Showing posts with label president. Show all posts
Showing posts with label president. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

War Is Good For the Market, So Is Peace, Or Baseball, Or Beer, Or...

Fearing that a possible escalation of hostilities in the Middle East could spill over to affect the US economy, stocks opened sharply lower on Monday. Gold, silver and crude oil futures were bid higher.

As the day wore on, stocks regained their footings, the precious metal and oil rallies evaporated and eventually all the US indices closed well into positive territory.

None of that was by accident.

Consider the stock market a proxy narrative for the American impulse emotions. Fear, greed, tranquility, volatility, are all rolled into one great tableau of the American experience, especially when there's trouble on the horizon. Monday's action consisted of mandatory panicked selling as the day began, the hand of calm mid-morning, and eventually the all-clear sign that nothing bad will happen, in a "we got this" kind of virtue-signal, sending stocks higher, where they're supposed to be going in our vast and glorious economy.

It all happens without public comment nor input because large shareholders control enormous amounts of stock and with that, the ability to move markets in whichever non-random ways they desire. A tweak to an algo here, a few well-timed block trades there, and entire averages can move in not-so-mysterious ways.

Especially since the disasters of the 2000 dot-com bust and the 2007-09 sub-prime implosion, there's been a vested interest in this country to keep the charts moving in a left to right, upward=headed, diagonal line.

That's not an accident, either.

Because there is so much wealth and so much of the future concentrated almost exclusively in stocks, the markets cannot be allowed to wither. We've witnessed this same happenstance over and over and over again, on a daily basis in times of crisis, and with a more elongated time expanse when it comes to policy issues like the direction of interest rates, presidential politics, tax cuts, or long-range unemployment trends.

If the US kills an Iranian general and some other people who happen to be in the wrong place at the right time, stocks may take a temporary hit. The Dow may drop 100 or 200 points, but it will be back on its game by the afternoon, or maybe within the next day or two.

If the US sends 200,000 troops to Iraq or Iran to squelch - once and for all - an evil regime, stocks may initially descend, but in the long term, they will outperform the underlying economy. See charts from 2003-2005 for example, of how the Gulf War boosted stocks out of a deep hole.

While it doesn't have to be this way, that's just the way it is, and the sooner one comes to the rationalization that the markets are handled, mangled, and managed, the sooner one can come to grips with the deficiencies in one's own portfolio.

Whether this is good or not is a debatable point, but what is not a subject ripe for speculation is the fact that holders of large amounts of underlying securities can make markets move in whatever direction they please. And for now, that direction - make no mistake about this - is up.

At the Close, Monday, January 6, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 28,703.38, +68.50 (+0.24%)
NASDAQ: 9,071.46, +50.70 (+0.56%)
S&P 500: 3,246.28, +11.43 (+0.35%)
NYSE Composite: 13,941.80, +24.75 (+0.18%)

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Is Another October Surprise Developing for US Stocks?

On the opening day of trading for the fourth quarter, stocks were beaten down, with all of the major US averages losing more than one percent on the day.

Following Monday's end-of-quarter window dressing session, the losses on Tuesday were unexpected, but not to any extreme extent.

Could the indices be entering an October surprise, not dissimilar to that which occurred in 2018, when the stock markets retreated en masse from all-time highs and then took further flight in December?

It's a real possibility, since, despite making new all-time highs during the summer months, stocks have been relatively flat for the past year. On October 1, 2018, the Dow stood at 26,447.05, which is just 126 points shy of where it closed on Tuesday. Economic conditions haven't really improved. In fact, many might posit that they have degraded.

The World Trade Organization (WTO), which in April 2018 projected global growth at four percent, recently downgraded all of 2019's growth to a paltry 1.2%. Employment, at least in the US, has peaked, with average monthly non-farm payroll data down from last year and September's figures are likely to come in soft.

ISM Manufacturing in the US fell to its lowest level in a decade, registering a 47.8, down from 49.1 points in August and the lowest level since June 2009. Two straight months below 50 indicates not only contraction, but an acceleration in the level of decline. That, in addition to the inverted yield curve, suggests that a recession is due in the US, as Europe is on the brink of recession as well and the condition has a tendency for global contagion.

Thus, stocks get sold, bonds - in a flight to relative safety - get bought and the result is depressed moods all around.

If general chaos is what one desires, this would seem like the perfect opportunity to impeach a sitting president on little more than hearsay. And that is precisely what House Democrats are attempting.

At the Close, Tuesday, October 1, 2019:

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 26,573.04, -343.79 (-1.28%)
NASDAQ: 7,908.68, -90.65 (-1.13%)
S&P 500: 2,940.25, -36.49 (-1.23%)
NYSE Composite: 12,835.35, -169.39 (-1.30%)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Donald Trump Moves Markets; Hugo Salinas Price Details Decline In International Reserves

It was back to work on Tuesday for US speculators, and the mood was gloomy as president-elect Donald Trump quipped that the "dollar is too strong," which sent world markets into a wild frenzy.

Asian and European markets had already been upset on Monday, while the US rested for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but on Trump's vocalizing of displeasure, US markets took it to heart.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average backed away from the formerly-attainable 20,000 mark, down 110 points on Monday before a late rally slashed the losses in half.

It is apparent that the euphoria over Trump has faded significantly and American investors are heading for safer shores, mostly in bonds and cash, though precious metals may have even more appeal with gold and silver both making new highs for the year on significant gains. Spot silver stood at 17.175 and gold at 1216.70 at the close of trading in New York, but the rally may be just beginning to heat up.

Hugo Salinas Price makes important notice of the abrupt decline in international reserves. Of all the reports on matters economic, his may be the most acute and insightful. It's a must read and should be given careful consideration due to Mr. Price's status among economic thinkers.

At the Close 1.17.16:
Dow: 19,826.77, -58.96 (-0.30%)
NASDAQ: 5,538.73, -35.39 (-0.63%)
S&P 500: 2,267.89, -6.75 (-0.30%)
NYSE Composite: 11,190.76, -36.41 (-0.32%)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Ends On Sour Tone As Stocks Sell Into Year-End Close

At the Close: 12/30/2016:
Dow: 19,762.60, -57.18 (-0.29%)
NASDAQ: 5,383.12, -48.97 (-0.90%)
S&P 500: 2,238.83, -10.43 (-0.46%)
NYSE Composite: 11,056.90, -17.43 (-0.16%)

Over the final three weeks of 2016, the financial community focused on not buying Christmas presents or planning a New Year's gala event, but boosting stocks to a point at which they could be sold for a tidy, late-year profit, and they did so by ramping up the Dow Jones Industrial Average to stratospheric levels before dumping the blue chip shares into the laps of terminally brain-dead bag holders, i.e., pension funds.

This maneuver was rather artfully crafted, with the financial media cheerleading the ascent to the magical "Dow 20,000" level, which, as most readers will note, is anything but magic. The figure is plainly something upon which ordinary people (pension fund managers) could focus their extremely short spans of attention. 20,000 points on the Dow can be compared to other nostalgic remnants of history, like 300 million Americans, 60 home runs, or five percent unemployment.

These are just numbers, and, while numbers themselves don't lie, when placed in a variety of contexts, the narratives blur the lines between fact and fantasy. To say that a certain level of unemployment is "maximum", or that another number is an historic record (and thus something to which others can aspire) reinforces the perceived value of such a figure. It does not change the fact that the number itself is innocuous, lonesome, and static.

Having control over vast swaths of money and capital, as do central bankers and their agents, allows considerable control over the flow. Stocks and commodities are easily controlled by such enormous hordes of cash and certificates; bonds and real estate less so. Thus it's no surprise that US stocks went into overdrive upon the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th US president. This was after various implied warnings about a massive correction should the media star and real estate mogul win the election and was also on the heels of an enormous dumping in the futures market. Unwashed have limited insight, knowledge or memory of how large was the shift from futures to the US open on the day after the election and how well orchestrated was the late-stage rally from early November until just before Christmas.

From November 9 through December 13, the Dow added in excess of 1900 points (from 18,332.74 to 19,974.62), a gain of 1641 points, or, more than 8% in a period of less than seven weeks.

In other words, anybody who was right about Trump winning (not as out-of-the-question as the media had everybody believing) and wrong about the market outcome made a simple, inexcusable error of judgement. Those people trusted the same media narrative that was lying to them on both ends. As it turns out, Mr. Trump was a viable candidate capable of winning the election and the market was going to rally upon his victory, not drop into a sinkhole.

It was a great setup keyed by none other than everybody's favorite globalist central bankers and their agents at Goldman Sachs, the latter group eventually the recipient of more than just a few, token places inside the incoming Trump administration, but also the benefactor in a mammoth stock run which added significantly to the wealth of insiders at, or close to the center of the firm.

But Dow 20,000 was not to be. It was the cherry on top of the sundae meant for the little guy, but it was devoured by ravenous market forces otherwise known as naked short sellers, ostensibly, the large money crowd.

So, 2016 ends with a whimper rather than a shout. Delusional traders and hopeful investors will likely bear witness to more of the same chicanery in 2017. Nobody wants to admit that they're mere pawns on a global chessboard, therefore damming themselves behind a wall of self-doubt, misinformation, lies, and half-truths.

Happy New Year!

Week Ending 12/30/2016:
Dow: -171.21 (-0.86%)
NASDAQ: -79.57 (-1.46%)
S&P 500: -24.96 (-1.10%)
NYSE Composite: (-71.90, (-0.65%)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

No Shortage Of Stupidity In The New USA

While many Americans are happy or relieved that the incoming president is going to be one Donald J.Trump rather than a Hillary R. Clinton, the level of stupidity and derision following the November 8 election cannot be underestimated nor easily dismissed.

Within hours of the election results being boomed around the world and drummed into the heads of the mainstream media (TV) pundits and nitwits, protests sprang forth in some large cities.The usual suspects were the main venues for these particular acts of organized convulsion. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland, Philadelphia and New York City - all bastions of sanctuary for liberal mind-numbness and “gimme” passions - were singed with the callous chanting and protesting of the election results. Ostensibly, the protesters were recruited, rounded up and bussed into the streets by the monied interest of George Soros, the criminal billionaire who has helped fund the destruction of Europe and was intent on bringing the philosophical wrecking ball to the United States.

Additionally, spontaneous demonstrations of grief, loathing, fear, and discontent erupted upon college campuses, those former institutions learning which have devolved into self-pitying, protected safe spaces for all manner of moronic manifestations.

These protests and demonstrations lasted about a week and died a slow, painful death, the adherents of liberal ideology apparently content to wreak havoc for a little while, collect their pay and slide back into the slimy holes from which they came.

Of course, their positions atop the “we’re all gonna die” narrative were quickly taken up by far more qualified idiots in the television and newspaper media and their lap-dog, sound-horn political hacks, who commandeered the airwaves with threats to undo or, at least, minimize the Trump victory, making various noises and guttural moaning about the rights of illegal immigrants, women, minorities and whatever other simple-minded antithetical nonsense they could foist upon the not-so-unsuspecting viewing and reading public.

Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, issued a proclamation and a new law (heaped upon the hundreds of other laws which are not enforceable and cannot and will not be enforced) guaranteeing that any illegal threatened with deportation by the federal government will have his or her or its legal bills attended to by the overtly generous and sublimely stupid state of New York.

Mayors across the country insisted that their little fiefdoms would remain sanctuary cities, in direct conflict with the laws of the federal government. Legislation was introduced in the congress to abolish the electoral college. And finally, the left, left, left hop-skip march of the Green Party - which is nothing more than an unofficial subsidiary of the now-defunct and discredited Democrat party - sauntered into the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, promising a full investigation and recount of the vote that went narrowly to Trump and bumped him over the electoral college hump.

And then, Hillary’s people chimed in, on queue, just in time for the Sunday political talk shows, saying snidely that they owed it to the people who voted for Hillary (note: no respect for those who voted for the actual winner, Trump) to ensure that the vote tally was accurate.

But, the public had been heard. Trump had won and the millions who voted for him and the millions who quietly supported him refused to listen, refused to be deterred, refused to be fooled again. No, governor Cuomo, we’re not paying our taxes so that you can appear the savior of the downtrodden at our expense. No, Hillary, your vote recount won’t amount to anything. No, George Soros. Go back to Hungary, you cretin.

It seemed that some sanity had finally emerged, until I ran across this little oddity on a Facebook page. The person upon whose page it was posted (and whose face I have conveniently erased at left) went to a Catholic grammar school, a Catholic high school and eventually went to work in the Human Resources department of a public school district. For the record, there's really no position more loathsome than one in Human Resources, aka HR. It's about as low on the job totem pole one can smoke and doing this kind of work for a public school system is like smoking dirt through a straw pipe. Anyhow, this is why the education system should be scrapped: because people like this are hauling down enormous salaries and pensions while inflicting the youth under their care to ill-informed, nonsensical, downright bad advice.

This woman is no more a Muslim than I am a green-eyed Martian. She was brought up in a middle class American home, schooled privately during her formative years and had all the privilege and pampering that suburban life for young, white girls offered. Apparently, college and a lifetime of servitude to a corrupt, derelict education system which favors mediocrity over success, conformity over individuality, and the dishonesty of the diversity chorus over actual learning, turned a normal American woman into a screeching, tongue-twisted, limpid half-wit with no more original thinking than the average 30-second TV commercial. And the woman next to her in the photo (whose face I also have blotted out... to protect the guilty, as it is) is likely thinking of how she’ll cut out the heart of this insipid infidel when the time is ripe.

Such is the level of stupidity in America.

H. L. Mencken, who coined the phrase, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public,” is having convulsions in his grave.

While we’re on the subject of stupid, let’s look at solar technology. I recently had the opportunity to state my concerns and throw out some ideas about solar power on a local radio show (this part is for you, Bob).

Western states, especially those blessed with abundant sunshine, have built enormous solar farms which feed electricity into the grid and eventually into people’s homes. Some such plans have recently come to the attention to our local mob boss or governor, who wishes to have the state of New York take lands (probably under eminent domain) and turn them over to giant utility corporations in order to bring the solar energy collective to New York.

This is a canard designed to fool stupid people, of which there is no shortage in New York or anywhere else in this country. New York’s taxpayers are not as gullible or deep-pocketed as our countrymen out West. We’re tired of paying taxes and then paying again for subsidies to giant corporations. My advice on this radio show was for people to construct their own off-the-grid solar systems, at least partially offsetting the costs of centrally-distributed power.

Here’s how it goes. In most of New York, utility companies are allowed to assess a “customer charge,” a monthly stipend to the utility for the individual privilege of being a customer. There’s nothing more to it. It’s just an additional cost on your bill, sanctioned by our genius legislators, amounting to roughly $35 a month.

Considering that you’re going to stay on the gird for a number of years, that $35 a month becomes $420 a year and eventually, $4200 in ten years. Yes, $4200 just to be a sheep being sheared by the power company. If you took just that $4200 could easily purchase eight 250-watt solar panels at a cost of roughly $250 each (so, there’s $2000). An inverter, a voltage regulator, and a bank of four deep cycle batteries (which last 5-7 years, so they would have to be replaced at some point) should cost about $600-700. The solar panels have a useful life of twenty years, so, do the math (I know, it’s hard) and you’ll see how far ahead you could be.

Such a system can produce two kilowatts (that’s 2000 watts, son) of energy per hour on a sunny day. On average, upstate New Yorkers get about five hours of sun per day. On average. That’s important, because the sun doesn’t always shine (though modern solar panels can get some power from moonlight - it’s a modern marvel of technology). So, this setup will, on average, produce 10 kilowatt hours per day, or 300 Kwh per month. The average household uses somewhere between 400 and 800, but, being stupid, we waste a lot of that energy. Conservation (which is a derivative of conserve, just like conservative politics) is an important element in the quest to be not stupid, otherwise known as “smart.”

And because the sun doesn’t always shine, that’s why you’ll want four deep cycle batteries. They store the power you’re not using when the sun is shining. If the sun doesn’t shine for a few days, your batteries should have enough power to get you through, and then, when the sun shines again, they’ll recharge and store more power.

Thus, for the money most people are spending on just being a customer of a utility in New York, they could have their own electricity supplied from rooftop or ground  installed solar panels and still have money to spare. About $1500 over ten years. That’s not even taking into account the money these same people will be spending on electricity from the grid.

My advice is to forget the tax credits, the subsidies and tying into the grid. Construct your own solar system and keep it off the grid. The utilities don’t pay you nearly what they’re charging you for energy that you contribute back to the grid. Give the state of New York, the Public Service Commission, and the big utility company a robust middle finger, every month, month after month after month.

For those of you intimidated by electricity or solar technology or, for that matter, any technology, try it out for much less than the $2700 example cited above. Go to Harbor Freight and find the coupon or the monthly ad for the 45-watt solar panel kit. It should run between $129 and $179. It comes with all the wires, a voltage regulator, a couple of 12-volt lights (very cool), and instructions. You’ll also need at least one battery and an inverter (this turns DC electricity into AC). Those can be purchased at the same store. Anything from 400 watts to 1000 watts should work just fine.

The process is pretty simple and straightforward. A friend and I set this up and had power in under 20 minutes. It’s a plug-and-play system that probably any 15-year-old could set up and power up in the back yard. Use it in your garage, on your back porch or patio, for your camper, or for your shed. It’s fun, educational and a good first step before venturing into full-blown, off-the-grid freedom.

Oh, you say you need heat? Look into wood stoves, propane-powered or gas-powered generators and open up that little, collectivist mind for a bit.

Stupidity is one commodity that is free in America. That doesn’t mean you have to take the samples offered.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump Wins, America Wins, Fearless Rick Takes A Victory Lap

November has, thus far, been an amazing month.

The Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1904, Donald Trump won the election for president, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average registered a new all time high.

Fearless Rick outside Trump rally this Spring
In the meantime, as an aftermath to the historic, transformative election win for Donald Trump, a businessman, a TV idol, not a politician, students and other dissatisfied people are protesting the result of the democratic voting process.

To some, the protests may appear preposterous, pompous, self-indulgent, or just plain stupid. But, this is what America is all about: freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom to say and do whatever one pleases, so long as those words or actions don’t impinge upon those of others. It’s a thin, blurry line upon which we traverse with free speech and free assembly, but it is there, and, to a large extent, it is going to be respected.

Truthfully, the number of people protesting the election result is ridiculously small in comparison to the number of people who voted for Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton, so, to a large extent, the protests should be easy to ignore. The more one ponders the wisdom of protesting the result of an election, the more absurd the proposition becomes. The election was the result of months and months of free expression by the candidates, their surrogates, supporters, detractors, and the media. The time for marching and shouting was before the election, not after it. With any luck, that concept will sink in to the kids on the streets and college campuses and they’ll slink back to their jobs, classrooms, or parents’ basements and life will go on as usual.

Protests against the president prior to his inauguration, are likely to be ineffective. Maybe that hasn’t gotten through to George Soros and his ilk, who almost surely have funded and promoted these most idiotic of events.

But that’s not the point of this message. The point is to remind readers that the editor of this blog, Fearless Rick, himself called the election result correctly a month prior to it, calling for a Trump landslide, the result of millions of fed up Americans taking back their nation. Honestly, it was more of a hope than an educated prediction, but, as the pollsters and number crunchers themselves have admitted, they blew it. They didn’t see the millions of Americans who felt disenfranchised and disrespected by the likes of liberal goons promoting gay rights and LGBTQ liberties, who lost jobs because the government made moving industries out of America a profitable decision, who pay taxes for schools that don’t teach, elected officials and bureaucrats who don’t represent them, a media that mocks and ridicules them for being old-fashioned, out-of-step, or even selfish.

The backbone of America was awakened by a man who refused to toe the line of political correctness, who stood against open borders, who stood for the working men and women of this country, the middle class, the downtrodden, the forgotten. Donald Trump was a lightning rod for the pissed off, angry folks in the country who had seen enough of their rights stripped away and were afraid the choice of Hillary Clinton as the next president would have brought upon an epochal eventuality wherein the few remaining rights would be stripped in time.

They were probably right. Democrats and liberals alike have worked tirelessly to limit the second amendment, to nullify free speech, flout the immigration laws, disrespect the rule of law, and gradually, slowly, but incessantly, turn all of America into a totalitarian welfare state of chaos and complete government control. That was not the America most of those who voted for Mr. Trump wanted. Many of the Trump voters were older, who remembered a time when America was a safer place, a freer place, a happier place, and they wanted it back.

In electing Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th president, they may have taken the first step toward a restoration of the America, a return to morality, to honesty, to civility, to economic and true social justice. Making America great again, to borrow from Trump’s slogan, is not going to occur overnight, or even in the four years Mr. Trump will serve as president. It’s going to take a while to unwind all the bad legislation and trade deals and economic imbalances that were the result of crony capitalism. And Mr. Trump is not going to be able to do it alone. He is going to need not just the House of Representatives and the Senate but also the voices of those who voted for him and support his ideals. Winning the election was just the beginning. The left and their compliant media lapdogs are not about to go away and hide. They are going to fight back, lash out and tear at the fabric of society.

They will fail, and they will fail miserably because their vision of America, complete with free college educations, fifty million people on welfare, twenty trillion dollars of debt, overpaid government employees, and a severe lack of good, fulfilling, well-paying jobs, is not America at all. It is a liberal, dysfunctional, diseased obsession and fantasy.

The America represented by the people who put Donald Trump in office is an America of hard work and good pay, of duty to God, country and family, of fearlessness in the face of adversity, of helping neighbors and those less fortunate, of friendliness, honesty and humility. The America which will be refreshed is one of opportunity, freedom and justice for all.

It’s hard to believe that anybody in their right mind would protest that.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Go Figure: Trump Is A Winner And So Are Stocks

Editor's Note: I've been itching to write a post-mortem on the election for the past two days, but Wednesday was spent mostly recovering from the victory celebration which went late into Tuesday night and today the weather here in upstate New York is a breathtaking thing of beauty for mid-November with temperatures in the low 60s. Thus, I'm itching to get outside and enjoy the fresh air my little slice of America. I'll take my bows and victory lap for a month ago having predicted Trump's victory another time, likely at some point over the weekend.

There are more than a few points I wish to make and I am not yet over the elation of having gotten my country back to focus on penning a reasonably good essay, though I intend to in due time.

--Fearless Rick

Being just two days hence, the historic win in the presidential election by Donald J. Trump is still fresh in the mind, but already there are signs that the script has not yet been written for this chapter in American history.

Stocks, especially the Dow Jones Industrial Average, will close at record highs today should current prices be maintained or closely held.

The public had been led to believe that a victory for the Donald (can we still call him that once he's sworn in?) would be a death knell for stocks, but apparently, wall Street types see it somewhat differently, especially since not only did a Republican take control of the presidency, but the house and senate remained firmly in control of the GOP.

As strange as it may seem, Wall Street could actually believe in what Mr. Trump has been preaching and the last two days of trading may well be proof of that. Stranger yet is gold being down and silver up. Could the historic deviation from the gold/silver ratio we've witnessed over the past 30 years be starting to unwind? The best advice offered is one made a few months ago in Money Daily: buy solar panels (preferably American made).

Monday, November 7, 2016

President Hillary? Is The Fix In Or The Ultimate Fake-Out?

Considering the volatile take-off of markets world-wide today - a day after FBI Director James Comey gave Hillary Clinton the get out of jail free card by informing congress and the world that nothing new was found in the 650,000 emails on a computer shared by Clinton personal aide Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, it would appear that the status quo has convinced itself that all is well, that Hillary will win (by hook or crook) and that Donald Trump will not upset the establishment apple cart and "drain the swamp."

Though the swamp dearly needs a good drainage, the market reaction (Dow up over 300 points; NASDAQ up more than 100) from the establishment shows just how embedded the insiders, politicians and media are and just how deeply they despise the voice of the electorate.

This election season has been an object lesson in totalitarianism, underhanded politics, lies, and corruption.

We've got one day to find out whether the world has ended (Hillary wins) or the citizens of the United States of America still has a voice (Trump wins). From the purely superficial appearances, it would come as no surprise if the election was once again (see 2000 and 2004) stolen by the establishment authors of both parties.

Many of us with functioning minds are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for a Trump victory. Though the Donald has his flaws, the media has managed to paint a truly ugly portrait of the man, all the while ignoring the obvious illegal activities of Hillary Clinton.

God save us.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Dow Closes Below 18,000, S&P Under 2100, Trendiing Lower; Fed Null

Stocks took the usual FOMC do-nothing antics in stride but sold off late in the day, with the Dow Jones Industrials finishing below 18,000 and the S&P 500 under 2100.

For the S&P, it was the first close below 2100 since early July, leaving the broad index up just five percent on the year, floating just above its 200-day moving average.

Cause for such grief in stocks is likely tied to the presidential election, now less than a week away, and the continuing surge of Donald J. Trump in the polls as more and more dirt is coming up from under the Hillary Clinton rug.

Investors are worried that their fair-haired, lying, cheating, scandal-ridden candidate will not make it to the finish line ahead of Trump, whom the media and Clinton camp have tried in vain to paint as misogynist, racist, rapacious, in bed with Russia, and other flights of fantasy.

As sad as the media bias and misrepresentation has been, what is potentially more disturbing is how poorly the media and Democrats think of the American public as gullible, malleable and utterly useful only to the ends of the elite.

As was stated more than three weeks ago right here in Money Daily, it now appears that Trump is going to win the election in a backlash landslide.

And stocks don't like it. Too bad.

Hump Day or Trump Day?
17,960.60, -76.50 (-0.42%)

5,105.57, -48.01 (-0.93%)

S&P 500
2,097.95, -13.77 (-0.65%)

10,349.57, -64.48 (-0.62%)

Trouble In Paradise As Trump Presidency Looms

Normally, stocks are flat - as they were Monday - in anticipation of an FOMC rate policy meeting.

This time is different.

Stocks took a turn for the worse on Tuesday, with the major averages dipping more than 1/2 percent all around. The cause: the truly frightening possibility of a Donald Trump presidency, signifying a change from the crony capitalism of the past 30 years to a more measured, honest, workable structure favoring small business instead of major corporations erecting barriers to business through their henchmen in the US congress and various state assemblies.

That Trump could win the White House - disappointing the supporters of Hillary Clinton and the status quo - is a very disturbing development for Wall Street insiders who have counted on special favors, underhanded practices, and a compliant government to rack up big profits and fleece taxpayers and the investing public, all at the same time.

People who say that a Trump win would cause a market crash may be right, and it's just the medicine this sick globalized economy would need to mend itself. Trump is for a level playing field, lower taxes for individuals and corporations, tariffs as opposed to "free" trade, tighter border control, and fewer regulations.

While those proposals generally sound positive for US business, the devil is in the details. Policy leads reality and Trump's policies would likely put fire to the feet of fat-cat corporate types, ending the corruption and control frauds that plague business and government alike.

Yesterday's drop on the markets was not a one-time event and it also had nothing at all to do with the Fed and their FOMC meeting, which wraps up 2:00 pm ET Wednesday. As has been the case for the past ten months, the Fed will huff and puff and then do nothing. It's obviously too close to the election for the Fed to do anything that might upset the apple cart.

With a Trump presidency now a real, emerging possibility (since Clinton has finally been exposed as corrupt, incompetent, and dishonest) there may be more of these daily dips, especially if the media is forced to tell the truth about the economy and investments.

Time will tell. It's a week to the election and Trump is surging. Like it or not, stocks may take a dive and the economy will probably fall into a recession, all of which will be net positive for America. A good draining of the swamps in Washington and Wall Street is long overdue.

Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,037.10, -105.32 (-0.58%)

5,153.58, -35.56 (-0.69%)

S&P 500
2,111.72, -14.43 (-0.68%)

NYSE Composite
10,414.05, -67.84 (-0.65%)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Stocks Finish Week On Negative Note, Leans Toward Trump

As Fridays go, especially one in which the government reported 2.9% GDP growth, this one was particularly dull.

Perhaps the news that the FBI informed members of congress that they'd discovered new evidence (on former rep Anthony Weiner's phone, of all places) that gave rise to reopening the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state, her ties with the Clinton Foundation, pay for play, etc.

Investors are already nervous heading into the election on November 8, but news like what was released on Friday - abundant in speculation and short on details - has to make one consider running for the hills, or at least the nearest bug-out location.

Maybe it's nothing, but people with money invested always prefer calm to confusion, and the past six months (some say eight years) have been hard to figure.

Consequently, on Friday, stocks were up, then down, then unchanged, finally finishing with a small decline.

For the week, the Dow was the only major index to offer a gain, though a mere .05%. That makes sense, as, compared to the other indices, the Dow is considered the safest, comprised of 30 strong, dividend-yielding companies. The others were down on the week and for the third time in the past four, the NASDAQ - unsurprisingly, the most volatile - took the largest percentage loss, at -1.28%.

Correcting a slight but relevant detail in a previous post, it was stated that Friday was the final trading day of October. The calendar says otherwise, with Monday being the 31st and the key date by which to measure the stock market's ability to predict the presidential election. Being correct 82% of the tie since 1944, the S&P 500 would have to rally more than two percent on Monday for the prediction to call the election for Hillary Clinton.

If the S&P closes below 2,173.60 on Monday, the market predicts the next president will be Donald J. Trump.

Friday's Foibles:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,161.19, -8.49 (-0.05%)

5,190.10, -25.87 (-0.50%)

S&P 500
2,126.41, -6.63 (-0.31%)

NYSE Composite
10,479.78, -23.28 (-0.22%)

Week ended 10/28

Dow: +15.48 (0.09%)
S&P 500: -14.75 (-0.69%)
NASDAQ: -67.30 (-1.28%)
NYSE Composite: -95.26 (-0.90%)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fearless Rick Predicts: Trump To Win In Landslide Victory

Dispensing with the usual market noise and fury, today let’s look at the political spectrum, in particular, the presidential race.

In the aftermath of the leaked Trump video, the further Wikileaks of Hillary Clinton’s speeches to the Wall Street elite, and Sunday night’s debate, a common theme has emerged. The Democrats have, as usual, nothing more than empty rhetoric and the politics of personal destruction.

Republican candidate Trump has been dealt a bag of lies, dirty tricks, one-sided media reportage and bias, inaccurate, dubious polling data, slurs, baits, and typical trash talk, but he has not folded, not has he bent to the pressure in the least.

While Donald Trump may not be the ideal Republican candidate, he is largely better than his Democrat rival, Hillary Clinton, whose over 30 years of public service have yielded no tangible, positive results for the majority of Americans.

Trump is correct in pointing out that the Democrats - for whom the African-American populace slavishly vote for in every election, be it local, state or national in scale - have done nothing to enhance the ling conditions of the black community. The same goes for nearly every other minority. The Democrats are full of promises and negligent on deliverance. It is the same tactic trotted out year after year, in election after election. Democrats preach equality and tolerance, but demonstrate neither.

It’s time for Americans to see through the Democrat party as nothing more than socialism on steroids. Every problem is solved by more policies, more spending, higher taxes, greater regulation. The majority of taxpaying people in this country (and even tax-avoiders) are - or should be - fed up with the dictates and policies promulgated by the left and they should be energized enough to put an end to it next month, when millions will make their voices heard through their votes.

There are no sure things in life, but if ever there was a moment for a complete convulsion in the fabric of American life, it is now. Eight years of Obama’s socialism has led to this moment. Mr. Trump has prevailed over all his Republican rivals, many of whom - as much a part of the elite status quo as the Democrats - have withdrawn their support or never supported the nominee at all.

Hillary Clinton is another empty suit. Donald Trump is a businessman who has had great success and celebrity over the years. The Democrats have tried in vain to denigrate and demonize him precisely because they are afraid of losing the election and increasingly desperate.

If the truth be known, most of the polls are so wickedly biased toward the Democrats (see this story by Sharyl Attkisson for more) they cannot be believed. This race is not even close. More and more people are being swayed by the power of Trump’s persuasion for a greater America, for a return to traditional values, for supporting the constitution, lowering taxes, eliminating regulations and improving the quality of life for the middle class.

There should be no doubt when the buttons are pushed or levers pulled. Donald Trump will win the presidential election in an absolute, stunning landslide on a scale of Ronald Reagan’s victory in 1980.

The only caveat - and it is a serious one - is if the election is rigged and stolen outright by the Democrats or the powers that be. Both sides have done it and there is a very good chance that if Clinton is seen as losing midday on November 8, all bets are off, all votes will be nullified electronically or by other means. It’s a real threat, but, otherwise, Donald Trump will win convincingly.

Monday's Markets:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,329.04, +88.55 (0.49%)

5,328.67, +36.27 (0.69%)

S&P 500
2,163.66, +9.92 (0.46%)

NYSE Composite
10,682.71, +55.79 (0.53%)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Presidential Debate Past; Stocks Return To Normal

With the results of Monday night's presidential debate clearly a mainstream victory for Hillary Clinton (according to the mainstream media, naturally), investors got the "all clear" Tuesday morning and immediately set about erasing the previous day's losses to a large extent.

There was nothing of note in the way of financial news, so the political news would have to suffice, and it apparently did.

With nothing now standing in the way of a Hillary Clinton victory in the November election, the smug Wall Street crowd felt good enough to boost stock prices for the average investor, despite Donald Trump's warning that the Fed was blowing bubbles and playing politics. Maybe the election doesn't matter that much.

All's well.

Tuesday's Shuffle
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,228.30, +133.47 (0.74%)

5,305.71, +48.22 (0.92%)

S&P 500
2,159.93, +13.83 (0.64%)

NYSE Composite
10,657.18, +32.30 (0.30%)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Stocks Slide Again; Is Market Anticipating A Trump Victory Or Government Shutdown?

Stocks fell for the second straight session, extending losses from Friday to open the new week.

Causes for the two-day selling spree are questionable, but Monday's New Home Sales release by the Commerce Department may be a good place to start. After surging in July, new home sales fell 7.6% nationally, following a July surge.

Perhaps even more troubling is that the median price of a new home sold in August was down 3.1% from July and down 5.3% from a year earlier.

That's a real problem because the home-selling business has been anything but brisk, though price increases were a good sign for the Federal Reserve, which is dying to find any hint of inflation (they love it; consumers hate it). Thus, if new homes are selling at a discount from the year earlier, one could probably safely assume that existing homes are seeing price pressure to the downside as well.

Extrapolating from what is normally regarded as the biggest single purchase in a person's life, the cost of a home (or rent) going lower is going to put the brakes on inflation in a very large way, perhaps in a way that many people looking to sell are not going to appreciate. Recall that the last housing bust was a scant eight years ago. There are still underwater homeowners in various stages of despair, though the numbers have eased significantly over the years.

A downturn in housing prices, while great for new buyers, are overall anathema for the economy. How that squares with Wall Street's ongoing love-hate affair with the Fed and the call for higher interest rates is as yet unknown, but, after last week's stall on raising rates there's the distinct possibility that the Fed has called the market's bluff for the final time.

A FOMC meeting is sceduled for the first week in November, just prior to the election, so there's almost zero probability that the Fed would raise rates at that point, upsetting not just the market but the political class as well. That leaves December as the last chance for the Fed to raise rates, and looking back at their last December hike (a market disaster), there's some thinking that the almighty Fed may not want to repeat that particular episode.

One other potentiality for the sudden downturn in stocks is that inside money is looking seriously at a Donald Trump victory in November. Tonight's first debate (of three) between the Donald and Hillary Clinton may be a watershed moment in US political history. The most recent polls have the two candidates nearly even, as Mr. Trump has eviscerated Clinton's large post-convention lead, especially in some key battleground states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Why large investors may be nervous about a Trump victory is the gnawing, belly-aching suspicion that Trump may be good for small business but bad for big business. His platform is not well-formed, but, he has used the words "crony capitalism" to his populist advantage. It's code for "no more business as usual" which means many of the larger firms (think S&P 500) that have benefited from decades of competition-crushing regulations and legislation may be looking at a more level playing field which puts small businesses on a better footing, something with which they have no relevant experience. That opens up new possibilities that favor smaller competitors taking market share from larger ones, to the ultimate detriment of the US stock market, but probably to the betterment of the overall economy.

Not withstanding any other reasons to fear a Trump presidency, the elitists on Wall Street and in the nation's capitol simply do not know what to expect. That's why they're the status quo and Donald Trump spells big danger.

Another rationale for a market downturn is the continuing drama over keeping the federal government operating past this coming Friday. The president and congress are doing their usual dance of death surrounding a continuing resolution rater than an actual budget to avoid a government shutdown and the Friday deadline is looming large.

Lastly, this being the last week of September, maybe the marketeers are gearing up for an October to remember, as has occurred on numerous occasions in the past. Market crashes and corrections always seem to pop up in the harvest month, and this one offers even more uncertainty than usual.

Blue Monday:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,094.83, -166.62 (-0.91%)

5,257.49, -48.26 (-0.91%)

S&P 500
2,146.10, -18.59 (-0.86%)

NYSE Composite
10,624.88, -93.11 (-0.87%)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Volatility Returns As Stocks Retrace Friday's Losses

Writing just after noon on Tuesday, stocks seem to be in a certain funk over the future of not just corporate earnings, but the direction of the Federal Reserve and the outcome of the 2016 presidential race.

On the latter, Hillary Clinton's continued lying (even about her health, which is in terrible condition) may be costing her the election, to say nothing of the idea that many people who may have held their noses and voted for the Democrat status quo choice over the maverick Trump, may be changing their minds given that Hillary may not be able to effectively serve as president, yet alone make it to the finish line in the election process come November.

While Trump has held his tongue over Hillary's health issues, he continues to gain in the polls and in popularity with the American people. With the election less than two months away, any more gaffes by Clinton could prove fatal to her presidential aspirations, which, in the long run, would likely be a good thing for the American public.

Wall Street doesn't apparently appreciate the way things are going, though with Hillary losing ground, there's even less chance that the FOMC will announce a rate hike at their meeting next week. Trump's bashing of Janet Yellen earlier is also weighing on markets, and while the stock market may not like the way he's talking, as usual, he's speaking the unblemished truth: stocks are overpriced due to Fed meddling.

Is this how it all ends, with a Trump presidency and a wholesale cleansing of the sick economic policy apparatus?

We can only hope.

After Monday's dead-cat rally, stocks have given back all of those gains by midday, and then some. Get ready for a rocky ride this afternoon and more days of heightened volatility to come as the election takes precedence over all other economic and political events.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

FOMC Focus: Will Stocks Change Direction After Labor Day?

Today's headline offers a provocative suggestion, though the simple answer to the question is a flat-out "NO," simply because the overtly political Federal Reserve will not - under an circumstances - raise interest rates in September.

That is almost so widely accepted within the financial community as to make it nearly a fact, a fait accompli, a gospel truth.

There are any number of reasons why the FOMC will not raise the federal funds rate even one basis point at their upcoming meeting on September 20 and 21, not the least of which is the assumption that such a rash move would derail the presidential bid by the status quo candidate, the fair-haired-soon-to-be-liar-in-chief, Hillary Clinton.

Naturally, that's a one-sided argument which has nothing to do with economics, but the Fed has other issues behind their upcoming decision to stand pat on rates for the foreseeable future.

Among these issues are the ongoing candidacy of Mr. Donald J. Trump, who is seen as anathema to anything and everything establishment, and that means the Fed itself. A Trump victory in November would almost certainly foment much in the way of chaos, including a pre-emptive attack from the Fed itself, sensing an almost perfect opening to raise rates and crash the market, maybe even do away with the entire post-Bretton Woods arrangement via a wholesale financial collapse.

That might be fun, but the projections fro the US economy going forward are not, have not been for some time and will not be. That's the main reason the Fed is stuck at the near-zero bound, because not only the US economy, but that of almost all developed nations are not growing. Rather, they are growling with intense citizen upset, declining labor utilization rates and a demographic wall that current policies can and will never scale.

The Fed is boxed in, as are all central banks. They can't do anything except buy up more overpriced assets even though that effort has failed to produce their highly-anticipated inflation and associated growth. One might say that all the central bank coddling of the system has produced is a massive over-supply of everything and a deflationary vortex that challenges their Keynesian orthodoxy.

The Fed - unless Hillary Clinton is elected president, and even that's no clincher - is toast.

Thursday's Results:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,419.30, +18.42 (0.10)

5,227.21, 13.99 (0.27%)

S&P 500
2,170.86, -0.09 (0.00%)

NYSE Composite
10,771.91, +7.16 (0.07%)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

As Hope For Hillary Fades, So Will Prices of Stocks

Another listless day was had on the equity exchanges, as stocks slipped in early (rigged) trading, then magically gained ground all day, with the Dow ending in the red while the NASDAQ and S&P posted incremental gains.

Oil continued to slip further away from recent, month-ago highs of $50 per barrel, closing in NY just above $41/barrel, roughly a 20% decline in a very short time. Drivers should begin to see the effects at the gas pump, as soon as higher-priced inventories are extinguished. Expect gas prices to fall back to levels seen in early Spring. Many areas in the Midwest and South are already seeing prices below $2.00 per gallon, a level seen as a panacea for economy.

The highest prices in the country are undeniably in the West, especially California, where high taxes and regulations push the price of fuel far beyond its production and profit price. Once again, we have our beneficent government to thank for wasting our money.

Winding down tonight is the Democratic National Convention, where Hillary Clinton will accept her party's nomination for president of the United States, along with running mate Tim Kaine, whose speech on Wednesday night is being criticized as being dull and boring.

More and more, it appears that the national mood is not pleasant, a boon to the campaign of Republican Donald Trump, who advocates for change.

Expect more slippage in stock prices as the elite begins to realize that their days in power may truly be numbered. Clinton is a miserable candidate, and, while Trump is no darling of the right, he is at least forthright and hopeful.

Clinton isn't getting any bump in the polls through the convention, which is usually the case. That's a bad omen for the status quo and the left.

Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,456.35, -15.82 (-0.09%)

5,154.98, +15.17 (0.30%)

S&P 500
2,170.06, +3.48 (0.16%)

NYSE Composite
10,744.16, +4.40 (0.04%)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Blues: Stocks Fall; Is It The Trump, Clinton, Sanders or Putin Effect?

Over the weekend, the political climate became highly charged with the release of thousands of emails from the servers of the Democratic National Committee courtesy of Wikileaks and, as some presume, the assistance of Russian operatives. The propaganda nailing Russia as the bad guy was already underway as of the Sunday news shows. It's very likely to be completely spurious.

The leaked emails revealed a concerted effort to swing the primary vote toward the favored candidate, Hillary Clinton, and away from upstart radical, Bernie Sanders. To say the least, the emails were scandalous and disgusting, revealing just how deeply ingrained the status quo has become, and the lengths to which they will plumb in order to have public opinion bend to their will.

Suffering the most from the fallout was DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was forced to announce her resignation as chair on Saturday. Ms. Schultz announced that she would gavel in the convention on Monday and gavel it out on Thursday.

Those plans fell completely apart on Monday as first, Ms. Schultz was shouted down as she attempted to address the Florida delegation, ironically, people from her own state. After being unceremoniously whisked from the stage, Ms. Schultz announced that she will not be associated with the convention in any way.

In two words: she's fired.

As has been mentioned on this blog in the past and as recently as the prior post which wrapped up last week, once the powers that be begin getting a whiff of a Donald Trump victory in November's presidential election, stocks will fall, leaving the Donald a mess not unlike what greeted Barack Obama in 2008.

So it is, when central banks and oligarchical politicians believe they can control not only markets, but the lives of the people investing in them.

The modern equivalent of torches and pitchforks are cellphone videos and anti-establishment signs.

Peace. It's a foreign concept in this period and the madness is swelling.

Monday's Politically-Charged Changes:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,493.06, -77.79 (-0.42%)

5,097.63, -2.53 (-0.05%)

S&P 500
2,168.48, -6.55 (-0.30%)

NYSE Composite
10,752.43, -52.61 (-0.49%)

July 18-22: Stocks Level Out After Massive Gains

The huge run-up in stock prices appears to be running out of steam, or buyers, or both.

Since bottoming out post-Brexit, major US indices have ramped higher by nearly ten percent over just the past four weeks. The Dow, for instance, has gained over 1500 points while powering to new high after new high.

The most recent week, however, was the weakest in the last four, with the possible exception of the NASDAQ, which was up more than double its rivals in percentage terms.

This is not to say that the recent rally is over. Far from it, there is no sign of exhaustion in the ranks of central banks, especially the Fed, which will be pulling out all the stops to keep the narrative of an "improving economy" rolling through the week, highlighted by the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Following the Philly love-fest for Hillary Clinton (never mind the various email and other scandals surrounding the candidate and the rest of the Dems... they will be swept under the rug), the Fed will continue to pour money into stocks through their appointed agents right up until the election.

Setting up what could be one of the easiest buying opportunities in recent memory (though as memory serves, the past eight years haven't been too difficult for stock traders), stocks or index funds could be a very safe place over the coming three months.

A Trump victory in November would probably derail both the giddy narrative and the actual stock market rally, as the status quo would then find themselves on the defensive, with the White House in the hands of a non-politician, non-elitist, populist campaigner. Should Clinton capture the presidency, a slow decline might be the more likely scenario, as the wheels of industry continue their slow grind into mediocrity.

With so much uncertainty, investors have been seen hoarding hard assets. Paid-up real estate, precious metals, machinery and tools of trades can still be had at reasonable levels, and they should not lose much value over the longer term. In fact, they should appreciate quite nicely no matter what happens after November.

For The Week:
Dow: +54.30 (+0.2(%)
S&P 500: +13.29 (+0.61)
NASDAQ: +70.57 (+1.40)

NASDAQ Composite
5,100.16, +26.26 (0.52%)

Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,570.85, +53.62 (0.29%)

S&P 500
2,175.03, +9.86 (0.46%)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Too Much Drama: Brexit/Bremain And US Presidential Elections Are Sideshows To Be Ignored

Kids love drama. That's why they put on little shows for their friends, parents, grandparents, other siblings. They are also expert at throwing tantrums and acting out to get their own ways on things they like and/or don't like, or want to or don't want to do.

Typically, kids don't like certain foods (think vegetables), going to bed early or being cooped up in a classroom for 6-7 hours a day from the time they're six until seventeen or eighteen. If kids decide to go on to college, they may actually find themselves in classrooms until they're 21, 22 or even longer should they decide to attend graduate school, become a lawyer, doctor, or pursue a doctorate in any field of endeavor.

Of the three things kids don't like, it can be readily assumed that at least two of them are actually good for them, even after they cease being kids. For instance, vegetables (especially the non-GMO varieties) are proven to be good for overall health, vitality and longevity. Getting a good night's sleep is also a very healthy, albeit numb in the main, activity.

Going to school for a significant percentage of one's formative years is questionable. A solid education is admirable and achievable, though what constitutes such in public schools may not exactly fit the billing. Thus, the love of and use of drama to achieve ends is largely unjustified in the case of the wants (not needs) of people under the age of 20, i.e., kids.

Expanding this concept - that drama is unjustifiable - into adult life and interaction with mass media, might be useful in assessing current events, particularly the upcoming vote or referendum (tomorrow, Thursday, June 23) on whether Great Britain sh
ould remain or leave the European Union (otherwise known as Brexit or Bremain, depending upon one's point of view) and the drawn out affair that has become a nearly two-year ritual in choosing a president in the United States.

In terms of both events, the media time allotted to examining, reporting, tweeting, broadcasting, dissecting, analyzing, and otherwise trying to understand the issues has been, in a word, excessive.

In other words, the media, obsessed with having to fill countless hours of broadcast time (radio, TV, internet) and print space (newspapers, magazines, internet) has committed the undeniable sin of "too much drama." The British and American people have been overwhelmed with "news" on the impact of the British referendum and the American election.

Both events will take place in the span of one day, yet the time allocated to it by the media exceeds that period by orders of magnitude.

Like kids, the media clamors for attention, trying to convince the public (and maybe even themselves) of the overall importance of these events. Truth is, neither will matter that much to the normal functioning of an average adult life. Whether Britain remains in the EU or not will not have dramatic impact on one's individual day-to-day activities, nor will the choice of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for Americans.

Mainstream media would rather have you and I and everyone else in the world glued to their TVs and radios and internet sites and newspapers non-stop, forever and ever, no matter how trivial or important the current crop of stories, analyses, and perceptions.

Most adults (and kids, too) have a routine in their lives which goes something like this: get up, clean up, work, eat, relax, sleep. In between those major activities - and it is possibly an amazing discovery that roughly a third of that time is devoted to sleeping, and maybe another third to working - people do everything else, including, in no particular order, having sex, voting, playing, raising kids, tending a garden, pursuing a hobby, reading, listening to or viewing things other than what the mainstream media spouts effusively, and a plethora of other mundane activities.

The point is that the elections fall into this diffuse area occupied in the large by "everything else." Brexit and the presidential elections barely even register on the life radar in terms of importance, meaning that whatever way it goes, individuals (aka, people) will go about their lives in largely the same way as before the "monumental" voting.

That the media devotes so much time, effort and money to events which are, in general terms, non-eventful, uncovers the abject failure of life in the information age. If you're in your 60s, for instance, you've lived through the administrations of as many as 12 presidents (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama) and are now on the cusp for a 13th. Whether the choice is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will, in the long route of history, be conspicuously inconsequential.

From that timely perspective, each and every one of these presidents has done a fair job of keeping the American public somewhat safe, secure and happy, protected the constitution to varying degrees, and also kept the American public in check, or, kept the general population from violent rebellion. On that final point, we're probably a bit more civilized these days, choosing to simply ignore the government as much as possible than openly rebelling against it. That kind of stuff generally gets one killed, maimed, or jailed, none of which are desirable outcomes.

As for the Brits, Money Daily doesn't have much interaction with our former colonial masters, but England seems to be a somewhat genteel and fair place to live. The current living residents of England will cast their votes tomorrow, but the effects will be barely noticeable, likely for decades. People will adjust and adapt.

While Brits and Yanks alike are concerned about the deterioration of their civil liberties - a theme common to the Brexit/Bremain vote and the US presidential election - it seems a slow, drawn-out process and also one to which one can adjust. Just like eating your vegetables and getting a good night's sleep are desirable and contribute to a better life, ignoring elections and votes and avoiding government at all levels is probably the most prudent behavior.

And prudence, from Aristotle to Aquinas to Pascal, is a vastly more desirable human trait than relying on personal drama to achieve one's desires.

+++++++++++ +++++++++++

Today in the markets, perhaps taking an unattributable cue from the above essay, there wasn't much in the way of panic, fear, greed, avarice, sloth, joy, or any other emotion. Equity markets were fairly flat, owing to the unforgivable media rhetoric surrounding tomorrow's Brexit/Bremain referendum having wrung out every possible trading scheme or maneuver.

Panic? Thy Name is Brexit:
S&P 500: 2,085.45, -3.45 (0.17%)
Dow: 17,780.83, -48.90 (0.27%)
NASDAQ: 4,833.32, -10.44 (0.22%)

Crude Oil 48.95 +0.20% Gold 1,269.10 -0.27% EUR/USD 1.1294 +0.41% 10-Yr Bond 1.69 -0.71% Corn 395.00 -0.32% Copper 2.13 +0.78% Silver 17.28 -0.23% Natural Gas 2.91 -2.70% Russell 2000 1,148.97 -0.42% VIX 21.22 +14.83% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4691 +0.15% USD/JPY 104.4400 -0.32%