Friday, April 11, 2014

A few morning newsbits

Some morning reading as you watch the market flow like blood down a slaughterhouse sluice:

Bespoke - stocks getting SLAMMED. If it was anyone else, I'd put it off as idle speculation, but the Bespoke guys have this tidbit:
Tax day next Tuesday is quickly approaching, and based on today's action, it looks like investors are selling everything they own to pay all those 2013 capital gains taxes they owe!
Is that why the US market is getting puked right now?

Calculated Risk - oh god it's Marc Faber again. McBride must read my blog, cos he's a little more sarcastic than his old dispassionate self:
Today was no exception with Marc Faber on CNBC:

"This year, for sure—maybe from a higher diving board—the S&P will drop 20 percent," Faber said, adding: "I think, rather, 30 percent"

And Faber from August 8, 2013:

Faber expect to see stocks end the year "maybe 20 percent [lower], maybe more!"

And from October 24, 2012:

"I believe globally we are faced with slowing economies and disappointing corporate profits, and I will not be surprised to see the Dow Jones, the S&P, the major indices, down from the recent highs by say, 20 percent," Faber said...

Since the market is up 30% since his 2012 prediction, shouldn't he be expecting a 50% decline now?
Multiple takeaways from this. #1, did you know the story of Chicken Little supposedly goes back 25 centuries? #2, don't read my blog if you want to continue being a respectful person, because I'm a bad influence on everyone.

Raw Story - oh god it's the Holy Father again. The newest RC policy statement puts him right up there with Ho Chi Minh. Get this:
“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems,” the pope said in the 224-page document that essentially serves as his official platform.

Pope Francis said that inequality was the root of social ills, and prayed for world leaders with more empathy and sense of social justice.

I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor!” Pope Francis wrote. “It is vital that government leaders and financial leaders take heed and broaden their horizons, working to ensure that all citizens have dignified work, education and healthcare.”
Ouch! In fact, here is a video of Pope Francis commenting and expanding on Evangelii Gadium:

In fact, let's just quote the whole rest of it:
“I am interested only in helping those who are in thrall to an individualistic, indifferent and self-centered mentality to be freed from those unworthy chains and to attain a way of living and thinking which is more humane, noble and fruitful, and which will bring dignity to their presence on this earth,” the pope wrote.


“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” Pope Francis wrote. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and na├»ve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”


“We have created new idols,” the pope wrote. “The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.”

The pope decried the growing gap between rich and poor as a social and political problem.

“This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation,” Pope Francis wrote. “Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules.”


“The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits,” Pope Francis wrote. “In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.”

Pope Francis said this political and economic system was inherently sinful because it violated the biblical prohibition against killing.

“Such an economy kills,” he wrote. “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.”
Well! To summarize,

1. capitalists have no dignity to their lives;
2. capitalists are in thrall to selfishness (which essentially means they are possessed by evil);
3. those wielding power should not be trusted to work for the benefit of others;
4. they are worshipping false gods, thus btw breaking a commandment;
5. capitalism is a new tyranny;
6. they are also sinners because they kill people;
7. and that's the bottom line cos Stone Cold said so!

All I have to say is, if 1.2 billion Roman Catholics actually bothered to take their marching orders from this Pope, then the world would be a much better place, no?