04 December 2019

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Hiding in Dark Pools of Self-Deception, Misery and Pride

"The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers the most: and his suffering comes to him from things so little and so trivial that one can say that it is no longer objective at all.  It is his own existence, his own being, that is at once the subject and the source of his pain, and his very existence and consciousness is his greatest torture."

Thomas Merton

“One reason we rush so quickly to the vulgar satisfactions of judgement, and love to revel in our righteous outrage, is that it spares us from the impotent pain of empathy, and the harder, messier work of understanding.

Let me propose that if your beliefs or convictions matter more to you than people—if they require you to act as though you were a worse person than you are—you may have lost perspective.”

Tim Kreider

"The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself:  ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector over there."

Luke 18:11

Stocks rebounded today on a resurgence of risk-seeking.

The Dollar and the precious metals, along with the VIX, were lower.

The poor economic data from this morning was set aside with fresh rumours, for the hundredth time, of striking progress in the US-China trade talks. 

As a reminder there will be the Non-Farm Payrolls report on Friday.

Outrage over the petty and careless and foolish things that other people do can be like a narcotic.  It can become a preoccupation with the imperfections of others, so that we can look down on them, and thereby feel so much better about ourselves.   Thank God that we are better, the most worthy, and not like them.  We are special— exceptionally gifted, and especially deserving of favor.

This narcotic selfishness and delusional pride blinds us to who we are, and what we are becoming.   Truly, why do we look so hard at the speck in our brother's eye?  It is so that we can ignore the festering sore in our own that distorts our true sense of things even more.

It can become addictive, an unfortunate habit, and eventually a way of life.   There are places in the media and on the Internet, politicians and pundits, that pander to this looking down upon other people, and of groups of people.  They search far and wide, and expose the imperfections and faults of others, putting them into the most unattractive and unforgiving perspective.  And thereby they shape and feed an exasperation with a caricature of 'the other.'

It is ironic.  If you read the comments section on such sites, those places that pander to this sort of thing, you will find the least attractive and ignorantly distorted things being said, but with an intense sort of pride.

It can be very discouraging to see. But it is addictive to some, and pandering to it pays.  And so it tends to flourish here and there.

What is the solution to this sort of trap?   Don't do it.  Do not read it.  Do not fall into the sin of thinking that only you and a few people like you are worthy of creation.  And if you are feeling truly brave, pray to God fervently to show your sins to you now rather than later. You may be surprised.

You are human, and full of faults. And so you are most surely not most worthy.  And fooling yourself into thinking that you are better betrays you into the snare of lawlessness, of treating your brothers and sisters as less worthy and deserving of mercy than you.  And so you become less than human, while making yourself feel better, and puffed up with pride.
“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”

C. S. Lewis
You cannot justify or forgive yourself.   And deceiving yourself about who you are does not last. You are not damaged goods or unworthy in the eyes of your heavenly Father.  But you are not super human or exceptional either.  This sick pride is a defense mechanism that prevents you seeing things as they are, and from giving yourself over to what you need to live a fully human and happy life:  repentance, forgiveness, and thankfulness.

Have a pleasant evening.

03 December 2019

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Balancing Act

"It has been the longest bull market in modern history, enabled by massive Central Bank intervention. But with trade wars raging, Brexit, Presidential impeachment over something, etc., there remains a significant risk of a recession over the next 12 months.

If we look at the normalized change in the 10Y-3M curve minus normalized change in 10Y yields, we can see a heightened recession risk. Lower yields and steeper curves are not a good recipe. And then we have the decline in S&P 500 earnings estimates. Recession coming?"

Anthony Sanders, Confounded Interest

"Day by day the money-masters of America become more aware of their danger, they draw together, they grow more class-conscious, more aggressive. The [first world] war has taught them the possibilities of propaganda; it has accustomed them to the idea of enormous campaigns which sway the minds of millions and make them pliable to any purpose.

American political corruption was the buying up of legislatures and assemblies to keep them from doing the people's will and protecting the people's interests; it was the exploiter entrenching himself in power, it was financial autocracy undermining and destroying political democracy. By the blindness and greed of ruling classes the people have been plunged into infinite misery."

Upton Sinclair, The Brass Check

Stocks slumped again today on renewed concerns about global trade.

December 15th may be a date of interest, tariff-wise.

As you can see from the charts, the major stock indices managed to crawl back up to a reasonable level of trend support.

The rest of the week into the Non-Farm Payrolls Report should tell us the story.

Gold and silver had a nice rally higher after a long coiling process.

But we are still well within the short term declining (coiling?) patterns on the chart. So no breakout yet.

The underpinnings of the market are vulnerable to exogenous shocks. So I would proceed with caution.

The equity and high yield bond markets are leaning heavily on the Fed's balance sheet. And that may not be a longer term sustainable arrangement, and certainly not any formula for sustainable economic recovery.

What would I do?  Reform.   It's obvious.  The system is bent, and consciously so, to sweep the wealth up to a few 'at the top.'  It's a racket.

But the credibility trap will not allow the powers that be and their enablers and politicians to consider it as an option, or even to cite systemic imbalance and corruption as a problem.   Those that do are ignored, smeared, and villified by those that thrive on the existing imbalance.

The banks must be restrained, and balance restored to the economy, and the dark money power limited from its manipulation of policy, politics, and public discourse, before there can be any sustainable recovery.

Have a pleasant evening.

02 December 2019

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Corporate Buybacks Are the Stock Market

"There is no clean way to make a hundred million bucks.  Somewhere along the line guys got pushed to the wall, nice little businesses got the ground cut out from under them.  Decent people lost their jobs.  Big money is big power, and big power gets used wrong."

Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

"The very banality and innocence of the first act only allowed the blow to fall afterwards with more awful effect.”

Robert W. Chambers, The King In Yellow

"There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself.”

Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

No worries, as long as corporations can keep dodging taxes and borrowing on the cheap.

And the band played on.

Stocks were off quite a bit today on a worse than expected ISM Manufacturing number, and a fresh round of trade war headlines.

The underpinnings of the markets are a bit thin, and hardly resilient.

Gold and silver were flattish despite the weaker Dollar and the elevated VIX.

The action in the December gold contract is very strong as expected. I  have included the latest clearing report from the CME below.

People go mad in herds, it is said, but come back to their senses one at a time.

Have a pleasant evening.

01 December 2019

Welcome to December

Not much snow so far, but everything outside is covered with sleet and ice.


The grocery stores saw a brisk trade yesterday afternoon and this morning, I'd say.

The real snow is supposed to start showing up tomorrow afternoon until Tuesday morning.