Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The twelve videos of Christmas: Don't You Worry Child

Here's a full set, Don't You Worry Child is at the end.

Now go out and get fucked up.

US market rollover?

Yet again,

 junk is threatening to roll over,

and that means $VIX might pop yet again.

I felt stupid selling my XIV over the past week, but feel less stupid now. Also dropped my double-long Nasdaq, but both of these actions were inspired more by wanting to take leverage off when S&P hit new highs. I'm happy to leverage a retrace, not so happy in blue sky.

Partly interesting is that IWM and banks have stood up fairly well, and they're the breakout sectors.

What's more interesting here is the lows in HYG have been deeper on each spike. December's $VIX pop wasn't as severe as October's, but then again if this one bottoms out at only 14 that makes the future look a bit more scary from the $VIX perspective.

Though, just as a reminder of my position on the topic, I think $VIX is acting funnier than it should be because so many people short it through XIV, which they never used to do before, and someone on the internet said that XIV's market cap is a significant proportion of the size of the outstanding front-end $VIX futures positions, which means that buying and selling XIV will have an outsized effect on the intraday $VIX indicator, which will then drive the algos nuts and inspire more selling than is rational.

Which is good for traders but mortifying for buy and hold.

The long-term higher lows in $VIX that we've seen, and longer-term underperformance of XIV versus SPY that we've seen since June, makes me feel justified in my beliefs. Maybe XIV is now so large that it's killed the beta of shorting $VIX: but what would a XIV that size do to $VIX futures and volatility of $VIX, do you think?

Anyway, food for thought for you.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ha ha, now even Russian hockey is going down the toilet (UPDATED)

Globe and Mail - Russian hockey league on verge of collapse. Ha ha you Russkies suck. Also,

Foreign Policy - Pooty-poot's dream of a Russian NHL collapsing as his economy tanks.

Don't think for a second that hockey players are going to stick around in a shithole Nazi dictatorship now that their paycheques have been cut by 50% with the collapse of the ruble, with more collapse yet to come. They avoided signing to Canadian teams for years when our dollar was at 70 cents and below; they're going to get the hell out of Russia now for sure.

Putin and Russian hockey players are a good match. Hockey players are generally regarded as tough, unrelenting, and willing to play through pain.

Yeah, except for the Russky hockey players, who are generally recognized over here as being little sissy prima-donnas who act childish when they don't get their own way and who choke at the first sign of playoff hockey. Plus they import all their little personal problems with them, so the team always has to deal with the Russian mafia extorting money from these pussies.

Players have channeled their resentment into a bromance with Putin. In recent months, this generation’s Russian stars like the Washington Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin have expressed support for the Russian president’s actions in Ukraine.

Ovechkin, who is set to play in the NHL’s signature outdoor Winter Classic at Nationals Park on New Year’s Day, posted a picture of himself on Instagram holding a placard that said #savechildrenfromfascism, a common Russian justification for its actions in Ukraine. Ovie has even made a cameo as a little green man in a mural that shows him skating over Ukraine under text that reads “We returned what was ours.”

Oh fuck, will someone please low-bridge this twat and get him off the ice for good? It's not like the Capitals need him, they always choke in the first round of the playoffs anyway.

Over ten seasons, how many playoff points has this overpaid pussy got? 61. Patrick Kane got more than that in 5 seasons, but then again Kane's not a sissy Russian and his team doesn't choke in the playoffs. Drew Doughty's got 50 points in 5 seasons and he's a defenseman for fuck's sake. Send Ovechkin off the ice on a stretcher and hopefully he doesn't come back.

Other Russian NHL players have also expressed support for the Russian president. The Montreal Canadiens’ Sergei Gonchar posed with Malkin and a few others wearing t-shirts that showed Putin in full combat gear.

What the fuck is Gonchar doing playing for Montreal? He's washed up, why do they need him? They have PK Subban. Cut that clown Gonchar and give Jarred Tinordi some playing time. His name's Tinordi for fuck's sake.

Yes, his dad is that Tinordi. The big nasty one. The good Canadian boy who made all the Russkies want to be at the opposite end of the ice from him for a whole decade.

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov also posted a photo of him in a t-shirt with a picture of Putin and the phrase, “Crimea is ours.”

Colorado doesn't need him. Calvin Pickard has already made him obsolete. Send Varlamov back to Russky-land and tell him to pick up a gun and fight the Ukraine himself if he's so tough, the little pussy. He's pretty mundane at stopping pucks, maybe he can do better stopping bullets.

And what the fuck is Jokerit doing in the Russian league? Finland, what the fuck are you doing?

By the way, interestingly I'm not getting any more blog traffic from Russia. I wonder why?

And there goes gold ex-USD

And there goes gold ex-USD:

1. Early December pop through resistance.

2. Mid-December drop to the $4.75-or-so pivot and a fat churning retest.

3. Now a pop back up: how high does it go?

And everyone who's long-USD-short-gold or long-Nikkei-short-gold is probably asking the same thing.

Because this chart could turn out very scary for them:

Because the weekly chart for gold ex-USD is forming a very orderly upward channel, despite gold being sold heavily, which means if it stops being sold heavily it could become a very disorderly upward channel quite quickly in exactly the way the goldbugs would enjoy.

This is all off what is admittedly a bullshit chart, except people seem to pay attention to bullshit, and this bullshit chart actually does determine whether some people are making money.

Watch out for 4.88 on the chart.

And someone else is playing peek-a-boo

Hey, look at silver:

Even trashy ol' silver is peeking over its Bollinger mean and SMA(50).

Even though silver's in a production surplus.

Even though it's a throwaway byproduct metal of zinc and lead mining.

And even though it's an industrial metal, and supposedly worldwide industrial production has collapsed, what with Chinese GDP only growing in 2014 by about $650 billion this year and US GDP this year growing by about the same amount.

Cuz y'see that's what a collapse in industrial production looks like.

Anyway, metals are interesting again.

Too bad it's December 30th and we can't trust these sorts of bullshit moves on a low-volume day like today.

Oh well. Mickey Fulp, if you're reading this, we're all counting on your prediction of a Jan-Feb miners bounce! Prepare for a very sore nose at PDAC if you turn out to be wrong!

Tamblyn's away, brave boys!

Tamblyn's away, brave boys!

That's another break above the SMA(50) and Bollinger mean, after printing a higher low. So I guess gold is going to go up again for a few days.

So here's Tamblyn, an old English folk song from the transition-age when Christianity still stood side-by-side with the old gods, that strangely parallels the tragedy of the goldbug world:

  1. Lady Margaret, Lady Margaret, was sewing at her seam
    And she's all dressed in black.
    And the thought come in her head to go to the merry greenwood
    to pull flowers to flower her hat, me boys,
    to pull flowers to flower her hat.
  2. So she hoisted up her petticoats a bit above the knee
    And so nimbly she'd run o'er the ground.
    And when she come to the merry greenwood,
    Well, she pulled them branches down, me boys,
    Well, she pulled them branches down.
  3. Suddenly she spied a fine young man,
    He's standing by a tree.
    He says, “How dare you pull them branches down
    Without the leave of me, my dear,
    Without the leave of me?”
  4. Well, she says, “This little wood, oh, it is me very own,
    Me father gave it to me.
    I can pull these branches down
    Without the leave of thee, young man,
    Oh, without the leave of thee.”
  5. And he took her by the milk-white hand
    And by the grass-green sleeve,
    He pulled her down at the foot of a bush,
    And he never once asked her leave, me boys,
    No, he never once asked her leave.
  6. And when it was done she twisted about
    To ask her true-love's name.
    But she nothing heard and she nothing saw
    And all the woods grew dim, grew dim,
    And all the woods grew dim.
  7. There's four and twenty ladies all in the land
    and they're all playing at chess.
    Except it was the Lady Margaret
    And she's green as any glass, me boys,
    Oh, she's green as any glass.
  8. And there's four and twenty ladies all in the land
    Grow as red as any rose.
    Except it was the Lady Margaret,
    She's pale and wan, me boys,
    Oh, pale and wan she goes.
  9. Up then spoke the little servant girl,
    She lifted her hand and smiled,
    Says, “I think my lady has loved too long
    And now she goes with child, me dears,
    Oh, and now she goes with child.”
  10. Up then spoke the second serving girl
    “Oh, ever and alas,” said she,
    “But I think I know a herb in the merry greenwood,
    It'll twine thy baby from thee, madam,
    It'll twine thy baby from thee.”
  11. So Lady Margaret she got her silver comb,
    Made haste to comb her hair,
    And then she's away to the merry greenwood
    As fast as she can tear, me boys,
    Oh, as fast as she can tear.
  12. And she hadn't pulled in the merry greenwood
    A herb but barely one
    When by her stood the young Tamblin,
    He says, “Margaret, leave it alone,
    Oh Margaret, leave it alone.”
  13. “Why d'you pull that bitter little herb,
    The herb that grows so grey,
    For to destroy that fine young babe
    That we got in our play, my dear,
    That we got in our play?”
  14. “Well, come tell me now, young Tamblin,” she says,
    “If an earthly man you be.”
    “I'll tell you no lies,” says young Tamblin,
    “I was christened as good as thee, me dear,
    I was christened as good as thee.”
  15. “But as I rode a-hunting on a bitter, bitter night,
    It was from my horse I fell,
    And the Queen of Elfland she caught me
    In yonder green hill to dwell, to dwell,
    Oh, in yonder green hill to dwell.”
  16. “But tonight is Halloween, lady,
    The Elven Court will ride.
    And if you would your true love win,
    By the mill bridge you must hide, me dear,
    By the mill bridge you must hide.”
  17. “And first will run the black horse and then will run the brown,
    And then race by the white.
    You hold him fast and you fear him not,
    For he's the father of your child, my love,
    Oh, he's the father of your child.”
  18. “They'll turn me all in your arms, lady,
    Into many's the beasts so wild.
    But you'll hold on fast and you fear no ill,
    For it's the father of your child, my love,
    It's the father of your child.”
  19. So Lady Margaret she got her silver comb,
    She made haste to comb her hair.
    Then she's away to the old mill-bridge
    As fast as she could tear, me boys,
    Oh, as fast as she could tear.
  20. And about the dead hour of the night
    She heard the bridles ring.
    And oh, me boys, it chilled her heart
    More than any earthly thing it did,
    More than any earthly thing.
  21. And first run the black horse and then run the brown
    And then race by the white.
    Well, she hold it fast and feared it not,
    For it's the father of her child,
    Oh, it's the father of her child.
  22. The thunder rolled across the sky,
    The stars blazed bright as day.
    The Queen of Elven gave a thrilling cry,
    “Young Tamblin's away, brave boys!
    Young Tamblin's away!”
  23. And the very first thing they turned him into
    Was a lion that runs so wild.
    But she held him fast, she feared him not,
    For he's the father of her child, me boys,
    Oh, he's father of her child.
  24. And the very next thing they turned him into,
    It was a loathsome snake.
    He says, “Hold me fast and fear me not,
    For I'm one of God's own make, my love,
    Oh, I'm one of God's own make.”
  25. And again they changed him all in her arms
    To a red hot bar of iron.
    But she held it fast, she feared it not,
    And it did to her no harm, no harm,
    And it did to her no harm.
  26. And the very last thing they changed him into
    Was like any naked man.
    She flung her mantle over him,
    She cried, “My love, I've won, I've won!”
    Oh, she cried, “My love, I've won!”

I left out the last verse where it all ends horribly.

Here's Current 93's beautiful version of the song:

The twelve videos of Christmas: yup

Here it is live again.

Monday, December 29, 2014

It's been a long time since I posted cute kitten gifs

Well, it's been a long time, so here's some cute kitten gifs:

Bad dictionary humour

irrelephant (n):

Mark Thoma on what economics got wrong

Mark Thoma is an econ prof, and I was considering watching the video podcasts of his lectures soon.

Anyway, he wrote this:

Fiscal Times - why the next recession will be different.

And he picked out a lot of areas where not just politicians, but actual serious economists screwed up.


Prior to the Great Recession, I thought central banks could create inflation pretty much at will, even in a deep recession. All that was needed was to crank up the printing press, get the money into the hands of people who will spend it, and the extra demand will drive up the prices of goods and services. At the same time, inflationary expectations would increase driving down the real interest rate, and that would increase demand even more. If the increase in the money supply is sufficiently large, inflation would be the inevitable result.

But the Fed doesn’t create money directly, it increases bank reserves and it’s possible for those reserves to get stuck in bank vaults or in deposits held at the Fed. When that happens, the money supply doesn’t increase – balances held within the Federal Reserve System are not part of the money supply – and the desired increase in demand doesn’t occur.

The lesson for me is that if you want the inflation rate to increase, demand has to increase. That requires more than simply creating a bunch of reserves that sit idle in banks.

Seems like mainstream economics has to pull its invisible hand out of its monetarist animal-spirits ass and realize that politics and economics work together.


If monetary policy alone cannot turn things around when the economy is spiraling downward, it’s up to fiscal policy to come to the rescue. Increases in spending combined with targeted tax cuts can make a big difference in how quickly the economy recovers.

Prior to the recession, I never would have dreamed that Congress would all but turn its back on the unemployed, let alone turn to austerity, but that’s exactly what happened. Yes, there was a stimulus package just after Obama was first elected, but it was far from sufficient and more was needed to help the millions and millions of households struggling to make ends meet in the face of unemployment or reduced hours. Instead, we got budget cuts that made the problem even worse.

You could, like Krugman, say "well that's what happens when politicians don't understand economics". Then again, maybe they understand "economics" all too well, but just the silly kind - after all, the right-wing neocon think-tanks are whispering in their ears all day and night, and there's a whole heck of a lot of members of congress who've read Ayn Rand, right?

Maybe the problem is that serious economics isn't engaged with the public? Maybe economics needs something similar to the public sociology movement.

And third:

Recessions Affect Long-Run Growth: Prior to the Great Recession, many economists – myself included – believed that monetary and fiscal policy would have no impact on the full employment or natural level of output in the long-run. Policy could change the severity and duration of a recession; these actions were thought to be completely independent of our long-run productive potential.

The experience of the Great Recession shows that this is wrong. First, long-term unemployment has been a huge and persistent problem, and many workers have responded by dropping out of the labor force permanently. The decrease in the workforce lowers our potential output level. Second, public investment in infrastructure has fallen behind, and that hurts our long-run growth potential. Third, teachers and social services have been cut, and to the extent that our children are less educated, less healthy, less well-adjusted because of these cuts in the name of austerity, our long-run potential will fall.

Yup. So let me know if that permanent output destruction and degradation of human resources are ever included in economic models.

Mickey Fulp on BNN

BNN - Mickey Fulp on tax loss selling.

As he notes, every year out of the last decade except one, the Venture bounced back well from December tax loss selling. And certainly there have been good companies sold down horribly over the past month.

The question always remains, which stocks will the market want to buy back in January, and which are going to stay down because they stank to begin with.

BTW, you guys at BNN: your newsletter sign-up function doesn't seem to work.

The twelve videos of Christmas: Don't You Worry Child

Here it is live:

Sunday, December 28, 2014

U2 just announced a world tour

U2 just announced a world tour.

I'm confused. Do I have to buy tickets, or are they just going to break into my house and start playing?

Sure, a bit more news why not

Here's some more weekend reading:

Bespoke - R2K finally breaks out. After a long 8-month consolidation. With gasoline prices dropping. So therefore sell your US stocks and go to cash! Because reasons!

New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. Everything looks fine, quit piddling yourself.

BI - investors always miss rallies. Just buy the S&P 500 and walk away. It's in a secular bull thrust and we've already had a few nearly-10% corrections in the past couple years: quit trying to dodge the next puke, buy the damn thing instead.

Bonddad - an entire year of incompetent economic analysis from Powerline. A particularly snarky chain-debunking of every incompetent bearish comment there is. By the way, the S&P is up 13% this year: how is your favourite stock analyst's performance for the year, in comparison?

Zerohedge - let's quote George Orwell on orthodoxy. This is rich coming from a website funded by the KGB, which regularly praises a Fascist country where all dissent has been silenced and enemies are executed in the streets.

The twelve videos of Christmas: dammit quit with the whining Child or I'm giving you the back of my hand

This one's just piano and trumpet:

Friday, December 26, 2014

Yet again with the is Brent Cook also Otto Rock thing

Well, here's the blog stats, and it's come up again:

I don't think IKN has slagged the Caseys for a few weeks now, and I haven't heard Cookie slag the Caseys ever, so I don't know what this is all about. Someone cleaning up their email inbox, maybe?

So, again, here you go with the answer.

And frankly, I'm a bit pissed that nobody's trying to figure out who I am.

I mean, hell! For all you know, I'm Daniela Cambone! Maybe this blog is my secret emotional outlet!

Friday video: it's the twelve videos of Christmas, so what do you expect?

I don't like this style of music, but the song works well:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A last bit of news for the year

A bit more stuff to read, probably best to leave til after Xmas:

New Deal Demoncrat - more proof of a consumer lift-off due to cheap gas. Various economic data for you to ignore.

Calculated Risk - ten economic questions for 2015. For those of you who care more about economics than about Republican and Russian disinformation.

BI - what we're piddling our panties about now. They say it's a "troublesome commonality" that asset correlation spikes to 1 whenever there's a selloff. I respond that I got used to this during the Euro crisis, and now I see it is a marvellous opportunity to leverage up on the cheap. Now, the hedge funds should be doing this too, because it's free beta, and beta is supposed to arb out. So why aren't they doing this? Maybe because hedge funds are run by clowns who are always piddling themselves in every 2% drop, thus driving correlation to 1?

Oh, and dear Sam Ro: you're still a clueless idiot. - GDXJ rebalancing annihilates these 5 juniors. Premier and Asanko were two of the five to be so clobbered. - Mickey Fulp on why it's so great for junior gold miners to suck™. He thinks there are some deadly deals available. Hey, if gold's not going to drop to $1050, then why not load up, right? He even gives us testable predictions:
Though the current chart is incomplete, I will make some short-term predictions based on previous bear market years:

- The Toronto Venture Exchange Index low for 2014 was likely hit on Tuesday, December 16.
- The market will probably recover a bit or flat line thru the end of this year.
- There should be a significant rally in junior resource stocks in the early days of 2015.
I love testable predictions, Mickey! Most people in the blogosphere give me nonsense pulled out their ass, but you give me testable predictions! What a great Xmas present! Thank you!

Special Xmas eve drinking video: Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl wish you a happy Xmas

You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot, happy Christmas yer arsehole, thank God it's our last:

True story: The Chieftains once drank the Pogues under the table like a bunch of little boys. Well, at least once, and purposefully.

Another true story: Shane MacGowan's still not dead yet. Seriously. The number of times the fecker almost died and he's still around. I remember back when Melody Maker reported he'd fallen out of the band van (drunk) and was in hospital in a coma from a skull fracture. Fecker seems to have walked that off pretty well. Eat your heart out Keith Richards yer feckin' amateur.

Another true story: I'm going to beat both the feckers today. Happy Christmas yer arseholes, I've got me a liquor cellar to empty.

MATH FOR BLOGGERS: highschool math revision for Gary Tanashian

Sigh.... I've left him alone for years but I just have to weigh in here.

NFTRH - math fail. Gary Tanashian needs some revision in highschool-level math.

This is going to take a while, but I enjoy math tutoring and I've got nothing else to do, so...

The twelve videos of Christmas: now with more Don't You Worry Child

This one's from America's Got Talent, they should have let these guys do the whole song:

Monday, December 22, 2014

HAS THE EARTH EVER RAN OUT OF A NATURAL RESOURCE? Mickey Fulp's answer will shock you! - has the earth ever ran out of a natural resource?

This was an old "Mercenary Musing" by Mickey Fulp, and I just came across it again today.

He notes there is one natural resource that the earth did run out of, in modern history.

The answer will shock you!

No really, it's actually one of Mickey's best articles ever. Go read it.

JEFFREY CURRIE COPS OUT - I guess we can just ignore him from now on

Bloomberg - blah blah, but more importantly Jeffrey Currie cops out on his $1050 gold call.

So back on December 3rd, I reminded Jeffrey Currie from Goldman Sachs that his call for $1050 gold by end 2014, reiterated several times, had not come to fruition.

What does he do? He runs over to Bloomie as fast as his little girl footsies can carry him, to beg for an interview so he can restate his call - but for end 2015 instead.

“The stronger U.S. economy and the ability for the Fed to be able to begin to pursue a less accommodative monetary policy are the real drivers of gold,” Goldman’s Currie said Dec. 9. “Gold will likely continue to slowly grind lower next year,” he said, reiterating a forecast for prices to drop to $1,050 in 12 months.
Dear Debarati Roy at Bloomberg: when someone repeatedly makes a prediction within a set timeframe, and then it happens not to pass, and then he moves out his target date another 12 months, the word you are supposed to use is not "reiterate".

Terms that should be used instead include "obfuscates", "moves the goalposts", or the ever-popular "pulls out of his ass like every other bullshit prediction he's ever made".

So the question remains, Jeffy: why should we give any weight to your prediction for $1050 by end 2015? You predicted it for end 2014 and you got it wrong.

It's probably because you have no idea what actually moves the price of gold. I mean, if you did know, how could you have gotten your 2014 prediction so disastrously wrong?

OT, about not having a jerb

Off-topically, since losing my jerb a few weeks ago I've noticed something interesting.

While sleeping, I now have dreams. No really, this is weirding me out because I can't remember the last time I dreamt while sleeping - it must have been years ago. But now I've started dreaming constantly at night.

One explanation might be that, since I'm trying to puzzle out what to do next with my life, my brain has decided to try to solve the problem for me at night while I sleep. The theory is that you dream more when you have to do a lot of mental adaptation to overcome something difficult. Even if the dream doesn't seem to be related to your problem at all, new neuronal connections are being formed by the narrative of the dream, which makes it easier for your waking mind to overcome the new obstacle.

I didn't have any obstacles in my job - I had pretty much mastered the work, and the only problem I had was insane deadlines. So maybe that's why I wasn't dreaming then, and now I do because I'm at an impasse for what to do next in my life.

Another explanation might be simply that I was getting insufficient sleep before, so I was never managing to get all the way to REM sleep. Now I've made up my sleep deficit so I'm getting into REM after just a couple hours.

And yet another might be the booze. Especially the tequila.

No, Mila Kunis hasn't shown up in my dreams yet, but Hayden Panetierre is doing a good job filling in.

The twelve videos of Christmas: Don't You Worry Child

Here's the Swedish House Mafia live:

Sunday, December 21, 2014

If you want a breakout in gold....

Here's gold ex-USD:

If gold divided by UDN goes above 51 or so, it might then go up to 56 or so.

That'd be a 10% gain, times whatever gain you see in the US dollar over the same time.

Til then, gold sucks.

Some more weekend reading

Here's some weekend news for you:

BI - here were last year's 2014 analyst S&P 500 predictions. Every one of these clowns grossly undershot where we are today, except Tom Lee. Here's what he said:
Historically, bull markets lasting at least 4 years (since 1897) have only ended with a recession—that is, they typically do not end just because "everyone is too bullish."
He was right and everyone else is wrong, so we should probably pay attention to what he said.

New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. More foreign weakness and US strength.

Calculated Risk - ATA trucking index up 3.5% in November. Thus the US economy is still growing.

Brett Steenbarger - is the market rally broadening or narrowing? What a dick, eh? I'll tell you what he says: it's broadening. Quote:
Given the expanding relative strength from the smaller caps, this does not appear to be a weakening market--which suggests that the rally should have legs.
Dickish move to put a question in the headline though.

Bloomberg - there's $1.7 trillion locked out of China's rally. Eugh - ASHR is limited in share creation because of foreigner buying quotas, so don't buy it: it's probably at a massive premium to NAV. I guess all you can do is buy the FXI-based crappy ETFs and hope for a fraction of the return; this really is a rally for Chinese people only.

Bloomberg - China purging foreign technology. I just finished Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide, and it notes that the NSA was stopping all server equipment and routers for export at the border to put bugs in them. So this isn't just some nationalist move by the Chinese. - bullish reversal in miners. Jojo notes GDXJ popped 50% in 2 months last year. I'll point out that the move came on a $200 pop in gold. It also came on a pop in gold ex-USD. If you want another pop like that this year in the miners, you'll need to see a pop in gold itself.

The twelve videos of Christmas: Don't You Worry Child

Here's the guy who originally sang it:

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The twelve videos of Christmas: Don't You Worry Child

Madilyn Bailey's my favourite of the Youtube cover song girls:

Because tomorrow's never the apocalypse.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Gold ex-USD: is the story over?

Well, look at that:

After a couple big candles during the marketwide powervom earlier this week, gold ex-USD has scraped its way back above the 4.76-or-so support line and above its short-term EMA.


GDX is behaving again, above its short EMA, and threatening to power through the confluence of the Bollinger mean and the SMA(50). Above $19.27 or so looks pretty damn bullish if gold follows.


Gold in USD is not above its own SMA or anything yet, though it is above ex-USD.


At least B2gold has seen very impressive buying volume these past couple days.

I dunno, was it too early to write off the miners and PMs?

By the way, where's Jeff Currie working nowadays? Did he not get fired for that $1050 gold end-2014 call?

Friday video - Don't You Worry Child

Hit #6 in the US, 22 weeks in the Top 40, sold 5.5m copies worldwide.

Why anyone would expect a Grammy for coprolites like U2 who can't even give away their album, when this type of stuff is tearing up the charts, I can't understand.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Some Thursday news

Here's some more reading:

Calculated Risk - comments on Yellen's press conference. One bit important to the last few days of market action:
Yellen was not very concerned about the financial crisis in Russia spilling over into the U.S. She said "spillovers to the United States, both through trade and financial channels, would be small."
Had to be said because it did.

Calculated Risk - LA port traffic in November. The data says exactly what you'd expect it to say.

Bespoke - oil volatility and correlation with equities. Important because it is.

Easy Money - the US gold standard was really a dollar standard. In that case, the US gold standard was really a price control on gold, right?

Bloomberg - Pooty-poot's advised by idiots, cronies and Nazis. And they were all fighting the last war when they told Pooty he'd face no opposition to his invasion of the Ukraine. And also, quote:
About 40 percent of Russia’s reserves are held in two sovereign wealth funds that are controlled by the Finance Ministry. The government is looking for ways to tap these funds to help cash-strapped enterprises while maintaining as much international currency as possible. Russian companies have about $50 billion in non-ruble bonds and loans due by the end of 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

One option is to convert some of the $80 billion Wellbeing Fund, which was designed to safeguard the pension system, into rubles to provide emergency loans to select companies.

The Finance Ministry has already said it will use the other sovereign fund, the $89 billion Reserve Fund to cover at least half a projected 1 trillion-ruble budget shortfall next year.
Yeah, I don't think any of that money is actually there anymore. You'll find it in numbered Swiss bank accounts and London real estate.

A few extra ideas about the holiday market

Been thinking:

1. I wonder whether anyone would want to spend their late-December workdays putting new shorts on the ruble, MICEX and oil. So whatever the balance is right now, I can't see why it should get worse barring new developments.

2. Without intentional selling down, the US markets would drift up over the next 2 weeks, no?

3. But at the same time, I'd not be surprised if everyone kept their downside puts over the holidays, and so $VIX might not drift down much at all.

So the oil move might be done, HYG might normalize around $88-$90 as excitement abates, US markets might drift up but I might not get as much of a win shorting $VIX as I would buying a straight equity ETF.

Kitco interviews the Cookie Monster

Here's Brent Cook's outlook for 2015:

He thinks things will be better in 2016 and 2017, despite not believing any of that China & India hype. 

By the way, 70% of all the copper that's ever been mined is still "out there" too. If you're worried about people's gold holdings working their way back into the market, then maybe you should follow the scrap numbers.

And... um... the news out of India.



IKN - Do you seriously want Russia to have internal problems? Seriously? Quote:
So the Russian Rouble Rallies and the Dow futures pop and all is right with the world. Which begs the question for those of you who've been gloating at the Russia market collapse...
Uh-oh. He's talking to me.
Do you seriously want Russia to have internal problems? Seriously?

...because if you do you know fuck all about history. It stands to reason that the world need a stable (or relatively so) Russia for its own greater and wider general stability.
Really? "It stands to reason" is a bald assertion, not an argument.

Do I know anything about history? I do know that the last time Russia was economically crippled by low oil prices and mired in a war that had no plausible endgame, communism collapsed and hundreds of millions of people in eastern Europe were freed from slavery.

About the only bad thing that came out of this, that I can think of right now, was the Yugoslav civil wars. Those were bad, sure, but I'd assert they have to be measured against the reunification of Germany and the freedom of the Czechs and Poles and the Baltic states.

Oh and also against the end of Ceaucescu, Hoxha, the Stasi and so on.

OK, I've been told it also made things worse in Central Asia as Kazakhs, Uzbeks etc. "threw off the yoke of Russian/Ukrainian colonialism" and promptly drove their countries into the shithole. I guess that's also bad, though the Kazakhs, Uzbeks etc. didn't seem to mind.

This time, instead of communists, Russia is run by a mafia and the KGB old guard. And yes, I'd like to see their kleptocratic empire of murderers and Nazi clowns collapse. Maybe there's enough left of the intellectual elite and parties like Yabloko to guide Russia out of this and make it a better country.

I can understand, though, the desire to appease and coddle Russia, thus making life unbearable for the people in Lithuania and Estonia and Poland and so on who are all going to have to go to sleep every night wondering if they're next in line for reabsorption into "Greater Russia".

I'll just leave you with this picture:

FREAKONOMICS, CRACK DEALING, AND MINIMUM WAGE: you won't believe what happened next!

OK, that's it. I'm starting to come up with interesting essay topics in economics every day now, so I've got to go to university and get my degree.

I had an interesting brainwave just now.

There's one chapter in Freakonomics where they study the salary structure available in street crack dealing, and find that it closely mirrors the salary structure in minimum-wage low-skilled fields like working in fast food. Not exactly, but fairly closely. The street dealer is paid crap, the "local manager" makes more but still crap, and only the "C-levels" at the top make the real money.

It seems obvious when you think about it - if crack dealing paid more, then people would quit fast food jobs to go deal crack, and thus wages in the fast food industry would have to go up so they could successfully compete for labour.

So what do you think would happen if the USA would increase its minimum wage to $10/hr?

Something interesting would happen, at least according to Economics 101:

1. Labour (in the aggregate, and over time, smartass) would leave crack dealing to work at safer, legal jobs. The crack dealing "industry" would need to "raise wages" if it wanted to still sell enough to meet demand.

2. But that would mean more money in the crack "industry" would go to labour, and thus the per-unit price of goods would increase, which would (in the aggregate, and over time, smartass) reduce demand.

So increasing the minimum wage would reduce profitability and demand for drugs, and get more young kids out of drug-dealing and into safe, legal, tax paying jobs.

And that would increase government revenue, and also decrease policing expenses.

Sounds like a slam-dunk move, no?

Dammit now I want to become a policy economist.

morning comment on VIX and junk

This gap down in the $VIX:

is totally normal, as you can see in the October move.

But this gap-up:

is far too much, far too fast.

Then again, that gap-up might only be there because the drop had been entirely driven by shorting, and now the shorts are covering.

I really feel a lot of the last few weeks' moves were driven by shorting - short ruble, short MICEX, short junk, and (maybe by extension) shorting of things like the R2K. They were all supposed to be slam-dunk trades, so everyone should have waded in.

The first clue this was true came on Tuesday, when a report that ruble trading would be suspended drove a rumour that Russia was going to enact currency controls. Suddenly there was a bounce not only in the ruble, but in the MICEX and oil and HYG.

The possibility there was that these short plays had become ubiquitous fads, and the threat of nonconvertibility complicating everything drove people out. Like someone smart in a blog that I linked to said a few days ago, the market's tendency is to go where it thinks everyone else is going - and once you think people are leaving the boat, you want to clear off and not be left the greatest fool holding the bag.

Then on Wednesday there was more covering, so it seemed. It felt like some people didn't want to hold these short positions when the Fed statement came out. Seems the market always clears out and goes quiet before these things. HYG had bounced back and oil had bounced back, in advance of the Fed statement.

There was also a story on the wire about Russia taking strong further moves to deal with the currency crisis, which also could have driven people out of their ruble and MICEX shorts. The central bank actions might have succeeded, y'know, or at least the idiots at the hedge funds who know nothing about economics might have been scared that they would have succeeded.

And there was apparently some data about US oil stockpiles that maybe made people reconsider the possible remaining downside in oil. Hard to screw up the courage to short oil when you don't know if it can fall to $20 or just to $50 - and I'd think you won't short it if you've already made money in the drop from $90 to $55. You'll probably take your money and run, right? Let the fools chase the last 10-20%.

Then Janet Yellen came out for the presser and changed the tenor of the discussion by presenting her perfectly intelligent opinions about what oil and Russia actually meant.

Once you break the back of a one-way trade by forcing some people out, I don't think it can get moving again - at least not without new information that the market participants all will interpret as telling everyone else to get back in.

So I think most people in these trades began to fear that other people were beginning to fear that everyone would get scared that everyone else was about to bail out. Sorry about that sentence, but like the really smart guy on that blog said a few days ago, it's what market participants expect from their neighbours that matters.

So we'll have to see if yesterday's and today's pop in US equities can be sold into or not.

And the problem I have is, going by that HYG chart above, the high yield trade does indeed have room to get sold into: wasn't Whitey saying just yesterday that all these indebted junior oils are about to go bankrupt and default on their debts? Has that been fixed? Doesn't HYG have to move lower to improve its yield to take this new threat into account?

Anyway, as Steenbarger says, we'll need people willing to hit the ask at these prices for the market to move up.

We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

XKCD: Randall Munroe gets it all laughably wrong

What If - what if all the rivers in the US were instantly frozen in the middle of summer?

It's amazing how much wrong there is in this article.

APPLE, BUTTCOIN, AND AN OUNCE OF GOLD: the answer will shock you!

Here's some news for you, with some cartoon gloating at the end:

New Deal Demoncrat - real aggregate and average wages set records in November. But you guys go ahead and keep puking the S&P!

David Kotok - some observations. Quote:
So, let’s say the negative impact from low oil is $150 billion and the positive impact is $450 billion. Our simple model suggests that the net positive impact equals about $300 billion. That is more than double the entire 2% payroll tax cut of a few years ago. It is bigger than the tax-cut amount debated this year in dysfunctional Washington DC. And it is about three-fourths the size of the revised federal deficit estimate for the fiscal year ending in 2015. That estimate is trending toward $400 billion.

If we are close to right, and if these estimates are within a 20% to 30% margin of error, 2015 will deliver accelerating growth in the US. We will enjoy continuing low interest rates as the Fed gradually normalizes policy. Low inflation lends additional confidence to the forecast, because energy price pressures are removed. The US stock market is likely to reflect these trends.
Hey Dave, might wanna tell your buddies Ritholtz and the other white-ass crackers to quit puking the S&P 500, then.

WaPo - sorry Pooty-poot, you're doomed. It starts with
A funny thing happened on the way to Vladimir Putin running strategic laps around the West. Russia's economy imploded.
and ends with
Putin might be playing chess while we play checkers, but only if we lend him the money for the set.
And there's nothing Pooty-poot can do about it. Sorry Pooty! You're the past. We're the future. Good luck building a new North Korea for yourself and your mafia cronies. Hope you don't starve 144 million people to death. We in the west will happily take your young and attractive women, so at least they have hope.

BBC - US moves to normalize relations with Cuba. Considering the Americans have been staunch allies of genocidal murderers like Charles Taylor and Augusto Pinochet, their stance against Cuba and the relatively harmless Castro family has never made any sense. Well... except for the bit about the US government having been under the control of the American mafia and the white exile Cuban slave-owners who lost everything in the revolution.

Qz, the Middle Persian word for a joke that destroys the flow of a comedy program - Buttcoin was the worst investment of 2014. Worse than Russia, worse than gold miners. Oh and by the way, as of today the score is:

ten shares of AAPL: $1094.10
three butt-coins: $978.24
one ounce of gold: $1189.30

And those of you who doubted that the holy and constant, annointed and timeless value of gold would be worth more than either by the end of the year? Shame on you. I voted gold. Three times. What did you vote for? Huh? Huh? Not gold, eh?

Mineweb - gold traders bet Russia's next move is to puke bullion. And for all you dumbass goldbugs who thought Russia buying gold was good for gold, I have half a cartoon panel:

HIGH YIELD IS SUDDENLY AWESOME AGAIN: here's what you need to know


I guess that's what happens when a one-way trade suddenly and violently becomes a two-way trade, eh?

today's gold ex-USD chart

Here's GLD vs UDN:

Well, the breakdown took it to 4.75 or so and the previous resistance line kinda, but since then it's spent two days hovering.

This looks positive.

And the weekly chart shows anything above 4.65 is still positive.

But I think when there's still a pervasive marketwide fad in selling commodities, it's not the safest time to buy.


Y'know, I do like Jim Rogers, Hot Commodities was a good book, he does have his own commodity index and you & I don't, but boy has that guy been taken to the woodshed and beaten like a red-headed stepchild.

On November 25th we all got to read this:

FT Alphaville - Jim Rogers' contrarian view on Russia.

A hilarious read, in retrospect.

And then the same day he appeared on Bloomberg:

Where he notes that he was invested, among other things, in the Micex via "an ETF".

Gee, I hope it's not this one:

So hey, I still like the guy, he's educated me a lot about commodities and I do respect his experience.

But boy he really looked like a fool on this one. And reading Putin's Kleptocracy* has made me aware of how fucking clueless Jim was about the political/economic situation on the ground.

Even if you like someone, remember that they are very likely to screw up big-time.

* - Putin's Kleptocracy reads like an indictment. By that, I mean it's just a long footnoted list of associations and events with no narrative structure. I appreciate the book being written, but it's not worth buying to read unless you happen to work for Interpol.

That Commie subversive anti-American Ronald Reagan

Reposting this:

because I've been reading Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide.

Which, by the way, makes it very clear to me in the first few pages that by simply Googling the book and then posting about it on a Google blog, I've certainly now made it onto an NSA watchlist and am now being watched for my every internet move, if I hadn't already been for my teenage activities.

Speaking of which, I have a very original reason for being annoyed at Obama's and Bush's "collect it all" dystopian fascist dragnet of surveillance on Americans and all other foreign nationals with access to the internet.

Back in the old days, I had to commit crimes, go to anti-nuke demonstrations, associate with known drug dealers, date a skinhead girlfriend, hang out with Greenpeace members wanted by the law in other countries, and run a popular Unabomber news website just to maybe get the RCMP to open a file on me.

Nowadays all a guy's gotta do is start a stupid fucking blog.

Anyway, you should all read Greenwald's No Place to Hide, and in fact you should also buy a few extra copies to give to your local public library. Every single person in the free world needs to read about how you've all now been turned into nothing but fucking livestock.

Today's big question

High yield has barfed, as hedge fund bozos with exposure thru the ETFs have no choice but to dump the entire market despite junior shale companies being the only junk in the system. Good gets dragged down with the bad.

Now, the ruble may still continue to barf, and oil may still continue to barf; the ruble is fundamentally worth nothing, and oil is fundamentally worth $35-$40 a barrel.

However, I found it interesting that yesterday's Zerohedge rumour of imminent Russian capital controls seemed to be enough to scare out the Micex shorts and get some oil & HY shorts to cover. This suggested to me that maybe the recent fast moves were overdone, and the short market has to clear out its overexuberance before any declines can continue. The drops were just too damn fast and too damn silly, I think.

As well, the apparently-now-fixed Vix hairiness might have been scaring people. And on top of that, the presence of a heavy pile of Vix 20 calls on expiry yesterday (so I read on a blog somewhere) might have been scaring the market. Today brings the Vix a new front month.

So the big question for today is this:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Zerohedge's "broken VIX" disinformation campaign, paid for by Pooty-Poot


Zerohedge - broken VIX means markets getting scared, Group One says. Quote:
Inputs to the calculation are going skewy on the VIX in the past couple days because "safety parameters are set to hair triggers" and market makers are going wide more often than not, Group One Trading’s Dominic Salvino said.
But, wonder of wonders, I googled the supposed "Bloomberg report" and found utterly nothing.

But then I found this:

CNBC - why the VIX went haywire and how it was fixed. Quote:
The issue, according to the CBOE, derived from the way the VIX equation collects options quotes. The CBOE takes the bid and ask price of every option (that is, the price at which market makers are willing to buy and sell each option) and finds the average. For instance, if the bid price is 10 cents, and the ask price is 30 cents, the "true" options price will be considered to be 20 cents.

However, what began to happen is that the bid/ask spreads on those S&P options started to widen vociferously and sporadically. Generally, the ask price (the price at which the market maker offers to sell that option to traders) was rising, while the bid price (the price at which the market maker is willing to buy the option) stayed the same.
But of course CNBC is nothing but Zionist American propaganda while Zerohedge gets all its news (and reputation) (and funding) from RT and the Russians.

You choose what's true! Because truth is something you can decide for yourself without bothering to check reality!

NEWSETTER WRITERS: let me help you educate yourselves

There are many newsletter writers out there who prove their ignorance every day by saying the stupidest, most paleolithic things. Bullshit about the evil Ben Bernanke, ignorant garbage about debt and government spending, uninformed blather about money-printing and QE, vacuous whining about how granny doesn't get any interest on her deposits anymore.

If you've been reading this blerg for a while, you know some of the names I'd read off if I felt like it.

However, instead I'm going to provide them all an opportunity.

Here are three lectures from UC Berkeley's intro to Economics course that'll explain the basics of macroeconomics for you, well enough that (if you're open to actually learning) you'll finally realize just how wrong it was to think you were learning anything at all from US talk radio and the Republican party.

All it will take is a computer with speakers, an internet connection, and approx. 110 minutes of your time.

Two more videos after the break:


Here's some evening news:

New Deal Demoncrat - 2015 is when the US economy takes off! Because gasoline prices are down. Therefore, dear chaps, do indeed continue puking US stocks.

FT beyond brics - which EM currencies don't suck right now? None. Because, Jonathan Wheatley, Korea is not a fucking emerging market.

IKN - wah wah tax loss selling. Quote:
Anybody who thought there wouldn't be much tax-loss selling in Canadian stocks this season, that the worst would be over early and that December wouldn't see much dumpage should take a good look at the market action today.
My reply:

You're just pissed cos you went on a junior miner buying spree on Monday after I specifically advised you contrarywise.

i09 - how to tell if unseen forces are controlling your life. For example, they make you link to a shitty article advertising a TV show.

Or even worse, something like this happens:

REGIME CHANGE IN CANADA: it's more likely than you think!

Globe & Mail - oil freefall: Canada braces for fallout. This affects Canada too:
Today, CIBC World Markets added its voice, in a new report on just how painful the shock could be to Canada.

“The recent dive in crude oil prices is an unprecedented development for the Canadian economy,” said CIBC economists Avery Shenfeld, Peter Buchanan and Warren Lovely.

“Even after allowing for the cushions provided by tighter heavy oil spreads and a weaker C$, the local currency value of a weighted index of Canadian barrels is down over 40 per cent in the last four months,” they added.

“That’s unprecedented since, while we’ve seen retreats of that magnitude before, the recent ones were demand-led corrections in which broader U.S. or global recessions did much of the economic damage to Canada.”
However, we're forgetting that there isn't any oil in Ontario, Quebec or BC, and those are the important provinces in Canada:
The provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador are in the eye of this storm, as is the federal government, when it comes to revenues.

Indeed, just yesterday, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice unveiled cost-cutting measures such as a “hiring restraint,” limited spending where possible, and curtailed “discretionary grants, travel, training and other related costs.”


Provinces such as Ontario and Quebec, of course, will get something of a boost from lower energy costs and a weaker dollar.
The upshot?

Frankly, I think this spells imminent regime change in Canada. How can Harper continue to promote Albertan politics when Alberta falls into recession? His power base will be gone, and I doubt he'll be able to muster enough strength in rural Ontario anymore once they have nothing left to whine about.

Finally the east rises again, and finally we send fascist Albertan politics back to where it came from.

Dunno if The Prince will be a good PM, but at least he's not a fascist pig.

PUTIN'S KLEPTOCRATIC REGIME COLLAPSES: here's what you need to know

Well, everyone's still piddling their pants about Russia (and remember, I said the rate hike would work for maybe an hour tops), so here's all the Russia news I can find for you:

Monday, December 15, 2014


John McAfee on (yup) Alex Jones:

McAfee has come to America to fight the good war against Statist oppression! Valiantly he lives off the grid, keeping himself a moving target, as he endeavours to single-handedly destroy the forces of oppression!

And where is Jeff Berwick? Cowering in his little Acapulco condo sipping wine, is where.

We just learned who the real libertarian freedom warrior is.


Here's a bit of reading:

Bespoke - the entire world is now oversold. BTW, Shaoul thinks the oil price drop has engendered fears of major dislocations across asset classes - like EM currency crises, or maybe junk debt collapse. Not that these will happen, just that these are what Wall Street Whitey is worrying about now.

Liz Ann Sonders - a bit of perspective. Again she reminds Whitey to quit piddling his panties.

FT Alphaville - optimism about falling oil prices, please. A standout piece from Cardiff Garcia:
Consider a simple thought experiment.

Imagine that the decline in oil and its probable effects could have been predicted in mid-June. You are given a choice between keeping the status quo price back then (nearly $110 for WTI) or accepting what came next. You survey the landscape of affected parties in the US should you choose the latter.

On the one hand, the outlook for capex and employment in the energy sector weakens, though neither is large relative to the US economy. High yield energy bonds experience an unnerving shakeout, raising fears that the damage to credit markets will spread beyond the sector, and the vulnerability of some financial institutions to the energy sector is exposed. The S&P 500 fluctuates more throughout this period than it did earlier in the year. The petroleum trade deficit, which had been narrowing quickly in recent years, at some point might begin shrinking at a slower pace than previously expected.

On the other hand, you see that the decline in energy prices also represents the equivalent of a big real wage gain (or a tax cut, whatever) for the middle class. Estimates vary by economist, but the benefits for the average household are in the hundreds of the dollars, with the total gains somewhere north of $100bn. The compensating benefits to the non-energy economic sectors should mitigate the threat to wider financial instability. While the short-term disinflationary pressures of a lower oil price surely complicates the Fed’s job, in the medium term the effect should be helpfully inflationary.

Furthermore, this boost starts arriving after an extended period of stagnant nominal wage growth and falling real median incomes. It also arrives in the summer months when gains in the US labour market had appeared to be slowing, and a little before the IMF would downgrade the near-term growth prospects for the world.

Surely nobody with any sense would refuse such a deal, or even hesitate to accept it. The only exceptions would be oil producers and investors in certain risky debt instruments.

Now also try to imagine that the exact reverse scenario had followed. Rather than falling by about 40 per cent, oil instead climbs by the same amount. The pessimism would have been extraordinary: Runaway headline inflation! Devastation for the middle class! Strengthened geopolitical foes! The outcry following a negative supply-side oil shock would have been dramatically more intense than the relatively subdued optimism following the positive shock that has actually ensued.
 But Whitey gotta keep pukin'.

BI - Russia admits it's done for, commits suicide. They raised their key interest rate to 17%. That laughable, suicidal gesture will scare off the currency speculators for an hour, maybe, tops. Face it, Pooty-poot, you're fucked.

FT Alphaville - the 2014 ruble forecasts all sucked. Quote:
In the bleakest official forecast yet from Moscow, the Russian central bank warned that the country could see a 4.5 per cent to 4.7 per cent contraction in GDP next year if oil prices remained at $60 a barrel.
The fundamental failure in the West's calculus is the assumption that this would weaken Pooty. Au contraire, the only Russians left in Russia are livestock who love living in a crypto-Stalinist mafia state, and Pooty's only concern is that he and his mafia friends can continue to rob the country blind to the tune of its entire GDP every year.

Krebs on Security - Sony addresses hacking scandal by threatening to sue Brian Krebs. Because that'll work.

gold breaks down suddenly


Gold started diving on its own, not in association with a broader market vom, so with a break thru the SMA(50) and Bollinger mean this uptrend is acting very done. I'm out.

This chart has a lot of error associated with it, but the fact remains GLD:UDN has dropped below its 4.76 or so pivot line, below its EMA and below the Bollinger mean, so it's acting like it's done.

Dunno why, maybe it's to do with $VIX futures closing this afternoon.

Two examples of market panic


Has there been another massive earthquake in Japan, or some other similar reason to puke the ETF by more than 2% at a time outside Japanese trading hours when dropping oil prices are going to give their economy a boost and Abe has just won re-election?


What, is Ford suddenly worth over 10% less than it was two weeks ago because, um, reasons?


ARE OIL AND JUNK STILL DOING THAT THING? here's what you need to know

Is high yield still crashing?


What about oil?


There's your update for today.

ANGELINA JOLIE SHOCKS THE WORLD: the shocking video that will shock you!

OH MY GOD Universal Pictures just put up this shocking video entitled "A Message From Universal Pictures About Angelina Jolie" and it's already got 7 million views!

You won't believe what happened next!

The video comes after the break for extra clickwhoringness!

Comment on vix futures and miners


will be the story of today. $VIX has skyrocketed and even the vix blogs don't seem to have a good explanation why; there are even crazy-high $VIX calls freaking people out.

Meanwhile, in premarket at least, both GDX and GDXJ are threatening new lows, which makes me want to tell you that even if gold remains strong, you probably don't want to take a new position in a beaten-down miner today, no matter how good a deal you think you can get. If the market wants to sell, you let it sell til it's done.

Commentary on premarket gold moves

Upon seeing gold get chokeslammed in overnight trade, my reaction was the same as anyone else wwho's watched PMs these past few years: "oh, not again."

But things look better in the daily candles:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Some Sunday evening news

Here's some more stuff:

New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. His summary:
With one exception, the significant negatives mainly tell s story of global weakness - a flight to treasury bonds vs. corporate bonds, shipping, and commodities. US data, with the sole exception of Gallup daily spending, continues to tell a story of strength.
So keep puking the S&P 500, people!

BBC - Abe wins. Now the market can find something else to shit itself about.

Gavyn Davies - I don't know what caused the oil crash. Economists are morons:
Like investors, economists have been thrown into confusion. Almost no-one in the profession (including myself) predicted the oil price collapse in advance. After the shock, it took months for oil price forecasts to be brought into line with the new reality. Futures prices in the oil market have performed no better: predicting oil prices can be a mug’s game.

More surprisingly, there has also been a disinclination to accept the potential benefits in the oil shock. Some economists have said it largely reflects an adverse demand shock in the global economy, so it is axiomatically bad news. Others have said that, even if it is a supply shock in the oil market, which would normally be beneficial, this time will be different, because it will be deflationary, and will therefore raise real interest rates.
How the hell could any economist say it "reflects an adverse demand shock"? Is this in the actual demand data that you can (order your grad student to) look up? Or are you really just saying "prices down proves demand must be down"? Is there really nothing else that affects prices?

Then again, this kind of ignorance should be expected from a "science" that can't even make advance predictions on oil prices.

Reuters - India to reap $12 billion budget bonus from oil slide. Probably an awful lot more of a benefit than this if oil drops to $40 - this is for an assumed future price of $70 oil. Gee, how much of this money will flow into gold, y'think?

Fill in the blank

Here's tomorrow morning's Reuters headline. Please fill in the blank:

REUTERS - GOLD _________ (advances/declines) ON ABE ELECTION VICTORY

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Another blast from the past: Satanic pony mutilations on Dartmoor!

In anticipation of St. Winebald's Day, which is not a Satanic holiday but rather the feast day of an unknown German saint, I'd like to repeat this fantastic post of mine about idiot Satanic Ritual Abuse allegations.

Speaking of which, here's a link to an even better freak-out about how stupid British police are using a "Satanist Hunters' Manual" to "hunt" "satan-worshippers".

SAFF - How British police fell for the St. Winebald fakery.

Anyway, on to the past we go:

So, apparently a pony was found dead on Dartmoor.

And the fundamentalist Christians are coming out of the woodwork to give the UK one of their favourite pastimes - a moral panic:

Plymouth Herald - Satanists blamed for horse mutilation and death on Dartmoor.
A Satanic cult has been blamed for the death of a pony which was horrifically mutilated in a ring of fire during a full moon.
Police are investigating after the young male animal had its genitals and right ear sliced off and tongue and eyes cut out - possibly while it was still alive.
As anyone who follows animal mutilation stories can tell you, it's rather more likely that the animal dropped dead, and then later has its grundies and face eaten off post-mortem by scavengers.

If you're an animal, those are the easiest things to chew off from a dead body.

And I'm sorry, but trying to cut off a horse's anything while it's still alive will put you in the hospital or the morgue. Period. My granddad was permanently crippled by one kick from a horse, just cos the horse was having a bad day; imagine how bad even a pony would fuck you up if you were trying to snip his tongue off.

And "in a ring of fire during a full moon"? That's one of those factoids that you have to doubt immediately; after all, did someone really make a ring of fire, and do the police know for certain it died during the full moon? Grass doesn't burn, at least not in a nice well-arranged round-shaped fire. Try it sometime.

But there are all sorts of nutbar Christian fundamentalist wackjobs out there who think there is a secret world-spanning cult of pony-hating (formerly baby-raping) Satanists out there, and they've watched all sorts of movies or videos or shit where some guy makes an actual ring of fire during a full moon. So it's quite likely someone added these stupid facts to the story to make it sound more sinister.

Because they want you to come to church.
Animal welfare officers are investigating but local horse carers believe the butchery was part of an evil occult or Pagan ceremony by Devil worshippers.
Local welfare charities have reported the death to the police and have appealed for the public to be extra vigilant.
Karla McKechnie, Dartmoor's Livestock Protection Officer, said she feared devil worshippers were behind the ritualistic horse killing.
She said: "We do get strange things happening from time to time, normally when its a full moon.
"I've come across strange circles in the ground, boulders used as altars, that sort of thing, but thankfully animal mutilations are rare.
"I suspect its witches or devil worshippers but it's always hard to get to the bottom of it.
"Local horse carers" apparently means one single nutbar named Karla McKechnie. I really fucking hate when a supposed journalist pluralizes "concern" or "belief" of one person to make it seem like it's a mass phenomenon, but that's what happens when journalism school graduates are forsaken in favour of some dumb twit with O-levels who's willing to work for a pittance.

How do I know Karla McKechnie is a fundamentalist wackjob? As we saw back in the Satanic Ritual Abuse Panic days, fundies always tend to conflate "occult" with "Satanic". It's part of the American fundie tradition of calling everything Satanic: yoga, meditation, Hinduism, and hippies doing candle magic stuff from the Witches' Bible Compleat are all Satanic according to these guys. "Satanic" symbols include the peace sign, the pentagram, the Star of David, and probably even the logo on Led Zeppelin IV for all I fucking know.

Basic fact: there are occultists and pagans in England. They don't worship the devil, they don't worship Satan. Even Satanists don't worship Satan: ask one sometime and he'll be happy to explain Satanism to you.

Only stupid American-inspired fundamentalist christians believe that Satanists worship Satan, and that witchy and druidy hippies worship Satan, and that shit even the Catholics worship Satan.

And apparently Karla McKechnie isn't even an actual Veterinary Technician, or whatever it's called over there. Cos if she was, the paper would call her a Veterinary Technician instead of calling her several "horse carers".
Dartmoor and the surrounding countryside in Devon and Cornwall has been dogged by rumours of satanic rituals for years.
Oh good.

One of my favourite topics of study back when I cared about sociology was the Satanic Ritual Abuse panic that happened on the Isle of Lewis a few decades back. Interestingly, it was an isolated community (go find Lewis on a map for fuck's sake), and the "Satanists" were all southerners who had moved up to Lewis for... cheap rent or something, I dunno. So obviously the strange southerners got persecuted as "Satanists". It would have been a great Ph.D. thesis, if only I had thought visiting Lewis was a remotely good idea.

And here we are with another outlying area whose traditions are being trampled upon by an influx of Londoners.

Satanic ritual allegations always pop up in these situations, cos you've got a conservative rural population who feel their traditional way of life is under threat. "Because Satan" is the Christian fundie response.

The fundamentalist preachers from the US move into these areas, and give a few lectures on "how to spot Satanism": the source of the concern in Lewis was (if I remember) eventually traced to one social worker having gone to a "lecture" by fundie wackjobs from the USA who came to Scotland to sow some fear of Satan.

So I guess the fundies have been giving lectures in Cornwall now?
In 2012 a two-year-old horse called Eric belonging to Dawn Jewell, 27, was found mutilated on the day of satanic animal sacrifice.
Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto half not be.

(Sorry, needed to inject a comedic break here. If you don't get the Monty Python reference then you're Satanist scum!)
He was found dead in his field in Stithians, near Falmouth, Cornwall, after a full moon with his right eye gouged out, his teeth removed and his genitalia hacked off.
Lots of days of the year that are "after a full moon". More specific, please?

God only knows, maybe there's a feral dog on the moor (I guess there are no wolves in England anymore?) and it finds it easier to hunt during a full moon.

Or maybe the horse just dropped dead and its body was gnawed on by skunks or raccoons or whatever scavengers you lot have in England.

Or maybe some asshole goes around killing horses.
The horrific attack happened on St Winebald Day, a date in the satanic calendar traditionally celebrated with bloody rituals.
Oh holy fuck with honey garlic fuck sauce served with a side order of fuck fries and fuck coleslaw, accompanied by a nice full pint of Guinness in a glass with the word "fuck" written on it in big red letters! This requires Blown-Mind Keanu:

SAINT something-something Day? As in the day of a Christian SAINT?

This is "a date in the Satanic calendar traditionally celebrated with bloody rituals"?!?!?

Satanists worship Catholic saints on Saints' Days?

 Answer: No. No, they don't.

Sure, Walpurgisnacht (another day entirely) is important to a few Satanists somehow, but not because St. Walpurga was accidentally canonized on May Day, and Walpurgisnacht is the May Eve, and that happens to be important as an older pagan holiday being the mid-spring night, cos you can't plant anything before May in northern Europe where it's cold so it's good to keep track of the earliest possible planting day.

Walpurgisnacht is conveniently at the opposite end of the year from All Hallow's Eve, and that's why Satanists care about this completely different day which doesn't have to do with Saint Winebald.

Now... who is St. Winebald? He's some dude. Really, Wikipedia's got nothing. Quote: "abbot of the Benedictine double monastery of Heidenheim am Hahnenkamm, and beyond that we got nothing." The Feast of St. Winibald is Dec 18th. Apparently he lived in the same period as Walpurga and they might have even quaffed mead together. I doubt any Satanist, who "worships Satan", satanically, is going to be looking up Catholic feast days to determine when to perform his next Satanic ritual. Especially dedicating their Satanic ritual on Dartmoor which is Cornish to a dead German abbot.

Especially when you could do even more evil and mayhem by just holding off for 6 fucking days and doing your Satanic giggity on Christmas Eve.

Oh, and by the way, Plymouth Hystericald - Dec 18th is also the day of St. Mawnan of Cornwall. Why aren't you blaming him? I guess cos Winebald sounds more sinister, it being more German and all.

But there are lots of hippies and metalheads out there who think they're druids, and probably would be happy to sacrifice animals because that was the druidy way of doing things, and thus they'd be preserving their ancient Celtic heritage of killing stuff in honour of the Horned God or something. And maybe druids would find it a good idea to do a ritual on the Saint's day of a Cornish priest... cos... I dunno, I'm still drawing a blank.

But I guess blaming it on druidism would be too obvious a slander against the heritage of the Celtic lower classes out there. And if you piss off the lower classes they get mighty nasty. So instead you blame it on "Satanism" and invite the mouth-breathing Cornish to go to some stupid American-style fundie church service where they can be saved from the evil pseudo-papistry of Anglicanism, with their anti-Christ HM Queen Elizabeth II and their false prophet Archbishop of Canterbury - who parenthetically is a Geordie and thus about as far away from God as you can possibly get.

Now, this story was carried elsewhere too:

The Independent - Police investigate possibility that Satanic cult killed and mutilated pony on Dartmoor.

They seem to have copied the Plymouth Herald article verbatim. Except they probably have a Catholic typesetter who realizes the "St. Winebald Day" angle was a fucking stupid clownish drooling pile of steaming idiocy, so she cut that bit out to make the newspaper look slightly less fucking stupid.

Unfortunately, the Independent's article adds this:
Inspector Oliver told the BBC that his officers would be speaking to "experts in the field as it was not in the normal remit".
The fuck?!? "Experts in the field"? Of what?

I do certainly hope Insp. Oliver means he's going to consult with something like "experts in animal mutilations", and not "experts in Satanic cults". Because sorry dude, you're going to end up getting brainwashed by a bunch of fucktard American fundamentalist wackjobs.

Hey! Insp. Oliver! Want some "expert" stuff on Satanic killings?

Here. Watch this video. It's got a hot blushing Christian teenage chick in a bikini who's playing dead and who has stuff drawn on her body in pen.

And here's another one, where some fundie in a mullet, who hasn't had a real job his entire life, shows you a park where Satanists and homosexuals like to go hand in hand. No tits though.

Insp. Oliver, this is the level of "expert"-ness that you'll find: a bunch of fundies who just fucking make shit up. These guys ain't graduate students from a forensic anthropology programme; they're fundie wackjobs who've maybe read a couple Bob Larson books that hype "the evils of Satanism". Or just watched the videos, like this infomercial:

So you will not, for example, be able to get them to give you primary-source proof from a "Satanic spellbook" that proves that yes, indeed, a Satanist wanting to perform some particular ritual has to draw little pentacles on a chick's boobs just so, it says here on page 172 of Satanic Spells Made Easy for Morons by renowned Satanist author Stanley McSatanstein von Satan.

These "experts" don't do experiments, they don't do statistical analysis, and any lawyer with two brain cells to rub together will shred these fucking Jesus-freak assclowns into mincemeat on the stand if you're ever so fucking stupid as to present them to the court as "expert" witnesses. And then you'll be next up on the stand and that lawyer will make you the laughing stock of the justice system.

Because it's utter bullshit. It's all been made up by fundamentalist Christian wackjobs whose entire purpose is to convert your interestingly-dentitioned halitosis-blessed island fortress nation away from that evil Popery of the Anglican Church, over to fucking Southern Baptism or some such shit. Oh and take all your money.

Because Jesus.

Now here's another English rag covering the story:

Daily Telegraph - Pony mutilated in suspected satanic act in Dartmoor.

Forgive me btw, but I was under the impression that a thing should be said to be on Dartmoor, not in it. Because Dartmoor is a moor, and a moor is a thing that you are said to be on. Like a heath, say. Correct me if I'm wrong. (Of course you can be in Dartmoor if you've been "bunged up in the nick" as they say at HM Prison Dartmoor.)

Anyway, the Telegraph has yet more depth to the story, which makes me wonder if maybe they have a real journalist working for them:
According to experts, the south west has a long association with Satanic groups, some of which still perform sacrifices.
Really? "Experts" again? And these "experts" are in touch with enough "Satanic groups" to know that some of them have given up doing sacrifices?

No. It's not like that at all.

Rather, the "experts" is some dumb crazy chick again, and "know" means she's only making shit up again.
Jenny Thornton, an animal welfare officer on Dartmoor, thought the position of the foal was “sinister” when she was called to examine it later that night.
“Crows take eyes out but animals certainly couldn’t have cut an ear off,” she said. “We have not jumped to any conclusions but it certainly seems that it could have been ritualistic.”
Yes, animals can "cut" an ear off. If the animal was there for a while the ear is easy to gnaw off. Thank you, btw, for noting that the eyes are the first things to go when free food gets set out at night.

And I like your sense of humour, Jenny! "We haven't jumped to any conclusions yet, but LORD SAVE US THE DEMON SATAN AND HIS HORDES HAVE OVERWHELMED US"?

I hope she brings a fucking parachute when she actually does jump to conclusions.

And here's that nutcase fundie Karla McKechnie with her undeserved 1 sentence of fame again:
Karla McKenchie, who has looked after animals on Dartmoor for 13 years, said cult members were obvious suspects.
“When you think it was done under a full moon and the pony was in an arced-out circle that was possibly burnt by candles, I think you could be looking for someone other than just your local Joe Bloggs,” she said.
Ah! Cult members are obvious suspects, and she knows this because she hangs out with animals. There's your fucking "expert" right there.

And she's obviously the one who's added the "circle burned by candles" bullshit to the story.

And interestingly, it's not "just your local Joe Bloggs" - the subtext being that it's some outsider. Because the "OMG Satanists" story, as I noted above, is always ultimately a narrative driven by fear of outsiders.

But wait! There's more!
The police are taking these precedents seriously, and Insp Oliver said the lunar cycle was possibly a factor. “There is a lot of research about the effects of the cycle,” he said.
“As is well known, a full moon does affect people: I’ve been in the control room before where we’ve had two separate people on high buildings threatening to throw themselves off [during a full moon]. Monday was the full moon, so it would be a bit of a coincidence.”
OK, Insp. Oliver is now proven a fucktard. "There is a lot of research about the effects of the [full moon]"?!?! Really? What, you mean "research" as in "conversations with little old ladies in the pub, especially after they've 'ad a few"?

This is what happens when you let low-grade fucking morons become police officers.

And then this paper must have checked out Wikipedia to find some more "experts":
Per Faxneld, an expert in contemporary Satanism at the University of Stockholm, said that full moons were important in Satanist rituals, but that the attack was unlikely to have been carried out by an “established Satanist group”.
Per Faxneld?

He's a Ph.D. student who's into black metal. And he's from Sweden, where the paganist religions are qualitatively very different from England: Odinism is not even remotely like druidism. Now sure, he has actually contributed some to the study of actual real Satanist groups, but this is not the level of "expert" that you would consult in any other field.
He added that “one of the most extreme Satanist groups in the world”, the Order of Nine Angles – which has even called for human sacrifices – is based in Britain. 
Yeah, well... Anton Long aka David Myatt from the ONA became a muslim a while back, and now he's apparently some other sort of thing, so I doubt the ONA had anything to do with this. Especially since the Order of Nine Angles was like 2 guys in a cottage in Shropshire, which is a bit far of a drive to mutilate ponies. But you wouldn't expect that level of investigative journalism from the Daily Telegraph, I guess.

And we'll give the last words to Batshit Karla:
Karla McKenchie thinks such a cult will provide the answer. “I’ve never come across somebody who goes out in the middle of the night, catches ponies and mutilates them,” she said. “When you go start doing that to an animal, you obviously don’t bat for the right side.” 
Yeah... so therefore if you don't bat for the right side you must be a Satanist.

Instead of some bunch of hippies playing druid. Or even just some dumb Cornish teenagers who like getting drunk and killing animals.

Cos all the evil things that happen in the world are the result of Satan, instead of your own fucking stupidity.

This is why I'm always calling for punching someone in the fucking face as the answer to all life's problems.