Showing posts with label oil spill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oil spill. Show all posts

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Not Mixing Metaphors: The US Ship of State is Rudderless

In less than a week, a couple of hundred people (maybe less) scattered around the country in data centers will decide who wins elections for the US House and Senate and other important elections, state-wide and local.

Do you think that's an absurd proposition made up by somebody overusing Zanax or other mind-altering drugs? Perhaps you haven't been keeping abreast of developments via the Brad Blog, Verified Voting or Bev Harris' Black Box Voting.

These and other web sites - no, you'll find nothing about actual vote manipulation anywhere in the mainstream media (MSM) or even on Fox News (who only make hollow claims that ACORN or other "liberal" groups are effecting voter fraud) - have been detailing our fully-rigged elections systems since the fiasco of 2000 in Florida. Or have you forgotten that George W. Bush was never elected, but rather, appointed to the Presidency by the Supreme Court in 2000 and that the 2004 election was largely stolen?

OK, take whatever meds you need to make you believe that all is well in our great union, but I'm here to tell you - again - that the country is being run by a criminal gang masquerading as politicians, funded by the gangsters of Wall Street, otherwise known as "banksters", who have defrauded millions of Americans over and over again through fraudulent mortgages, fraudulent assignments of mortgages (I personally own one of these), baseless foreclosures, phony mortgage-backed securities (MBS) which were sold around the globe, but also to pension funds to which YOU may be contributing.

I used to say the wheels are off, but it's worse than that now. The ship of state is floundering in a seas of fraud without a rudder. Consider our fates when abject morons such as Sharon Angle may actually defeat senator Harry Reid in Nevada, when a total business failure such as Carly Fiorina may defeat senator Barbara Boxer in California. Not that I'm a fan of either Boxer or Reid - they are integral parts of the rampant criminality of Washington, DC - but their proposed replacements are nightmares.

As a nation, we are well on our way to complete and total ruination at the hands of an oligarchy run out of control. Massive criminality is no longer prosecuted; indeed, it is likely praised behind closed doors. The government's preferred choice of action is to settle with criminals, taking money in lieu of prison terms, as in the case of Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo.

In normal times, deals like this would be categorized as bribes, but today the are SOP (standard Operating Procedure). In fact, our federal Attorney General, Eric Holder, hasn't led a sucessful prosecution of anybody involved in banking or the BP oil well explosion in the nearly two years be's been in office. The man just doesn't do his job and should be impeached, that is, if anyone can find him (he's nearly invisible).

To qualify that the US is off-course and headed for the rocks of desperation, depression and dissolution, a few headlines and stories should be required reading for today:

Run, Turkey, Run - PIMCO chief Bill Gross calls the Fed a Ponzi scheme

No Mr. President, Larry Summers Did Not Resolve the Financial Crisis for a Pittance, He Just Papered Over the Problem - William K. Black rips Larry Summers and calls President Obama a fraud.

Halliburton Knew About Bad Cement Job Before the Spill - Mother Jones reports that the company that former VP Dick Cheney once was CEO of, has been hiding the truth, again. Making matters worse, the company is now headquartered in Dubai, so even if we could locate Mr. Holder, the chances of prosecuting this rogue company are nil.

And of course, this: Leave Vera Baker Alone. She Did Not Have An Affair With Obama. - the internal US security apparatus may have the president by the short hairs. Nothing surprises us any more.

Not enough? We have witches running for Congress, a proposal to legalize marijuana in California being beaten back by the liquor lobby, other candidates who dress up in NAZI garb, others who invoke the Taliban when speaking of their opponent, and enough crazies running for office - like Carl Paladino, who threatened to "take out" a reporter - to make the original cast of One Flew Over the Kukoo's Nest appear completely normal.

On top of that, computers execute over 70% of all trades on Wall Street without any human intervention, and Joseph Murin, former head of Ginnie Mae, losing all credibility in this CNBC video, by first saying that now is the best time to buy a home and that the robo-signing scandal is "not about fraud, this is about process inadequacy." Incidentally, guest host Ken Langone's posturing that people are moving out of their foreclosed-upon homes into cheaper apartments and renting out the homes, is 100% pure falsehood.

How the markets responded to this crush of madness was the usual miasma of mix-up: The NASDAQ, S&P and NYSE were up, the Dow down, all marginally. Volume was normal, meaning, lousy.

Dow 11,113.95, -12.33 (0.11%)
NASDAQ 2,507.37, +4.11 (0.16%)
S&P 500 1,183.78, +1.33 (0.11%)
NYSE Composite 7,504.85, +23.98 (0.32%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,910,478,375
NYSE Volume 4,771,915,500

As such, there were 3152 advancing issues, 3205 decliners. New highs beat new lows, 413-58.

JP Morgan and HSBC Bank are being sued in federal court for manipulating the silver market [PDF]. Got coin? Silver exploded to the upside today, gaining 45 cents to $24.01. Gold was up $19.10 on last print, to $1344.10. Crude oil futures on the NYMEX closed up 24 cents, at $82.18. Note that above $80 per barrel is now the new normal, as is $3.00/gallon gas in many locales.

It's a mess, and come Tuesday, it's only going to get messier as we're likely to have a lame-duck congress followed by a completely stalemated one, with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats with a narrow (unable to override vetoes) majority in the Senate. Dr. Utopia will still reside in the White House, and, at a time when the nation needs leadership in the very worst way, we will have none.

Tomorrow, the initial estimate of third quarter GDP will be announced at 8:30 am ET.

Good luck with that!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pausing to Catch a Breath; Markets Bounce to End Dismal Week

Like the punch line to the old joke, "What are 500 lawyers lying dead at the bottom of the ocean?", gaining 125 points the day after the Dow Jones Industrials had just lost nearly 400, is... well, a good start.

However, the internals don't quite match the enthusiasm some may hold for the headline numbers, and, when the indices tumbled out of bed this morning into a ditch, they set new intra-day lows. Further, the whole thrust of today's gallop higher seemed a little out of place and probably had more to do with options expiration and covering short positions than anyone wants to admit.

It was a nice end to a really bad week for equity investors. All of the major averages ended up well below where they began the year, hugging their respective 200-day moving averages, or, in the case of the S&P 500, nestled comfortably below it. Obviously, whatever market worries caused the collapse of the past four weeks, those conditions are still present, and possibly getting worse.

For instance, Europe's $1 Trillion bailout is being called TARP a la EU, likened to the US version unveiled at their height of our own crisis back in the Fall of 2008, and many are saying it isn't enough. The US economy, hailed as the best of a bad bunch, isn't doing very well with real estate markets stuck in a funk and unemployment remaining stubbornly high; China is purposely slowing their own growth (they may not have to; slack global demand may do them in), fearing inflation; oil continues to spew from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, fouling the Southern coastline and threatening to destroy one of the great ecosystems of the fragile planet; state governments are just beginning to come to grips with austerity measures to combat their own fiscal deficits.

Is there anything good? Well, the price of gas is coming down gradually, but other than that, no, there's nothing good about a financial system teetering on the brink of implosion, the governments of nations nearing collapse, ecological disasters, politicians more focused on being re-elected than actually fixing things and the most corrupt insider game of high finance being played out on Wall Street.

Maybe the entire system needs to be flushed. Maybe an upheaval of the old guard might just lead to better days ahead. Maybe it's time for the rich and greedy to come to understand that impoverishing the entire planet isn't going to necessarily result in their own enrichment.

Today's little bump higher is, as usual, suspect, in that the rally came off an early, deep decline. Within minutes of the opening bell, the Dow was down 145 points, the other indices in a similar fix. The turnabout had all the earmarks of our old friends at the PPT, rushing to the rescue of financial markets which had apparently taken all they could handle. No matter the cause or underhandedness surrounding the Friday push to higher ground, stocks tumbled back into negative territory in the final hour. Technically, the indices made all of the day's gains in the last twenty minutes of trading, so, no, we're not buying it, nor should anybody.

Dow 10,193.39, +125.38 (1.25%)
NASDAQ 2,229.04, +25.03 (1.14%)
S&P 500 1,087.69, +16.10 (1.50%)
NYSE Composite 6,775.45, +122.45 (1.84%)

While advancing issues beat up decliners pretty handily, 4622-1938, new lows overwhelmed new highs for the third consecutive trading session, 295-87, and once that indicator flips in one direction or another, it's usually in it for a long haul, which can last anywhere from 4 to 20 months. Volume was abnormally high, owing to the idea that many shares were being parceled out of options and many short positions covered. Beisdes, it may have taken the insiders boosting stocks a bit more heft than they originally planned. Selling pressure didn't subside. It was just temporarily replaced by coordinated buying.

NYSE Volume 9,276,994,000.00
NASDAQ Volume 3,366,007,500.00

The first day of trading in the July futures contract for crude oil resulted in some price spillage, down 76 cents to the adjusted level of $70.04. Gold continued to retreat, losing $13.10, to $1,175.70, as did silver, down a relatively benign 6 cents, to $17.63.

The final week of May and all of June will be interesting to observe (meaning: do not trade this market) as investors will continue to focus on the issues in Europe, financial regulation and some potential pre-warnings from companies whose fates have turned from rosy to thorny. But, call me a tree-hugger or whatever you like, I have a feeling that the oil spill in the Gulf will dominate the news in a very ugly manner.