17 January 2020

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Cast Assembled, the Stage Is Set - Three Day Weekend

"We’ve surpassed the $400 billion mark… They call it ‘not QE’ because it’s maturities of 12 months or less.  But as of now, we have a $100-billion-per-month run rate of ‘not QE.’”

Danielle DiMartino Booth

"Nations, like individuals, cannot become desperate gamblers with impunity.  Punishment is sure to overtake them sooner or later."

Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

“But you can't make people listen.  They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them.”

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Stocks closed at new momentum highs today.

The stage is being set for a bone-jarring correction I think.

But let's see what happens.  Who but God can measure the depths of avarice and high tides of folly?

Gold and silver were lackluster as the Dollar gained a bit.

The VIX, a measure of the perception of risks, is rather low as shown on the chart.

Monday the markets will be closed for Martin Luther King day.

We may get our first major snowfall this weekend. The winter has been remarkably mild for the holidays.

Have a pleasant weekend.

16 January 2020

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Brood of Vipers - Stock Option Expiration Tomorrow

“Although I say that wisdom is better than strength, nevertheless the common wisdom is despised, and its words are not heard. A wise man speaking quietly is worth more than the shouts of a tyrant commanding fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinful man can destroy much that is good."

Ecclesiastes 9:16-18

"The barbarian hopes — and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too. He will consume what civilization has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort, but he will not be at pains to replace such goods, nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being.

We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles.”

Hilaire Belloc

"‘Woe to you, you hypocrites!  You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.  On the outside you appear righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.  You snakes, you brood of vipers.'"

Matt 23: 23-33

The truth can sometimes hurt. It is not always to see what we have become. But the truth will set us free.

Stocks rose to a new high today.

Gold and silver finished slightly lower, with the Dollar slightly higher.

The impeachment 'trial' of Trumpollini is now proceeding in the Senate.

Politicians are for the most part not admirable at their best.  But courage and integrity are scarce commoditities in this current crop of Senators and executives.

The GAO released its report today, finding that Trump and his administration broke the law.

I still believe that we will see a major change in the US political and economic scene by July.  

Tomorrow is a stock market options expiration.

There will be a three day weekend for the US markets because of Martin Luther King observance on Monday.

Have a pleasant evening.

15 January 2020

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Stock Bubble III: The Great Unraveling - Stock Option Expiration Friday

“Realize that narcissists have an addiction disorder. They are strongly addicted to feeling significant. Like any addict they will do whatever it takes to get this feeling often. That is why they are manipulative and fakers. They promise change, but can't deliver if it interferes with their addiction.”

Shannon L. Alder

"As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool returns to his folly."

Proverbs 26:11

"This is the contempt in which they hold the majority of American people and the political process: the common people are easily led fools, and everyone else who is smart enough to know better has their price.

And they would beggar every middle class voter in the US before they will voluntarily give up one dime of their ill gotten gains."

Simon Johnson, The Quiet Coup, May 2009

"Remember that there will be trying times in the last days.  For people will love only themselves and their money.  They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, dishonoring their parents, and ungrateful.  To them nothing is sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and despise what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless and proud, and love pleasures of the world more than God. They may talk like they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.  Shun them."

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Stocks had another ranging day that ended up largely unchanged.

Trumpolini had his long-awaited signing ceremony with a Chinese delegation for the Trade-Lite Deal.  His speech was embarrassingly in character.

Gold and silver finished higher, and the Dollar closed a bit lower.

The stock market is now at bubble levels not seen since the Tech Bubble.

A reckoning with reality is on deck, most likely to arrive later this year. How much later is a very good question.

Protect yourselves, your hearts and minds as well as your money.  For the love of most has already gone cold.

Are we truly in the last days as some think?

As Newman observed, most centuries have thought that their times are the worst.  Pride inflates our view of ourselves in many ways.

No one can truly know when the end is coming, as you may recall.

But it seems as though an end of something, thought to be unassailable, is fast approaching.

And the consequences of this failure of pride, and the reaction its fanatical true believers, may be notable, for many years to come.

Try to not become swept up in the madness, remembering who you are and why you are here.

Have a pleasant evening.

14 January 2020

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Polyphony and Cacophony

"When we talk about company culture in the context of financial services, the first thing that comes to mind is the risky, unethical, and sometimes criminal behavior in the banking industry, particularly during the financial crisis. And ten years on from the crisis, this behavior persists.  [Persists?  It remains their very business model] Instances of fraud, money laundering, and scandals related to foreign exchange and LIBOR continue to make the headlines.

This behavior puts a spotlight on the essential role of robust regulation and strict enforcement [which is the primary responsibility of the NY Fed]. But illicit and unethical behavior is rarely the result of an isolated 'bad apple.' [or a rogue trader]  It’s more often the symptom of a rotten culture. And rotten cultures don’t appear overnight—nor for that matter do positive, inclusive ones, where people feel empowered and accountable to upholding the values of the organization.

Culture is created—intentionally or otherwise—by the structures, incentives, and behavioral norms that shape our working lives."

John C Williams, President, NY Fed, Getting to the Core of Culture, 14 January 2020, London

"Oh, yes, we shall be in chains and there will be no freedom, but then, in our great sorrow, we shall rise again to joy, without which man cannot live nor God exist, for God gives joy: it's His privilege — a grand one.  Ah, man should be dissolved in prayer!  What should I be underground there without God? 

If they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground.  One cannot exist in prison without God; it's even more impossible than out of prison.  And then we men underground will sing from the bowels of the earth a glorious hymn to God, with Whom is joy.  Hail to God and His joy! I love Him!"

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

“Each day we are becoming a creature of splendid glory, or one of unthinkable horror.”

C. S. Lewis

Stocks were mixed today and the major indices finished largely unchanged to slightly weaker.

Gold and silver were hit very hard in the quiet overnight trading by the usual suspects, but managed to take most of that back during regular hours and also finished largely unchanged along with the Dollar.

I think that we all see what has been going on.  And some are slowly coming to their senses.

But lawlessness thrives, and there are few consequences.  And so the love of most has grown cold.

And if they drive God from the face of the earth, we will shelter Him in our hearts.
"Such is the rule of our warfare We advance by yielding; we rise by falling; we conquer by suffering; we persuade by silence; we become rich by bountifulness ; we inherit the earth through meekness; we gain comfort through mourning; we earn glory by penitence and prayer.  Heaven and earth shall sooner fall than this rule be reversed; it is the law of Christ's kingdom, and nothing can reverse it but sin."

John Henry Newman
This is the music that rises up from the clamor.  This is the true and lasting resistance, hidden with God, and sustained by His love..

Have a pleasant evening.