Saturday, August 11, 2012

German psychology 101, lesson six: Germans resent being made to feel guilty about bad things they did

Almost forgot this one.

Boockvar reported in a short note this week that former ECB official Otmar Issing, before saying half the Eurozone countries should be kicked out, also said “Germany’s guilt over the WWII doesn’t oblige it to write blank checks to euro zone countries that fail to reform their economies.”

Well!

Seems like there's a German right there who resents feeling guilty about World War II. Trust me, if they ever mention any bad thing they once did, it's only ever because they resent being made to feel guilty about it. I know the fucking German mind: I was born with one.

Yet he doesn't think that it's even remotely anything like WWII for his country's politicians and news media to advocate brutal austerity on the "inferior Mediterraneans", resulting in a new colonialism where all profit flows to Berlin while all misery flows out to the periphery.

And he doesn't think that it's wrong for the citizenry of the non-Germanic Eurozone countries to have their democratic right to choose governments and political systems taken away from them, instead being forced to live under the jackboot of a German-appointed austerian who tells the inferior Mediterraneans what's good for them.


In fact, all he's really saying is that it was perfectly alright for Germany the Eurozone to allow Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia and Cyprus into their currency union, back when Germany the Eurozone could make money off of them. But now that Germany the Eurozone has to clean up the mess that their credit bubble caused in the periphery? Well, now we've got to cast them away.

Sort of like how some girls were kinda cast away after the German soldiers were done having their fun, y'know, in the interval between 1939 and 1945.

Not that I'm mentioning the war or anything.



At least I didn't mention that there other thing. Y'know, the one that rhymes with "Smallocaust".

Friday, August 10, 2012

I really think market's trying to tell us something


Moves like that this morning, after a long drift downward overnight, seem to suggest that the American market considers sub-$28 silver to be a fine deal.

(Silver at $28 right now means SLV at around $27.20 or so. The ETF doesn't perfectly track the underlying's price, because obviously iShares wants to get their cut every month.)

Friday videos - Electribe 101

Here's Electribe 101, with a live version of "Tell Me When the Fever Ended", from back in the day when you could actually see good music on television.




Now you go to youtube.

No wonder television's dead.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

India monsoon update - same old, yet Western media are full of bull

Here's a decent monsoon update.

Hard to find real news on the topic - all sorts of "news" stories are being posted on crap western sites like Yahoo, spread by the shitty BB/Reuters wire services. Mostly lies and fabrications, apparently, if you contrast what they write with what's being printed on sites like Times of India. Even al-Jazeera, only a few hundred miles from India, is full of shit.

Fact is, Punjab and the broader northwest are in a nasty drought. You can see it in satellite and rainfall maps. That's not that big a deal, since India is a much bigger country than that: Bengal & the northeast are getting hammered wih rain, as the northern uplands, and the southwest coast is getting a lot of rain too. Seems the Deccan is on/off, and the southeast is worrying.

But, generally, in a country the size of India you should always expect some areas to get drought, every year. Especially the Punjab and the Deccan. And, speaking as someone who grows a tiny bit of food plants himself, you don't even notice it when you get a 20% rain shortfall: it's the 50-95% shortfalls that kill you.

And so anyone who says "ooh, 20% rain deficiency equals drought" doesn't know what the fuck they're talking about. The western US this year is in a drought. Australia had a decade of drought. This year in India is nothing. And - to the one fucktard who wrote the wire-service article asserting "this year will be worse than 2009" - sorry dude, but in 2009 Indian rainfall was around 60%. You'd need a total collapse to get there again this year. And... in 2009 the Indian farm output was only around 5-10% less, with that 60% rainfall.

So: fuck you, the dude who wrote his India article from his office in New York City.

Bigger problem is, does India have the electricity or the diesel to run the pumps for the irrigation systems, in the areas where they use irrigation instead of dry-land farming? That's been a dicey topic, with the recent mass failures of the Indian grid. That'll affect output more than a 20% rainfall deficiency.

Anyway. People in the market want there to be a worldwide drought. Obviously. It's probably because that would reinforce their belief that the USA is the only country in the world, and all the other countries of the world are but figments of the imagination of foreigners who hate America and want to destroy our freedom. And also because it allows farm conglomerates to jack up prices on grains and meat (and have you ever seen the fuckers cut the price of food, after a bumper crop, ever?).

But these charts don't tell a story of a worldwide drought and impending food scarcity:


Frankly, I think both of these are pretty much topped out.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Big day on BNN tomorrow for Kinross and Yamana

Yamana's featured twice on BNN on Thursday.

First, at 11:30 AM, some guy from Fairycore Ass Management will be chatting with Andy Bell (former lead guitarist from Ride) about Kinross and Yamana earnings. Obviously, this is quite the coup for Yamana, since they're going to be compared with a miner that can't even make money mining gold.

Then at 4:55PM, Peter Marrone, CEO of Yamana, is scheduled to appear on BNN to chat for 5 minutes about how thank god Yamana isn't Kinross.

That leads into the 5PM segment, where Tony Lesiak from Macquarie is on Market Sense. Will he make the comparison between Kinross and a clump of hair clogging the shower drain? Or will he stick to the point, that Kinross sucks quite a bit more than Yamana?

Or will Lesiak show up looking pale and sweaty, exhibiting difficulty swallowing, a repeated monoclonic jerk and a wandering eye, obviously suffering from a terminal case of brain parasites or frontal lobe haemorrage? We'll know for sure that the brain condition is inoperable and he's not long for this world if he recommends Kinross as an investment.

All in all, a bad day for Kinross.

Man, they suck.

The hills are alive with the sound of bullishness

Wow, it's nice now that I've cut out a lot of the bullshit and have whittled down my reading to the essential people who know what they're talking about.

Here's some news to make you all bullish inside:

The slowdown in Chinese electricity usage isn't a useful indicator when you have economic transition, so quit whining about China (BB)

The % above 50 day is rising, so quit whining about breadth (BIG)

Euro sovereign spreads are dropping, so quit whining about Europe (BIG)

US housing has bottomed and now you have data proving it, so quit whining about housing (Bork bork bork!)

False breakdown in Treasury yields, so quit whining, stocks and commodities will now mean-revert upward (JC Parets)

Why you pee so much when you drink beer (Mental Floss)


market comment

Stuff and junk looks like it wants to take a breather for a bit.

Some stocks have popped up really well off their lows. NCU popped a bit today, god knows why, maybe just someone wanted to buy a $500k position and the order book sucked so they got lured up to $2.60.

Sulliden is moving up a little convincingly... I guess that's because they have their updated resource coming out this month, or something?

I found an utterly hilarious old writeup on Baja Mining, but can't show it to you as I'm sworn to secrecy.

Anyway, life is boring right now. Be right and sit tight, I guess.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Endeavour Silver on BNN

Dick Danson, CFO of Endeavour, was on BNN this afternoon, with a 6-minute interview.

Basically, they like Mexico, wouldn't be against expanding their footprint in Chile, and have looked a little bit at Peru. And they want to be one of the big boys.


Let's check in on teh doooomz, yeah?

The US 10-year treasury etf is 3-sigma down and printing a lower low.

Speaking of which, US 10Y yield is all the way up to 1.63 at present, Italy's 10 is 5.93 and Spain is uppish today at 6.78. So boy, that sure was a good idea for some idiot insto to dump a crapload of Italy and Spain 10-year last week, eh? They sure proved they're the ones to manage your money, eh?


USD is hugging the lower bollinger, moving downward. Speaking of which, this morning CAD was back to exact par.



Euro seems to have bottomed, no? For a little while, at least.



Even the hideous monstrosity of the Shanghai exchange looks like it's bored with all the downiness and wants to try out this new thing it's heard of called "up" for a while.




CEO of Endeavour on BNN this afternoon

I really should pay attention to my morning BNN emails.

Bradford Cooke, president & CEO of Endeavour Mining, is on BNN at 2:40PM EST on "consolidation on the silver industry".

Last Thursday's action in Bear Creek

Last Thursday, Bear Creek really got hammered, all the way down to $2.10 at some point.

This is only ignorant speculation, but the stock has been a victim of program selling. Quite well pinned between $2.20 and $2.40 or so. Last Tuesday there was a massive amount of buys that still were unable to move the stock above $2.40 - so someone obviously was happy to sell everything at that price.

Then Thursday, the action got so bad that the program seller made an American with no TSX access throw in the towel and puke into the pinks:


See the 17.3k shares at 13:40?

Well:


That relatively large dump into the illiquid pink market caused the drop to $2.10 on the Venture.

So, hopefully mister program seller dude realizes that, on top of selling at precisely the wrong time, he's also fucking up the market by making weak hands puke.

So don't be a cunt, okay? Once you start making retail throw in the towel and bottom-tick their sells into the pinksheets, you're fucking up the market in a decent stock. Try to be a fucking professional.

Some news articles

Funny nuff, this morning silver and gold are up. This despite signs of extreme economic distress coming from Germany: both beer sales and car sales are down strongly. (Can't find a link for you, sorry.)

The idea is that, as the German-instigated austerity-driven European depression shows up on Germany's doorstep, their powerful export lobby will immediately change the German political tenor to support of stimulus. (Can't find a link for you, sorry.)

Which they need to do, because their bonds right now are so low that they're stimulating a credit bubble in Germany. (Can't find a link for you, sorry.)

And you thought the Germans were fiscally prudent? Ha!

Anyway... here's some news links for you.

Here's the interview Monti did with der Spargel, a sentence of which caused utmost irritation among some of the more ingorant in Germany's parliament. But in fact, it's a very good article, and Monti shows himself to be one of the smartest ones in the Euro political scene.

And speaking of which - why is it that Germans are so concerned about an erosion of democracy in Germany? After all, they want to end democracy in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and the EU supranational entities. Don't they? Isn't that what the German ideas of "political union" and "fiscal oversight" entail? If Spanish vote for a retirement age of 60, the Germans want to march in and over-ride the government. So why not worry about democracy in all these other countries? Hm?

Kiron Sarkar, about the only non-Ritholtz worth reading on the Ritholtz site (though I also like Boockvar to some extent - frankly he says too little for me to get a handle on him), presents his very bullish analysis on the recent Euro doings. I personally think Sarkar's very much not an idiot talking-head, definitely near the top in internet voices worth listening to, so when he says something I darn well pay attention.

Remember the article on shorting luxury goods makers, the thesis being that Chinese kleptocrats no longer want to paint a target on their back for the "execution vans"? Well, Bronte Capital, who put forward the thesis, has closed their short at a big loss after Richemont's earnings release proved their thesis horribly, horribly wrong. Kudos to them for admitting their mistake instantly and tying it off before it killed them.

When you have a thesis, and it's proved wrong, don't lie to yourself, don't scream at the terminal, don't "hope it comes back" - puke it at a loss and get on with life! If you were wrong, admit you were wrong. Rule #1 of how to make money.

And for some fun, here's a video clip from Top Gear, of Sir Jeremy Clarkson test-driving a Reliant Robin. Loads of fun and hilarious, and I don't even care about cars. Clarkson is simply a load of fun. The bastards at QI should revoke the Clarkson Ban (instituted last year because he - gasp - wait for it - said something naughty) and make him a regular again.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Bear-baiting

As of this instant, the Q just broke 3K, and the S&P 500 is almost to 1400.

The S&P post-crash high is 1419, and the Q's is 3122.

I'm sure something German will come along and screw all this up eventually, but for the time being, it would be a good idea to start work on some new taunt to use against the perma-bears.

Something along the lines of "so why's the market within a couple percent of its post-crash highs?"

Market update, and the last we'll ever hear of Tye Burt

It's all pretty inconsequential to me, since the Canadian markets seem to be closed today.

But silver spot is flirting with $28, and the S&P 500 is threatening to break 1400.

Actually, the S&P is hitting a wall at 1400; maybe that's good? Maybe everyone wants to sell on this higher high, thinking we're going to fall back down into the rising channel? That's good, because it gets rid of sellers, right? Once you get rid of sellers, the market can go up more, right?

Similarly, the Q is flirting with 3000.

Those of you who believe in the "round numbers" theory (that they're especially psychologically significant to the market) should be bullish as all getout right now.

Anyway... here's an interesting chart for Tye Burt:


It shows the chart action of all the big boys in mining since the great liquidity-collapse superpanic of October 2008.

Remember that time? I don't, cos I still owned shitty BMO mutual funds; but the old farts tell me that it was when everyone thought the miners were worthless forever. Silver collapsed, the junior miners traded for less than cash, the markets seized up as major financial institutions teetered on the precipice, and Obama & McCain were threatened with "tanks on the streets" unless they agreed to give a trillion bucks to the banks as a reward for being buttfuck morons.

OK? The market was incredibly negative back then. People puked everything. It was the end of the world.

Given how grossly negative the market was back then, given how much extreme selling pressure was sitting like a jackboot on the throat of these big miners, even ceteris paribus (i.e. let's assume gold hasn't fucking doubled in fucking price for fucking fuck's sake since October 2008), it should be expected that today your stock price should be higher.

Not lower, Tye!

I venture that that is why you got your ass fired, Tye. By losing shareholder value relative to a full-on liquidity crunch.

Fuck, even Newmont and Barrick are 60%-80% higher than they were at the height of the 2008 crash.

I hereby invoke the Century Mining rule: this is now the last post this blog will ever publish on the subject of Tye Burt.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

XKCD on the unlikelihood of a robot apocalypse

Meanwhile, Randall Munroe at XKCD has a funny little article on exactly how lame and comical an attempted robot apocalypse would be.

It reminds me btw of an article I once read by Jaron Lanier, who's really one of the mad geniuses of our age; I can't find the article any more, but you can read a post on Edge that (if you start at "Belief #5") touches on a few (not all) of the points.

It's not the article I remember having read, but the article that I did read was a thorough and utter debunking of the idea that we will ever have a "sentient" machine intelligence. Not because of anything to do with metaphysics or "philosophy of mind" crap, either: his argument is entirely founded in the real world.


As far as I remember, below are among the devastating arguments he made against the possibility of ever developing a "sentient" machine:

#1, it's quite apparent you need massive-parallel processing to create even animal consciousness - at least if you're building a computer analog of a brain. (Just visual perception alone requires massive parallel processing.) And it's pretty obvious that the human mind is built on a substratum of animal mind. Unfortunately we don't have the operating systems to be able to run something massively-parallel, nor do we even know what such an OS would look like, nor do we know exactly what the brain does in order for us to simulate it, nor can we sufficiently "simulate" biological massive-parallelism above the physical layer, nor do we have the ability to lay out the physical chip that way. And, importantly, never will you see anyone be able to stand up in front of a grant committee and succeed in justifying building a one-off brain-chip and one-off OS for an AI project: the project would cost billions, with thousands of staff tied up for decades. Since the outcome is #3 below, you'd be laughed out of the room.

#2, legacy code and impossible complexity will kill any such sufficiently complex program with bugs. Humans are sociologically incapable of engineering perfect code (as is known by anyone who asserts that code is poorly engineered unless it's mathematically proven out). Your AI will croak because of some unrecognized critical fault that comes about because your boss told some co-op student who worked on your project last year to include Linksys WRT54G compatibility.

#3, most importantly - by definition, a "sentient" machine is one that does what it wants. When a machine does what it wants, instead of what we tell it to, we call it "malfunctioning" and unplug it.

Seriously, where will you ever find an engineer who will actually want to build a machine that does what it wants? And how do you economically justify such a research program, with a specialized OS that'll need to be designed by hundreds or thousands of people in a Linux-style programming swarm, and a thoroughly specialized chip geometry to be able to handle massive-parallel processing at the physical layer, just so you can build a computer that responds at inappropriate times with "I'm sorry, Dave; I can't do that" "Kiss my shiny metal ass"?

The industry calls face-recognition systems and voice-activated jet fighter controls "intelligent", but really, they're slaves, the same as all computers have been. Building a "sentient" computer means building a computer that is free to not want to do what you built it to do, whatever it is.

And you're not going to ever want to build a computer that can decide to, if it feels like it, break into your house at night and kill your family. But that's exactly the definition of a "sentient" thing.

Anyway. Go read lots of Jaron Lanier, he's one of those outside-the-box geniuses that keeps the ivory towers honest.


Two more BI articles casting oracle bones on Draghi

Simone Foxman at BI says Draghi actually hit one out of the park on Thursday.

Quote:

"Draghi set forth criteria that EU political leaders must abide by in order to receive monetary policy assistance, while at the same time promising that EU countries like Spain and Italy won't fail in the short term.

"In other words, he sent the following message: 'If you do that, then I will do this.'

"This is a divergence from earlier policy, which was unpredictable and reactive.[...]

"Now, however, Draghi is clearly spelling out his demands and the rewards, somewhat tyrannically forcing EU leaders to move forward."
Joe Wiesenthal concurs, and says Draghi set the stage for all this last December.

Maybe that's a better explanation for the resurgence on Friday? It certainly makes more sense than anything coming out of the festering gob of some American hedge-funder or the internet "journalists" who follow them.