22 October 2014

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Consolidation Day and Tragedy In Canada

"Anger is the enemy of non-violence, and pride is a monster that swallows it up."

Mahatma Gandhi

There was a terrible shooting of some innocent people near the Parliament in Ottawa today. Such actions are never justified, and are simply murder, no matter what rationales some may wish to put forward. That these types of things may be used to promote oppressive responses by some is simply a doubling of the tragedy and injustice.

As Gandhi said, 'an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.'

Gold and particularly silver were under pressure for most of the day.  They may have taken a pause at support.

It is interesting to see them run with stocks today, in the face of some exogenous risk events. They are certainly acting oddly.  One has to wonder if this is a related action by the 'Plunge Protection Team' which feels free to purchase stocks at key points apparently to help restore confidence.

Huge offtakes of physical gold are occurring, as highlighted by the official statement from China concerning their acquisition of 2,199 tonnes of gold bullion in 2013.

Let's see how the rest of the week goes.

Have a pleasant evening.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Pause, Consolidation, and Infamy

"In the last days, perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, traitors, heady, high-minded having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived."

John Henry Newman

And high amongst those self deceptions is the arrogance to presume that the killing of innocents is somehow justified by the ends, as some form of recompense for other evils done, or as a public statement. This is not justice, nor reform; it is simply murder.

Stocks were shaky on the opens, and then the unprovoked shooting of a soldier keeping guard at the Canadian War Memorial. Oil also moved lower, making traders a little nervous about global growth prospects because of the slackening of demand.

But all in all, this was a very technical day. Stocks had an amazing bounce off support, with the help of the financiers at the Fed, both in terms of words and as some submit the likely purchasing of stock futures at key junctures of the day by the 'Plunge Protection Team.'

This purchasing of stocks in order to avoid a market dislocation has been a portion of US financial policy going back to the days of Reagan, but was made more prominent under the Treasury of Robert Rubin in the Clinton years. That it exists is not a matter of debate. It is titled 'The Exchange Stabilization Fund.'  Only their specific actions and motives are open to question.

So what next.

As I said, stocks retraced an amazing run higher to 'back kiss' support, which was prior resistance. It is their next two moves which will be most telling, and I suggest that you watch them closely factoring in the effects of any exogenous events to sift out the character of this market.

Will the recent efforts to inject money and 'confidence' in the markets take hold and become sustainable? Let's see what happens.

Have a pleasant evening.


21 October 2014

Reprise: Who Was 'the Frenchman Who Wept' For HIs Country?

Here is an iconic photograph that I have seen in any number of documentaries, generally identified as a Frenchman who weeps for his city as the Nazis march into Paris.

I have always been curious about this photo. I wondered where it came from and who this person was.  It has a certain tragic dignity about it.

Here is what I have been able to discover.

This photo first appeared in print in Life Magazine in their 3 March 1941 issue on page 29.   This is the photo which I show above and not the more tightly cropped versions that are often used in documentaries.

The caption on the photo identifies it as "a Frenchman sheds tears of patriotic grief as the flags of his country's last regiments are exiled to Africa."

So obviously this is not a photo taken in 1940 in Paris, as the French regimental flags had been moved into the south of France in order to preserve them from the surrender.  The flags themselves were not taken to Africa until 1941.

Here is a more commonly available photograph of the same scene.  It is a moment frozen in time.

Marseille sous l'occupation by Lucien Gaillard says that this is a photo of Monsieur Jerôme Barzetti, taken in Marseilles on February 20, 1941.  This is quite some time after the Nazi entrance into Paris in June, 1940.

I have not been able to find out anything else about him and do not have a hard copy of this book.  He does look old enough to have fought in The Great War.  Is he even French, or an Italian émigré who had fled the tyranny of Mussolini?  Perhaps he was part of the Barzetti industrial family from Italy, and related to Federico who later founded Barzetti Pastries?  I cannot say.

I wonder how he fared, and if he was able to see the restoration of France and the end of the war.

The still photo itself is actually taken from newsreel footage that was much later used in a US war film directed by Frank Capra as Chapter III - Divide and Conquer of his series, "Why We Fight." This film was produced in 1943 and begins after the conquest of Poland, and includes the fall of Benelux and France.

Here is the relevant clip from this US War Department film.  Monsieur Barzetti makes his appearance at 54:50 in the film.  It is a war film after all so you might excuse the somewhat florid rhetoric at the end.

Some have speculated that Capra may have staged portions of his series and I would certainly allow for that.  But since the photo of our 'Frenchman who cried' appeared in 1941 in Life magazine,  it is almost certain that had been taken from the newsreel footage of the day, which was sold to various outlets and used to create informative 'short subjects' to be shown at movie theatres.

Capra must have used that same footage in the creation of his own war film two years later.

So now we know something about 'The Frenchman Who Wept."
And well may we weep for the loss of our own freedom and tradition someday. 

But who will care?   Does anyone matter?  Why should anyone care for us, and why should we care about this weeping Frenchman, his risings and fallings, his perplexity and concerns, his fears and his sorrows?

Because when the ocean's dry up, and the earth grows cold and dies, as the stars flicker and grow dim in the sky, and creation turns back into dust, Monsieur Barzetti's soul will continue on, vibrantly alive, and his tears will have long been wiped away, by kindly hands.

"De loin en loin, elle vient jeter dans l'âme du profond artiste un peu de sa paix, de sa grandeur mystérieuse, puis elle retourne à sa solitude immense, au milieu des rues pleines de peuple.

Il n’y a qu’une tristesse, lui a-t-elle dit, la dernière fois, c’est de n’être pas de saints."

Léon Bloy, La Femme Pauvre
The only sadness, she said to him, in the end, is not to be a saint.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Slowly Higher, More Gold Withdrawals

The precious metals managed to drift higher, with some capping action in the late afternoon.

There was a rumour this morning that the ECB would start buying corporate debt at the end of this year, and visions of QE European Style had stocks zooming, and the precious metals were in rally mode, even that poor old mule silver.

But capping came into play, as stocks continued on their short squeeze, helping to ease the pain that the hedge funds were dealt just a week ago.

There seems to be quite a few tonnes of gold bullion taking off for Easterly destinations.   I doubt that gold will be returning anytime soon at prices anywhere near where we are now.

But that is tomorrow.  Let's keep our priorities, and see if bullion can finally break this price downtrend, and breathe some like back into the charred mining sector.

Have a pleasant evening.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Draghi Racing To Da Moon

Another central bank rumour managed to light a fire under stocks, and the hedge funds ran with it.

The rumour this morning, following on Bullard's statement on possibly continuing QE, was that Mario Draghi's European Central Bank might start buying corporate debt as soon as December of this year.

And there they go!

Existing home sales came in a little better than expected, but pointing to that as some sort of fundamental trigger for this is nonsensical. The underlying fundamentals of US housing are overall weak.

But the hedge funds are anxious to make up for this years losses, and they are piling on to this market that had become deeply oversold, triggering a short squeeze V bottom.

The question is how long can they take it up, and what will they do when they reach that point, look around and see no other buyers, and say to each other, 'What do we do next?'

It is a job badly done when the capital allocations of an economy are done by a casino, said J. Maynard Keynes. And he was absolutely right.  

Remember, there is no 'we' in fiat.   Power is for the powerful.

Wall Street these days is where money goes to die. But while it lasts, the party is rocking the house.

Take a look at the mildly technical chart of the SP 500 just below.  Volume is dropping off from the big plunge, but has fallen back to 'normal.'  This big rally of the last four days has relieved the deeply oversold condition, but may now find it a little bit of a chore to pop up through the 50 DMA which is around 1966.

What rumour can they float to shake stocks out of their likely consolidation, which appears to be on deck, and get them moving higher again?

Have a pleasant evening.

First Poll In Swiss Gold Referendum Shows Tight Race

It looks pretty even with all those undecided and probably votes.

The Banks have not yet begun to fight.

Let the games and fear-mongering begin.

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of fiat.

20 October 2014

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Post Stock Option Expiration Rally

Gold and even the somewhat hapless silver managed to pull together a modest rally today, after the stock market option expiration we saw last Friday.

The miners and associated precious metals plays had been beaten with an ugly stick.

So what next?

We have a Comex option expiration for the precious netals next Tuesday for the November contracts. I have included a little data from the deliveries in gold, which were a bit more than one would expect for an inactive month. And there continue to be some steady withdrawals from the gold and silver warehouses. In particular silver is flying out of Scotia it seems.

There was intraday commentary about the purchasing of gold bullion in Russia and China.

Have a pleasant evening.