17 March 2023

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Always the Same Words


“Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified at having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human.  

It is always the same words telling the same lies."

Albert Camus, Carnets

“It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.”

Joseph Heller, Catch-22

“And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.

So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media.  The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.”

Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

The 'saves' of the troubled banks did not quite stick, in particular with respect to Credit Suisse. 

And so it was 'risk off' once again.

Stocks dumped, led south by the banks, particularly the regional and smaller banks which tend to populate the Russell 5000. 

The VIX took back its decline from the day before.

Gold and silver rallied higher, breaking out of their restraints.

They may face a challenge next week with an FOMC rate decision on Wednesday. 

There will be a key precious metal option expiration on the Comex on the 28th.

The cavalier attitude towards banking policy taken by the Fed and Yellen's Treasury can be added to the extraordinary things which we have been experiencing. 

The oligarchy is audacious.

Have a pleasant weekend.

16 March 2023

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Fire the Fed - Imperial Finance: Currency Wars


“Currency warfare is the most destructive form of economic warfare."

Harry Dexter White, US Representative to Bretton Woods, 1944

"The war was entirely one of choice; Iraq was not posing any significant threat to the United States and U.S. interests. The costs were huge. Estimates by academic experts of the war’s long-term monetary cost to the United States — covering everything from bullets to medical care for disabled veterans — are on the order of two to three trillion dollars.

The selling of the Iraq War to the American public was an exploitation of mass gullibility.  That feat was accomplished not so much through lies as through a rhetorical drumbeat that cultivated certain misperceptions among Americans.

Current circumstances give little or no hope that the public response would be much different to the selling of some future untoward war.  If anything, the nation has sunk even deeper into a post-truth era, with lies by the tens of thousands at the presidential level having been a major part of recent American political history."

Paul Pillar, The Selling of the Iraq War: Gullibility and Mass Hysteria, March 15, 2023

“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”

George W. Bush, New York, May 24, 2005

"Cliches, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality.  The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil."

Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind

Stocks were in slumping mood this morning but were cheered by the move of the Swiss Central Bank to throw a life line to troubled behemoth Credit Suisse.

And then the Banking Boys, herded by the Treasury and the Fed, offered to cough up a hundred billion or so in loans to First Republic Bank, which was swirling down the drain.

Are these loans or deposits?  I hear they are deposits.  

If deposits, will the FDIC backstop them against loss as well?   I hear yes.  LOL

Sheila Bair, the former head of the FDIC, was barfing over all this ad hoc favoring of big tech billionaires after the bell.

Gold and silver churned around.

The VIX fell sharply on the bailouts, which we are assured are just transitory.

The Dollar fell a bit. 

And Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and money meister Jay Powell basked in the glow of another job well done.

After the bell the Fed released figures showing that the Discount Window and the new Special Facility is doing a bang up, record business lending out funds to troubled Banks.  

All is well.  For the favored few.

"And with all that in mind, what is very clear, and what most policymakers have come to understand, is that the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is 100% the fault of the Federal Reserve. 

SVB was regulated by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, and examiners at the SF Fed didn’t see serious problems until the fall of the bank was imminent. This is despite public reporting in the Wall Street Journal about the hole in the bank’s balance sheet months earlier. 

The incompetence of Fed examiners is married to supreme smugness by those same regulators.  Indeed, nearly all of my contacts in bank regulation are uniform in hating the Fed, which is composed of, as one of them told me, 'arrogant patronizing fucks who are not any good at their jobs.'

The closer you get to the facts the worse it looks. Supervisors should never have allowed a bank funded with between 90-100% uninsured ‘hot money’ deposits by venture capitalists to bet on unhedged long-term bonds.  And you didn’t need to be a genius to get this fact.  Everyone in Silicon Valley knew that SVB was insolvent, it was pretty much an open secret.  The piggishness of the place, and the social climbing, was legendary.

And the collusiveness of the bank with the Fed itself was very clear. I mean, Becker was on the board of the San Francisco Fed until the day his bank collapsed, when the SF Fed quietly replaced him with a ‘vacant seat’ notice."

Matt Stoller: Fire the Fed

Quad option expiration tomorrow.

Have a pleasant evening.

15 March 2023

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - The Empire of Lawlessness


"We've become now an oligarchy instead of a democracy. I think that's been the worst damage to the basic moral and ethical standards to the American political system that I've ever seen in my life."

Jimmy Carter

“Fear and debt. The two most powerful tools of empire.”

John Perkins, The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

"Over the past 30 years the plutocrats have used their vastly increased wealth to capture the flag and assure the government does their bidding.  This marriage of money and politics has produced an America of gross inequality at the top and low social mobility at the bottom, with little but anxiety and dread in between, as middle class Americans feel the ground falling out from under their feet.

Millions of Americans have awakened to a sobering reality: they live in a plutocracy, where they are disposable.  Now we have come to another parting of the ways, and once again the fate and character of our country are up for grabs.  Democracy only works when we claim it as our own."

Bill Moyers, last episode of Bill Moyers Journal, 30 April 2010

"Our plutocracy, whether the hedge fund managers in Greenwich, Connecticut, or the Internet moguls in Palo Alto, now lives like the British did in colonial India: ruling the place but not of it."

Mike Lofgren, The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government, 5 January 2016

"Special privileges and the use of the taxing power for private gain, these are the twin pillars upon which plutocracy rests.  Accumulating by conscious frauds more money than they can use upon themselves, wisely distribute or safely leave to their children, these denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw a light upon their crimes.

Plutocracy is abhorrent to a republic; it is more despotic than monarchy, more heartless than aristocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy.  It preys upon the nation in time of peace and conspires against it in the hour of its calamity.  Conscienceless, compassionless and devoid of wisdom, it enervates its votaries while it impoverishes its victims."

William Jennings Bryan, Speech at Madison Square Garden, 30 August 1906

Stocks went on another wild ride today.

The downgrade of a number of US Banks, including First Republic Bank to 'junk.'

And then there is the ongoing saga of Credit Suisse and the various attempts to pull it back from the abyss to which it has been descending.

But never fear, some well placed rumours and stabilizing buying in the major indices managed to bring stocks back a bit with big cap tech going well into the green.

The Dollar rallied hard to take out the 104 handle again.  Euro-weakness and all that.

Gold and silver took a little bit of a trip themselves with all this volatility.

When they finally break into the light of day the shenanigans that have been ongoing in the highly leveraged, highly secretive precious metals market is going to look like a coronal mass ejection of monetary malfeasance and manipulation.

It's been a long time coming.

The VIX bounced up and then down.

Treasuries are 'trading like penny stocks' was one of the few incisive remarks on financial TV today.

The most nebulous was the bold assertion that blockchain is the remedy for our repetitive banking crises. 

Have a pleasant evening.