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  to unwind their gargantuan balance sheet—  even though it promises to be the slowest and most half-hearted unwinding of excess since Obama promised to reform the financial sector.

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.

So much like we may imagine ourselves today.

And so, step by step, they killed what was human in themselves, and descended, with their beloved nation, into ruin and madness.   For they 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.