23 July 2019

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - A Litany In Time of Plague - Comex Option Expiration on Thursday

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
"As I turn 75, there’s no simpler way to put it than this: I’m an old man on a new planet — and, in case it isn’t instantly obvious, that’s not good news on either score...

And I find myself looking at a world that, had you described it to me in the worst moments of the Vietnam War years when I was regularly in the streets protesting, I would never have believed possible.  I probably would have thought you stark raving mad.  Here I am in an America not just with all the weirdness of Donald Trump, but with a media that feeds on his every bizarre word, tweet, and act as if nothing else were happening on the face of the Earth.  If only...

If you had told me that, in the next century, we would be fighting unending wars from Afghanistan to Somalia and beyond I would have been shocked. If you had added that, though even veterans of those wars largely believe they shouldn’t have been fought, just about no one would be out in the streets protesting, I would have thought you were nuts."

Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch

"The Babylonian starlight brought
A fabulous, formless darkness in;
Odour of blood when Christ was slain
Made all platonic tolerance vain,
And vain all Doric discipline."

William Butler Yeats

"The reason is partly because of a glitch in human cognition known as the just world hypothesis or just world fallacy, which causes us to assume that if bad things are happening to someone, it’s because that person deserves it.  Blaming the victim is more psychologically comfortable than seeing that we live in an unjust world where we could very easily become victim ourselves someday, and we select for that comfort over rational analysis.

Like other cognitive biases, this one fundamentally boils down to our annoying psychological tendency to select for cognitive ease over cognitive discomfort.  It feels more psychologically comfortable to interpret new information in a way that confirms our preexisting opinions, so we get confirmation bias.

It feels psychologically comfortable to assume something is true after hearing it repeated many times, so we get the illusory truth effect.  It feels more psychologically comfortable to believe we live in a fair world where people get what they deserve than to believe we’re in a chaotic world where many of the most materially prosperous people are also the most depraved and sociopathic, and that we could be next in line to be victimized by them, so we get the just world fallacy."

Caitlin Johnstone, The Just World Fallacy: Why People Bash Assange and Defend Power

“The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek.  The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato.

Less well known is the paradox of tolerance:  unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance.  If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them."

Karl Popper

"And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak.  We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak."

Martin Luther King, A Time to Break the Silence, April 1967

"What does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?"

Mark 8:36

Stocks were on a tear today, on the reduced perception of risk in the recent budget deal between the two US parties at the higher levels, and the news out around 2 PM that trade talks with China are 'back on.'

I do believe that US stocks are heading to another blow off top. Timing such a thing is always problematic, and it is not good to try and front run such a thing. One only ends up exhausting themselves, their resolve and their capital.

Gold took another shot today. In part it is because of the continuing strength in the Dollar, of perhaps better stated, the intentional weakening in the Euro, which is by far its major trading cross currency.

But silver held in quite well. Silver is not traded so much as a currency, but is generally at least a 50% industrial commodity.

But perhaps more importantly gold is heading into its August contract option expiration, and the reports show that speculators are very long the contract, and the Banks are quite short, with a very large open interest.

So we may most likely continue to see antics in the price of gold, including the days after as the Banks continue to try and knock down the weaker hands in the speculative longs.

I wish that I could believe that almost all people are basically good and rational most of the time, and that it is only some unfortunate error in judgement, some quirk in human psychology, that causes them to not just tolerate, but to wholeheartedly embrace  genuine evil.

I think at various times more people than we might care to admit can fall into a persistent and stubborn tendency to give themselves over to what in retrospect might be objectively called evil.

These modern psychological fallacies are often convenient ways used to enable and excuse what can only be described as a lack of empathy for others.  Such a pathological lack of compassion is commonly born in an overwhelming self-absorption and greed.  They seek to gain the world for their own sake, for themselves.

In pursuing themselves as the greatest good, they make a conscious decision to dehumanize themselves.  They choose to discard what they perceive to be a source of weakness and pain, and an insult to their pride in being exceptional.  They seek redemption in themselves and the power of the herd.

They allow themselves to become beasts, not all at once, but by one by one decision at a time.  They finally give themselves over to a imbalance so great as to be madness.  And in choosing themselves and the power of the beast they lose themselves and, if you will, their souls.

Non serviam.  And the madness will serve none but itself.

We tend to look back on history, as an interesting story, but that we stand apart from it. We are different, and unlike those who have gone before.

And when it comes to stories of good and evil, well, those are quaint notions for some, but certainly not for us.   Our insulation is our pride, and nihilism, and belief in the indifference nothingness, without any particular interest or judgement.

Have a pleasant evening.