Showing posts with label government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label government. Show all posts

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Week In Review: Roadblocks or Flagmen? Dow Rocks Higher 7th Straight Session

Finishing out the week with a lackluster session that had the Dw up nearly another 100 points, the rally that began on May 26 - and which Money Daily then predicted would run 1000 points - is, as of Friday, good for a cool 747 points, rising, with a few bumps and grinds along the way, from 24,083.83 (April 25 close), to the current closing price of 24,831.17.

Unlike the NASDAQ (which finished lower on Friday), the S&P (which has seen two down days in the past seven), and the NYSE Composite (up six straight days) the Dow has risen each of the past seven sessions, although two of those sessions - the first and the fourth, which respectively saw gains of just five, and two points - have not been considered very inspirational nor insightful.

Still, stocks continue to ramp higher. They'll keep doing this until the herd of traders, lemming-like, will turn away for a few days or decide that they'd rather hold onto art or comic books or Beanie Babies or baseball cards, vintage cars, or oil futures while their favored pieces of dingy, junky corporate paper wither away over a longer period of time and get revalued at more appropriate prices.

That's the way Wall Street has always worked, and, despite all the howling from pundits, idiots and idiosyncratic voices one may value or disavow, it is the way it will always work.

Until it changes, the world is stuck with Wall Street and its various iterations in London, Berlin, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai and the various bourses of the civilized world, trading in debt and equity instruments of which the average investor knows little, expects much, and is happy to pump money into over vast swatches of time.

This kind of activity, viewed from an outside perspective, might seem odd. People make money from their various endeavors, only to pay bills, build up debt (mortgages, college funds, credit cards), and give the rest to some known or unknown entity to purchase partial shares of megalithic international corporations, giving said corporations vast amounts of money and power to invest, divest, spend, grow, or waste.

How much money is eventually a waste by corporations never enters the equation, though it's likely to be an enormous sum of money, which is probably why it's never mentioned.

For certain, some corporations do some good, but others are merely there for the taking, the tops of them skimmed by the ubermeisters of the investing world, the whales, the one-percenters, the government and probably some reckless speculators. The rest is left to the proletariat, the pensioners, the poor people.

A good question to ask a professional financial advisor is whether it would be wise to sell off a large portion of one's money in stocks and pay off all of one's debt, including the voracious eater of happiness, the 30-year mortgage. The stock answer is "no," followed by "no," and "oh, no."

Paying off one's mortgage would put banks out of business (it wouldn't really), and without banks, well, we wouldn't have, um, well... you see where this is going.

A long, long time ago, men and women owned land, raised their own crops, husbanded their own animals, taught their own children and bore whatever good or evil the earth, sun, and nature would bestow upon them. That was before the rise of the predator class of bankers, insurers, financiers, and governments. Now we outsource everything, starting with our own existence, the food we eat, to our children, which we send to schools where they are taught shoddily the ways of good citizenship and nothing about good survival and the difference between existence and prolonged suicide.

Your 401k or pension plan may give you comfort, but only indirectly. It's a promise to pay, over time. And promises are often broken. Just look at the divorce rate in developed countries or listen to a politician over a period longer than two years and you might detect that promises and words do not necessitate a brighter future.

Being bound to the whims and fantasies of corporate CEOs, government officials and generally, people whose wealth and power far exceeds your own may be some consolation that you have done well, but, in the end, all you really have is yourself and the land on which you stand, and some of you don't even own that.

Some things to think about, brought to you by music from the 60s.

Bear in mind: 26,616.71.

Dow Jones Industrial Average May Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
5/1/18 24,099.05 -64.10 -64.10
5/2/18 23,924.98 -174.07 -238.17
5/3/18 23,930.15 +5.17 -233.00
5/4/18 24,262.51 +332.36 +99.36
5/7/18 24,357.32 +94.81 +194.17
5/8/18 24,360.21 +2.89 +197.06
5/9/18 24,542.54 +182.33 +379.39
5/10/18 24,739.53 +196.99 +576.38
5/11/18 24,831.17 +91.64 +668.02

At the Close, Friday, May 11, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,831.17, +91.64 (+0.37%)
NASDAQ: 7,402.88, -2.0913 (-0.03%)
S&P 500: 2,727.72, +4.65 (+0.17%)
NYSE Composite: 12,761.82, +30.18 (+0.24%)

For the Week:
Dow: +568.66 (+2.34%)
NASDAQ: +193.27 (+2.68%)
S&P 500: +64.30 (+2.41%)
NYSE Composite: +268.47 (+2.15%)

Friday, May 4, 2018

When The Bottom Falls Out The Media Might Tell You

Most people who are invested in stocks via an employer-supplied pension plan of 401k don't watch the stock market very closely. Many of them don't even know the stocks in which their fund has invested their money.

Thus, most of these people - which is a rather large segment of the market as a whole, and a very important one - will never know that the Dow Industrials were down nearly 400 points on Thursday, or that the NASDAQ and S&P had similar, scary declines.

Rather, some of these people will note that the Dow gained five points and the other indices were down very little at the end of the day. They will get this information from the nightly network news, which is such an overrated form of communication, largely composed of liars telling lies, that it ought to be banned.

When the bottom finally does fall out of the market, as it nearly did in February, these same idiot non-savants on the television will bleat out doom and gloom and warn that all is not well because our precious corporations are today not worth what we thought they were yesterday, or the day before that.

These people, these casual observers of market mechanics, have only themselves to blame for not taking better care of their money. What kind of country is this that fosters the belief that men in suits from downtown Manhattan are better stewards of our wealth than the people who made the money in the first place?

There's an answer to that somewhat rhetorical question, and it is simply this: a gullible, trusting country, full of good-hearted people who routinely get taken to the cleaners by investment advisors, bankers, and their loving government. And then the press lies to them about it.

It's too bad, because there was once a time these advisors, bankers, and people from government could be trusted to do the right thing. There was a time when the press was free and honest.

Those days are long gone.

Look out below.

Dow Jones Industrial Average May Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
5/1/18 24,099.05 -64.10 -64.10
5/2/18 23,924.98 -174.07 -238.17
5/3/18 23,930.15 +5.17 -233.00

At the Close, Thursday, May 3, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 23,930.15, +5.17 (+0.02%)
NASDAQ: 7,088.15, -12.75 (-0.18%)
S&P 500: 2,629.73, -5.94 (-0.23%)
NYSE Composite: 12,392.50, -25.56 (-0.21%)

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%)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Stocks Split, But Down On The Main; Valuation Could Be At The Root

Something is upsetting the markets, but it's difficult to find an appropriate culprit for the current nausea.

Maybe it's an overhang from tax filing day, even though that is now two days in arrears, still, the amount of taxes Americans pa to federal, state, and local governments has probably never been higher. If taxes rates are not the largest they've ever been, they're certainly close to being so.

It takes 113 working days for the average American worker to earn enough money just to pay off the taxman. That day arrives - for most people - around mid-May, so perhaps the realization that one hasn't yet worked enough just to stay even with the bloated governments that regulate every conceivable activity might be a cause for upset.

Falling stock prices cannot be attributable to the current employment situation because we've been told over and over again that there are plenty of jobs in America. What we're not told is that many of those jobs are part time,
or low-paying, or otherwise dissatisfying. So, maybe it could be that.

One doesn't see to many corporate CEOs suffering, so there is virtually no possibility that these titans of industry are panic selling their shares.

What could it be?

Maybe the idea that stocks are currently trading at some of the highest valuations in history is giving some with more savvy investing skills than the average fund manager cause for concern. These people have seen tops and bottoms before, so they might just be looking for an exit and these high prices seems like a good place to take one's leave, or, as the case may be, profits.

If that's all there is to the sideways trading since mid-March, then it's probably not much to worry about, unless one is looking for a place to invest. In that regard, buying would be quite out of the question, thus solving our quandary: there are more sellers than buyers.

It could be that simple.

At the Close, Wednesday, April 19, 2017:
Dow: 20,404.49, -118.79 (-0.58%)
NASDAQ: 5,863.03, +13.56 (0.23%)
S&P 500: 2,338.17, -4.02 (-0.17%)
NYSE Composite: 11,342.42, -36.16 (-0.32%)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Special: Fighting Fraud Starts With Skepticism Of Statistics Like GDP

Stocks sold off slightly on Thursday, but, over the past few days and weeks, the real money has been moving in bonds, which - in the case of the US and Germany, at least - are sporting yields at or near multi-year highs.

The cause is mostly FUD, the arcane acronym invented on the internet standing for Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. When bond traders get riffed, the world should take note, but, since we are preconditioned to focus our collective attention on stocks, most people don't realize where money is moving and why until it's too late. Interest rates rise, money tightens and flows into bonds because they are considered more stable and safer than stocks. Businesses and consumers face higher lending costs, the economy stalls, stocks decline. The process takes many months, often years, before the eventual recession occurs. Fortunes are made and lost, mostly made by savvy bond specialists and lost by individuals and stock investors.

It's a royal screw job on the middle and upper-middle class (or what's left of it) by monetary authorities and governments that have been skimming off the top through inflation, deflation, fractional reserve banking, taxes, fees, and penalties. If you feel like you've been screwed by either banks or the government (village, city, county, state, or federal), it's because you have been... often overtly, but more often, quietly, covertly, under the cover of "we're doing what's best for you," or increased spending, deficit spending, capital "improvements" or budget windfalls to schools, tunnels, roads, bridges, fire departments, special tax districts, et cetera ad nauseum.

It's why people are voting for Trump. No kidding. American voting-age citizens fall today grossly into two broad categories: 1) Working people or retired on fixed income, getting nowhere fast, watching their incomes stagnate since 1999, paying more for everything from health care to property taxes to cell phone or internet service to utilities; 2) Welfare, SSI disability or other entitlement recipients, government employees who care not a whit that everything is going to hell in a handbasket because they either a) get a rent subsidy, food stamps, and other goodies no matter what, for doing nothing, or, b) are a government employee getting an automatic annual raise regardless of their job performance or the economic condition of the country.

In between or outside these two mega-groups are the upper-upper crust of one-percenters who make their money off interest on investments and the swath of social security and pension retirees who have maxed out on the system. That large last group vectors in and out of the working class spectrum to a large degree and some are being largely disenfranchised in the same ways that the middle class has been, especially since 2001, when interest rates began tanking and savings no longer provided a great enough return to outpace inflation.

Older folks will remember better days, when banks paid 5% interest on savings. Forget that. It's gone. Just like the social security fund, which faces default and bankruptcy within 15 years, our best days are behind us. Baby boomers will be the last generation to get ahold of the golden ring of social security. Generations X and Y will get less and millennials will likely get little to nothing. The system broke in the 80s, under Ronald Reagan (sorry, conservatives, but that's the truth), and it's just gotten worse as banking regulations were eased (Clinton and congress conspired to eviscerate Glass-Steagall leading to the global collapse) and every president since Carter has stolen from the social security fund to pay general obligations.

What's multiple times worse is that not only has the federal government stolen from the future, but they've managed to run up enormous deficits nearly every year and add to the debt at an exponential rate.

Here at Money Daily we don't expect everyone to understand economics, but we do strive to encourage people to exercise a little common sense and have basic math skills. Since what the government does with money (spend more than they take in), it doesn't take a Ph.D. in anything to discern that if you did the same, your financial condition would deteriorate, slowly at first, then all at once, sending you and yours to the poor house.

So, the government does better? How do they perform this magic? Lies and deception, mostly, through the issuance of bonds, sold to the Fed, parceled out to primary dealers and sold again to investors of all stripes. The Fed then prints more money, which is spent throughout the economy. Banks used to multiply the money supply via fractional reserve lending but they don't do much of that anymore. They use accounting tricks, balance sheets nobody can comprehend and investments form the ordinary to the arcane (CDOs, for instance) rather than functioning under some form of fiscal discipline. It's all too easy for the government and the banking system to defraud everyone. They've been doing it for centuries. It gets reset from time to time, but the same powers that were become the powers that be. It's history, if you know where to find it.

So, to the point: Just moments ago, the Deptartment of Commerce reported its first estimate of third quarter GDP, coming in at a robust 2.9%, more than double the second quarter's stumbling 1.4%, all smoke and mirrors designed to elect Hillary Clinton as president, keep the status quo firmly entrenched, and continue your existence as a docile, dumb serf. When the numbers are revised in a month, and again another month later, and again in two years, the number will be much lower, but, by that time the elections will be long over, the winners will be still partying, and you will be getting screwed, again, and again, and again.

Just wait until October's job numbers come out next Friday, the final, big lie prior to the elections. It should be awesome, but it will still be a lie.

If you aren't gardening, putting up solar panels, repairing an old car rather than buying a new one, scrimping and saving, buying gold and silver now, worry not, you soon will be.

Thursday's Tumble
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,169.68, -29.65 (-0.16%)

NASDAQ Composite
5,215.97, -34.29 (-0.65%)

S&P 500
2,133.04, -6.39 (-0.30%)

10,503.06, -25.13 (-0.24%)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Tough Times For People Are Beginning To Appear

See-saw trading marked the first day of August, traditionally one of the quietest times for traders, so excuse your author for not offering a great deal of commentary as the "dog days" wear on through the hot month.

Stocks were up and down without direction. Japan's fiscal stimulus, largely expected to consist of some form of "helicopter money" (i.e., central bank largess via government spending and/or handouts), and, while there were some measures designed to prop up the poor and stimulate spending, it's more likely that - like everything else the BOJ has attempted the past 25 years - the plan will backfire because Japanese people are more concerned with squirreling away cash for rainy days than spending to keep the government promise of prosperity and growth.

It's the same all over the world. Governments and central banks have themselves painted into a not-so-agreeable corner, flanked by negative interest rates on one side, stagnant growth prospects on another, and a phalanx of QE, ficsal irresponsibility, crony capitalism, global income insecurity, and political instability dropping from the ceiling and oozing up through cracks in the floor.

While the political and business hoi poloi continue preaching the narrative of rosy economic successes, the average people have had enough of being lied to, cajoled and insulted by appeals by the financial authorities to their better interests, which, in truth are in nobody's good interest.

A couple of possible scenarios might emerge from the continuing diddling by the Fed and their crony central banker kin. One is that extreme lawlessness reigns, as laws are multiplied beyond the system's ability to prosecute them, or, political forces morph into ugly totalitarianism.

A good bet might be a hedge between the two, as both are already emerging in various forms, everywhere from dictatorships like the one evolving in Turkey, right down to the tin-horn generals at local levels who attempt to enforce zoning and municipal codes on wary citizens.

If there appears to be unease in every neighborhood, it's because below a calm surface is a boiling pot of anger, resentment, fear, and distrust.

Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,404.51, -27.73 (-0.15%)

5,184.20, +22.06 (0.43%)

S&P 500
2,170.84, -2.76 (-0.13%)

NYSE Composite
10,730.20, -55.31 (-0.51%)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Slump Continues For Stocks; Oil Lower As Discontent Grows

While the world awaits an edict from the high halls of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, when the FOMC concludes their two day meeting and announces no change in the federal funds rate, investors appear increasingly nervous, not over the expected nothingness dictum from the Fed, but from the overall malaise that has captured markets, otherwise known as stagnation.

What capitalists fear more than anything else is an economy going backwards. What we have today is an economy at stall speed, needing only the slightest of nudges to fall into recession. The US is not alone in these fears; most of Europe is teetering on the brink of a receding growth curve, and this time, there is not enough left of policy maneuvers by central bankers in the EU, Japan, China, or anywhere else in the developed or underdeveloped world, should a recession occur, to keep it from becoming a global depression.

Lessons learned from the near-collapse of the global economy in 2008-09 are that stimuli only is a short-term fix, QE is a waste of money, and lower interest rates do not stir a dormant economy. In essence, the world's central bankers are out of ideas and have been for some time. They are, and have been, pushing on a string, kicking a can down a road, keeping their fingers crossed, and hoping for an economic miracle all at the same time.

Nothing has worked. Nothing will work... until the economies of both the developed world and underdeveloped world purge themselves of debt, stop trying to implement policies that clearly do not work, go back to money backed by something other than empty promises, and stop allowing governments to run up enormous deficits serviced by ever-lower interest payments (debasing the currency all the way along).

Those are just for starters. The world finds itself on the cusp of economic, societal and philosophical revolution. Ordinary people are fed up with government, the media, and various other institutions supposedly in place to provide for the public weal. They are tired of lies, cheating at the highest levels, institutional regulatory strangulation, higher and higher taxes, and an endless stream of regulations that have stripped away their liberties and much of what some may have previously called the "good life."

The few people currently in power are only interested in keeping and maintaining their control over the populations and their power and positions. They are being seriously questioned by populations who feel betrayed, unappreciated and desperate for relief from the very governments and institutions which are supposed to improve their lives, not impoverish them.

Therefore, stocks continue to wallow. And though today's declines are not noteworthy in and of themselves, there's a growing chorus of discontent that continues to rise.

The policies and practices of the past 20 or 30 years cannot continue indefinitely.

The time is coming for major change.

Today's Dippity-Do:
S&P 500: 2,075.32, -3.74 (0.18%)
Dow: 17,674.82, -57.66 (0.33%)
NASDAQ: 4,843.55, -4.89 (0.10%)

Crude Oil 48.56 -0.65% Gold 1,287.90 +0.08% EUR/USD 1.1208 -0.71% 10-Yr Bond 1.61 -0.31% Corn 435.25 +1.22% Copper 2.04 -0.46% Silver 17.40 -0.25% Natural Gas 2.89 -0.86% Russell 2000 1,147.09 -0.31% VIX 20.54 -2.05% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4109 -0.74% USD/JPY 106.1300 -0.03%

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Morning News Shows Have Become Un-Watchable, Unbearable

Money Daily stopped being a daily post blog in March, 2014. While the name remains the same, the posts are now on an intermittent basis, as conditions warrant, though it is advised to read the archives (from 2006-2014) regularly, even daily, for insights and historical perspective.

Maybe it's just me.

Maybe I've gotten too old (61), too cranky, or too intolerant to listen to government and media morons every Sunday morning, or, to put it into closer perspective, ANY SUNDAY MORNING.

Today, since I can no longer stomach NBC's Meet the Press, I tuned into FoxNews Sunday, which airs at the same time in my market (thank goodness). After just four minutes of hearing why President Obama needs to call ISIS (ISIL) "Islamic Extremists," I was done. Is that kind of devolved worthless introspective what the news media (propagandists) deems important?

Or, maybe I should just sit through it, listen to the usually empty talking heads and the next potential Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election and make my life choices based upon the trite script the networks wish to foist upon the American public.

That just doesn't seem to be a wise choice. Besides, we have the Brian Williams incident leading the indictment against mainstream news. Televised media, which took over when people stopped reading newspapers, is a hollow hell-hole of disingenuous political nonsense. Just watch any of these Sunday shows, or, a week's worth of evening news on ABCBSNBC, and count how many stories are devoted to government matters. It's nearly all of it.

Is that all that matters in America, anymore? What the government is doing?

Sorry, I'm tuning out.

There's better news coverage from alternative sources on the internet, and, I don't mean 140 characters on Twitter.

Rant over, and I still have 40 minutes of my life left that I used to spend "keeping up."