18 January 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Stock Options Expiration Tomorrow - The Hollow Men

I am guilty,
But not in the way that you think.
I should have recognized my duty earlier;
I should have more sharply called out evil, as evil;
I suppressed my judgement far too long.
I did warn,
But not nearly enough, and certainly not clearly enough;
And today I know the nature of my guilt, and my obligation.

Albrecht Haushofer, executed by the SS in Berlin, 23 April 1945

"The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape, and plunder they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."


"Never in the history of the world have so many people been so rich; never in the history off the world have so many of those same people felt themselves so poor... The state of perpetual emptiness is, of course, very good for business."

Lewis H. Lapham

Tomorrow is going to be a stock options expiration. The positioning, push and pull games have been unfolding all week.

HSBC is going to pay a wristslap fine ($100M) and accept a 'deferred prosecution agreement' to resolve their being caught blatantly rigging the currency market.

Donny is not draining any swamps; he is just private labeling portions of it, and turning a blind eye to the rest. I'm sorry, but he is an awful president, in terms of leadership and integrity, but a terrific showman. He is what he is, a classic NYC real estate developer. A segment of the population is desperate for him to do as he promised, because there does not seem to be a good alternative, certainly not Hillary and her kleptocrats. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

And one can understand how hard it is to see things as they are, to be disappointed by false promises once again. Many Obama believers refused to see him as he was, a hand-picked face, a very skilled spokesmodel for the monied interests. And still do. He was the king of cool, but judging by what he did, he was no agent of change. So many disappointments. And how easy it is to justify our own bad behaviour. I said a couple of years ago, in the face of these continuing betrayals by the ruling class, that people in their frustration would reach out and make a bad choice. And so they have. And if we stay on this path, there are much worse choices to come.

The US Dollar tried to rally again today, but ended up pretty much unchanged. It was an odd day with VIX climbing and stocks weak, with a weak dollar, and the bonds weaker with yields climbing and still the metals sold off into the close.

Well, tomorrow is an options expiration, and the US markets are about as unruly and under-regulated as I can remember.

I am wondering where this dollar and bond situation will go. I don't think this is the result of the 'repatriation' of dollars from overseas, because as I understand it the money was pretty much wherever they wanted it to be, just assigned to a particular overseas entity. I believe that there were some restriction in how it could be used, and I understand that quite a bit of it may have been parked in bonds, both official and corporate.

A bond rout is certainly a possibility, with the Fed beginning what promises to be the slowest and most half-hearted unwinding of excess since Obama promised to reform the financial sector as a candidate.

Albrecht Haushofer, who I quote above, was an interesting character. I want to thank Ray McGovern for reminding us of him in one of his recent talks.

Haushofer was friends with Rudolf Hess, and was a frequent visitor to Hess and the Nasal Skidmark in Landsburg prison. Hess procured a certificate of German blood that covered up Haushofer's partial Jewish ancestry, which opened the doors for his career advancement.

He became quite the courtier to the Nazis, and rose to full professor of Foreign Policy in Berlin, and became an advisor to the government He saw fast advancement as the Jewish faculty members were expunged from the University of Berlin. But as time went along, he saw what he and his goose-stepping crew of psychopaths were becoming, and joined one of the resistance groups that were involved in the assassination attempts.

And he went to Moabit Prison for it, and was shot on the street by the SS just before the final advance of the Russian forces on Berlin. The quote above was found scrawled on a piece of paper in his pocket, when his brother recovered his body. These were apparently his final thoughts, his response to the beatings and interrogations for him to admit his crimes for his show trial.

Even for such an opportunistic careerist, for someone who had given themselves over to unfathomable evil, there was an opportunity for redemption.

But as can be seen from what appears to be his final words, he certainly had his regrets. Let us not put ourselves to any position like that. Let us never fail to speak out again evil, for silence is the same as consent.

I cannot recall the exact source now, but recently I was reading interviews with Germans who did horrible things during the war.   All the propaganda and messages of the Party emphasized that they were under assault, by dire threats foreign and domestic.    As the superior race they were the real victims, of the disabled, the inferior races, the Bolsheviks, the soft-hearted, and were merely defending their blood, and their nation.  They were misunderstood, under-appreciated,  merely doing what needed to be done.

And so, step by step, they killed what was human in themselves, and descended, with their beloved nation, into ruin and madness.  For they, too, were exceptional.
"Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men."
Have a pleasant evening.

17 January 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Bear Raid on Metals and Stock Buying Timed to Release of Fed Beige Book

"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles and snares of evil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Therefore, take on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand the evil of this day and, at the end of all things, remain standing."

Ephesians 6:11-13

"In the painting, the woman clutches desperately at the knee of the statue, yearning up into its face, which stares down at her remorselessly.  The statue holds out a bag of gold, but the woman ignores the money.  She has moved beyond the love of money, to the love of Mammon himself.  And so she has cut herself off from the love of God, embracing her own destruction."

Museum catalogue, Mammon the God of Worldliness

“A society that loses its sense of outrage is doomed to extinction.”

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Defining Deviancy Down

Gold was rallying and stocks were lackluster with the US dollar running at multi-year lows this morning.

The Fed released its 'Beige Book' at 2:00 PM. It was full of anecdotes about the tremendous jobs growth and robust economy, with growing labor shortages.  And by implication, wage pressures.

As some noted, we suspect that this was aimed to please twitter man, el hombre naranja, and to justify the next round of interest rate increases.  The Fed is glossing over the significant lapse in the number of employed in the Labor Participation Rate and hand-picking examples.  But they have always been courtiers to power.  Their independence and self-effacing goodness is a fairy tale, a farce.  Unfortunately they are in good company with the other regulators, the pundits, and the politicians.

The labor shortages are for the most part artificial, because employers are not yet engaging in wage increases designed to attract talent, having become accustomed to thirty years of growing productivity and stagnant real wages. 

The moneyed interests and their courtiers like to blame it on laziness, games, and drugs of the unemployed and the poor.  It is not their stealing that condemns them so much, as it is the slandering and dehumanizing of their victims, at home and abroad, to justify themselves.  They steal not only their victims' money, but their humanity.   It would have been better for them if they had never been born.

Do not delude yourselves, and go only to those places where they tell you what you wish to hear.  Where they flatter you with tales of your superiority, compared to these others.  For this is an easy and carefree path, blithely into the abyss.

You know it is wrong, you can feel the unease when you part from these serpents and their soothing reassurances.  But you cannot bear to face the truth, and the lies are smoothly seductive.  Your vanity urges you to imagine yourself to be the real victim of these others, to justify yourself.

Let's see if this is the start of something new, or just the kind of tickle and comfort that the courtiers and careerists to power like to pay to their masters, and the god of the markets.  There is nothing like a good wash and rinse in the market that the boys like better, just ahead of a stock options expiration.  And from the short term overbought and oversold conditions it was a nice opportunity to game the system and pick up some easy profits from the public.

There will be a reckoning, and it may be historic.  But they do not believe in it, they do not think that change or reform is possible.  This is the true opium of the people.

Have a pleasant evening.

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking...

I found a copy of this poem in a little collection of things which she had stashed away. It was one of the queen's 'treasures.'

One time she was watching the little ones, carefree and at play, at the town pool and said, 'It makes it all worth it, doesn't it?'

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking
by Mary Rita Schilke Korzan:

When you thought I wasn't looking
You hung my first painting on the refrigerator
And I wanted to paint another.

When you thought I wasn't looking
You fed a stray cat
And I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking
You baked a birthday cake just for me
And I knew that little things were special things.

When you thought I wasn't looking
You said a prayer
And I believed there was a God that I could always talk to.

When you thought I wasn't looking
You kissed me good-night
And I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw tears come from your eyes
And I learned that sometimes things hurt -
But that it's alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking
You smiled
And it made me want to look that pretty too.

When you thought I wasn't looking
You cared
And I wanted to be everything I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking - I looked...
And wanted to say thanks
For all those things you did
When you thought I wasn't looking.

16 January 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - US Dollar Index Falls To Lowest Level Since 2014

"How removed from interactions with ordinary Americans did political elites have to be to plan the 2016 election as a return engagement between the two most famous political dynasties of late twentieth-century America: Bush versus Clinton? Yet the country’s wealthiest citizens committed hundreds of millions of dollars to secure just that outcome. Could they not foresee trouble? Apparently not...

The affluent and the secure persisted with old ways and old names in the face of the disillusionment and even the radicalization of the poorer two-thirds of American society. They invited a crisis. The only surprise was— how surprised they were when the invited crisis happened.

Donald Trump did not create the vulnerabilities he exploited. They awaited him. The irresponsibility of American elites, the arrogance of party leaders, the insularity of the wealthy: those and more were the resources Trump used on his way to power."

David Frum, Trumpocracy

Stocks went on a tear this morning, with new highs being reached.  However, prices started falling back, in the face of some rather large bets being placed with a weighting to the short side.

Gold and silver managed to take another shot at overhead resistance.  They gave up the gains for the most part to finish largely unchanged.

The DX dollar index hit a low of 90.15, a price level not seen since 2014.

Have a pleasant evening.