07 February 2024

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Hell Is Empty, and All the Devils Are Here


"In many governments the candidates for the highest stations are above the law; and, if they can attain the object of their ambition, they have no fear of being called to account for the means by which they acquired it. They often endeavour, therefore, not only by fraud and falsehood, the ordinary and vulgar arts of intrigue and cabal; but sometimes by the perpetration of the most enormous crimes, by murder and assassination, by rebellion and civil war, to supplant and destroy those who oppose or stand in the way of their greatness.”

Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1759

"What we see at present is a battle between the central banks and the collapse of the financial system fought on two fronts.  On one front, the central banks preside over the creation of additional liquidity for the financial system in order to hold back the tide of debt defaults that would otherwise occur.  On the other, they incite investment banks and other willing parties to bet against a rise in the prices of gold, oil, base metals, soft commodities, or anything else that might be deemed an indicator of inherent value. 

Their objective is to deprive the independent observer of any reliable benchmark against which to measure the eroding value, not only of the U.S. dollar, but of all fiat currencies.  Equally, their actions seek to deny the investor the opportunity to hedge against the fragility of the financial system by switching into a freely traded market for non-financial assets."

Peter Warburton, The Debasement of World Currency: Inflation, But Not As We Know It, 2001

"Or one may say that there were no real human villains; that given the economic and political cues, actors would have been in the wings to come on and play the parts which circumstances dictated.Certainly there were many others as reprehensible and irresponsible as those who played the leading roles. The German people were the victims. The battle, as one who survived it explained, left them dazed and inflation-shocked. They did not understand how it had happened to them, and who the foe was who had defeated them. The real collapse of our currency began when it became evident that certain industrial circles were more powerful than the government."

Adam Fergusson, When Money Dies: The Nightmare of the Weimar Collapse, 1975

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”

William Shakespeare, The Tempest

"Envy follows pride; whoever is envious is proud.   Envy comes to us from Hell; the devils having sinned through pride, sinned also through envy, envying our glory, our happiness. Why do we envy the happiness and the goods of others?  Because we are proud; we should like to be the sole possessors of talents, riches, of the esteem and love of all the world.

Everything is good and precious in God’s sight when we act from the motives of adoration and of love. Christ tells us that even offering someone a glass of water would not go unrewarded. You see, my children, that although we may be poor, we can still easily give alms. How good is our God! When we are no longer able to come to Him, He comes to us. We are each of us like a small mirror, in which God searches for His reflection.

John Vianney, Curé d'Ars, On Envy


The markets cast aside all fears and rallied higher, reaching for that magic round number on the SP 500.

The Dollar fell a bit.

VIX declined further.

Silver got clocked.  Gold held on by its fingernails.

Chinese New Year begins on the 10th, and that will put a damper on the recent buying of physical gold i Asia.   New Year gifts are often physicals, and coins are a favorite.

The depravity of the political class almost world-wide is quite daunting.

Self-destruction and delusion are in vogue.

It seems like a race to the bottom, to see who will falter first.

At times madness stalks the halls of power, and sets the minds of men on fire.

This seems to be such a time 

Who could have seen it coming?

Have a pleasant evening.

06 February 2024

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Fear the Walking Fed - Pee-pee Pants City


“They perverted their thinking; they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind just judgments.   How you have grown evil with age.  Now have your past sins come to term, passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent, and freeing the guilty."

Daniel 13:9,52-53

“He did not care for the lying at first. He hated it. Then later he had come to like it. It was part of being an insider, but it was a very corrupting business.”

Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation. You snakes, you brood of vipers."

Matthew 23:13-14,33

"They are not governed by rationality or conscience or even common sense.   For periods of time oligarchies are able to survive in an uneasy equilibrium enforced by power, but ultimately these wickedly wealthy wither and die on their great piles of gains."

Jesse, Crony Capitalism: The Fed's Frankenstein, 17 December 2010

"Capitalism is at risk of failing today not because we are running out of innovations, or because markets are failing to inspire private actions, but because we’ve lost sight of the operational failings of unfettered gluttony.  Successful capitalism has never rested on a moral base of self-interest, but rather on the practice of self-interest embedded in a larger set of values.

We are neglecting a torrent of market failures in infrastructure, finance, and the environment. We are turning our backs on a grotesque worsening of income inequality and willfully continuing to slash social benefits. We are destroying the Earth as if we are indeed the last generation."

Jeffrey Sachs, Self-interest, Without Morals, Financial Times, January 18, 2012

Soft landing, dead ahead.  

Stocks managed to pull out another save, with only the tech stocks holding back.

VIX fell again.

The Dollar declined.

Gold and silver bounced.

The Fed hardly ever gets a major forecast right, and can't seem to create a sustainable 'soft landing' for the real economy without generating a vicious asset bubble that crests and crashes.

But the banks are made whole, and the band plays on.   Wash-rinse-repeat.

"Boy, do I have a feeling we're getting close.  Yeah, gonna be pee-pee pants city here real soon."

Negan, Last Days on Earth, The Walking Dead

Time for the next scapegoat to raise their hand.

Here's a soft landing for you, right here.

Have a pleasant evening.

05 February 2024

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Observance and Judgement Without Love


“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Balaam obeyed God from a sense of its being right to do so, but not from a desire to please Him, not from fear and love.  His endeavour was, not to please God, but to please himself without displeasing God; to pursue his own ends as far as was consistent with his duty.  In a word, he did not give his heart to God.  I say plainly, and without fear of contradiction, though it is a serious thing to say, that the aim of most men esteemed conscientious and religious, or who are what is called honourable, upright men, is, to all appearance, not how to please God, but how to please themselves without displeasing Him.  I say confidently,—that is, if we may judge of men in general by what we see— that they make this world the first object in their minds, and use religion as a corrective, a restraint, upon too much attachment to the world.  They think that religion is a sort of moderate love of the world, a moderate luxury, a moderate avarice, a moderate ambition, and a moderate selfishness."

John Henry Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons IV, 2

"The problem Newman addresses here is with those long time believers who have grown in the faith, and may exhibit many of its gifts, but stop there without bearing the kind of fruit of which they are capable. And why do they do this?  Simply because they never grow to fully love Him and His, more than they love their own fears, desires, and selves.  They always hold some better portion of themselves back and in reserve.  They love God as they think that they must only in order to avoid punishment and to be comfortable, while being blinded to their own sinful shortcomings, never fully growing into the love which is the substance and the salvation of their true selves.

And in the worst cases, they become self-righteous, being proud in their gifts and their selection as they think it in their own minds.  They may even harbor private hatreds, sins against the Spirit, judging others and seeing admonitions to take up the cross of His obedience with love as intended for all those others, but not for themselves.   They are imbued with the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy and spiritual pride.   And it is the road to a dwindling of the spiritual life, and a gradual erosion of faith as a vital element of our every action.

Jesse, Obedience Without Love - The Leaven of the Pharisees, 5 April 2017

"He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice."

Maria Faustyna Kowalska

Only the truly proud, those made hardened and delusional by sin, would see no problem in choosing the door of His justice, thinking themselves to be relatively worthy and saved, compared to all those 'others.'

They refuse His mercy, as they have chosen not to be merciful to others.

And they will call out, 'Lord, Lord,' and be sent away into the darkness. 

You want to argue canon law and economics with the Lord of hosts?   

"If only I had known..."

Do not be one of them.   

And so stocks were swooning most of the day, but managed to gather themselves together and rally back to nearly unchanged into the close, after the rest of the world had gone to bed.

Gold and silver were nailed in some follow up action to the events of last week.

VIX came in high and fell hard.

The Dollar rallied on expectations of American exceptionalism.

I think our leaders have become proud and reckless to a remarkable degree, and many are led by their example.  Not just here, but around the world. 

I spent a satisfying day exploring the mysteries of my oil burner.  I knew it was burning rich on start up but could not tell why.   But it would sense that and shut down sporadically and require a manual restart. 

The old hand tech quickly figured it out and replaced the ignition electrode components.  Considering they were original equipment from the 1950s, I won't complain.  And the cost was remarkably reasonable all things considered.

So my eyes and the furnace are now in tip top shape.  What a great start to the week.

Now if only we could do something about those madcaps and self-righteous knuckle-draggers in Washington.

Have a pleasant evening.