Showing posts with label farming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label farming. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year-end Thoughts of Inequality and Fear

2013 was quite a year for stock investors, the best, in fact, since 1997.

As the annum comes to an end, and since the mainstream and financial media simply cannot or will not provide useful information, a couple of random comments from a favorite, anonymous author:

"This is beyond depressing. Just what is it that the international banking cartel wants?

They already have the global reserve currency, central banksters in all but a few sovereign states, 90% of the world's most valuable art and sculpture, all the best yatchs, coastal land, and anything else that signifies wealth.

Ah, but they won't be satisfied until they have every nation on the planet so deeply in debt that they can never escape, all of it in completely fabricated, made-up-out-of-thin-air fiat money.

Fake money, produced by creating debt to bankers, is valuable, but real money, gold and silver, is supposed to be near-worthless. This is not reality; it is pure fantasy, conjured by central bankers and sold by the mindless trolls of Wall Street and the media. All that's left is farmland, and that's becoming scarce, and they will eventually come for that, or, drive its price so high none but the connected or extremely well-heeled can afford it.

A few years ago, I thought that a condition such as we have today (insolvent banks financing companies to all-time stock market highs while the real economy contracts - and forget the "official" data - the global economy has grwon over the past six years only in terms of inflation) would have fomented a revolution. However, I have become resigned to the idea that Americans have lost their spine, are completely disorganized and suffer greatly from the pervasive normalcy bias (thank you, CogDis) created by the bankers and politicians.

Nobody wants the party to end, and it certainly will not, unless the bankers want it to, and, at the time of their choosing, and not a momet before, they will surely end it, impoverishing even more of the population of the world.

We are ruled by the most pernicious, evil, conniving group of men and women to ever walk the planet... and, we like it.

So sad."

"Yesterday, I picked up a can of tuna, thinking I might include it in a macaroni salad later in the day. Looked at the label and saw the word "Pacific" on it. Put it back.

A few days ago, I was buying vegetables and began to wonder where they came from. I live in upstate NY, so all winter vegetables are obviously coming from warmer climates. Bought a few peppers, a red onion and some broccoli, and thought that one day, perhaps soon, people will be asking where the vegetables come from.

Personally, I'm pretty freaked out about Fukushima. It's been nearly three years, and radiation of varying amounts and forms are still spilling out. I am not a nuclear scientist, but I know enough to realize that Fukushima needs to be contained and that the ongoing silence and probable coverup by various governments and the media are a sure warning sign that all is NOT well.

Sure, maybe I'm paranoid, but once February comes, and I move to my land in South Carolina, I'm growing as much as I can, as fast as I can, getting off the grid, eating only non-GMO vegetables and meats from locally-raised animals or fish from local waters. Not that I'm afraid of dying - I'm 60, and I'm not - but I like to think I have maybe 15-30 good years left and surely don't want to die from cancer because I ate food that was contaminated and our beneficent government didn't have the common decency to inform us.

Fuku may or may not be an ELE, but, if it proves to be, I plan on trying like hell to outlive it, and, if I can't, taking a bankster or two along with me on my final ride into Hades.

Happy New Year. Fight back."

DOW 16,576.66, +72.37 (+0.44%)
NASDAQ 4,176.59, +22.39 (+0.54%)
S&P 1,848.36, +7.29 (+0.40%)
10-Yr Note 97.59, -0.45 (-0.46%) Yield: 3.04%
NASDAQ Volume 1.29 Bil
NYSE Volume 2.30 Bil
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3533-2201
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 458-50
WTI crude oil: 98.42, -0.87
Gold: 1,202.30, -1.50
Silver: 19.37, -0.245
Corn: 422.00, -1.50

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dow Down 6th Straight Session; Bummer for 5% of Population

Consider this salient factoid (and question its validity): Five percent of the US population owns 82% of all common stock.

So, with that in mind, who - besides the employees of the major corporate entities in this country (a big number) - cares?

It might be worth suggesting that a 5-10-15-20% pullback in stocks would be a healthy development, bringing down the elite to more moderate levels.

This is sophistry, of course. A diminution in the relative income or net worth of the wealthiest amongst us would surely trickle down to those not quite rich, the middle class and eventually the bottom income levels.

Yes. Those nearest the gutter would be dragged down into it and die. Others would take their places. Those in the middle would become less fortunate (say goodbye to paying U of Michigan $52,000 a year for tuition, room and board). Those in the upper tiers would eat strip steaks instead of filet mignon and the top five percent would drive their Mercedes or Lexus or Maserati a little less often.

This is all very relative; the deciding factors being, most prominently, not how much you're worth or how much you make, but what you can be productive with, what your knowledge and skills are and how much you spend.

Wall Street is a very cockeyed place, full of people who think they know better how to manage other people's money than those people themselves. For an alternative perspective, go to a farm, where a person's value is derived from utility, rather than fantasy.

Dow 14,897.55, -105.44 (0.70%)
NASDAQ 3,599.79, -13.80 (0.38%)
S&P 500 1,642.80, -9.55 (0.58%)
NYSE Composite 9,339.37, -82.19 (0.87%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,401,692,625
NYSE Volume 3,306,747,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1871-4677
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 83-178
WTI crude oil: 103.85, -1.26
Gold: 1,370.10, -2.50
Silver: 22.96, -0.108

Monday, April 22, 2013

Relative Price Inflation; Getting Off the Investment Grid; Permanent Backwardation in Gold

Since today's trading was nothing but another typical "buy the dip" on low volume type of affair, after Caterpillar (CAT) posted truly ugly first quarter results and existing home sales were likewise horrible, today's post contains some random thought and ideas about the state of the economy and a link to an article by Professor Antal Fekete, one of the few honest economists in the world.

I'll take IBM for 200, Alex... er, make that 175.

I've always been skeptical of yields on dividend stocks, because, in a market-clearing event like 2001 or 2008, these stocks all lose on a per share basis. Yes, your yield rises, but at the expense of share price. At best, you break even; at worst, you lose and the dividend gets cut, a la 2008.

I don't believe the RE market is actually improving. Where I live (upstate NY), RE prices were not greatly affected by the bubble bursting, but now they're headed south, with lots of Fannie Mae foreclosures showing up after the courts were clogged with them for years (still are).

Cash, silver, land still appear as safe havens, though the recent decline in paper silver has had the opposite effect on physical. Current premiums are now ranging from 25-35%, making the actual price for physical silver closer to $30 per ounce then the post $22 and change.

Land is still a little pricey, especially if it's good farm land, but I'll still take wooded acres because you can cut and use the wood for all kinds of useful things, like buildings, fences, and heat (burns good), and once cleared, viola, farm land. I'm thinking more in terms of small organic garden plots rather than macro-farming, enough to feed a few families. Doesn't take much. The average back yard will feed three-to four families of four.

Cash is your best defense despite the scourge of inflation. If deflation occurs, cash is king, and with a huge crown. That's when you can buy assets on the cheap, which is investing 101 - buy low, sell high - ya know.

I'm still a deflationista, because I look around a lot. You can buy tomatoes at $2.49 a pound at the popular Wegmans' grocery stores, or hit the same thing for $1.59 at Price Rite or even Wally World. Don't get me started on limes, a must for my favorite Bloody Mary, at 3 for $2 at Wegmans, but 4 for a buck at Price Rite.

The Price Rite's and Aldi's are in poor 'hoods, so the sucker middle class gets raped at the "safe" stores. The dimwits in the inner cities, though, are buying mostly Cheetos and crap rather than good food with the SNAP cards, so, they'd just die off, albeit at lower prices.

My point is, get off the investment grid. Buy local (farmers markets are awesome), horde cash, and, when and if the silver mania subsides, more shiney.

A True Small Business Success Story

Start a business. Anything. Get paid in cash, if possible. Don't become another debt slave with a shitty job.
Here's my 100% true story: I think it was about 1992. I was broke, living with my brother and he wanted rent. I had $12 in pennies, my car, a little gas and a computer and printer. I took those pennies, rolled them up, took them to the bank, got $12, bought $12 worth of stuff at the dollar store - mostly cleaning supplies - printed up some cards that said "Happy House" and took my goods door-to-door in my neighborhood (in the city, a little distance from the dollar store). I sold what I had in about an hour, went back to the dollar store twice that day to re-supply and again hit the streets.
In one day - ONE DAY! - I had $45, more merchandise and people calling me with orders and questions. My biggest seller were sponges. I was able to get a big bag of them for $1, broke them up and sold them for $50 each. People would buy six or eight at a time. Also, Old Dutch Cleanser (like Comet), which I got 2 for a buck and turned around at $1 each.
In a week, I netted over $400, and then got a huge order from a guy who ran a cleaning business for about $250. I did all this in three residential blocks, barely tapping the market.
I did this for about a month, paid all my bills and took a job with a friend as a painter, which paid extremely well, and still kept getting orders over the phone. I didn't pursue the business further, but, looking back, figure I could have made serious money had I kept at it.
So, my advice, find a service which you can handle, print up some cards or use the internet. There are opportunities everywhere for self-starters. Avoid self-pity and self-defeating attitudes and people who are negative. You have worth and if you allow yourself to overcome your fear of failure, you will succeed.
(Just a side note: When I started my "Happy House" business, I was worried that people would see that I was just buying stuff at the dollar store and turning it over. Never happened. Years later, I realized that I was providing a service: bringing those cheap goods to their doors, and that was the "value added" aspect. Add value to an existing product or service and you can't miss. I know a guy who goes to the farmer's market every morning, brings home vegetables and sells them from his front yard. His day is done by 1:00 in the afternoon, and he plays a lot of golf in good weather. There are success stories everywhere - many on ebay - of people pulling themselves out of bad situations. You are no different.)

Professor Fekete on permanent gold backwardation:

Dow 14,567.17, +19.66 (0.14%)
NASDAQ 3,233.55, +27.49 (0.86%)
S&P 500 1,562.50, +7.25 (0.47%)
NYSE Composite 9,019.90, +25.78 (0.29%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,626,128,625
NYSE Volume 3,288,661,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3644-2759
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 225-85
WTI crude oil: 88.76, +0.75
Gold: 1,421.20, +25.60
Silver: 23.32, +0.364

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Moody Market Seeks Direction; Farm Notes: Keeping Good Faith

Wandering aimlessly through the session, US indices could not decide to rise or fall on Tuesday, ending the session in split fashion.

Gaining in the morning and finally relenting by midday, stocks hit their lows of the session between 2:00 and 3:00 pm EDT, but gathered momentum into the close, paring losses and, in most cases, turning slightly positive.

The Dow was the only index to suffer a loss, a sharp reversal from Monday, upon which the Industrials held the best percentage gain among the major indices.

Volume was fairly anemic, though that's nothing unusual, and while many are calling the recent moves a "stealth rally" the effects of monetary policy, particularly the Fed's recently-announced purchase of some $80 billion per month in MBS for an unspecified period (AKA QEternity) have been felt, possibly having been already priced into stocks, some of which continue to trade at nose-bleed levels, the past few weeks of have been anything other than a secret and almost certainly not a rally.

Since QEternity was announced as policy on September 13, the major indices have been substantially flat.

Of course, this being October and a presidential election year, all of this could change if the market suddenly finds a catalyst for a move in either direction. On the other hand, the market ostensibly controlled by a small number of "strong hands," listlessness and directionless trading could be continued through the election and beyond. As the brokerage commercials are quick to point out, stocks cary risk.

Farming Note: In the rural outliers where corn and chickens are more important than stocks and bonds, a person's word is generally regarded as oath, at least until it is found to be untrue.

It's not a good idea to make promises and plans with potential partners or acquaintances only to dummy up some feeble excuse whereby to break an agreement. Word spreads quickly in farm country about one's character and eventually, those whose word is found not to be trustworthy, soon find themselves cast away, a pariah of the community.

Besides being the golden rule to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," not keeping good faith ruins friendships, destroys one's self-confidence and generally puts one at odds with Mother Nature herself, a condition reserved only for the truly wicked and those who would scheme against one's fellow man or woman in pursuit of one's own fortune.

Rain may fall when unwanted, drought may starve crops at other times, but only the fruitlessness of one's own hand can cause one's own demise. The harmed party or parties may seek lawful restitution if one's word is a written contract, though more often the result is that the harmed party finds a better deal with a competitor, and the perpetrator of deceit is brought down by guilt and shame.

Dow 13,482.36, -32.75 (0.24%)
NASDAQ 3,120.04, +6.51 (0.21%)
S&P 500 1,445.75, +1.26 (0.09%)
NYSE Compos... 8,295.11, +10.74 (0.13%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,617,743,250
NYSE Volume 3,275,690,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2859-2592
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 247-44
WTI crude oil: 91.89, -0.59
Gold: 1,775.60, -7.70
Silver: 34.67, -0.283