being whacked again Tuesday morning and US futures are looking pretty dismal, with Dow futures down nearly 300 points less than an hour prior to the opening bell.

Corporate profits have been underwhelming, to say the least, for the past few quarters, so some fundamental shift may be underway. If a flight into the safely of bonds develops, that will be a sign that the stock market is going to finish off the year on a negative note, though there's always the possibility of a Sant Calus rally the week between Christmas and New Year to save everybody's bacon.

At the Close, Monday, December 2, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 27,783.04, -268.37 (-0.96%)
NASDAQ: 8,567.99, -97.48 (-1.12%)
S&P 500: 3,113.87, -27.11 (-0.86%)
NYSE Composite: 13,448.26, -96.95 (-0.72%)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Gold Is Real Money; Goldbacks Are Real Currency In Utah; South Carolina Proposes Gold and Silver as Legal Tender

Like rich stouts, the Dow Industrials, S&P 500, and NASDAQ indices all closed Tuesday at new all-time highs and it's not even Black Friday yet. Sure enough, many investors will give thanks to the stock market and their portfolio managers come Thursday.

The world needs to continue on this path of ever-increasing wealth for some reason, even though it defies logic because the global economy is not growing very rapidly. In fact, some European countries are on the brink of a recession if not already ensconced in one, and the future prospects of Germany, Italy, France, and most of the members of the European Union are, due to demographics, not likely to sustain any growth whatsoever in the coming decade (2020s).

But stocks, representing shares in massive multi-national companies, continue to rise, as though the future is already cast in gold.

Speaking of gold, it was revealed Tuesday that the South Carolina House of Representatives has prefiled a bill that would make gold and silver legal tender in the state.

The bill was introduced on November 20, but there was almost no news coverage in the mainstream media. If passed by the full legislature and signed by the governor, it would make the Palmetto State the fourth to recognize precious metals on a par with Federal Reserve Notes (AKA, US dollars, $). Utah, Wyoming, and Oklahoma have passed similar measures.

The movement to return back to constitutional money is gaining momentum as people become more aware and fearful of the profligate spending by the federal government and its use of the Federal reserve as a currency printing press.

Utah has teamed with the United Precious Metals Association (UPMA) to promote what it calls the "goldback," a paper certificate much like a dollar bill, that has actual gold embedded in its form. Individuals and merchants in Utah are using the goldback for transactions within the state, and the UPMA offers online gold, silver and goldback accounts to people and businesses anywhere in the world.

As the Federal Reserve and other central banks continue to fiddle with their fiat currencies, some states are taking the initiative and striking back with money that has the backing of the US constitution. The United States Constitution states in Article I, Section 10, “No State shall…make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.”

With a federal debt of $23 trillion dollars, perhaps people are finally awakening to the fact that the Federal Reserve System is a private bank lacking proper oversight by congress, unconstitutional, which issues debt-based currency at interest.

Therein lies the root of many of the problems within our great nation. While Democrats and other liberal and radical elements within government and the media trouble US citizens with phony "impeachment" claims and feeble attempts to dispose of a legally-elected president, the Federal Reserve continues to undermine our freedoms via debt servitude at every level, from the federal government down to the individual.

Gold and silver remain the only real money in a world overrun by fiat currencies.

At the Close, Tuesday, November 26, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 28,121.68, +55.21 (+0.20%)
NASDAQ: 8,647.93, +15.44 (+0.18%)
S&P 500: 3,140.52, +6.88 (+0.22%)
NYSE Composite: 13,559.71, +26.82 (+0.20%)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Weekend Wrap: Financial Warfare

When Mario Draghi announced on Thursday that the European Central Bank (ECB) would cut overnight lending rates an additional 10 basis points - to 0.50% - and another round of QE, markets responded with a bit of a yawn as the news had already been largely leaked and played upon.

Such are financial markets these days, wherein nobody is supposed to feel even the slightest degree of pain or anguish and central banks telegraph their every move. There's no feel to markets, especially stocks, other than that of a rigged game. Analysis is useless in the face of dovish banking motives, all coordinated and supposedly well-intentioned.

Truth of the matter is that there is a fierce financial war on over money, finance, and trade, with competition among unbacked currencies (all of them) terrific and without wane. The Europeans want to beat the US and Japan, Japan wishes to devalue against the Euro. China, clearly the world's leader in discounted exporting, parlays its wobbly currency against everybody.

Not only are nations and regions waging financial war, governments continue to stick their grubby hands into the pockets of domestic populations at an increasingly torrid pace. The level of regulations, rules, taxes, fees and tariffs has risen substantially over the past ten years, as political forces get in on the action which inflation has long forwarded. Now, deflation threatens to skew the balance more toward government confiscation of labor's remuneration. Wages have stagnated and may slow further, but the tax load will only increase, making discretionary spending for many no longer a choice, but a command imperative.

As money (more accurately, currency) becomes less available and devalued on a widespread basis, after government comes the corporate grab of every last consumer penny. Regulation in developed nations has stifled small business creation to the point of near-extinction. Instead of choice, say, along a road from a variety of local food purveyors, Americans are offered only fast foods from giant companies. It's a Big Mac, Whopper, or Wendy's or nothing.

Locally-owned and operated retail stores are being killed at an alarming rate, and with it goes choice, and with choice goes freedom. The global financial war is threatening not to just the major players, but to individuals, increasingly squeezed by forces well beyond their control.

The cartel-like Amazon-ification of retail feels the same when it comes to nearly every segment of consumer goods and services. Cell phones? Not much choice of carriers there. Data, ditto. Clothing, all the same from China, Cambodia, or other SW Asian countries where labor is cheap. Investments? If you haven't been in stocks, you're a loser, and that game will continue to separate money from former savers and younger people who delay household-making because it seems fruitless and beyond budget.

Tariffs, and Donald Trump's imposition of them, are actually a symptom of the problem, which is loosely described as crony capitalism with a hint of nationalism and monetary monopolism.

The choices for regular citizens are stark and scary. Divert funds away government (federal, state, and local) and mega-corporations, and towards friends and neighbors, barter, frugality. In developed nations, the fruits of labor are being scooped up at a rapacious rate, by big business and government, much of it before it is even in the hands of the laborer.

When more than half of your income goes to taxes, and another third to basis household costs, there isn't much left over for either saving or discretion. It's a problem that's been building since Nixon took the US off the gold standard, it's global, and it's unstoppable.

At the Close, Friday, September 13, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 27,219.52, +37.07 (+0.14%)
NASDAQ: 8,176.71, -17.75 (-0.22%)
S&P 500: 3,007.39, -2.18 (-0.07%)
NYSE Composite: 13,124.34, +8.29 (+0.06%)

For the week:
Dow: +442.06 (+1.57%)
NASDAQ: +73.64 (+0.91%)
S&P 500: +28.68 (+0.96%)
NYSE Composite: +190.96 (+1.48%)

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Stocks Churn Higher; Currency Backed by Gold or Silver Is Possible

Churning continued on Wednesday, wiping up the losses from Tuesday. The up-and-down action in stocks is likely to continue for the near term, and quite possibly the longer term, as Fed officials and their global central banking brethren have severe solvency problems.

There is no abatement in the mammoth bond rally which has sent sovereign debt into negative yields in much of the developed world. The US has thus far escaped negativity, though the 10-year-note continues to dive, heading below a yield of 1.46% on Wednesday. The slow, grinding erosion of yield in bonds is a symptom of dying currencies. Negative interest yields will be discovered to be both symptoms AND causes of death. The Japanese yen is likely to die first, then the euro, followed by capitulation of the US dollar.

Evisceration of capital will be complete, widespread, and unrelenting as central banks cannot contain the over-saturation of debt, of individuals, companies, and governments. A new currency will be needed to replace the failed ones, and it's likely to be global and crypto.

Any country with the nerve to create and back its own currency with anything tangible will attract both the ire of central bankers (with attendant name-calling and possible military intervention) and the interest of investors seeking not just yield, but safety and security.

With global currencies facing serious headwinds, there has been talk of gold or silver-backed currencies from Greece to Mexico to Canada. Naysayers contend that there isn't enough of the precious metals to suitably service global commerce, though that argument depends entirely upon control of gold and silver prices. If the central banking cartel were to lose control of pricing via their deviate trading in the futures markets, the metals would explode exponentially. Gold might reach $5000 or $10,000 per ounce, silver would be priced in hundreds of dollars.

The solution is partial backing with precious metals. Sovereign governments issuing national currencies could readily assign a percentage of such to be backed by either gold or silver, or both, with the backing in a percentage of anywhere from 10% to 40% of the buck, loonie, yen, what have you.

Thus, the metals prices would not necessarily skyrocket beyond reason and debt would no longer be part of the formula for currency. While such a scenario may be a financial fantasy for now, history favors such, though the future, shaped by the current regime, would have to be radically different from the present state.

At the Close, Wednesday, September 4, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 26,355.47, +237.45 (+0.91%)
NASDAQ: 7,976.88, +102.72 (+1.30%)
S&P 500: 2,937.78, +31.51 (+1.08%)
NYSE Composite: 12,796.32, +132.92 (+1.05%)

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Weekend Wrap: Stocks Rebound in Face of Coming Currency Crisis

Other than the idea that Chinese and US officials were "talking" about trade and tariffs, nothing much changed in the world of high finance during the week, though investors thought they heard the "all clear" whistle.

Major indices broke off a four-week losing streak, bounding higher by 2.5 to three precent over the course of the week, heading into the Labor Day holiday.

The end of August marks the unofficial end of summer, back to school activity, and a return from the idyllic Hamptons or other leisure locales of the Wall Street hard-liners, the big boys with big money who guide trades, firms and financial fates.

Over the holiday weekend, the US slapped on the promised tariffs on September 1, with China responding with some of their own on US imports. That ran in stark contrast to the trading sentiment from the week past and suggests that the gains may be fleeting.

As the opening approaches for the first trading day of September, US futures are sliding. Anticipation of easing tensions in the trade wars are fading fast, though the narrative that the trade and tariff foibles of Trump and Xi are the sole motivator for moving equities is likely a contrived one.

What really worries Wall Street and should concern anybody with a pension tied to a 401k or other stock market vehicle is the shaky state of global commerce. The World Bank, IMF, and pundits far and wide have been predicting a recession for well over a year. Though the timing of such a downturn is far from settled science, evidence continues to build. More than just recession concerns are deeper fears that central banks have run out of ammunition with which to save the world again.

Interest rates, long regarded as the primary tool of central banks to stave off natural downturns in the business cycle are already low and many negative, prompting unbelievers to portend the end of central bank monetary hegemony. While such calls for an impending end to the global financial scheme are almost always present, this time appears to hold some truth.

Fractional reserve lending of debt has impoverished the lower and middle classes, expanded wealth inequality, and may now be acting as a brake on the system as money movement is nearing stall speed. It's been nearly 50 years since President Nixon closed the gold window and set the world on a path of unbacked, floating currencies. The result has been a revolving bubble, boom-bust scenario, punctuated by massive counterfeiting by coordinated central banking interests, each successive round more severe than the last.

Considering the depth of the last crisis in 2007-2009, central banks are desperate to keep the financial plates spinning for as long as possible, because the next crisis may well be their last.

These prospects are not pretty for central banks, or, for that matter, anybody. However, change is always in the wind, and the wind is blowing with a hot breath.

2001 was a malinvestment correction. 2008 was a liquidity affair. 202---? will be a currency crisis that will shake the foundations of monetary policy.

At the Close, Friday, August 30, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 26,403.28, +41.08 (+0.16%)
NASDAQ: 7,962.88, -10.51 (-0.13%)
S&P 500: 2,926.46, +1.88 (+0.06%)
NYSE Composite: 12,736.88, +32.88 (+0.26%)

For the Week:
Dow: +774.38 (+3.02%)
NASDAQ: +211.12 (+2.72%)
S&P 500: +79.35 (+2.79%)
NYSE Composite: +320.43 (+2.58%)

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Panic Sets in as US-China Trade Spat Intensifies


On the road, so this will be a drive-by posting...

On Monday, stocks suffered their worst session of 2019 after China, without warning, devalued their currency, the yuan, in response to US demands for increased tariffs on imports.

President Trump announced that he would tack on a 10% tariff on a variety of Chinese goods - many of them consumer staples - on September first. The response from China was not entirely unexpected, though it took Wall Street and stock traders around the globe, mostly by surprise.

Intraday, the Dow was lower by more than 900 points, but rallied slightly into the close. It was still one of the worst days in recent memory for all US indices.

As Tuesday's trading approaches, US futures have turned positive as China pegged its currency at a higher level overnight, to everyone's relief.

While Monday's panic may appear to be a one-off, the trade war continues to roil markets on a regular basis. Until the two major trading partners agree to play nice and work out some kind of long-term deal, these kinds of shock events will continue to plague investors.

At the close, Monday, August 5, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,717.74, -767.27 (-2.90%)
NASDAQ: 7,726.04, -278.03 (-3.47%)
S&P 500: 2,844.74, -87.31 (-2.98%)
NYSE Composite: 12,497.31, -342.20 (-2.67%)

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Stocks Start September Slowly As Trade Wars Widen, Currencies Collapse In Emerging Markets

The late-summer rally that saw fresh record highs on the NASDAQ and S&P, adding 1600 points to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, may be coming to an abrupt end in September.

As the dollar has soared against emerging market currencies, US markets have become a favorite of foreign money, lifting individual stocks and entire indices from already-high valuations. However, blowback from collapsing economies in emerging markets such and Turkey, Argentina, Indonesia, Brazil, India, and China may become severe if market participants decide its time to repatriate their gains.

With President Trump on a tariff crusade, imports from foreign shores are rapidly becoming less valuable to the source exporters and governments are taking note of the erosion in not just their currencies but in their trade balances.

Stock markets in South American countries are being wrecked, with Argentina and Brazil already in bear markets. Exchanges in Japan, China, and most of Europe - especially the powerhouse Dax of Germany - are already in correction territory and not far from becoming full-blown panicked bear markets.

Thus far, the US has been the beneficiary of other nations' pain, but, there's no free lunch and companies with heavy investment outside the US may soonest profits declining in what were recently solid, growing markets for their goods and services.

How the combination of trade warfare and declining currency valuations will play out may prove to be disastrous to all participants. A great decline in international trade was partially responsible for the global Great Depression of the 1930s. History may soon be repeating if countries don't heed the warnings from prior episodes of trade antagonism.

Casualties are beginning to mount with the precious metals complex already heading past the correction phase and closer to bear market conditions. Gold has been trading in the $1190 per troy ounce range after reaching close to $1360 in March. Silver has collapsed from from a high above $18/ounce to $14.15 at the close on Tuesday. That is already in a bear market.

Reminiscent of September 2008, when investors dumped gold and silver holdings to meet margin requirements and governments scrambled to meet current obligations, the precious metals decline may be a harbinger of things to come for the broader markets.

Insofar as US stocks have performed brilliantly since the brief February correction, there exists a danger that stocks have reached a climax and are overdue for a massive selloff.

Speculation and conjecture being worth exactly nothing until real money is put into play, market participants may soon find out just how far a rally can go before everyone runs for the exits at once, desiring to not be left holding a bag half full.

Tuesday, the first trading day of September started with a steep decline at the open. Stocks gained ground gradually throughout the session, eventually posting minor losses. It could have been worse and it's likely not yet over. The rest of the week and the weeks heading toward the next FOMC meeting on September 25 and 26 will be volatile and potentially damaging to heavily-leveraged, diverse portfolios.

Dow Jones Industrial Average September Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
9/4/18 25,952.48 -12.34 -12.34

At the Close, Tuesday, September 4, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,952.48, -12.34 (-0.05%)
NASDAQ: 8,091.25, -18.29 (-0.23%)
S&P 500: 2,896.72, -4.80 (-0.17%)
NYSE Composite: 12,969.86, -47.03 (-0.36%)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Is The Global Economy About To Roll Over?

Recent pullbacks in stocks, and, more importantly, their inability to recover, is a sure sign that trouble lies directly ahead for the global elite chieftains of central banks which have dominated economics since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008.

The central banks are not the only culprits when it comes to how poorly economies of countries are engaged, elected and unelected officials in government need at least a share of the blame. Both parties promote endless debt in a finite world, a construct which cannot endue without obvious pitfalls and the troublesome realities of mathematics.

Central banks issue currency as debt. Politicians tax and spend money they don't have. Between the two, the only profiteers are those large enough to engage and/or endanger the system, i.e., very, very rich people and large banking interests, otherwise known as commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies and ultra-large, multi-national, monopolistic corporations like McDonald's, Wal-Mart, Google, Facebook, the six big oil companies.

Nothing against big companies and very, very rich people, except that they've benefitted from a very, very unlevel playing field of economics which takes - by way of interest, taxes, and various fees - from the common and remits to the oligarchical controllers of said economies.

This world is ending because of inertia and entropy. Individuals and small business cannot keep up with rising taxes, inflating prices the result of increasing interest rates. Credit has skyrocketed near all-time highs in America, and the wallets of those individuals tasked with repayment are thin - as thin as they've been since 1999, the last time incomes kept pace with inflation or the meanderings and maneuverings of the central banks and governments.

The stock market is not a cause of wealth or decline. It is a symptom, and it is breaking down.

It's only a matter of time before the symptom of excessive valuation falls prey to the reality of diminishing returns.

Dow Jones Industrial Average March Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
3/1/18 24,608.98 -420.22 -420.22
3/2/18 24,538.06 -70.92 -491.14
3/5/18 24,874.76 +336.70 -154.44
3/6/18 24,884.12 +9.36 -145.08
3/7/18 24,801.36 -82.76 -227.84

At The Close, Wednesday, March 7, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,801.36, -82.76 (-0.33%)
NASDAQ: 7,396.65, +24.64 (+0.33%)
S&P 500: 2,726.80, -1.32 (-0.05%)
NYSE Composite: 12,707.01, -13.76 (-0.11%)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Fittingly, Bitcoin Nears $10,000 on Cyber Monday

Catching a ten-bagger is a noteworthy event in any trader's history, but believers in Bitcoin - the original and most prominent cryptocurrency on the planet - are enjoying their days in the sun as the currency heads for $10,000, currently trading for more than $9900 per digital coin.

Bitcoin ended 2016 at a mere $970.17, but it's gone completely bonkers in 2017 as more and more people adopt the digital currency as a hedge against the faults of fiat currencies of central bankers that are based on nothing but faith.

While bitcoin is similarly faith-based, it has properties that traditional currencies do not. It is anonymous, and also not subject to excessive printing of fresh fiat out of thin air. The number of bitcoins mined is capped at 21 million. There are only four million left to be mined. After that, there can be no more Bitcoins ever created, so the currency has an inflation governor that is rivaled only by gold, silver and other precious metals.

This advantage is not lost on holders and speculators in Bitcoin. As acceptance and adoption grows, the number of bitcoin holders naturally ratchets up the price. As of this writing, Bitcoin's market cap is higher than many major corporations, making the digital currency something that keeps central bankers on their toes.

Widespread acceptance of Bitcoin threatens the central bank stranglehold on global forex, currencies and commerce. While this speculative phase is phenomenal for early adopters (some who bought into the Bitcoin mania before it was even priced in triple digits), the long-term implications are other-worldly. If Bitcoin - or some other form of cryptocurrency continues to be established globally - it could conceivably rival currencies such as the US dollar, the euro, Japanese yen or China's yuan.

Just as gold and silver have been recognized as money, currency and stores of value for thousands of years, so too, Bitcoin has emerged as a potentially viable alternative for the 21st century.

At the Close, Monday, November 27, 2017:
Dow: 23,580.78, +22.79 (+0.10%)
NASDAQ: 6,878.52, -10.64 (-0.15%)
S&P 500: 2,601.42, -1.00 (-0.04%)
NYSE Composite: 12,390.78, -31.15 (-0.25%)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Brief Look at the Fall of the Roman Empire and Comparisons to America

This is simply priceless.

Just after the market open (9:45 am ET), Chicago PMI was reported at 55.2

U.S. Midwest factory activity index retreats in May - Chicago PMI
NEW YORK U.S. Midwest manufacturing activity fell more than forecast in May from its strongest level in more than two years, an index jointly developed by MNI Indicators and ISM-Chicago released on Wednesday showed.

A couple of hours later (after the Dow was down 87 points):
Updated: Chicago PMI Increases in May
Earlier, the Chicago PMI was reported at 55.2. That has now been corrected to 59.4. This was above the consensus forecast.

So, not only do US (and, by way of inference, all other equity markets, globally) equity markets have the backstopping mechanism of central banks buying stocks, and the Plunge Protection Team at work, but now routine data releases are changed when they don't exactly fit the narrative.

Fake news, fake money, fake boobs, fake everything. Better check your pulse. It may be fake and you are actually dead.

These's only one way to report on finances anymore, with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

A major reset is coming. The sustainability of the current construct probably has a pretty short shelf life. However, in financial and historical terms, that could be months, years or decades. The fall of the Roman Empire was a slow-motion wreck that took over 300 years, roughly from 117 AD to 476.

Wikipedia has an interesting opening line on the Fall of the Western Roman Empire:
The Fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called Fall of the Roman Empire or Fall of Rome) was the process of decline in the Western Roman Empire in which it failed to enforce its rule, and its vast territory was divided into several successor polities.
-emphasis Money Daily

Note the wording, "failed to enforce its rule..." which would coincide roughly with the greatest fiasco related to the most recent election campaign, wherein FBI director James Comey laid out specific crimes by Hillary Clinton, but concluded that "no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges." Add to that the short meeting between former president Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the tarmac of the Phoenix airport just a few days prior to Comey's televised statement and you have a textbook case of "failing to enforce its rule."

So, the fall of the American empire may be in its earliest days. You can breath a sigh of relief now.

Well, maybe not.

Looking at the decline of Rome another way would be to examine its currency, which was gold and silver. The devaluation of the currency predates the earlier given date of the beginning of the fall at 117, when Emperor Nero fiddled with the silver content in the denarius, reducing it from 100% silver to 85%, during his reign from 54-68 AD. By the time Emperor Severus ruled (193-211 AD), the coinage was down to 50% silver. Eventually, Roman coins would contain less than 1% silver or none at all.

From that perspective, we could be almost at an end. These days, life moves faster than it did in Roman times. Romans didn't have instant communications, computers, cell phones or any of the "essentials" which we today take for granted. Consequently, technology has made it possible for everything outside of nature (animals, climate, insects, geology, etc.) to move at a much faster pace.

Thus noted, the American empire may be collapsing much faster than mainstream economists are willing to admit. The US Mint stamped its last gold coin in 1932. It stopped 90% silver coinage in 1964. Nixon took the US off the gold standard in 1971. Since then, our money has had no backing beyond the "full faith and credit" of the federal government, which, as many are now aware, has overextended its credit, causing a severe loss of faith by its loyal subjects (eh, that would be us, homey).

It's probably close to a majority of people living today in the United States which are clueless concerning the value of their currency, which is basically the paper upon which is printed numbers, words, pictures of dead presidents, and other indicia of America's greatness. Anybody born in 1971 would be 46 or 47 now; anybody born after that date would be, obviously, younger. All of those people have been living in a world of fiat currency, backed by absolutely nothing except empty promises from a federal government which can't balance its own books.

Making matters worse, US currency (or legal tender, to be correct) may be technically unconstitutional. The arguments concerning the constitutionality of the Federal Reserve to print paper money - granted that right by Congress in 1913 - are vague, various, contentious, and too deep for this limited discussion. But, a great many people have and some still do believe that money not backed by gold or silver or some other base commodity is, well, garbage.

104 years of the Federal Reserve ruining our economy has devalued the US dollar by 98%. So, where are we headed?

On the other hand, perhaps modernity consists of allowing such counterfeiting and fakery by central bankers and the tacit approval of the populace. In other words, don't rock the boat, keep with the status quo; the modern mores and normalcy bias will prevail. In that regard, Americans are a pretty complacent bunch, like the traders, movers, and shakers of Wall Street. We all go along to get along, or, in the words of a Russian during the Soviet era, "we pretend to work, and the government pretends to pay us."

We're deep down the rabbit hole, folks, and it appears that we're going deeper.

BTW: No "window dressing" on the final day of the month. Also, hat tip to Zero Hedge for inspiring this article.

At the Close, 5/31/17:
Dow: 21,008.65, -20.82 (-0.10%)
NASDAQ: 6,198.52, -4.67 (-0.08%)
S&P 500: 2,411.80, -1.11 (-0.05%)
NYSE Composite: 11,598.03, -3.28 (-0.03%)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Despite Near-Surety Of Fed Rate Hike, Stocks Gain To Close Out Week

Editor's Note: This weekend edition may be the last Money Daily posting until Thursday of this week as incredibly bad weather has persisted in our neck of the woods, a recent windstorm knocking out power to over a quarter million of our neighbors immediately to the West. Bone-chilling temperatures and a major snowstorm are predicted for the early part of this coming week. Money Daily will return to a regular daily posting once weather conditions permit.

Investors took Friday's non-farm payroll (NFP) report of 235,000 net new jobs added to the US economy in February as genuine good news, despite the nearly foregone conclusion that the robust figure would make the case for a federal funds rate increase by the FOMC of the Federal Reserve a fait acommpli. The gains snapped a recent string of losing sessions on the major indices.

In reality, the idea of a rate increase of 25 basis points shouldn't be worrying to anybody, especially with the federal funds overnight rate remaining at or below zero for 14 of the past 17 years and the last eight straight.

A 0.25% increase would move the rate to 0.75-1.00, a number that the Fed has been apprehensive of since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. Since then, they and their fellow travelers in central banking have added trillions in liquidity to the fractured system, saving it from complete collapse.

In the process, however, they have managed to dilute the currencies of most nations, notably those of Japan and the European Union. While rate increases by the US may be a panacea, they could impact other nationas and the global economy in a variety of ways. As the last crisis was liquidity-driven, expect any future crises to be based upon sovereign solvency or faith in national currencies, all of which are backed by nothing more than the faith and (ahem) credit of the issuing country.

The globe is one giant Ponzi scheme, in which everybody buys each others currencies, hoping beyond hope that nobody defaults in a messy manner. Thus far, central banking institutions have managed to avoid large-scale default, but there's no guarantee that such benign conditions will avail themselves indefinitely.

On the other hand, with the ability to conjure dollars, euros and yen out of thin air at their whim, the central bankers are holding all the cards, even though they're bluffing into their sleeves. The system may fail at some point, but it's more likely that gradualism will prevail, making the case that the most important aspect of one's finances may not be generation of income or growth, but preservation of what one already owns.

At The Close, Friday, March 9, 2017:
Dow: 20,902.98, +44.79 (0.21%)
NASDAQ: 5,861.73, +22.92 (0.39%)
S&P 500: 2,372.60, +7.73 (0.33%)
NYSE Composite: 11,500.76, +43.12 (0.38%)

For the Week:
Dow: -102.73 (-0.49%)
NASDAQ: -9.03 (-0.15%)
S&P 500: -10.52 (-0.44%)
NYSE Composite: -97.61 (-0.84%)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

End The Fed; Hawkish Tone Sends Dow Below Key Level; Gold, Silver Mercilessly Hammered

While it may seem nothing but a triviality, Money Daily has been following the most recent renge on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) as it bounced its way between 17,500 and 18,000 since mid-March.

Today, the most widely-watched equity index in the world crossed below the lower end of that range, exclusively due to hawkish jawboning from various Federal Reserve operatives, who have spent the better part of the last seven years engaged in radical interest rate and money-creation policies, putting the entire global finacial system at risk.

To the uninformed masses - those 90-plus percent of the adult population who doesn't care or isn't bright enough to comprehend the ramifications of a global central banking system - life goes on. A debt-ridden, over-taxed population in the developed world plays giddily along as private banking interests push them one way or another. A few have escaped to off-the-grid lifestyles, some have prospered in the fiat money world of counterfeit currencies, but most are forced to take what is given, or rather, keep the small scraps the banks and governments leave on the floor after their orgy of inflation, deflation, false promises, fake data points and market mayhem and manipulation.

Thanks to the Fed and their fellow central bankers in Japan, Europe, and now China, the global population is left without price discovery mechanisms which make $30,000 cars with seven-year payment plans sound "affordable", homes which have skyrocketed in value due to artificially-low mortgage rates, fuel prices that are anything but transparent and/or stable and a general climate that continues to be counter to general principles of economy and thrift.

The Fed (and their central banker brethren) is pernicious, malevolent, deceitful, dishonest, greedy and carnivorous. They seek nothing but complete dominance without competition, a monopoly on the medium of exchange. Governments are more than willing to accept their bribery and thievery in order to retain feigned positions of power, selling out their constituents with nary a care toward the ultimate consequences of their actions.

Mandated to enact policies that promote full employment and stable prices, the Fed openly does neither, or, at best, adheres to their promises only as occasion allows, in fact promoting an inflation rate of two percent per year, which is anything but stable for prices.

So intent is the Fed on controlling every last aspect of financial activity, that they have undermined the best open markets of the world, in bonds, stocks, commodities and anything else they can get their greedy hands upon.

Markets no longer move on supply and demand or fundamental forces, but are solely and completely tethered to proclamations and idle talk of agents of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan (BOJ), the People's Bank of China (PBOC), and the European Central Bank (ECB).

It's all rigged, all the time and readers are urged to do their own research into financial matters. Unless and until the fraud of banks and the agents of the Fed and other central banks are brought entirely to light there will be no financial freedom, only crony capitalism, fascist rhetoric and insane, unbalanced economic polices.

May the Farce Be With You:

S&P 500: 2,040.04, -7.59 (0.37%)
Dow: 17,435.40, -91.22 (0.52%)
NASDAQ: 4,712.53, -26.59 (0.56%)

Crude Oil 48.68 -0.20% Gold 1,255.70 -1.47% EUR/USD 1.1203 -0.12% 10-Yr Bond 1.85 -1.86% Corn 390.00 -2.38% Copper 2.07 -0.63% Silver 16.51 -3.63% Natural Gas 2.04 +1.75% Russell 2000 1,094.78 -0.74% VIX 16.33 +2.38% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4609 +0.09% USD/JPY 109.9550 -0.20%

Monday, December 23, 2013

India's Clumsy, Futile Attempts to Throttle Public Gold Purchases

1 kilogram = 35.2739619 ounces.

Why does this matter?

Because that's the amount of gold an Indian citizen is legally allowed to take into India after at least six months abroad.

In a fascinating story in the aftermath of the India government's harsh restrictions on the importation of gold, a plane from Dubai to the Indian airport at Calicut carried 80 passengers, each of them returning to their homeland with one kilogram of gold.

In dollar terms, the plane was carrying 2572.06 troy ounces of gold, valued at roughly $3,086,472 worth of gold if one uses $1200 per troy ounce as a baseline. The passengers were primarily laborers returning home from construction jobs in the Middle East. Full story, courtesy of the India Times here.

The actions by some of the more nefarious elements in Indian society point up the futility of governments' attempts to control money supplies, balances and trade in the face of independent people. All they ever end up doing is causing imbalances, which naturally favor those in control positions. Sadly, the bulk of the population doesn't see what's being done to their currencies and their freedoms until it is too late.

As it is in India, it is everywhere. Governments, once they have grown beyond their capacity to usefully serve the population, become nothing but a drag and anchor on society.

Thanks to oversize, bulky interference by government entities and their cohorts like central banks, besides the now near-daily ramping to new and newer all-time highs on the various US equity indices, there's not much worth reporting these days.

DOW 16,294.61, +73.47 (+0.45%)
NASDAQ 4,148.90 , +44.16 (+1.08%)
S&P 1,827.99, +9.67 (+0.53%)
10-Yr Note 98.45, +0.20 (+0.21%)
NASDAQ Volume 1.66 Bil
NYSE Volume 2.83 Bil
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4111-1647
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 669-58
WTI crude oil: 98.91, -0.41
Gold: 1,197.00, -6.70
Silver: 19.41, -0.04
Corn: 434.25, +1.00

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dovish Bernanke Speaks, Market Goes Full Retard, to Record Highs

Free market and Austrian economists beware!

There is a dangerous monster afoot, who by merely speaking a few words can alter global markets to whatever whim he so desires.

On Wednesday, shortly after the market closed, this monster, this unsightly beast, one Benjamin Shalom (we kid you not) Bernanke, Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve Bank (an international cartel), spoke in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and intoned, in part, that the 7.6% unemployment rate "overstated" the health of the labor market.

Translated into Fed-speak - which is all that matters to equity markets these days - what he meant was that there was no need for investors to panic. The Federal reserve has every intention of keeping monetary policy incredibly loose, so that even if the Fed dials back its $85 billion-a-month bond purchasing program a little, they do not believe that the US or global economy is strong enough to survive without stimulative measures.

The result was a strong gap-up at the open on Thursday and an all-day party for Wall Street bulls with the S%P 500 and the Dow Industrials closing at all-time highs. Bears were once again crushed and the rookie Dow Theorists who surmised that the dip from a few weeks ago was a sure-fire reversal into a bear market (we here at MD did not confirm any such theoretical reversal, though indications were close) were once again proven not only wrong but absolutely clueless when it comes to Dow Theory.

Markets have now been completely voided of any validity to fundamental valuation. All that remains is intonations from the beast of the Fed and his minions, sending markets any which way they choose. These are markets distorted completely out of focus from reality, in 1984-esque fashion, where bad news (Bernanke is correct, 7.6% unemployment is, in itself, a gross distortion of reality - stripping out part-time, temporary and distressed and discouraged workers, unemployment is closer to 20%) is good because the Fed will continue to supply unlimited liquidity.

In the end, be it five days, five weeks, five months, five years or longer, the stimulus will save nothing. Sovereign economies will end in shambles (some, like Greece, Portugal, Cyprus and Ireland already are), but for now, all anybody with as much as half a brain left after all the brain-washing by the media and immoral rounds of bailouts, bail-ins, rescues and refinances can do is play along, go along or go one's own way, the latter of which is highly refreshing and the only proper course of action.

Five years into the global currency melt-down, carnage is everywhere, the rich are even richer, the middle class on the endangered species list and the bottom tier nothing more than debt slaves for life.

This is not your father's America. It is not even the America you grew up into, if you are more than 30 years of age. This is an abomination, a monstrosity of complexity, a leviathan more frightening than even Thomas Hobbes could have dreamt.

Happy sailing, oh rudderless ones!

Dow 15,460.92, +169.26 (1.11%)
NASDAQ 3,578.30, +57.55 (1.63%)
S&P 500 1,675.02, +22.40 (1.36%)
NYSE Composite 9,493.21, +152.52 (1.63%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,680,093,125
NYSE Volume 3,796,463,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 5246-1307
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 772-21 (abominal!)
WTI crude oil: 104.91, -1.61
Gold: 1,279.90, +32.50
Silver: 19.96, +0.791

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Buy More Stocks Because the Dollar is Worthless

If anyone has any kind of notion that today's massive uptick in stocks had anything to do with the strength of the US economy, they'd better go back to economics 101 and check the chapter on currency devaluation.

Oh, there is no chapter on that? Well, allow me to explain how the dollar was absolutely savaged by - of all things - the Euro, and a host of other currencies including, but not limited to: the Aussie dollar, the Canadian looney, the Chinese Yuan and especially, the Swiss Franc.

On the dollar index (not a particularly great way to value US paper money, but sufficient for this discussion), the loss was 74 cents, or nearly one percent, meaning everything you buy that isn't produced in the United States - which is just about everything - costs 1% more today than it did yesterday. The corresponding rise in stocks only helps alleviate the pain for the richy-rich amongst us, but they usually find tax dodges or off-shore accounts for their hordes of cash anyhow.

The rest of you schmucks are just going to have to take it, see? You pay more so the Fed can print more billions, give them to the primary dealers and allow the government to continue overspending until eternity, which is a long, long, time. Next week, it will likely get worse, with gas heading for $5.00 a gallon nationally, and everything else going up accordingly, eventually, the average household will be able to buy food and fuel and little else, all the while watching those who own stocks make fortunes.

While the wizards of Wall Street frolic in the fields of greenbacks, you and I will be left holding the bag, containing manure, and be taxed into oblivion. Don't worry about Medicare and Social Security, most of us will die off before any benefits are actually paid out.

It's an ugly, severely evil set-up by the banks and our hands-out congress to create two distinct classes in the United States: the super, super rich and everyone else. You and I must learn how to raise our own crops and subsist off the land leased by our wealthy masters. Welcome to the golden age of feudalism!

I have nothing more to add except that if you haven't started some plants growing in your back yard and already own some silver or gold or both, you need to do so immediately, as time is running short and planting season is upon us. We are nearing the point of complete collapse of the middle class.

If your kids are planning to go to a big university and go into hock to the tune of $40, $50 or as much as $100,000 to get their degree, it might be time to sit them down and explain that their high school diploma will be sufficient, in their bleak future, to work as a mechanic, a gardener, or a chamber maid. Their dreams of becoming the next great biologist or astronaut will have to be put on indefinite hold.

Dow 12,453.54, +186.79 (1.52%)
NASDAQ 2,802.51, +57.54 (2.10%)
S&P 500 1,330.36, +17.74 (1.35%)
NYSE Composite 8,457.65, +125.62 (1.51%)


Advancing issues pounded decliners, 5245-1347. There were 133 new highs and 29 new lows. On the NYSE, 193 new highs and 16 new lows was the order of the day. Volume was relatively solid on the NASDAQ, where all the momentum stocks reside, but the usual miserable figures were posted on the NYSE. Almost all of the day's gains were made at the open, so the futures players made fortunes; the rest of the session was nothing more than churning.

NASDAQ Volume 2,112,464,250
NYSE Volume 4,657,346,000


Crude oil made a huge move of nearly 3%, gaining $3.17, to $111.45, making that $5.00 gallon of gas that the oil barons dream about that much closer to reality. Gold blasted through the $1500 mark again, but was taken down to $1,498.90, a gain of a mere $3.80. Silver continues to dazzle, gaining another 54 cents on the day, finishing in New York at $44.46.

While some argue that gold and silver are bubbles, if that is the case, then what is to be said of stocks, which have doubled off their March 2009 lows? Gold and silver are only a third to a fifth of the way to where they are eventually going. With every new dollar printed by the Chairman of the Fed, Ben Bernanke, an ounce of precious metals costs a little bit more, and that's about the only good news I can report today.

EDIT: Following the COMEX close in New York, gold bounced to $1502.10, and silver shot up to $45.22 an ounce at 5:18 pm EDT.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Stocks Bounce Back; Slaughter of PMs Continues; Predictions 2011, Part 2

After unexpectedly rosy employment data from ADP - showing US employment gains of 295,000 in December - failed to lift market futures, the major indices opened with a decidedly negative bias, sending the Dow down by nearly 40 points at the open with the others in tow.

As it turns out, however, the open, or just minutes into trading, witnessed the lows of the day, as unusual an event as a hole-in-one perhaps, or as a Democrat (or a Republican, for that matter) voting to cut spending.

Stocks levitated into positive territory until about the noon hour, then lazily spent the rest of the session moderating around the highs. A bit of a spark at the end of the day caused them all to close very close to or at their highs. So, we have a market that does nothing but go up, endlessly, it appears, run by HFTs (high frequency traders) and their trusty computer algorithms. It should be obvious - though it is not - to anyone who's studied markets and/or finance for more than 20 minutes that such a system cannot endure.

Meanwhile, the same Ponzi schemers traders have managed to make gold and silver look like the worst investments since 17th century tulip bulbs, smacking the two widely-held precious metals down for the second consecutive day. A glance at kitko daily charts clearly indicates that the manipulations by JP Morgan and HSBC are still in place, with their boundless short position being unwound during the US sessions, allowing them to BTD (Buy the Dip) as they surpress the spot price to a level at which they can semi-comfortably unload.

Nobody really knows how large the short positions of these two banks really are, or, worse yet, the extent of manipulation in gold, but if the past two days - and especially today, as the metals receded while oil spiked, breaking the correlated commodity trade - offer any kind of guide, they must be into it up to their stuffed shirt pockets.

We are currently in an inverted market in which the worst, riskiest and most speculative investments - paper money, stocks - continue to rise unabated and the most intrinsic, solid and stable investments (also those with a stellar track record the past 10 years) - gold and silver - are being shunned by the kleptocracy. All the while the Wall Street swindlers are telling you to buy equities and sell your gold and silver, because, according to them, they're "in a bubble," constitutes the worst form of the shell game, because as you sell your gold and silver to buy stocks from them, they are buying, yes, sir! gold and silver.

The best strategy these days is to play along with them, buying when they force the price of PMs lower, because, if they're doing it out of desperation, the prices are sure to rise. Demand for physical gold and silver (not ETFs or "holdings") is at historic highs and will remain there as long as there is artificial suppression and unrelenting money printing by central banks.

Dow 11,722.89, +31.71 (0.27%)
NASDAQ 2,702.20, +20.95 (0.78%)
S&P 500 1,276.56, +6.36 (0.50%)
NYSE Composite 8,040.04, +17.86 (0.22%)


In a reversal from Tuesday's trade, advancing issues led decliners, 4116-2407. NASDAQ new highs: 148; new lows: 8. NYSE new highs: 175; new lows: 8. The diminishing number of new highs (as compared to Tuesday, a down market day) and the bottoming out of new lows continues to scream "sell, sell, sell" louder than even Jim Cramer's mindless sound effects. The levitation is nearly at an end, there are fewer and fewer stocks left to pump, left the pumpers lift the actual dead and dying weight at or near bottoms.

These new high-low figures are at extremes and the small number of stocks making new highs indicates a market top as does the paucity of analysts willing to put near-term objectives out in front of their faces. Normally, a sell-off would be imminent, though with the controlled nature of the US markets, almost anything could happen.

NASDAQ Volume 2,072,631,625
NYSE Volume 5,273,362,500


Oil bounced back up over the $90 mark, closing at $90.30, a gain of 92 cents on the day. Gold fell $5.10, to $1,373.70, while silver shed another 31 cents, to $29.20, though both were much lower mid-day.

Predictions 2011: Part 2

When we left on on Monday, the discussion had turned to unemployment, which we said would run past 10% in 2011. What wasn't said was that the corollary, employment, would continue to show faint signs of life, though what the BLS and the government number crunchers also won't tell anyone is that high-paying jobs in tech, manufacturing and other businesses are still being downsized, only to be replaced by low-wage service jobs. Essentially, the middle class is being downsized by enormous corporate interests which have a vested interest in boosting their bottom lines.

In essence, over the past 40 years, America has gone from being one of the most productive economies evre seen on the face of this planet, to being one of the most destructive, in terms of lost opportunity, capacity utilization and middle class wealth destruction. This shift away from productive, capital-building enterprises to service-related companies with the emphasis toward domestic consumption will only accelerate in the coming year unless radical changes are made to our tax laws and industrial policy, a thing that currently does not exist.

Currencies/FOREX

The race to the bottom of the fiat money pit will continue unabated in 2011, and probably accelerate in the second half of the year as the Fed's Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) and 2nd round of Quantitative Easing (QE2) continue to keep the economy like a patient in traction. The patient will be reported as doing better, though still unable to move on its own. Thus, when the Fed's latest ploy (QE2) runs out in June, there will be need for further stimulus and it will have to be n the form of expanding the money supply, slipping it into the balance sheets of the illiquid banks and letting the proceeds sit on the bloated balance sheet of the Federal Reserve.

While Europe has openly stressed austerity, there's little evidence that it's doing anything different than what our own Fed is doing, as they go from one bailout to another - from Greece, to Ireland, to Portugal, Spain, Italy. The issues in the EU are so extreme and dangerous, the US dollar will look like a good bet by comparison. But the real strengthening currencies will be in developing nations like India, China, Malaysia, Korea and those with raw materials, like (surprisingly) Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Indonesia and the mainstays, Canada (though they're stressed as well) and Australia. Any nation displaying fiscal discipline would serve as a good place to hedge US dollars, though they are difficult to find.

As the world becomes an increasingly dangerous place, deployment of capital will seek alternatives to the developed world, but inflation in growing economies could offset any currency gains. It's a strange and fast-paced trade in currencies, not for the inexperienced or those with limited capital to put at risk. The US dollar will fare well against almost all other competing currencies. Destruction of the world's reserve currency takes time, and a year is just a small part of the breaking tableau.

COMMODITIES

Tying back to the constant hum of government printing presses, increased monetary stimulus will eventually find an outlet in hard goods and raw materials. Food prices already are at record levels in many parts of the world, energy continues to feel demand strains, though the relatively slow pace of growth and the inexorable pull of political power worldwide will put a brake on some of this trade. While climate concerns top the list as far as grains and most foodstuffs are concerned, manipulation in metals - precious and otherwise - may cause violent swings and price dislocations. In an environment created to obfuscate and confuse price discovery mechanisms, an absolute rise in prices is definitely not a slam dunk, though the inflationary push seems to point in that direction.

Eventually, price will meet demand, or lack thereof, and some equilibrium found before riots and starvation become the norm. Your best bets for 2011 are still gold and silver, with the latter being the favored instrument as it seeks to re-establish the 15-1 gold-silver ratio. Both should appreciate well in excess of 15%, so $1500 gold should be an easy target and silver may bust right through $40 per ounce in rapid manner.

As far as oil is concerned, apart from the rigged and artificial aspects of how it is traded, crude prices cannot exceed $100 for very long, if they even reach them. Absolute price inflation will crimp demand, and, thus, set the wheel back to "go" again, so don't expect oil prices to skyrocket or decline much at all. Stable prices would be best for all parties (except those selling the stuff, short term), and that's what we may get. There's about a 30% chance oil prices actually fall on slack demand, back under $75, but not much further, though a price around $60 per barrel would go a long way toward global growth, though the supply/demand numbers simply don't add up well for that to be much more than a wing and many prayers.

Besides gold and silver, rare earth investments are tricky and unless you discover a mother lode of ytterbium in your back yard, best avoided as another needless paper chase and probably over-hyped. All well-stocked commodity cabinets should have the requisite PMs, plus canned foods and bottled water in case of the absolute end. Guns if you got 'em, ammo if you have the guns.

Friday: Stocks, indices, politics and cultural trends to watch.