25 May 2015

Why We Fought: On the Four Freedoms Speech: 6 January 1941

There should be not doubt that the work for the four freedoms was not nearly finished after the end of the Second World War. The rights of minorities, and women, and the working classes took a long time to come, and are still in the process of being fulfilled and protected as the forces of progress and repression, of money and power versus moral principles, ebbs and flows.

But in judging what has gone before us, we ought not to forget the context in which the great lights of history existed and fought.

And before we judge the Roosevelts, Lincolns, and Jeffersons of history too harshly and out of context, as is the fashion for those who would tear down giants to make their own lack of stature and accomplishment less appalling, let us first look at our own times, and our own actions, and judge ourselves first with these same strict measures we would apply so blithely in our ignorance and oversimplified prejudices to others.

Hillary as President: Robert Reich vs. Nomi Prins

I am so very glad that Pam and Russ Martens have written this article below.   I had intended to write something on this topic, and I probably would not have done it nearly so succinctly and so well.

The excerpt below is just a taste of a longer and more interesting piece, and I suggest that you read it.

While the Republicans are temporarily fragmenting along lines of personal ambition and various billionaire special interest groups, the Democrats are continuing to split between the Wall Street and populist progressive wings.   

And The Clinton are the unabashed leaders of the big money wing of the party.  With regard to the most recent series of financial crises, the Clinton's set the stage, and Bush II enacted it.

It seems likely that if unchallenged, the party bosses will be running roughshod over the concerns of the progressive and reform-minded elements of their constituency.

Another election of Bush v. Clinton would be a suitable emblem for the decline of democracy.

The next election, I believe, will be the opening act in an interesting decades long evolution of the American Republic.

Wall Street On Parade
Debating Hillary for President: Robert Reich v. Nomi Prins
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 25, 2015

Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary in Bill Clinton’s administration and currently Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, is an important voice for tackling income inequality in America by bringing back the Glass-Steagall Act, busting up the too-big-to-fail banks, and imposing a securities transaction tax...

Unfortunately, Reich, an otherwise clear-eyed progressive has a deep blind spot. Her name is Hillary Clinton...

There is one person in America who might be able to change Robert Reich’s mind about Hillary before he blows his otherwise stellar work on taming Wall Street with an unwise gambit of getting deeper into the Hillary camp. That person is Nomi Prins, a Wall Street veteran and meticulous researcher on the democracy-shriveling nexus between Wall Street and the Oval Office...

A column by Prins on Hillary Clinton’s Presidential attributes was posted to Paul Craig Roberts’ web site last Friday. It is not the detail-lite version on Rubin. Prins writes:
“When Hillary Clinton video-announced her bid for the Oval Office, she claimed she wanted to be a ‘champion’ for the American people. Since then, she has attempted to recast herself as a populist and distance herself from some of the policies of her husband. But Bill Clinton did not become president without sharing the friendships, associations, and ideologies of the elite banking sect, nor will Hillary Clinton. Such relationships run too deep and are too longstanding…

“Though she may, in the heat of that campaign, raise the bad-apples or bad-situation explanation for Wall Street’s role in the financial crisis of 2007-2008, rest assured that she will not point fingers at her friends. She will not chastise the people that pay her hundreds of thousands of dollars a pop to speak or the ones that have long shared the social circles in which she and her husband move…”

Read the entire article at Wall Street On Parade here.

24 May 2015

Memorial Day 2015

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."

John Adams, 1765

"They tell us Sir, that we are weak -- unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature has placed in our power."

Patrick Henry

"But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Abraham Lincoln, 19 November 1863

22 May 2015

Shanghai Gold Exchange Sees 45.48 Tonnes in Withdrawals In Latest Week

Withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange in the latest week were 45.48 tonnes.

That is 1,462,216 troy ounces taken out of their exchange in one week

They use real physical bullion that moves between suppliers and customers, and actually leaves the exchange?  How barbaric!

There are a total of 372,631 deliverable (registered) ounces of gold at these prices in all the Comex warehouses.

It is a good thing that you do not need to have the product to set the prices in the thoroughly modern markets of London and New York.

Related: China Sets Up Gold Fund for Central Banks

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Caps on the Bottles

"You know, I think many people have the mistaken impression that Congress regulates Wall Street. In truth that's not the case. The real truth is that Wall Street regulates the Congress."

Bernie Sanders

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Abraham Lincoln, 19 November 1863

There will be an option expiration for the precious metals on Tuesday the 26th next week.

Gold and silver are obviously being capped in this area as we have previously noted.

Monday will be a holiday in the US for Memorial Day.

The economic calendar is a bit light for holiday shortened week, but we will see the second revision of the 1Q GDP which is most likely to be negative.

Since the propeller heads have already decreed this to be an anomaly, a 'one-off' I doubt we will see much reaction, as is the plan to easing the bad news to us without disturbing the placid thoughts of the herd.

The US Senate is scheduling a rare weekend vote on security surveillance legislation in case you were wondering what it might take to get some work out of this august body.

Have a pleasant weekend.


SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Memorare, Momento Mori

“The fancies that take their monstrous birth from the spinelessness and boredom of usurped wealth bring in their wake every defect ... and though rich men's crimes escape the law, protected as they are by the cowardice of governments and people, Nature, more real than society, sets her anarchic example by abandoning the wretched time servers of Capital to the shame and madness of the worst aberrations.”

Jean Lorrain, Le Crime Des Riches: Suivi de Paris Forain, 1905

“In poor countries, officials receive explicit bribes; in D.C. they get the sophisticated, implicit, unspoken promise to work for large corporations.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes

The US will have a three day weekend for Memorial Day on Monday, in which we remember those who died in service to the people of this country.

Stocks were frisky after the core CPI printed a little hotter than expected at .3% for the month. No one apparently noticed that wages had zero growth.

The notion that inflation, not driven by wages or presumably demand, is a good thing smacks of cargo cult economics. Oh look, we have inflation, so we must have growth.

Or, this could be what happens when the Fed vigorously expands its balance sheet in a top down stimulus policy error that inflates assets while driving the velocity of that money to record lows because of the lack of organic growth from the bottom up in wages and broad demand.

I have a small index short working since yesterday. There could be a few more attempts at breaking overhead resistance, but the risks look mispriced a bit here. Let's see if it works or not because as the wiseguys like to point out, in the short term these markets don't listen to anything except their own self-serving baloney. Kind of like our politicians.

Have a pleasant weekend. See you on Monday evening.