21 April 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - French Elections and Silver Options Expiration

"They devoted themselves to the teachings and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need.

Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.  And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved."

Acts 2:42-47

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

John 13:35

"We are not remote elites or ascetic philosophers, who dwell alone and exile themselves from ordinary human life. We do not forget the debt of gratitude that we owe to God, our Lord and Creator; we reject no creature of His hands, though certainly we exercise restraint upon ourselves, lest we make an immoderate or sinful use of His gifts. And so we travel for now with you in the world."


“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Today was a minor options expiration for stocks.  The trading was quiet.

Next Tuesday is a Comex precious metals option expiration that is more significant for silver than for gold, given the activities of the metals in this month's contracts.

The markets are keenly observing the French elections this weekend.

See you on Monday.

Please remember God's creatures, especially those entrusted to your care.  Remember your brothers and sisters, especially the poor both in material wealth and in spirit.

Even an animal will love their offspring because it is their own, and a wicked man loves his possessions because they are his.   True love is to love what is His because it is His, formed of Him, and not because it is ours to possess and do with as we please.

We gain much from fellowship in the world, and this is not a vain thing.   It is one of His greatest gifts to us.  We were made for friendship, formed and born from His very breath in caring and for love.

God is love. Evil then is the absence of caring, the deficiency of love.  As Dostoevsky observed, hell is the inability to love and to be loved in return.  It is to be isolated and cut off from the life that sustains us.

For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, but to lose his soul. To choose love over selfishness and pride and possessions is the only trade worth making, because nothing else will endure.

Be a champion for love, if only in the little things of your daily life.  And that being done for His sake is enough.

Have a pleasant weekend.

20 April 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Paper, Numbers, and Dreams

"While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed the worst and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There is one certainty of the future of a people of the resources, intelligence and character of the people of the United States-that is prosperity."

President Herbert Hoover, May 1, 1930

"The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover was an engineer. He knew that water trickled down. Put it uphill and let it go and it will reach the driest little spot.

But he didn't know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night anyhow. But it will at least have passed through some poor fellow’s hands.

They saved the big banks, but the little ones went up the flue."

Will Rogers, 5 December 1932

“The sense of responsibility in the financial community for the community as a whole is not small. It is nearly nil.”

John Kenneth Galbraith, The Great Crash of 1929

It was a risk on day, as the algos shook off any concerns and went into 'up mode.'

Big cap tech pushed to a new closing high.

But less noted in the enthusiastic commentary from the spokesmodels for Wall Street, the broader market continues to lag, badly.

The Russell 2000 still is not confirming this move.  I direct your attention to the first chart below.

This greatly undermines the hypothesis that this 'stock rally' is signalling that The Recovery™ is here at long last.

More likely, this is La Bubble Partie Trois.

Smells like another new era, and an inflation in paper financial assets as the Fed and the pampered politicos spread the new monetary wealth—  upwards to the favored few.

And some would give them yet even more freedom to print at will to solve our problems.  And this would make them suddenly virtuous how?

They have created enormous sums of money, and it continues to be misspent on nonsense for the benefit of the sectional monopolies like Big Pharma, Big Healthcare, Big Tech, and The Banks.

There is unrest bubbling under the surface of all of the major Western economies, from the US, to the UK, to France, and even stoic Germany.

"The American economy increasingly serves only a narrow part of society, and America's national politics has failed to put the country back on track through honest, open, and transparent problem solving. Too many of America's elites-among the super-rich, the CEOs, and many of my colleagues in academia-have abandoned a commitment to social responsibility. They chase wealth and power, the rest of society be damned."

Jeffrey Sachs, The Price of Civilization, January 2012

Have a pleasant evening.

19 April 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - All Is Well

Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer sought to reassure markets just after the close.
"On Wednesday, he [Stanley Fischer] said that spillovers from [rate] tightening 'will be manageable.'

It's possible that U.S. and foreign economic growth can align, Fischer said.  He added that downside risks from overseas are noticeably smaller and that foreign growth appears more entrenched.

Fischer said that China's economy also seems to be on more solid footing."

Stanley, you are not all that reassuring.  

This seems to be just another self-serving exercise from the Fed which wishes to get off the zero bound so that they can cut rates later on when their latest financial paper asset bubble starts deflating.

Stocks were wobbly into the close after giving up most of their gains after yesterday's loss.

I am not recommending going short, by the way.  These guys have more paper than you have patience.

Geopolitical jitters affecting the markets include the freedom wars in the Mideast and the Kid in North Korea.

And of course the rising populism in Europe, particularly with an eye to this weekend's French election which seems to be following the divergence from the status quo to both the left and right.

Metals were off on 'renewed US dollar strength' according to the financial spokesmodels, although if you look at the DX chart the 'strength' is greatly overstated.  Well, that's what they do.

Have a pleasant evening.

18 April 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - What Is a Youth

"In one of his last speeches as Fed Chair, Bernanke bragged about how Fed didn't have info it needed in 2009 to say banks were solvent. How would Bernanke know?   He never took significant interest in the regulatory findings, simply followed assurances of others.  OCC was complicit in tolerating excesses of banks in the lead up to the Great Financial Crisis; in aftermath, teeth never shown.

Essentially, the Great Financial Crisis was result of widespread fraud on the part of sellers of 'securitized assets'. Books of banks masked huge SPE exposure. 'Opaque securities' were sold as investible quality but nothing more than mathematical approximations at time of issue. Yes, it became far more profitable to sell complex MBS risk baskets than identifiable, securitized assets

Were there villains?  Of course, there were.  Place to look was Wall Street.  It compensated much more for selling opaque securities. Well, there's that reality, too. I've been told by more than one current and former banker that the banks tell the regulators what the rules should be.

And let's keep in mind regulators let each bank devise its own, unique value at risk model, rendering stress tests highly unreliable. The Way governments ended doubts about solvency of opaque banks was with stress tests and pledge of taxpayer funds to maintain solvency."

Harald Malmgren

Uncle Buck took a dive today based largely on the British sterling component in the DX index. The PM Theresa May called for a general election in the UK seeking a strong Brexit mandate. She believes she will win it obviously.

Gold and silver were mixed in the NY trade, with silver finishing slightly off, but gold higher to end around 1290.

Stocks were weak, although the volumes remain relatively light and algo driven. Any serious event could crumble this market, but we are in that 'don't know don't care' phase of the bubble where a long term horizon is next week, and no one knows anything except to keep dancing while the music is playing.

Sincerity is the rarest of commodities.

And when mixed with an abiding love, the most precious.

Have a pleasant evening.

17 April 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Identities

“If you wanted to understand a politician you mustn’t pay too much attention to his speeches, but find out who were his paymasters.  A politician couldn’t rise in public life, in France any more than in America, unless he had the backing of big money, and it was in times of crisis like this that he paid his debts.

The great corporation which employed you lied to you, and lied to the whole country—from top to bottom it was nothing but one gigantic lie.”

Upton Sinclair

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for the Lord's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Great power and wealth rarely serve to bring out the best in a person. Rather to the contrary, it most often exposes and amplifies any of their weaknesses in character.

If a fellow was a duplicitous, greedy, self-serving, and double-dealing type before they came into power, it is highly unlikely that more wealth and more power will suddenly make them virtuous. The notion that a greedy person will somehow obtain enough and suddenly become empathetic is a fallacy. Greed knows no bounds and is never satisfied by its very nature. We can imagine ourselves having enough, perhaps, but that is because we are not greedy in the pathological sense.

Indeed, I think the mistaking of enormous wealth and power for virtue in the first place is one of the greatest errors of our culture.

One of the great exceptions you might think in US history was Franklin Roosevelt. However it ought to be noted that he inherited his money and family position. But it was through the infliction of a crippling disease, that affected him every day of his life, through which he obtained a genuine understanding of the human condition, and who he was. It was his affliction that gave him his greatness.

Again and again we see how those who have been granted great natural gifts and who use them to achieve good for others and not themselves are almost invariably afflicted in some way, some obstacle that prevents them from overreaching themselves, from forgetting who they really are, from falling victim to the belief in themselves above all.

Abraham Lincoln himself notes how circumstances in his life would bring him to his knees.
“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go.  My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”
Those who can never see their own deficiency and errors and fundamental humanity, bringing them into empathy and kindness for others, a toleration for the mistakes and shortcoming that are a part of the human condition, are perhaps the saddest cases of all.   They have willingly blinded themselves, and others, to the true state of things, and will too often lead themselves and those who follow them into the abyss.

Gold and silver were rallying on Sunday evening on the increasing geopolitical risks.

However, volumes overall were light today, as several overseas exchanges remained closed and traders off work after the long holiday weekend.

And so the metals were sold, and stocks rallied on more puffery and nonsense.

Have a pleasant evening.