26 May 2023

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Mais où sont les neiges d'antan? - Holiday Weekend


"'He asked him for the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?'  Peter's feelings were hurt because Jesus asked him for a third time, ‘Do you love me?’  And Peter said, ‘Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you.’  Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.'

'Verily, verily, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself, and walked where you liked.  But when you are old, you will stretch out your your hands, and another will dress you, and will take you where you would not like to go.'

Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.  Then he said to him at last, ‘Follow me.

John 21:17-19

"Where are the princes of this world, and those who lorded it over the creatures of the earth?  Those who made sport of the birds of the air, and hoarded up riches in which they trusted.  Those for whom there is no limit to their greed, those who schemed to get more wealth, and were always anxious about their possessions.

Now there is no trace of them. They have vanished down into the bowels of the earth, and others have risen to take their place."

Baruch 3:16-19

"Et Jehanne, la bonne Lorraine,
Qu'Anglois bruslerent à Rouen;
Où sont-ilz, Vierge souveraine?
Mais où sont les neiges d'antan."

François Villon, Ballade des dames du temps jadis

And where are they now, the magnificent lords of the world, if nothing but a memory, returned to the earth as dust.   Perhaps they are mixed with dirt under the fingernails of a child, to be plucked out and discarded, with a 'tut tut' from a doting mother. 

The mighty rise and are fallen, but the Word and the Spirit endure. 

 Stocks managed to extend their gains today, with big cap tech leading the charge higher.

The spokesmodels had their pom-poms out, but the chant has changed, from blockchain, blockchain, to AI, AI.

Gold and silver took a bounce back after their recent pummeling for the Comex option expiration.

The inflation indicator PCE came in hot this morning, but the markets ignored it.

After all, AI!

And so VIX fell in the face of such ardent, if clueless and contrived, optimism.

Three day weekend here as the markets are closed on Monday, Memorial Day.

Non-Farm Payrolls for May next Friday.

Have a pleasant weekend.

25 May 2023

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Prowling the Earth Like a Lion, Seeking Those to Devour


"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, 39th President of the United States

"I think the oligarchy now is audacious.  They don't really care if they're legitimate.  But there is a sort of 'Ok guys you're mad. How are you going to stop me' mentality at the top."

Robert Johnson, Institute for Economic Thinking

"I think I'm signaling something a little bit shocking to Americans, and to myself, actually.  Which is the situation we find ourselves in at this moment, this week, is very strongly reminiscent of the situations we've seen many times in other places.

But they're places we don't like to think of ourselves as being similar to.  They're emerging markets.  It's Russia or Indonesia or a Thailand type situation, or Korea.  That's not comfortable.  America is different.  America is special.  America is rich.  And, yet, we've somehow find ourselves in the grip of the same sort of crisis and the same sort of oligarchs.

It's a small group with a lot of power.  A lot of wealth.  They don't necessarily - they're not necessarily always the names, the household names that spring to mind, in this kind of context.  But they are the people who could pull the strings.  Who have the influence.  Who call the shots.

I have this feeling in my stomach that I felt in other countries, much poorer countries, countries that were headed into really difficult economic situation.  When there's a small group of people who got you into a disaster, and who were still powerful.  Disaster even made them more powerful.  And you know you need to come in and break that power.  And you can't.  You're stuck.

The powerful people are the insiders.  They're the people who pay themselves the massive bonuses at the end of the last year.  Now, those bonuses are not the essence of the problem, but they are a symptom of an arrogance, and a feeling of invincibility, that tells you a lot about the culture of those organizations, and the attitudes of the people who lead them.  But it really shows you the arrogance.  They think it's over.  They think it's won.  It's astonishing."

Bill Moyer's Journal - Interview with Simon Johnson, February, 2009

"Power is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the latter it crushes, the former it intoxicates. The truth is, no one really possesses it."

Simone Weil

Stocks initially dipped, but managed to gather a footing and ended the day slightly higher.

VIX fell.

The Dollar rose a bit.

Gold and silver were utterly hammered, in observance of the Comex precious metals option expiration.

What a surprise.

Have a pleasant evening.

24 May 2023

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Hearts Hardened By Pride and Greed - Sleepwalking Into the Abyss


"Call me dark, but what I see here is a toxic relationship between deregulation, underpriced risk, and exorbitant, inefficient pay scales that contribute to the growth of inequality, not to mention the shampoo economy (bubble, bust, repeat)."

Jared Bernstein, Pay and Deregulation in Finance, April 2014

"People are not truly free when they can’t afford to go to the doctor when they are sick.  They are not truly free when they cannot afford to buy the prescription drugs they so desperately need.   People are not truly free when they are exhausted because they are working longer and longer hours for lower wages.   People are not truly free when they cannot afford a decent place in which to live.  People certainly are not free when they cannot afford to feed their families.

The reason that Congress isn’t doing what the overwhelming majority of Americans wants has everything to do with the power of the monied interests.  Our government belongs to each and every one of us, not just the few.”

Bernie Sanders, February 2019

"The system of corruption depends on another factor beyond secrecy, one that is perhaps even more important: impunity. Impunity means that the rich and powerful escape from punishment even when their malfeasance is in full view. Impunity is epidemic in America. The rich and powerful get away with their heists in broad daylight. When a politician like Bernie Sanders calls out the corruption, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal double down with their mockery over such a foolish 'dreamer.'”

Jeffrey Sachs, The Age of Impunity, May 13, 2016

"The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.”

Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism


Stocks slumped hard today, and went out near the lows.

The VIX continued to climb out of its recent complacency.

Wax on, wax off.

Gold and silver were hit rather hard, the day before the Comex Precious Metals futures option expiration.

Proxy wars in a macabre offering to greed and a lust for power grind on.

The debt limit charade continues. 

With high sounding words, the unfortunate are victimized for the powerful few.

Truth has been led down a blind alley, and strangled.

It's a tradition.

May the Lord pierce our hardened hearts, enlighten our minds, heal our blindness, and break our chains of pride and self-deception.  

Not for any of our own material profit, or admiration, or even gratitude of others in this fallen world, but because it is His will, and we are His— in repentance, forgiveness, and thankfulness. 

 Have a pleasant evening.