Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Psychopaths" don't exist...

UPDATE 2: I dunno if it's cos of crazy comments coming in, or maybe something that I said (probably), or maybe he just doesn't want to get distracted from writing this week's NL, but Otto took down his link and the comments.

I'll leave my post here, though, along with its own comments. #1, this blog is meant to be my own personal thoughts only, and I don't beat myself up over them anymore, nor do I anymore expect anyone to agree with them; #2, if it was abusive comments coming in, I'd be interested in seeing for myself if they migrate along the path of discussion.



Otto linked to a Cafe Americain post today, which was based on such utter bullshit pop psychology that I had to respond. Unfortunately it seems my comment was larger than Blogger allows, so it didn't seem to post.

UPDATE: to clarify, the reason I'm so damn angry about pop-psychology is that it is one of the many things that is used to perpetrate evil. Every "court-recognized authority on psychopaths" is responsible for more evil than any single person they've gotten locked up.

Here is the comment I tried to post on his blog:



I'm sorry, but he's making the very annoying layman's mistake of conflating the pseudo-psychiatric term "psychopath" with the pop-culture mass-media image of "bad people we don't like".

Please read "Mask of Sanity" by Hervey Cleckley. He defined the term "psychopath". His book has dozens of case studies of "psychopaths". Under his original definition, psychopaths are not "predators", and are completely incapable of e.g. functioning at advanced levels of business.

The true "psychopath" isn't Hannibal Lecter - actually, very good portrayals of psychopaths are cartoon dads, like Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin. They're charming and friendly, but also unpredictable, do completely stupid things for no conceivable reason, and are incapable of learning from past mistakes. Basically, they're what beat officers today call "dumb fuck-ups".

Cleckley's "psychopaths", for example, would charm their way out of the psychiatric hospital by acting perfectly normal and non-insane... then they'd go out and steal a car and wrap it around a tree, or go straight to a bar and get drunk til the bartender realized he had no money, or go steal a farmer's chickens - all for no reason.

The pop-culture perversion of the term "psychopath" is actually just a moral panic - a way to frighten people into behaving in a mainstream fashion by constructing some mythical "other" who rapes babies or guns down coworkers.

(Also, there is no such thing as "Psychopath" in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the European equivalent. It's still not recognized as being a real thing by the psychiatric community.)

Yeah, sure, in reality, there are indeed people who act in an amoral fashion, or do evil without thinking about it - but those people are you and me. Read Hannah Arendt's "Eichmann in Jerusalem", or Zimbardo's book on the Stanford Prison Experiment, for proof that true evil is just done by average people like you and me.

Hating and killing blacks or Jews or gays, for example, was done 100 years ago by average nice Christian white people who loved their families and paid their taxes. They did it to fit in. They did it to bond with neighbours. They did it to demonstrate membership in the mainstream group. People just don't like to admit how common evil is. Probably because they want to claim the moral high ground for themselves.

Nowadays it's "bad" to hate and kill blacks, Jews and gays; but we still torture animals to death in useless experiments, hate people who refuse to let us occupy their country, shoot animals for sport, or - here's a local example from my city - burn down a Hindu temple in retaliation for a "terrorist" attack perpetrated by non-Hindus which happened in another country. I suspect someday we might consider those things to also be evil, even "psychopathic"... we'll see.

There are some few other people, sure, who do evil things, but only because their own life has been so fucked up. There was an example in town of some young guy who was being labelled a "psychopath" and facing an indefinite detention after finishing a murder sentence or something; his lawyer tried to explain that the guy was massively screwed up in the head, ultimately (putting aside the drug addiction, alcoholism, and personality disorders) because his own father was a brutal sadist who actually murdered the guy's little brother right in front of him as a kid.

There's a third type of evil, which is more like "stupidity or ignorance that causes harm". Pumping Seafield Resources, for example - it was probably at least half done out of sheer ignorance and incompetence, not out of any real malice. As Napoleon said, "it is incorrect to attribute to a conspiracy anything which may be better explained with reference to stupidity."

None of those types of people above are "psychopaths". They are normal as you or I. But stupid average people never want to admit that they themselves have a capacity for doing evil acts.

That's why they end up doing evil acts, by the way.

Applying this to the article on investing:

If you're going to assume "psychopaths on the Venture are out to get me", you'll probably get fleeced anyway. I run into people who think that way on the bulletin boards, like Agoracom. They're fucking stupid morons. They lose everything on stupid investments.

Evil isn't being done by "psychopaths". It's being done by:

- ignorant idiots
- incompetent idiots
- fuckups
- people who are just trying to fit in (see above 3 categories)
- and maybe the odd few actual fraud artists.

But fraud artists are average people too. They're just out to make a buck. I'd be fucking you readers over for your money, if I thought that you had any and that I wouldn't get caught.

The point is, you're as likely to lose money following a good noble kind Christian stock analyst who happens to be incompetent, as you are following an actual fraud artist. So don't go misleading yourself with pop-culture manufactured monsters. They don't exist. Instead of trying to protect your children from the supposed evil monster lurking in the shadows, you should protect them from ignorant fuckups who just try to fit in.

Toronto Resource Investment Conference

You would think Brent Cook and Mickey Fulp aren't hurting for money or subscribers.

So it must be out of the pure love of the industry that they are spending next week at the Toronto Resource Investment Conference, along with (let's see) Thom Calandra, Louis James, Peter Grandich, Victor Goncalves, and (of course how could we leave out) Bill Murphy and Chris Powell of GATA (who are so fucking important to resource investing), Eric Sprott, and even Franklin the Little Sprottling That Never Saw a BNN Interview Slot He Didn't Like.

You really can't choose your co-workers.

I won't be there, I have a job to do. Sorry, we'll have to leave the "showing up in an IKN t-shirt with Otto's real name on a nametag" for something serious like next year's PDAC.

It really is all about Europe - POST 500


I think the above chart explains it all. It really is all about Europe. And the $VIX says it's not being perceived as over yet.

And it's only taken the idiots in the US about 3 months to figure out that the market isn't about them and their little third-world country anymore.

PS - this is apparently post #500.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Intrade

I just stumbled across Intrade. I love it.

Some economic theory or other (try a search on Freakonomics, I dunno) says that people are better at predicting an outcome when they bet money on it. So, for example, Intrade does a much better job at predicting election results than opinion polls.

There are also loads of numbers for you to follow, to gauge sentiment from day to day.

Here's one example:



awesome, eh?

A lot of the other "future predictions" tend to mirror existing conditions, eg with Feb 2012 gold price on Dec 31, or the Dow on Dec 31....

I think I might say screw this markets bullshit, I should just trade Intrade, eh?

I guess this is why the selling was hitting at the end of the day?

I've only started following the bigger miners a few days ago, but this afternoon's action seemed a little sketchy. As I said, it seemed like far too much dumping into the bids - and these were big boys like MFL and YRI, not little shitty pennycrappers getting dumped. It takes a fuckload of volume to move stocks like those two.

So I myself dumped some rump positions (ATC, part of my EST) for small wins, dumped one (TCC) for a loss, still made more than my week's quota of wins, and got cashed up pretty heavily - almost as much cash as my Rio Alto position, and that's saying something!

Only after close, on my way from work (where nowadays they pay me $32/hr to trade stocks on the markets and make $100/hr doing it, suckers!) to the store (bought $10 worth of Tilsit and some nice Vienna loaf, and some crystallized honey made right in town which was frankly shocking to find), did I go surfing for some news.

Now I do always put the boots to ZeroHedge; they're twits, after all. But when there's panic, ZH will spare no effort to explain why. Here's what I found, posted today, in chronological order:

Market Chatter Of Greek Default Over The Weekend
European Liquidity At Worst Level In Years
As Greece Denies, Germany Begins Greek Default Preparations
Guest Post: Euribor-Libor Basis Swap Highlights Funding Stress For EU Banks
BAC Triggers Avalanche Of $7.00 Stop Loss Sell Orders
Things In Europe Go From Bad To Worse As Germany's FDP Party Seeks Referendum Over EFSF
Official Greek Response To Internet "Rumors" Of Imminent Greek Default
Broken Markets Spreading
Here Comes The Non-Boring Weekend: G7 Says "Central Banks Ready To Provide Liquidity As Required"

Might be nothing. ZeroHedge always loves to make every day look like the apocalypse. And rule #2 is: Today Is Never the Apocalypse.

At the same time, however, speaking from my own personal racial memory, I can assure you that Germans never decide to start doing something important on a Friday. We plan shit out ahead of time and use the Friday to tie up loose ends. So Germany deciding to do something non-trivial on a Friday frightens me. It also frightens me that not only does this get posted on Zerohedge, the Greek default story gets mentioned three separate times on Ritholtz's RSS today too. So it's not simply the fever dream of a couple racist libertopian Goldman Sachs stooges at ZeroHedge.

(By the way... Ritholtz says he never reads the news during trading. He waits til the ride home. Seems crazy, no? His idea is that most of the news is wrong anyway, and out of date by the time he trades... so leave it til end of day and thus generate some emotional distance from the stories. I do the same thing. I actually do most of my reading right before I go to bed, because I have a holistic-thinking mind that synthesizes knowledge for me at night while I sleep: so at night I give it 100 little news stories, and the next morning I have a good overall thesis of what's really going on. So it seems. Works for me.)

So now I feel sorta happy that I have a good stack of cash on hand, in case I can buy up some junk Monday morning at firesale prices...

...but then again, it'll perhaps be better to wait and see how low things can go. The "Three Peaks and a Domed House" pattern I was reading about somewhere, which has been tracing out on the US markets (and which is such a complex pattern that it puts the simplistic "head and shoulders" crap of your run-of-the-mill tech analysts to shame), could puke everything down to Dow 9700.

This isn't "oh there's a pattern, so it must play out"... this is a "there's bad news, there's a crash waiting to happen, that's why the market's dropped already, and look here's the possible endgame".

Should be good for gold though, shouldn't it! All those European banks defaulting... Switzerland vowing to print as much money as it takes to keep CHF below 1.20... where you gonna put your money now, Mister European Analogues of Hosni Mubarak?

Gold?

No Friday video today cos frankly I can't be arsed.

Cashing up for the weekend, are you?

Seems like everyone's puking into the bid, both big stocks and small, this afternoon. Wonder if there's some imminent disaster on the horizon for this weekend.....

gold and silver downish

Gold and silver both got taken down a few percent in the overnight.

I'd normally expect that to lead today to another slightly downish day on the $HUI, like another gap fill. But given the strength we've seen in the miners, it shouldn't be a drastic drop, no more than the EMA(8) (as of last night it's 614, so that'd still be a 3% drop), and might not even happen considering how crazy the $HUI's gotten recently.

Thankfully, with yesterday's strength, I've gotten fairly cashed-up - I can grab maybe $40K in deadly deals today, and hold them over the weekend with little fear. Europe is still a disaster zone.

I've had success day-trading FR, YRI, and MFL. I'd like to buy YRI today at 16.30, MFL at 16.90, FVI at 6.25, BTO at $4, PVG at 10.90, SBB at 4.95, or KGN at 8.20. Those are all EMA(8) support levels as of yesterday close. Let's see if I can snag even one of those, and flip it next week for a good trade, eh?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Stocks and comments

Here's some stuff from Gold Report, just for my own personal notes:

AR - Andrew Kaip at BMO says it's worth $9. They actually mine gold, they don't just drill holes in dirt.
SVL - Brutally volatile stock. Wonder what's wrong with it? Silver producer in Mexico. It's underperforming silver somewhat. I'd like to get back that $30-$40k I lost on it last year when the shorts shook the tree and I fell out.
SLX - used to be Genco. Yeah, they do have a small silver mine in Mexico, but boy does their share price action stink right now. Yuck.

US Silver, Sprott, and the ol' headfake

Peter Imhoff from Sprott was on BNN a couple weeks ago, and the first stock he talked about was US Silver.

As the boys on Stockhouse point out, it was rather funny that he was pooh-poohing USA while his boss was busy buying another 2% of the company.

Some ups, some downs, some you gotta shake your head

My little Yamana stake looks good. I usually sell something whenever I make more than a 5% profit on it in less than 24 hours... but I want exposure to producers! How could I sell Yamana?

Bear Creek Mining has taken off, for some stupid reason. Must be a pump from some newsletter. I've sold some into the pump, cos I wanted a bit of cash to buy other things. That BCM position was making me angry for so long, because I had far too much money in it. It made my RSP account untradeable. Now my BCM position is just the proper size for a company with no mine. And I can add back at $4.00 again if I ever want to.

AQM Copper is positively diving right now. Last of 0.39. WTF is up with that, eh? I don't have my IKNs with me here at work so I have no idea what's up over the past few weeks to cause such a vicious dive. I'd pick some up but, again, will not touch it til it gains back some level of support.

$HUI went up so I'm cashed up a bit now. Not much, but enough that I can grab something for a 5% win if we have one bad day and some panic selling. There'll probably be a few mild pullbacks even in a strong advance like what this is shaping up to be.

I picked up some Sabina Silver at $5.06... it looked like it has recovered from its recent bout of the shits, and I'd like to own a few silvers that actually make some frickin' money. GT had said he'd been adding, a few weeks back, so why not me too, now that the chart has settled down a bit?

HUI 635

HUI opens today at 635.

Observations:

1) I shake my head in wonder at all the free candy and hot Ukrainian wives I'll be getting.

2) To da moon Alice!

3) Gee, I hope you didn't get freaked out by all the "gold double top" and "gold bubble is over" bullshit. Because apparently it didn't affect the gold miners. Because we're now sailing into blue sky. Apparently, gold is not gold miners is not SPY is not QQQ is not commodities.

4) GLDX, the exploreco shit ETF, is still crap. GDXJ, however, is looking to break local resistance at $39.50. SIL, the silver producers, has already broken its local resistance from July at $28; next up is $29.50's resistance, then blue sky for silver miners too.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Presidential election posters, c/o Fark

There's a reason I have the Fark Photoshop Scrutinizer over there on the right in the links section.




Wow. Those deep-fried butter logs just keep giving and giving. There must already be porn of it.





And my favourite:

AuRico chart?


I know nothing about this company, except that August 29th everyone sold it off because it said it wanted to buy some other company.

But its long-term trend is up, and there's horizontal support around $9.00 and more recently $11.00. It's thinking right now about whether or not it wants to fail its EMA(8) and take a dive. It's EMA(50) or (60) or so is vaguely supportive, and that's close right now. The EMA (100) or (110) or so is further away, at about $11, but that's been good rock-solid support. The volume after Aug 29th hasn't been that bad either; one bad selling day, but then some nice buying driving it back above support.

Then again maybe we're seeing a dead-cat bounce playing out right now.

So to me, it'd have to take some real negativity to drive this stock below $10.88. There's your stop loss point. What's the upside? I dunno.

I don't watch this stock or anything. I'm not going to trade it. If it crawled above $12.20 and then began regularly moving up, I'd see no reason not to buy it. It would be going up in that case, and that's a good thing. That's the point of looking at the chart, as I said in a previous post: don't buy shit that's going down, for fuck's sake!

Well ain't I special, it was a gap fill day

Well, that's nice, when my predictions actually come true. $HUI is gap-filling. My buys of MFL ($16.50) and YRI ($16.17) look like good ideas at this moment.

Also, I wanted to hold more senior producers, since they've been doing so well.

But I'm happy because not only is $HUI apparently gapfilling, but also SLV is painting a big white candle - which to me, in a downtrend like SLV's had recently, is its way of saying "enough's enough, SLV is undervalued now". If nothing else, there is now more resistance to further downmoves.

Which gives weight to the argument that the last 24 hours' downmoves in gold and silver were just born of temporary hope that Europe would extricate itself from hell. Which it can't do, the math proves it.

By the way: would you buy this stock?






Mickey Fulp apparently likes it. But look, it's like a bowl of cold puke. It's stuck below its EMA(8) and only going down. When you see a chart like this, run away!

Stupid me, I bought it because of the Mickey name. Now I'm going to try to dump it if I can get some strength in the next couple days. Upon looking at this chart, I realized what a moron I was. There's also chatter on Stockhouse that recent drill results prove they have nothing in Mexico and they're stuck trying to prove up their Yukon property. Aura Silver, anyone?

In fact, from now on before buyig anything I will always chart the stock on stockcharts like this, against a short-term EMA that seems to govern uptrends and downtrends. I only now realized that I should be doing this for confirmation, all the frickin' time.

Now, here's something similar.



Now would you buy this? It's been a past love of Gary Tanashian - dunno if he still likes it or not.

On the one hand, it's also leading its EMA(8) downwards. So how low can it go? But on the other hand, it's now at a horizontal support level, which also corresponds to its SMA(200) right now: you could buy here, and assume this should be as low as it goes. If it loses support bad and drops below $6.80, say, then maybe you want to bail? Although Gary's stocks are also viciously volatile, so $6.80 could be a headfake with maintained support.

The nice thing about ATC is that some anal ysts are calling it a fantastic buyout candidate, and this is buyout season right now for gold stocks. I've actually since looked at the mine layouts and they aren't that bad - unlike one of the BHV properties, which seems to be an attempt to mine a blackhead (i.e. highly vertical orebody, strip ratio would be bad, with a plug of intrusive in the middle). I might not have read the BHV report right, so don't go by me, but on first glance I wondered why the heck I was holding any... so I sold today.

But as for ATC, I'm willing to hold, since the buyout value is apparently good and the upside to a drop below support would be a run as far as $10 maybe. If not $10, at least a partial Fibbonacci retrace, right?

today's a gap fill day

I really think today is just a gap-fill day for the miners.

Why? The $HUI gap is almost being filled, and $HUI is maintaining support. And if you look at some of the real miners, not the crap I usually follow, you'll see gaps are already filled on their charts with their support still active at EMA(8). So MFL, for example, has filled its own gap - and I bought some at $16.50.

FVI has bounced nicely off its own EMA(8), around $6.09.

Why would gold and silver be down? Someone (Turd Ferguson maybe) suggested that Switzerland dumped a load of gold on the overnight market. I'd personally think the German court decision has been interpreted by everyone as meaning the Euro bailouts will continue until morale improves.

Greece is still insolvent and so are many European banks until the CDS market and international safe havens begin to say otherwise. For now, $HUI was overextended and now it's not. Seems like a good time to be buying stuff and junk.

weak on the open?

Looks like $HUI is going to fill the gap today. If it ends the day above 600, I'm happy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

re silver and CHF

Might want to add that I think it might be possible some of the PM volatility is the result of some big traders getting slaughtered on the CHF trade. I'm sure there's a load of margin calls on that one.

Keep some cash handy! You never know when a deadly deal will show up!

quickie market comment

I'm busy bailing out an entire department of the company for the next few weeks so posting will be few and far between.

I'm not worried about $HUI right now. Go chart SIL, GDXJ, and even GLDX and you'll see they're all still above their EMA(8) and looking vaguely constructive. Just needed a pullback today to kill some of the froth, I guess.

If you see continued volatility in SLV, that might give you the chance to play some "mean reversion" trades. Like, right now I'm thinking about picking up some MFL, FVI and YRI with the money I just made offa selling GPR into the Casey pump. That one sale gave me close this week's quota, btw. So the rest of the week is gravy. Point being, seems a lot of the silvers love to oversell when silver drops.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Yawn, $1900 gold again.

I'm interested in seeing what happens to gold in the next few days - and to gold producers as well - now that gold's back up to $1900. That is, assuming it's going to stay there til tomorrow, because after all this could just be a double-top, right? Fnarr fnarr.

$HUI did gap up, and a techie should say that the gap needs to be filled... GT (if I remember correctly) was calling for a $HUI consolidation to happen for the next bit, but I wonder if maybe the miners are just going to shoot right up.

God, I hate this time, when all is wishful thinking and fantasies of a Bay/Bloor condo and a beautiful new Ukrainian wife.

At the same time, I have been thinking about just taking the rest of my cash and putting it into HBU (double bullion up), or HGU (double gold up), or even (depending on the action) HZU (double silver up).

I guess it depends on how impatient the market looks to me... on Wednesday. Not Tuesday. I shouldn't want to be misled by the retail-hour Tuesday AM action.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Being John Malkovich

Just watched "Being John Malkovich". Hilariously weird and twisted movie... for the first hour, anyway. After that it becomes less impressive, but still okay. It's no Terry Gilliam but it's still a romp.

The idea is that John Cusack, who has a fruitcake wife played by Cameron Diaz (very unimpressively I think, but I never liked her), gets a job of the 7-and-a-half-th floor of some building, where he finds a hidden door, that leads into the mind of John Malkovich. So he and a few other people start taking turns being John Malkovich.

Here's the scene where John Malkovich, upon discovering that someone's discovered a portal into his own mind, barges into the office, enters the portal into his own mind, and... well... he be's John Malkovich. Unfortunately you're not supposed to enter a portal into your own mind.



Favourite quote: "Malkovich Malkovich?"

Charlie Sheen was actually rather fun in this movie. Especially where he's a bald older man.

Rick Rule (and Sprott) on PMs


Read a nice article with Rick Rule on The Gold Report, where he chats about the PMs and stuff.

I wanted to go listen to the entire 53 minute webcast, but can't because my system hates RealPlayer enough to refuse to install it. Which is good, because I do as well. It's a fucking closed-source Nazi codec and I'm not willing to ever use it on my system.

Well... maybe I'll go listen to the entire thing by phone, like the website says you can do. It's got Sprott on it as well.

Then again, I'm sure nothing they say is really all that important, is it?

Why I'm not concerned about a US recession

Yeah, I think there will probably be a US recession. Or maybe not... maybe a pseudo-recession, or crypto-recession, or whatever. But that's not informing my decisions right now.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe the 2008 recession was actually caused entirely by the financial system. If that were the case, then - sure - I'm concerned about another recession, but only insofar as 1) my country will become yet more bankrupt as a result of the financially lackadaisical crypto-Keynesianism of trickle-down economics practiced by the ruling Canadian Nazi Party, and 2) it could mean another crash where the mining sector gets thrown out with the bathwater.

But what I'm more interested in is the idea that financial system crashes might now be leading the economic crashes.

So again, I like reading Ritholtz for his economic analysis and so on, but I'm more interested in what's happening with the European banking system.

And whether this time might be different, as the PMs become more and more recognized as the only safe haven left.

Just a little point of order, is all. I could be wrong, but this theoretical narrative of mine seems to have loads of evidence in its favour.