16 July 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Modern Discourse

"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which, as they kiss, consume."

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

"When once the forms of civility are violated, there remains little hope of return to kindness or decency."

Samuel Johnson

"...in the gross and scope of mine opinion
This bodes some strange eruption to our state."

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

"She closed this observation with a common and trite moral reflection; which, indeed, is very ill-founded, and does great injustice to animals: 'I wonder what pleasure men can take in making beasts of themselves.' 'I wonder, Madam,' replied the Doctor, 'that you have not penetration to see the strong inducement to this excess; for he who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.'"

Anecdotes of the Revd. Percival Stockdale, Johnson Miscellanies

Today was another sleepy day on the trading markets,  the action characteristic of the dog days of Summer.

Stocks were mixed, with the financials strong, but real world stocks off on weakness in the economy outside of the paper chase.

And so in the balance, it was a mixed to unchanged sort of day.

Netflix announced its earnings.  And it bombed after the bell, and the stock was down sharply. This may affect the stock indices tomorrow given that Netflix is one of the big cap bubble darlings.

How aggressively Wall Street defends the stock price and buys the dip may give us some indication of where we are on this leg of the bust and bubble cycle being produced by lax regulation, hot money injections, and Fed policy errors.

I had the occasion to look into some heated twitter exchanges, starting with one cited by Glenn Greenwald.   And I broke with recent custom and  read some comments sections of web sites that are high volume and popular, and do little to moderate their sites.

And the image of this modern discourse, with truncated comments thrown back and forth with even less content than characters, seems like monkeys throwing feces at one another.

Seriously.  If you step back and look at the quality of conversation, there isn't any, no matter how hard some participants may try to use reason and coherent expression.

Like bad money with good, this modern style of thought exchange tends to predominate, and pushes out more meaningful discussion.

This is our clicks culture, such as it is. And it has been elevated to an instrument of public discussion and policy announcements now with this Administration.  Although I hasten to add that they are all doing it, on both sides of the professional political spectrum, albeit some more gracefully than others, but with the same effects. Fraud is the colors of the day, while truth, such as it may occasionally dare to appear, is led down blind alleys and strangled.
“Whoever commits a fraud is guilty not only of the particular injury to him who he deceives, but of the diminution of that confidence which constitutes not only the ease but the existence of society."

Samuel Johnson
The anticipation and reaction to Trump's visit to Russia is a great example of lots of sound bites being tossed with much heat but little light and less thought.  The Russia hysteria is becoming a genuine cultural phenomenon.  And there are mainstream media outlets that have become virtual sewer pipes for it, that destroy thought and trust, and then are all too ready to blame malevolent foreign powers for the erosion of confidence that follows.

This is nuts.  So why does it thrive?

It thrives because it pays in our systems of metrics and valuations, which are money and power so far above all else that hardly anything else enters into consideration.  We have become so distracted and spin-frenzied that we can only think in sound bites that are tossed around, rise to prominence, and then forgotten.

Even though the public opinion TV shows have become slightly better organized, they are even more cynically motivated feces throwing contests between highly paid talking heads.  Professional tossers if you will.

Speaking of monkeys throwing feces, let's see if Goldman's earnings tomorrow morning can do anything for the financials.

But the thriving financials are largely parasitic and extractive. And they will not help to continue to support the weighty valuations of our modern god of the markets.

Need little, want less, love more. For those who abide in love abide in God, and God in them.

Have a pleasant evening.