10 June 2024

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Mindlessly Strolling Into the Abyss


"A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded.  He repeated the warning, but the acclaim was even greater.   I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from those wisemen who believe it's a joke.”

Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or Part 1

"These are suitable feelings towards this attractive but deceitful world.   What have we to do with its gifts and honours, who, having been already baptized into the world to come, are no longer citizens of this?   Why should we be anxious for a long life, or wealth, or credit, or comfort, who know that the next world will be every thing which our hearts can wish, and that not in appearance only, but truly and everlastingly?   Why should we rest in this world, when it is the token and promise of another?   Why should we be content with its surface, instead of appropriating what is stored beneath it?

To those who live by faith, every thing they see speaks of that future world; the very glories of nature, the sun, moon, and stars, and the richness and the beauty of the earth, are as types and figures witnessing and teaching the invisible things of God.  All that we see is destined one day to burst forth into a heavenly bloom, and to be transfigured into immortal glory.  Heaven at present is out of sight, but in due time, as snow melts and discovers what it lay upon, so will this visible creation fade away before those greater splendours which are behind it, and on which at present it depends.  In that day shadows will retire, and the substance show itself."

John Henry Newman

"They spend their days in prosperity, while sliding down quietly into the abyss.  They say to God, 'Leave us alone!  We do not want to learn your ways.   Who is the Almighty that we should serve him?   And what would we gain by praying to him?   Is not the prosperity of the wicked the result of their own efforts, since they have never sought God’s help?'

Their prosperity is not in their own hands, so let the counsels of the rich be far from me.  For how often is the lamp of the wicked extinguished?   How often does destruction fall on them, the sorrows that God allocates in His righteousness?   How often are they blown like straw with the wind, like chaff swept away in a storm."

Job 21:13-17

"Never be surprised at the crumbling of an idol or the disclosure of a skeleton."

John Dalberg Lord Acton

"The root of it all is in the will to power, the desire of a select few to determine the value of all life, and to define both good and evil, with themselves as the ultimate good. And their handiwork is not life, but a profound emptiness, the abomination of desolation. They never have enough. Not enough money, not enough power, not enough killing. They cannot give life, so they will bring death. They fear weakness and death, so they attempt to be its master. They would be as gods. And in their pride they make themselves, and all those around them, not masters but monsters.

Jesse, Social Darwinism, 17 September 2014

"The Lord is my light and my salvation –
     whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the refuge of my life –
     of whom shall I be afraid?

I believe still that I will see the goodness of the Lord
     in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait upon the Lord."

Psalm 27

Stocks managed to rally higher today after a wobbly start, and held on to their gains.

VIX is not taking the global risks seriously yet.

Gold and silver bounced after the determined smackdown with the Non-Farm Payrolls Report.

China was closed for a holiday today.  Let's see if they can light up the metals markets tonight.

The Dollar most chopped around and was off a bit.

There will be some news on Wednesday with the CPI inflation data and an FOMC decision and commentary.

As usual watch out for Chairman Jay's press conference following the announcement.

I have a bad, bad feeling about where this is all going, both here and abroad.  

The madness seems to be gaining traction.

So what are we supposed to do?

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

Have a pleasant evening.

07 June 2024

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Evil Has a Familiar Face - The Old Is Passing Away


“He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.”

Samuel Johnson, Anecdotes of the Revd.  Stockdale, 1809

"I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

Percy Shelley, Ozymandias, January 1818

"While some of the crowd were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and offerings, he said, 'All that you see here, the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.'  Then they asked him, 'Teacher, when will this happen?  And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?'"

Luke 21:5-7

Cruelty has a Human Heart
And Jealousy a Human Face
Terror the Human Form Divine
And Secrecy, the Human Dress

William Blake, A Divine Image, Songs of Experience, 1789

"And they said to him, 'Where will this happen, Lord?'  And He said to them, 'Where death is, there a gathering of vultures will be.'”

Luke 17:37

The Non-Farm Payrolls Report came in hot this morning, and so the markets decided, in their bipolar wash and rinse fixation, that a rate cut will not be forthcoming.

And so the Dollar rallied sharply.

Stocks initially fell, rallied back to the green, and then faded into the weekend.

Gold and silver were brutally and deliberately slammed, going out near the lows.

You might note from the chart that two interesting things have occurred.

The first is that the base for an ascending W pattern is now set.  I have market it with a support line

And secondly, both legs of the formation are standing on a low set with the Non-Farm Payrolls report.

I believe I mention the NFP a few times.  I even put its designation on the chart ahead of time at the approximate location where I though the smackdown was intended.  I had it a little high, but not far off.

Might makes right, at least to some people of heavily dislocated ideological persuasions.   Its all the fashion in the Capitol these days, I hear.  In District 12, not so much.

So what next.

A lot depends on how much bullion buying the adults in the rest of the world will be doing at these lower prices.  

Silver I think is a virtual no-brainer given industrial demand, but stranger things have happened.

One ought never underestimate the boldness of a nest of vipers when cornered, and their time is passing.

Some have even been known to precipitate crises of distraction, that kill and maim innocent people.

This is the darkness of their hardened hearts.  Damned for the world.

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

Have a pleasant weekend.

06 June 2024

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Deceitful Children - One Vast Vision of Imbecility


"For these are a rebellious people, deceitful children, unwilling to listen to the commandments of the Lord. They say to their seers,‘Do not see!’, and to the prophets,‘Say nothing of what is right. Tell us only the things that please us— prophesy illusions.

Isaiah 30:8-10

"It is important to observe that nowhere is it suggested that Dives' wealth is ill-gotten nor that Lazarus was his victim.   The sin of Dives is that, cushioned by his lavish life-style, he was simply oblivious to the presence of a beggar at his gate."

Wilfrid Harrington

"There are commonwealths, plainly to be distinguished here and there in history, which pass from prosperity to squalor, or from glory to insignificance, or from freedom to slavery, not only in silence, but with serenity.  The face still smiles while the limbs, literally and loathsomely, are dropping from the body.

These are peoples that have lost the power of astonishment at their own actions.  When they give birth to a fantastic fashion or a foolish law, they do not start or stare at the monster they have brought forth.  They have grown used to their own unreason; chaos is their cosmos; and the whirlwind is the breath of their nostrils. 

These nations are really in danger of going off their heads en masse; of becoming one vast vision of imbecility, with toppling cities and crazy country-sides, all dotted with industrious lunatics.  One of these countries is modern England."

G.K. Chesterton, Miscellany of Men, 1912

"In a world where success is the measure and justification of all things, the figure of Him who was sentenced and crucified remains a stranger, and is at best the object of pity.  The world will allow itself to be subdued only by success.  Success alone justifies wrongs done.

The figure of the Crucified invalidates all thought that takes success for its standard."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Behold the Man: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Werke, 1998

"I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts."

John 5:41

Stocks paused in their meteoric rise higher.

As a reminder this is all leading up to the FOMC meeting next week, and expectations for a rate cut, or a signal that a rate cut will be forthcoming.

The VIX drifted lower.

The Dollar chopped sideways.

Gold and silver rallied higher, with silver taking back all the ground it had lost and then some.

There are moments in history, in the cycle of human events, when much is asked of us, and the time cries out for a broad and selfless vision, for wisdom and leadership.

And there are times when that call to greatness is answered carelessly, with a preoccupation for narrow ambitions and selfish desires, by frivolous and deceitful children. 

And so here we are. 

This is our history.

Have a pleasant evening.

05 June 2024

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Devil Take the Hindmost


"It is no exaggeration to say that since the 1980s, much of the global financial sector has become criminalised, creating an industry culture that tolerates or even encourages systematic fraud. The behaviour that caused the mortgage bubble and financial crisis of 2008 was a natural outcome and continuation of this pattern, rather than some kind of economic accident.

This behaviour is criminal. We are talking about deliberate concealment of financial transactions that aided terrorism, nuclear weapons proliferation and large-scale tax evasion; assisting in major financial frauds and in concealment of criminal assets; and committing frauds that substantially worsened the worst financial bubbles and crises since the Depression. And yet none of this conduct has been punished in any significant way."

Charles H. Ferguson, Heist of the century: Wall Street's role in the financial crisis, The Guardian, 20 May 2012

"It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes."

Andrew Jackson, On the Second Bank of the United States, 1832

"This morning on another financial network, more directly beholden by Wall Street interests, Michael Lewis was interviewed, and it was the turn of the anchorpersons themselves to roll out the indignation on behalf of the industry that cuts their paychecks, and variously attack and parse the offending statement, 'the market is rigged.' They had a go at it, and then changed the subject.

But the same anchorperson who compared Wall Street traders to children, who cannot help themselves except to try and break mom's rules, took a different tack this morning. Today we heard that Wall Street traders have no moral imperative, no operative sense of right and wrong. That is, their only task is to make money in whatever way that is possible, even if it means cheating, lying, and even creating false opportunities to defraud other people.

A good trader suppresses any sense of morality and law, except as an obstacle to be overcome. When they cheat and steal it is the fault of the regulators, because they are not smart enough and fast enough to stop them. And these are the same people that we claim should therefore be self-regulating.

But the most shocking thing was that Michael Lewis agreed.
"I don’t regard high-frequency traders as villains. It is like blaming the lion for eating the antelope. They are wired that way. I think the system is screwed up to exploit opportunities, exploit glitches in the system. They’re not wired to say that this is moral or immoral; they aren’t wired to say is this good for the world. They don’t think that way.”
Ah the noble lions. Or perhaps more appropriately jackals, based on how they feed in the dark on the weak. Remember this the next time someone asks a financier for their recommendations on public policy and first principle social issues.

The irony of course is that this description is that of functional sociopaths at best, psychopaths at worst. They are 'wired' to seek self-gratification without regard to moral considerations, conscience, or consequences.

Rather than just saying the market is rigged, the anchors and Michael Lewis agree that the market is now founded on sociopathic behaviour, whose primary directive is to game the system and defraud the other market participants in the most clever ways that they can. Not by producing anything, not by contributing anything real to society, but by being very successful conmen. And all the parties nodded their heads in agreement.

Psychopathy is a medical condition, whereas sociopathy is a learned behavior that is often environmentally born. And it is therefore contagious. Psychopaths just have a natural advantage if they have no conscience or empathy to suppress. Willful moral blindness for selfish ends is an acquired skill, and the domain of the sociopath.

What a hell of a way to set up a critical social system, to seek out and incent sociopathic behavior."

Jesse, Moral Blindness: When Money and Confidence Die It Will Be Televised, 2 April 2014

"The central trait of sociopathy is a complete lack of conscience, which is very difficult for most people to get their heads around, because those of us who do have a conscience can't really imagine what it would be like if we didn't. Most people think that deep down everybody has a conscience, and it turns out that's just not true. -

Usually sociopaths will look down upon us for that very reason - that we're gullible. We're weak. One person told me that he thought he was the only honest person because he would admit that he didn't have a conscience and everybody else was clearly faking it."

Martha Stout, The Sociopath Next Door

"The true alternative is a failure extending over time from the economic to the political system. Just as too few predicted the financial crisis, it may be that too few are today speaking frankly about where a failure to deal with the aftermath may lead. In this situation, let me suggest, the country faces an existential threat. Either the legal system must do its work. Or the market system cannot be restored.

There must be a thorough, transparent, effective, radical cleaning of the financial sector and also of those public officials who failed the public trust. The financiers must be made to feel, in their bones, the power of the law. And the public, which lives by the law, must see very clearly and unambiguously that this is the case."

James K. Galbraith, Why the 'Experts' Failed to See How Financial Fraud Collapsed the Economy, Alternet, May 26, 2010

"Nemesis, the goddess of retribution and vengeance, the punisher of pride and hubris, waits impatiently for her meeting with us."

Chalmers Johnson

And so 'risk on' it was.

Stocks were rising and went out on the highs.

Gold and silver rallied.

The Dollar rose slightly.

VIX fell.

Non-Farm Payrolls on Friday.

FOMC next week.

Have a pleasant evening.